In recent weeks Train2Game has been documenting Sheldon Gilman’s pursuit to create the ultimate Iron Man suit.
He’s working on a collection of costumes and hopes to create a pair of Iron Man costumes for next year’s MCM Expo.
This week Train2Game caught up with Sheldon to hear more about the man inside the costume, including his professional and personal ambitions.
Please tell us about yourself?
“My name is Sheldon Gilman, I am 35 and currently live in a small village called Redbourn in Hertfordshire with my wife and one year old daughter. I was originally born in Jamaica and moved to England with my parents when I was six months old. We lived in south London till I was seven then moved to Luton and now I live in Redbourn with my Wife and daughter.”
“I should also mention it was my very patient, loving and understanding wife who initially got me interested in cosplay and is constantly having to dodge Iron Man parts and tools that are all over the living room.”
What cosplay does your wife enjoy, do you have photos of you both in cosplay?
I haven’t quite convinced Parveen to dress up yet but that’s soon to change as she’s told me she “MAY” consider dressing as Pocahontas next May.
What is your regular job?
“I work in the IT department at Aldwyck Housing Group. A housing association.”
How much does the suit cost to create?
“Well I’ve never kept an accurate tally of how much it cost but my last suit was in the region of £200. This current suit, so far has cost me around £400 – £450 and there’s still more things I need to buy like electronics components and paint. However, when it’s completed, I expect it to have cost me £700 – £800.”
Would you ever sell a suit and if so, how much would one cost to buy?
“I definitely would sell my suits. I’d sell them in whole or in part (i.e. just the helmet) Prices would depend on detail. For a raw suit in foam, no paint, animatronics or electronics I’d say around £600 for a fibreglass suit all painted with full animatronics and electronics £1500.”
When will your latest suit be finished?
“I have set my finish date for May next year because I want both the Iron man Mk 20 and the War Machine to be completed for the MCM Expo in London where myself and a few others visit twice a year.”
Do you have a photo in the suit you at MCM Expo last year?
“I attached a pic of me with Rob Ledsom at MCM a few years back. I have to admit I haven’t worn this suit to MCM Expo time. I have also attached a pic of me in my Assassins Creed/ Jango Fett mash-up Costume.”
What does your daughter understand of what you are doing?
“My Daughter Inara is very curious little monkey and likes to be involved in whatever everyone else is doing. My friends at Armour up have made her first costume to wear at her fancy dress party later this month.”
What do you have planned in the future?
“I plan on getting a large shed built in my back garden this summer so I can create more costumes. I have many in mind like Sam Wilson aka The Falcon from Captain America – The winter Soldier, Heimdall from Thor, Batman – Arkham Knight Armour, Jager Pilot Suits from Pacific Rim and some crossovers too like Iron C3PO and Iron Tron. I will most definitely need help with some of these so I will be working with my younger brother and a very good friend of mine who is starting her own company called Armour Up.”
Would you see costume design as a future career?
“Very much so! The course I’m doing is useful, in that it’s showing me design techniques that speed up my design process greatly. However, as I am pretty much a one-man-band, production would be slow. I’m currently working on Iron Man mark 20 and War Machine simultaneously, and hope to have them finished by May 2016. I also have a Heimdall costume to make by May 2016 so I’m already a very busy bee.”
Which course are you studying with Train2Game?
“I am studying Games Artist and Animator.”
How are you finding the Train2Game course?
“The course is great! I actually started learning 3D animation on my own, watching YouTube videos and playing about with the different options in 3DS max but I thought it was time I got a qualification in the industry. The flexibility of the course has allowed me to continue working full-time, take care of my daughter all whilst studying to change to a career that I’d love.”
What are your thoughts on T2G?
“Train2Game have been a godsend. Courses of this type are very hard to find, As I work full time to support my family, I cannot afford to take three years out to get a bachelor’s degree from a normal university and no other university in this country has a program where you can study 3D animation totally from home, in your own time and get a portfolio as well as a recognised qualification out of it.”
Can you tell me more about your friend’s venture, Armour Up, and how you will be involved?
“I am getting James and Serena to write a few lines about what they do for you, but just briefly, they are both cosplayers. Alongside Serena’s regular job, she is an awesome seamstress and is very good at making period clothing. James and I both work for the same housing association but he is also a part time actor.”
“At the moment we’re just exchanging creative and business ideas and sharing expertise as I know nothing when it comes to cloth and Serena is eager to learn how to use the harder materials. James is the brains behind the operations and has good business head on his shoulders. He’s almost finished putting the Armour Up website together. I’ll update with more shortly.”
Further details of Sheldon’s project will follow on the Train2Game blog
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