Train2Game student Sheldon Gilman is a huge fan of Iron Man and he’s decided to make it his mission to create the ultimate replica Iron Man suit.
Sheldon has kindly agreed to document his build and has agreed to document his suit creation journey in a series of Train2Game blogs entries. This is Sheldon’s second attempt at the ultimate suit.
In this first blog piece Sheldon gives some detail of what he’s working on and what he’s created in the past. As you will find out, he’s got some pretty grand plans for his second design.
“About two years ago, I had the idea to make a wearable Iron Man suit for Comic-Con. I had lots of fun building it and decided I wanted to do it again with some major improvements as my first attempt was very basic.”
“My first suit I made was the Mark 7. It was made out of high density foam and it took me approximately six months to build; however, I was not satisfied with the result. The foam acted as insulation and got very hot very quickly and, without a helmet with an opening faceplate, it quickly became uncomfortable to wear.”
“So, ever the perfectionist, I vowed to make a better suit. The materials would be more suited to the job and I would design some of the parts myself. There are already many versions of the iron man suit available on the web, They are all free for anyone to download and require a minimal knowledge of 3D design to understand the plans and use the program Pepakura. It also requires a creative and patient mind to put it all together and make the parts fit comfortably.”
“So after much research and deliberation, I decided to attempt to build both an Iron Man Mark 20 (Mk 20 code name: Python) and a War Machine suit.”
“I chose to make the Mk20 mainly because I loved the colours. The black and gold seemed to work really well in pictures I found on the web and on the hottoys website. Elements of the suit were already available. Many people are unaware that most of the iron man suits have parts that are interchangeable e.g. the Mk20 is made up of the Mk7 and Mk17.
There are minor changes on it that make it unique but essentially, it is just these two suits amalgamated into one. The minor changes are on things like the helmet and the upper chest and neck pieces. These parts I will be attempting to make myself.”
“Both suits will be made mainly from fibreglass but will also have 3D printed parts as well as foam parts for comfort.”
“The helmet itself will be a vast improvement on my first one. While the first one was made of foam, extremely hot and wouldn’t open, the new one will open and close with the help of servos, and a micro controller mounted to the top of the helmet.”
“The eyes will turn on and off and will be made from electroluminescent panels , it will also house a tiny pinhole camera (aprox. 1cm x 1cm) and this will be connected to two tiny screens on the inside of the visor taken from a Virtual Reality visor.
“It will also have a fan inside taken from old PCs I had around the house. Cooling is a must when you are walking around in your own personal oven. I am also toying with adding a voice modulator but I’m not sure yet. Any opinions on this would be really useful to me.
“I’m also thinking of adding Bluetooth headphones or earpiece in the helmets ear pod. As Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory says, “Everything is better with Bluetooth”. This would mean you could either listen to music from your phone or use the hands free function on your Smartphone without having to take the helmet off to answer your phone. If this idea fails drastically, I can always come back to my idea to add a motorcycle helmet walkie-talkie so the Mk 20 can talk to the War Machine suit.”
“Most of this will require electronic project kits from places like Adafruit.com and Sparkfun. These kits are for people who want to make their own circuit boards and are a fun way to get into soldering components onto PCB boards. The kits come in all shapes and sizes and perform a variety of tasks from turning lights on and off and activating servos to creating GPS receivers and robots follow the links if you wish to learn more about that. As you can see from what I’ve written so far, I sure do love to challenge myself lol.”
“As for the rest of the suit, I will be adding moving flaps (flight stabilisers) to the back of both suits. They will also both have working Arc reactors (the light in the middle of the chest), 3D printed gloves, and working hand repulses (light on the palm of the hand).”
“The War Machine suit will also “hopefully” have a shoulder mounted gun that will move up, down, left, and right depending on where the person is looking. This will be controlled by an accelerometer in the helmet but more on that at a later stage in the build.”
“In the next instalment, I will cover the software I used, the design and test phase. I will also be showing you what I’ve done so far, the fibreglass and foam build process as well as my failures.”
“Comments, questions, and suggestions are also most welcome.”