So in my last post, I explained how the Iron Man Project came to be ... well ... a PROJECT. My sweetheart, Jonathan (although maybe I should refer to him as Tony for now?), upon receiving a less-than-satisfactory "deluxe" Iron Man costume, decide he would BUILD an Iron Man suit for Halloween. The only challenge was, how was he going to do it? Well, during the 6 hour car ride to his parents house that afternoon, he brain-stormed ideas with me ... things like maybe using a skate-boarding helmet or football pads as a starting point ... possibly using Bondo to do the exterior ... how he could mold the various elements ... you get the idea. Then, when we arrived, he did some more brainstorming with his parents, and started doing Google searches on building Iron Man suits. In his research, he found several videos on YouTube, like this one: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkCwnKAnVuY] This was all Thursday, September 9th (well technically into the 10th as the discussion and research went on past midnight) ... So Friday morning, after "sleeping on it", the decision was made ... an Iron Man Mark VI costume would be built ... out of paper!?!?! The technique called "pepakura" is essentially the art of making 3D objects out of paper by using software like Pepakura Designer to take 3D data and flatten it out for printing, then re-assembling the 2D paper back into a 3D object. Yes, I know ... sounds a little crazy ... but just do a Google search and you'll see over 200,000 results including video tutorials and files for all sorts of projects, including of course building Iron Man. Needless to say, this idea was met with a bit of ... skepticism ... So, as a proof of concept, Jonathan a.k.a Tony decided to build the Mark VI helmet to see if it would work. He printed out the sheets (from PEP file created by Edgar Medrano) on Friday and that night he and his wonderful mom cut out the pieces ... there were 18 sheets of 8.5 x 11" card stock (each with more than one piece) for the helmet ... the cutting alone took about 10 hours total (to be honest, I saw very little of this step - I was asleep for most of it since they finished at 4 AM)! Saturday and Sunday were all about assembly ... I will say this for my sweetheart, when he wants a project done, he is very single-minded. Even when we went out for a few hours Saturday evening to have a drink with friends for his birthday, he was on his Droid, showing the videos and talking about the best way to accomplish the project. :) Sunday afternoon, after 16 hours of assembly time (with some trial and error since it was the first Pepakura piece he had ever done), the helmet was built (step 1 of the process but a MAJOR accomplishment since it was one of the most complex pieces). Jonathan decided to use tape instead of glue for assembly, which was the right answer as it allowed him to tweak, adjust and correct as he went along. Here are the pictures of the initial build of the helmet: [slideshow] As you can see, the test build was a great success ... so we transported it home and the quest to build the Iron Man Mark VI suit had begun ...
Interested in building your own Iron Man costume? Here are some of the resources Jonathan is using: