Iron Man is one of the most advanced technological heroes, and geeks all around the world drool at his cool gadgets. Unfortunately for most of us, a lot of the tech isn’t yet possible, or within our budgetary reach. However, that doesn’t stop some of the more hardcore cosplayers and DIY’ers out there!
Here are some of the best attempts at building a suit of Iron Man armor on the cheap, made with not much more than some decent sculpting skills, an eye for detail, a stick or two of hot glue, lots of free time, and a desperate need to impress your friends and random YouTube visitors. They don’t fly, they don’t shoot anything, and they’ll barely protect you; but damned if we aren’t still jealous of each and every one of them.
At only 16, Jackson Laverman spent numerous weeks modeling and crafting his own Iron Man suit from card stock and Bondo. From a few feet away, it almost looks like the real thing!
Anthony ‘Master’ Le’s Iron Man suit takes cosplay to a whole new level with animated features like moving thruster flaps and a helmet that automatically opens. In the right lighting it might actually fool J.A.R.V.I.S.
Archie Whitehead is a 17-year-old amateurprop maker who probably won’t have much difficulty turning his hobby into an actual career. Expect to see his name in the credits starting at Iron Man 12.
Images by Archie Whitehead
The clunky steampunk-like aesthetics of the Iron Man Mark 1 suit leave something to be desired. But Wang XiaoKang’s recreation of the armor that helped Tony Stark escape his captors is still an object of lust, even if it doesn’t shoot fire.
Titanium? Nope. Graphite? Not here. Believe it or not, Mark Pearson’s (on the right) Iron Man armor is actually made from 400 sheets of recyclable cardboard covered in fiberglass. It won’t protect him from attacks, but it will protect the environment.
Images by The Sun
If any homebrew Iron Man suit looks like it could go toe-to-toe with the real Tony Stark, it’s this one. Made from fiberglass with a flexible plastic used for the midsection armor, it’s as comfortable to wear as it is awesome to look at.
Images by RPF Forum
The ‘suit case’ sequence in Iron Man 2 made fans giggle with pure joy. And even though you need a little help to get into this version, it’s by far the best attempt at recreating Stark’s mobile armor.
War Machine always seems to play second fiddle to Tony Stark’s Iron Man. But not at this contest where Anthony Le deservedly won best costume and best of of show. The spinning machine gun definitely put him over the top.
It’s joked that duct tape can be used to build anything. But maybe there’s some truth to that statement since McLean Krieger used the sticky stuff—in addition to cardboard and craft foam—to give his Iron Man suit an authentic look. And it definitely worked.
The filmmakers spend a lot of time in post-production making the Iron Man armor sound realistic. And the inclusion of sound effects do the same for this DIY armor.
And then there are the components. Master.K—aka Zhi Wang—took an entire year to sculpt, mould, and then paint this stunning Iron Man helmet. If he spent this much time and effort crafting just the head, imagine how amazing the entire suit will be when finished in 15 years.
Stark is literally a dead man without the arc reactor protecting his heart. And if accuracy is your primary concern when creating an Iron Man suit, you’ll need to start with this Instructable and an awesome sounding material called polymorph.
Images by Instructables
Helmets and arc reactors are fine and all, but this gauntlet with a pop-upballoon-popping blue laser looks far more entertaining.
If function is just as important as form for your armor, get a set of Advancer Technologies’ muscle sensors that let you fire Iron Man’s palm repulser by just flexing your arms. The realistic sound effects will go a long way to selling your getup as well.