Ironman Mark VII Foam Version Avengers

Discussion in 'Marvel Costumes and Props' started by Dando, May 5, 2012.

  1. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Hey everyone, I thought I would post my experiences with using foam, how it turned out, and also thank those who made this costume work.

    First, thanks to darkside and those who unfolded the pdo files, as without them, all would have been lost to make this project. His thread is located here

    http://www.therpf.com/f24/darkside501sts-iron-man-mk-vii-pepakura-files-139470/

    Second, would be stealth for his tutorials for foam costume building. The information he provides in them is really the way to go, and gave great direction on different ways of doing the same thing, which helped budget wise. Those are found here

    http://www.therpf.com/f24/tutorial-using-pepakura-foam-costume-building-part-120019/

    Third, my friend who gave me the drive to get this completed in time for the premiere.

    Lastly, my wife who I would not have been able to make this happen without her support and love. She really made it possible for me to have the time, the ability of building it in the house, and understanding when it was taking longer then hoped.

    Well enough of those, first, I used both fomies(about 6cm) which I found through amazon, and fatigue interlocking floor mats(about 8cm) which I got at home depot. I also used parachute buckles, strapping, chicago screws, and industrial strength velcro for attaching everything.

    I used the pepakura to get templates to lay out on the foam, and then get the foam pieces. I found it easiest to lay them out together so I could save a bit more money by not wasting a bunch of foam. I used pins to hold them in place, and then got to cutting.

    [​IMG]

    From there, I just tossed the scraps wherever, it was not worth he clean up until after I was done.

    I used hot glue to put it all together, and then used it as reinforcement on the inside as well based on stealth's tutorial.

    It ended up looking like this before paint and strap work was done.

    [​IMG]

    I coated all the foam in wood glue to seal it, which I probably needed a few more coast, but was on a huge time crunch. Painting worked very well, I strung the pieces up on rope and painted them that way, did all the tape off, and different colors. It ended up very nice, and looked like this.

    [​IMG]

    My friend who helped is the guy in the suit, he was my shield agent and ran interference for me during the night which was very helpful as in an hour, I must have stood in 50ish pictures.

    Here is one with my wife in the theater, as I walked in the entire theater erupted in a cheer; it was a great night. I was very well received and we had a great time.

    [​IMG]

    I will have to make a few changes to the strap work as not all of it worked for the whole night, and after wearing it I now have some new ideas to make it work better then it did. I was quite surprised with the suit itself as I had previously made one from fiberglass using robo's mark VI files, which are great, but the glass was very uncomfortable. I wore the suit through the whole movie and could have kept going fro several more hours. I recommend this for everyone as it is a very nice, simple, and less expensive way to make a great suit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  2. bignatedegg56

    bignatedegg56 Active Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    good work sir, how long did it take overall?
     
  3. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Thanks. It was over the past 2 weeks, about average 6 hours a day, so about 84-100 ish man hours as I had a friend helping, so closer to 100 hours. I do plan on continuing the work on this as it really worked well, so I want to see it go to completion. My ideas for the future when time and money can replenish are to finish out the hand files which stealth modified for foam, the hand plates, light the eyes, possibly put in a camera with personal video display for viewing, and get the hands lit. This will take a bit of time as Ii can only work on a few things until I have money to put toward it later.
     
  4. jonmelton

    jonmelton New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    I've thought about putting video in my helmet, there's just not a cheap way to do it that I can find. All the "video glasses" are upwards of $200! Let me know if you ever move forward with it though.
     
  5. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Ya, that is what I have found too. Occasionally I have seen them go for as low as 140, but I still have not had the money at the right time.
     
  6. bleahhh

    bleahhh Active Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Nice! Can I request some
    Close ups on your Helmet And how it Comes apart and back
    Together again when u need To wear it
     
  7. CapKaos

    CapKaos Well-Known Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    This is a great build! One question though, is the helmet foam as well, or is it paper/resin? Thanks a bunch, and this is one epic costume!
     
  8. Popeanator

    Popeanator Active Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Awesome build man, was it hard to attach all the foam pieces together once cut out?
    Did you use a hot blade/knife? Also how do you go about converting a PEP file into something you can make out of foam?

