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  1. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
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    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:03 PM - My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #1

    After lurking the costume forum for a few months and getting inspiration from people like BrotherFoster, I decided to start my own Iron Man costume with the hopes of having it done by halloween. I'll be documenting my progress here.

    I wanted a mostly-accurate look, of course working with thick foam can't give you all the detail of a pep file, but I managed to get alot of depth out of the foam with some creative cutting and gluing.

    The process is really simple to master, foam and hot glue hold together REALLY well, so whatever shape you can dream up you can create and it will stick. These pieces can be thrown around, squeezed, bent and squished and they hold their shape without breaking the glue seams. It's been challenging to think in 3d, and while the chest piece is made up of just a few pieces, the arm pieces are considerably more complex. Now that one arm is done though, i should be able to make templates from the fitted pieces, flip them over, and get perfect duplicates for the other side.

    Let's get to the pics, and i'll explain more about my processes for those interested.

    Chest:







    Here's the front. the entire vest portion was cut out of one piece of foam then glued together to create the chest shape. I'm really happy with how it looks so far. One of the great parts of the thick foam is the ability to create ridges and seams in the armor without needing to cut separate pieces. I simply slice a line through the foam where i want a ridge, stagger the two sides of the cut line, and apply glue the new ridge. I also cut through the foam at angles to give me more depth or an different shape. Very easy to do with an xacto blade.



    Here's the template i used to create the chest. The final piece would not match this shape, i've shaved and trimmed and notched the foam piece to better fit me under the arms, and other places. but it was the perfect starting point.
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  3. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
    Messages
    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:03 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #2

    Back:

    Just two triangular pieces were added to the back to create this look. Again, lots of cuts in the foam to create the stairstep look of the ridges on the back. I really like the down ward facing vents midway down, that's just 3 cuts, then push the foam in and glue it down.







    The entire chest piece is held together with velcro. i put the piece on like a backwards vest, then the center piece over the spine is pressed together and velcros shut. i haven't had any problems with it coming loose.
  4. CSMacLaren's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    1,626
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:06 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #3

    Wow, off to a great start!
  5. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
    Messages
    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:13 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #4

    Arm:

    These were alot of brain work. I didnt want to have a simple cylinder of foam wraped around each arm, so using my Art of Iron Man 2 book as reference, i set about creating a pretty accurate arm shape. That meant lots of measuring, then cutting to fit. To create the angled seams, i would cut the edges of my pieces at angles, then glue them together to get the proper look.







    It's also really important to me that not alot of under suit shows. Not pointing at anyone in particular, but it really bugs me when suits have big gaps at the joints. I wanted to have as much coverage as possible, so that meant adding and building on pieces as i went. In the end, the other arm will probably look a little better because large pieces that i added to will be replaced with one single piece. I plan on pop riveting the forearm and bicep together when i have it finshed. Movement is actually really good. I'm not constricted much by the bulk. That has alot to do with fitting, trimming, refitting, and trimming until it was comfortable.

    So that's what i have done so far. Next up is the shoulder bell, and the rest of the back coverage.

  6. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2010
    From
    St. Pete, FL
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    1,454
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:54 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #5

    OUTSTANDING!!!! I need to do this. I have been contemplating this route... but now I know. I have to do it this way. How long to build this much?
  7. Lothahnus's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Diego
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    104
    Sep 15, 2010, 1:59 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #6

    can we see you wearing it?
  8. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
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    St. Pete, FL
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    Sep 15, 2010, 2:00 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #7

    I second this. Doesn't matter if it's not finished.

    Lothahnus said: View Post
    can we see you wearing it?
  9. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
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    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 2:17 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #8

    Dark Nerd said: View Post
    OUTSTANDING!!!! I need to do this. I have been contemplating this route... but now I know. I have to do it this way. How long to build this much?
    I'd say about 10 hours of work so far. Lots of fine tuning. Lots of time spent getting those arm pieces right.

