Iron Man Mark 39 Gemini MK-39 Custom Build PVC Foam


New Member
Hi everyone.

I guess I was overdue to start a progress thread (also to help my memory in my old days). Since I am in good shape, I should be able to provide fairly quick updates on my current status. I might ask for tips on electronics (servos, programmable LEDs, jet exhaust, etc.) since I never did my own before (except basic soldering).

The story started when I was doing a Mark 4/6 and wanted to have a different paint scheme. Then came the promo pics for IM3 and I found my target with Mark 39. I was midway in my fiberglassing the pep for my MK 4/6 which mean only one thing: re-start from scratch.

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Since winter was coming (thanks John Snow...), working in my garage was no longer an option up here in Canada so I had to move shop to the basement. This meant that fiberglass was no longer an option since it is too toxic to work indoors.

The other constraint was that I did not find accurate Pep files out there at the time (Pepcowboy did very good files when I was 6 months in), so I decided to get a 3D model extracted from a game (I found someone in Europe who did it, a few months later, a generous soul posted a bunch of them on the RPF) and used Pepakura to scale and unfolded them for my size. I did the unfold on 11 x 17 Ledger pages, color printed at Staples, then cut the patterns in PVC foam (Sintra).

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The main advantage for me is that I worked with PVC foam before, and this lower density version I got (which seems to be standard nowadays) is much lighter and easier to cut and shape. After a few weeks, I had basic components in progress.


and ready for a duct tape dry fit to see how the pieces were fitting together:


More on my next post...


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New Member
The Abs were a bit of a challenge as they are truly "architectural" with big gaps in between. After spending a few evenings pondering about the best way to go, I freehanded a design with cardboard using the measures from the printed file. After playing with some angles, I settled for something resembling this:


The helmet was also an issue as the game version was too rough for my taste to be usable. Fortunately, when I was initially doing research, I came across a non-unfolded PDO which I liked (I later found it was from JTM, thanks man) and did a fiberglass job on pep (it was end of summer by then):

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Then came time to Bondo other parts as well:

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Second winter was coming soon...
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New Member
... and it was time to think about what the final product should look like. From previous experience, the combination of "texture" and "reality" is what gives the final product an edge. I decided to go for "texture" on the side/ribs section by cutting individual pieces according to the pattern from the 3D model from the game.

Here are the cut pieces (R stands for Right, L is ...), curved (I use boiling water for this, makes it so easy. Used nitrile gloves to avoid accidental burns), and glue (I use PVC cement).

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For the "reality" part, I looked for ways to have metal pieces here and there to get a real metallic feeling. I then had an idea to use one of my fuel source as raw material. Bonus: lightweight and free...

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That's it for this week, hopefully I can make these updates a weekly thing.
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New Member
iamoris: you have 2 options.

Option 1: If you want to do fiberglass Pepakura, you can use Pepcowboy files located at When I started on my Mk39 project, these were not available yet so it is not what I used. However, they seem to be fairly accurate. You might need to tweak them here and there (e.g. if you want to have a joint between the shin and thigh) depending on your preferences but they look pretty much on the spot from the get go.

Option 2: What I did was to use the 3D model that was extracted form the game (the .obj file) and import it in Pepakura Designer, scale it to your height (I am 5'10", I scaled for 6' tall) and unfold. As I mentioned, I got my file from a guy in Europe but Balmung has released a bunch of them so you can get it from him at

George: I will post an update today.


New Member
Following up on the "texture" conversation, I added some layers to the chest using both white and black PVC foam, followed-up by some good old PVC cement.

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This was followed by some putty, sanding, repeat, then I glued the intakes on each sides:
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As you can see on that last pic, I do have a belt system. That was the hardest thing to do as there is little to no reference material out there. My take on it was to make to shoulder pieces that are padded with EVA foam for comfort. The shapes are somewhat similar to James from Xrobot but unlike him I did not make a chest and back underpiece, and I am not using any hinges, only nylon straps that I attached with snaps/press studs in a similar fashion as TK300 did for a stormtrooper (adjusted for the fact I am using PVC instead of ABS). His instruction are here:

So the nylon straps cross in the front and in the back. In front I attach the chest, the abs, and the cod piece. On the back, I attach the ribs and the back of the cod piece.

More to come...
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