    Any Help would be SWEET thanks. :D
     
  9. SqueekinOrka

    SqueekinOrka Well-Known Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    That's a great suit looks amazing! I love that you wore it to the movies,i think that's great. I hope to do that some day lol :)
     
  10. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Thanks everyone for your interest in my work.

    I actually did not have it separable, and wore it like a bucket instead. I had problems retaining shape when I did it in fiberglass before, I am sure I just did not pay close enough attention when resin work was going on as you can see with the top of the left helmet.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to make sure this came together in time, so I did not remove the faceplate, but have been thinking that I may resin the inside of the helmet to get enough rigidity when working on making the plate come on and off. Also, so it would fit I did not add the bottom ring to it shown here.

    [​IMG]

    I also made sure the scale from inside edge to inside edge was comfortable for me to wear, ended up being something like 16.7cm. I also sized it by calipering my head from the chin, to the back of my head where the top meets the back, that gave too much space but the proportion for the inside for the ears was correct.

    It does lose some of the details, which could be added back with a bit of time, but for practicality I don't think it matters.

    [​IMG]

    It ended up being just fine since I did make it out of foam, it flexed enough to get my chin in, which I don't think will be a problem when I resin the inside as I will make it come apart.

    I used a utility knife to cut everything out. I was surprised that I was not going to have to use something more precise to make the edges better, and I cut the foam to angle with a pair of scissors. Connecting pieces was not that bad, a simple trick, apply less hot glue. It sounds backwards but you use it on the inside to reinforce the seam. Also, stick it together and pull it apart about 3 or so times to cool it, then hold it together. The best part is, if you accidentally glue something in the wrong place, (like that would happen more then 5 times), even if it has been set for over a day, go to the inside seam and work the gun back and forth and you can pull it back apart. I did this with the abs as I glued them all together along the sides, but had to pull them apart a few times so I could shave them down, and paint them, and only started having a problem doing that about the 6th time of doing it.

    Most of the files I used came as foam versions; however, I did have to do the back. I followed the instructions from stealth's foam tutorials that is in my first post. Simply try to join things that look like they are in the same plane, and then be sure to not waste time on anything you can fudge from the foam thickness.

    It was an absolute awesome experience, my wife was even thoroughly impressed and enjoyed how it was received. Good luck in your future build.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  11. Joseph Stark

    Joseph Stark New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    awesome ...... XDXD "realmente increible"
     
  12. Bluecow

    Bluecow New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    A message from your Yinsen, who did not die after you completed your armor.:)
    This was a great build and I am glad you posted somethings up here.
    We learned a lot through this build and I hope that some of that knowledge gets passed on here.
    The suit looks awesome and was a huge hit at the local premiere. It was fun being a long for the ride. I am glad you had so much fun with it and are happy how it turned out. There's a night and day difference between your 1st suit and this one.
    I am looking forward to seeing the improvements that you have talked about.
     
  13. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Thanks again man. Small update, I have the hand plates built now, and the palm for one hand. Working on getting the hands done this week hopefully.
     
  14. Dan3088

    Dan3088 Active Member

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    I was thinking exactly the same thing with regards to the video glasses inside the helmet you might want to check out dhgate.com or alibaba.com they supply cheap chinese electronics anything you can think of.
     
  15. CapKaos

    CapKaos Well-Known Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    This is a fantastic build! Quick question though, what did you use for the arc reactor? It looks great!=)
     
  16. ValTroX

    ValTroX New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    LOL CapKaos, I was gonna ask the exact same thing
     
  17. Tony Rod

    Tony Rod New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Foam seems more cost effective and "easier", compared to the resin types... But definitely not easy, as I don't think I could pull this off on my 100th try! Good looking suit, though! I'm look forward to your future mods to it.
     
  18. CapKaos

    CapKaos Well-Known Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Well ValTroX, I guess eager minds think alike.=)
     
  19. ValTroX

    ValTroX New Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    The back piece is really hard right? I was going to start it today, then I took an arrow in the knee...oh wait, the I saw all those details and decided not to XD. STill waiting on the reply about the arc reactor, if it's not much trouble :).
     