    I'll take some shots with it on tonight. It fits really well. Snug but not tight, has the bulk that an iron man suit should have.
  10. RPF Premium Member
    Member Since
    Jul 2010
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    104
    Sep 15, 2010, 2:23 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #9

    IronManiac said: View Post
    I'd say about 10 hours of work so far. Lots of fine tuning. Lots of time spent getting those arm pieces right.

    I'll take some shots with it on tonight. It fits really well. Snug but not tight, has the bulk that an iron man suit should have.
    Will you be applying resin and bondo to the finished piece? This is far quicker than a Pep file and the finished result is awesome..well done..would be great if you made templates of this build.
  11. BAK55's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2009
    From
    St. Paul, MN
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    442
    Sep 15, 2010, 2:26 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #10

    What type of foam is this and where might one aquire some?
  12. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
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    Sep 15, 2010, 2:29 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #11

    Correct me if I am wrong but I believe these are the Walmart camping matts BrotherFoster has used?

    BAK55 said: View Post
    What type of foam is this and where might one aquire some?
  13. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
    Messages
    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 3:04 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #12

    You're right, Dark, it's the same foam Brotherfoster is using. OZARK camping mat, in the sporting goods section of walmart. A 20" x 6ft roll is $5.88.

    I'll post pics of the templates for the arm once i start making the other side, but you'll have to adjust as needed to fit you. I'm a small short guy, so bigger guys will need to adjust alot.

    As far as bondo...no. It's a flexible structure, so bondo will crack on top of the foam when it twists. Brotherfoster is going to use a flexible coating called flexbond, then painting on top of that. I've got a different idea for how to cover the surfaces, i'm going to experiment tonight and i'll tell you guys if my idea worked.
  14. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
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    St. Pete, FL
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    Sep 15, 2010, 3:15 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #13

    Awesome thanks.

    Big fave? Could you take some pics/scans of the pages you are using from the Art of IM book you have? I'd love to use them for my own templates.

    J

    IronManiac said: View Post
    You're right, Dark, it's the same foam Brotherfoster is using. OZARK camping mat, in the sporting goods section of walmart. A 20" x 6ft roll is $5.88.

    I'll post pics of the templates for the arm once i start making the other side, but you'll have to adjust as needed to fit you. I'm a small short guy, so bigger guys will need to adjust alot.

    As far as bondo...no. It's a flexible structure, so bondo will crack on top of the foam when it twists. Brotherfoster is going to use a flexible coating called flexbond, then painting on top of that. I've got a different idea for how to cover the surfaces, i'm going to experiment tonight and i'll tell you guys if my idea worked.
  15. BAK55's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2009
    From
    St. Paul, MN
    Messages
    442
    Sep 15, 2010, 3:37 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #14

    Thanks for the info. Think I'll run out and get some of the stuff. I'll be looking forward to the results of your experiment.
  16. Member Since
    Apr 2010
    Messages
    8
    Sep 15, 2010, 3:45 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #15

    This is such a great build, just like the trashcan mark V builds we have seen (thanx fett.sobrique) this is something us newbies can have a go at producing.

    The quick results must be really motivating when you can see everything coming together from nothing.

    Can't wait to see more, pleasantly surprised just how much detail you can achieve by layering & building up the features such as on the chest piece.

    Will be good to see the finished project, have you thought about how you want to finish/paint the foam? Will you keep the texture or smooth it out?
  17. Member Since
    May 2010
    Messages
    79
    Sep 15, 2010, 4:30 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #16

    IronManiac, the posted armor looks fantastic so far. JUST what I want to do for my 13-year-old stepdaughter's Mk6 armor - I don't want to make her pep/fiberglass armor that she won't be able to wear at DragonCon next year, but foam armor? THAT sounds promising. I'd been thinking of doing it with fun-foam, but this looks like an excellent possibility as well, between your work and BrotherFoster's. I look forward to your updates!
  18. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
    Messages
    248
    Sep 15, 2010, 4:45 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #17

    I pepped a helmet and found it to be very tedius and painstaking work. I myself am not the patient, steady handed type.

