By Cory Doctorow at 2:02 pm Wed, Feb 20, 2013
Redditor royal_dump makes eye-poppingly great Iron Man suits out of cardboard. He also sometimes sells ones he makes from foam.
I like to make Iron Man Suits out of cardboard... (imgur.com)
I was thinking just how much you could take the manufacturing methods behind this and apply it to actual armour. So instead of cardboard some fancy ceramic mix, with a kevlar under garment impregnated with shear thickening fluid. Or maybe just motor bike armour in the vein of the dark knight one a while back.
It would be useful if the designs could be parametric, so you could type in various measurements and get a custom suit out of it.
Or anything more waterproof than cardboard.
And less flammable.
Unless it’s north country frozen soggy newspaper, which as we found out last month, is BULLETPROOF! Newspaperman, to the rescue! “Errrrrf. My. Suit’s. Too. Heavy. halp.”
You can make actual strong armor using these same methods! Essentially you take the cardboard armor, then reinforce it with fiberglass resin, which you in turn smooth out with Bondo, sand, and paint. It’s basically the same method auto body shops will use to repair car exteriors. While the armor won’t make you bulletproof, it’s still pretty strong (and waterproof! Not sure about the flammable part, but probably that too.) Why not make your own costume accurate Iron Man (TM) bondo and resin armor?*
This guy has some very useful tutorials on Iron Man armor building:
This site is dedicated to replica costumes:
This site is similar, but mostly geared toward armor building. The focus is on Halo characters, but there are plenty of tutorials and files for non-Halo characters as well.
*possible reasons for not making said armor include the fact that doing so will require several hundred dollars worth of fiberglass, bondo, and paint, and will likely take several hundred hours of (mostly tedious) work. And bondo and fiberglass are extremely dangerous to inhale, so you need to wear a $100+ organic vesper-rated rebreather while working. And it’s all too easy easy to be nearly complete with the project, only to realize that the costume is just barely the wrong size, and thus completely unwearable. And your’ first few attempts will almost certainly look really, really sloppy.
These are cool sculptures but they don’t look like you could actually get in them. I made my 13 yr old a suit of Halo green marine armor (the Master Chief) out of cardboard, a assault rifle out of wood and scrap (making sure to keep painting the orange blaze onto the end of it).
The wonderful thing about cardboard is there is so much of it, so many types! It is strong and light, it can bend, it has grain and texture, it takes paint like a champ. I’ve made roman centurion outfits, fantasy armor, lots of helmets, weapons etc.Most popular costume was my younger son’s Minecraft Creeper outfit. Lurves it he does!
Yes, water is the enemy of cardboard =)
Yes, living in the Pacific NW, I would never dream of undertaking such an endeavor… but Iron Man lives in LA, so cardboard should be fine for ~329 days a year.
Generally you use the cardboard as a base and then cover it in fiberglass and epoxy.
The suits are cool, but, admit it, this has as much to do with not passing up an opportunity to reference Redditor royal_dump.
I am Cellulose Man with 70% recycled content.
The sad thing is his masks are far better than the ones they were selling for halloween.
It’s cool to see with something like this how talented people are. I could never translate RDJ’s costume into a cardboard replica. Neat stuff.
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