  20. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    Thanks for the thought, I may check into the dhgate as I have never heard of them, the other has always had long ship to time for me.

    Sorry I was typing this up last night and it crashed before it posted, then it put me off to wanting to write it again then.

    The chest is made up of 9 super bright LEDs wired in parallel to 4.5v from 3 AA batteries. I have an on off switch so it does not die all the time. If i leave it on, I have at best 2 hours before it is nearly dead, and I start looking more like iron man at the end of avengers. Since I have no resistors it is very bright, but that is also the reason for the lack of battery life. The LEDs I used where the white version of these, sorry did not find the white online.

    RadioShack 4-Pin High Brightness Power LED (Green) : Power LEDs | RadioShack.com

    This made them really easy to solder together, which I did by using a cereal box for the backing, and pushed the LEDs through that. I was able to get it to work as I punched each hole independently before the LED went through. I used this same method when I did the triangle chest light for my mark 6 suit, and it was never a problem. Just make sure it is fairly thin, but very dense like a cereal box. That way it will hold up well, but can flex when needed.

    The top cover for the chest hole is part of a 5 quart ice cream bucket. It provides the right amount of diffusion with the LEDs being mounted back about 3 inches from the cap.

    Thanks! It is easier then you think, it just takes a bit of getting used to with foam. My recommendation, work on a piece with really big peices that is not as important, like the thigh first. It will give you a bit of feel for how to connect the parts together and wont really matter if you mess it up kind of. Dont do the helmet or chest first, give yourself practice on other parts then do those last, you will be happy you did as they will not be the "practice" parts of your suit.

    I am not sure about the new back, I made the first one prior to the update of what is available now. It does take some, "tweaking" in order to get everything right, so put it off until one of the last parts. The order I built in was, biceps, upper and lower arms, thighs, calfs, abs, chest, back, shoulders, helmet. Now I have begun on the second hand, and those are a pain in the neck. The parts are sooo small, but you cant get rid of them like you can for other parts of the suit and cap the back like the holes in the back. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  21. Royal Dump

    Royal Dump Active Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    I love your suit! :thumbsup, except for the paint job lol. You should really seal your foam in Plasti-dip(home depot) It will give a super smooth surface, and then paint it with automotive spray paint(Auto Zone) to get a super high quality iron man finish. :)

    Never too late :love


    I'm starting my mark 7 right now woo woo
     
  22. Tonyfatumvw

    Tonyfatumvw Member

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    Awesome job on the mark VII man
     
  23. teenwolf87

    teenwolf87 Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    awesome!
     
  24. drftfan

    drftfan Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    That is just stuff I can't do
     
  25. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Re: Ironman Mark VII Foam Version

    major hold up on doing that is cost right now, I know, Ii know, that is always the case. Small update for people doing foam - I have worn it 5 times now, and each time something breaks, never too bad, but just minor hot glue repairs. Ii still think it is worth doing foam even with these problems. Part of it I am sure has come from the lack of reinforcing the seams in these locations as it fails along these; so make sure your pieces are as big as possible to avoid some of these problems. I am almost thinking of redoing a few pieces because of this, but can't find the time right now.

    Hands are almost ready for seal and paint. I'll try for pictures later.
     
  26. goofball107

    goofball107 New Member

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    iron... color ...man
     
  27. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Ya, home depot did not have strait black mats when i was doing this,... oh well it is painted.
     
  28. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Great build...Glad to see someone that is not toothpick in stature do a build. I was concerned about the look of scaling up the parts when most builds I've seen are on a lot smaller guys.

    You mentioned design mods to make more durable due to breakage issues. Can you clarify what issues you might have had so I can maybe avoid some of the same issues with my build?

    Also, did you have to modify the suit to be able to sit in it?
     
  29. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Ya with my size i do tower over other people, and I look at those shots and even intimidate myself to some degree.

    The issues I have had:

    Most recently, I left it in the car for about 2 hours in 95 deg heat, which caused several of the seams to come undone. It was more annoying then anything, but that is the first warning, don't do that.