    On the other hand, this foam is very forgiving. You just cut, lay a thick bead of hot glue, press together, and you're on your way. The medium is easy to master, all you have to do is figure out how to fit the puzzle together.

    You have to think in 3d, which is challenging, but it's more interesting to me than gluing tiny flaps of paper together. I'm really enjoying the work so far, so that and the excitement of the end product makes it double fun for me.
  19. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    St. Pete, FL
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    1,454
    Sep 15, 2010, 4:57 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #18

    Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

    IronManiac said: View Post
    I pepped a helmet and found it to be very tedius and painstaking work. I myself am not the patient, steady handed type.

    On the other hand, this foam is very forgiving. You just cut, lay a thick bead of hot glue, press together, and you're on your way. The medium is easy to master, all you have to do is figure out how to fit the puzzle together.

    You have to think in 3d, which is challenging, but it's more interesting to me than gluing tiny flaps of paper together. I'm really enjoying the work so far, so that and the excitement of the end product makes it double fun for me.
  20. DarthVeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Lewis Center, Ohio
    Messages
    341
    Sep 15, 2010, 4:59 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #19

    Holy crap this is amazing!!! Why can't I do this??? I am an artist for God's sake!! You'd think I'd be able to pull this off!!
  21. RPF Premium Member BROTHERFOSTER's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2010
    Messages
    156
    Sep 15, 2010, 5:17 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #20

    IronManiac said: View Post
    Arm:

    These were alot of brain work. I didnt want to have a simple cylinder of foam wraped around each arm, so using my Art of Iron Man 2 book as reference, i set about creating a pretty accurate arm shape. That meant lots of measuring, then cutting to fit. To create the angled seams, i would cut the edges of my pieces at angles, then glue them together to get the proper look.







    It's also really important to me that not alot of under suit shows. Not pointing at anyone in particular, but it really bugs me when suits have big gaps at the joints. I wanted to have as much coverage as possible, so that meant adding and building on pieces as i went. In the end, the other arm will probably look a little better because large pieces that i added to will be replaced with one single piece. I plan on pop riveting the forearm and bicep together when i have it finshed. Movement is actually really good. I'm not constricted much by the bulk. That has alot to do with fitting, trimming, refitting, and trimming until it was comfortable.

    So that's what i have done so far. Next up is the shoulder bell, and the rest of the back coverage.

    OUTSTANDING! Lookig real nice. Keep posting in progress pics!
    Last edited by BROTHERFOSTER; Sep 15, 2010 at 5:17 PM. Reason: typo
  22. RPF Premium Member Graphic Jordan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2010
    From
    St. Pete, FL
    Messages
    1,454
    Sep 15, 2010, 5:59 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #21

    BroFos... you got any new progress pics. It's been the 48 hours you mentioned.
  23. bak9799's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Pittsburgh/Philadelphia PA
    Messages
    294
    Sep 15, 2010, 7:33 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #22

    Looks really good. I have been having trouble building the arms, nice approach
  24. Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Atikokan
    Messages
    1,158
    Sep 15, 2010, 9:00 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #23

    Watching with great interest. I can not wait to go to walmart this weekend..
  25. Member Since
    May 2010
    Messages
    50
    Sep 15, 2010, 10:54 PM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #24

    i am loving all of this foam work. makes me want to go to walmart right now and hunt for mats
  26. IronManiac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Birmingham, AL
    Messages
    248
    Sep 16, 2010, 12:31 AM - Re: My Iron Man FOAM build (Mark IV) #25

    Here are some fitment shots.









    I'm happy with how the chest piece fits. It puts alot of bulk up around my shoulders that looks like the original. And the arms are much larger than my actual skinny arms.
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