    The interaction of the thigh to calf at the knee has you cut independent foam pieces to pivot with a chicago screw, which I have torn all of those from the thigh and calf on both legs doing different things. I have begun to look into alternate materials to use in the high strain places but I have come up empty so far in my thoughts. If you do cut the small tab piece and glue it on, make sure to slather a lot of glue at the top inside to keep it attached. Ii have thought about replacing this piece and the adjoining piece in the model as one piece, but I think the stresses will still be too high for the foam to handle. I have thought of using a fiber glass insert with foam glued to either side, but I have not had time to test it.

    The elbows on the arms are such that I get rub rashes from them, which is why I plan on revising them so they sit more flat to each other and give a smooth inner surface.

    The rest of the problems involve connection issues which I will have to take up at a different time hopefully tomorrow as my wife needs me now to help with the kids.
     
  30. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Thanks. I've seen several other posts of people leaving in the car. Foam and hot glue plus 100 degree texas heat will not mix.

    I'm cosidering using hard leather pivot points. I'll probably attach with chicago screws vs glue by itself. If I don't like the exposed fastener heads, I can cover with a foam piece. I'm not a movie accurate fanatic. Just want a nice wearable piece.

    What scale did you use for the abs? I'm just finishing up my chest and back at a scale of 25. I think it is going to work. Took a quick look at the abs at that scale and if I measured correctly the width is only 12" which has to be whacked. My concern of scaling the entire piece to fit is the scale of the ab plates and everything else won't look right. Did you use the same scale as your chest and back and add extension pieces to the sides?


     
  31. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Hey Dando...three more quick questions besides the ab questions in my previous post.

    1) Where and to what did you connect the shoulder bells to?

    2) On the boots did you build the outer elements to attach to a shoe or boot and are using the sole of your shoe? Or did you build the entire boot to surround the shoe including the sole? Most builds I've seen seem to do the latter. My concern is how well can you walk and how durable is it on harsh surfaces. One thing wearing it to s a comic show or movie theatre, another can of worms wearing it out and about on hallowenn and dancing.

    3) Any mods you make to be able to sit like you did in the theatre?
     
  32. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Sorry I haven't responded, I have been caught up with other things in life. Tot answer the scaling issue, yes, it was about the same scale as the rest of the suit. The nice thing about the abs is if they do come out a bit too big, they tuck under the chest fairly well, I simply added an insert piece of foam under the armpit where no one would see.

    The shoulder bells are attached to the upper inside edge of the back plate with some strapping. I perminately fixed them since I could not think of a good reason to need to take them off often. It makes me step into the upper portion like football pads.

    For the shoe, I built a shell cover for a pair of my shoes; comfort is a must we you can cheat it. I have not noticed any real wear on the bottom that has been severe, and I have worn it outside on cement a few times.

    No mods for the theater, I simply forced it to sit so a few wrinkle lines are there now, but it was not that critical for me to avoid those. I have found it to be very comforting to know I can simply mess it up and fix it later.

    Speaking of fixing later, I am currently in redoing the surface finish and can to recommend an idea to anyone else on a tight budget. Rondo and Bondo are expensive, but wood glue mixed with joint compound is not. I have been using a 2 glue to 1 joint compound and the result is very good. Watch out as it does expand so there is some chemical reactivity to this, but the cup does not get hot so I assume they are not noctious gasses being released. This does also shrink and cannot be layered very thick or it tends to crack, but it makes a very nice composite material to seal and fill in any, shall I say, novice pits or unclosed seams. I have used it over the whole suit, and it sands very well, but it much more ridgid then simple joint compound, plus the glue adds the polymer matrix for the strength of the joint compound making it not crack that much when flexed a little.
     
  33. Dando

    Dando Member

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    [​IMG]
    got the eyes lit up, visibility is shot, but it sure looks cool.
     
  34. SpideyMan

    SpideyMan Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks good man
     
  35. IM Nation

    IM Nation Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    this is really * cool bro :thumbsup
     
  36. Dando

    Dando Member

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    Thanks.
     
  37. thomassmalley

    thomassmalley New Member

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    Hi dando

    how did you scale the suit to fit your body ?
     

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