Iron Man, In IRON!

Sometimes a project comes our way which has so much information contained in it as to be overwhelming, and on which it is difficult to know where to start. A good example is [Barry Armstead]’s Iron Man suit, to which we were introduced through a very long forum thread that spans several years.

Home-made armour is a staple of the cosplay world, with many astoundingly good creations being produced by fans. What makes [Barry]’s Iron Man suit stand out from the crowd is its construction; instead of fiberglass or vacuum-formed plastic he’s used real metal. (It’s steel. But steel contains iron, right? We’re calling poetic license.)

The best place to follow progress on the suit is probably [Barry]’s YouTube feed, in which he has so far racked up 44 build logs. We see joint articulation tests, early test walks, the iconic helmet taking shape, and the repulsor simulated with a nano sprayer. With so many videos to watch, you’ll be there quite a while. The one we’ll leave you with below the break is fairly straightforward, the first look at the entire exoskeleton in bare metal.

Unsurprisingly though we’ve had more conventional Iron Man costumes here nobody we’ve featured has built a steel cosplay costume. We have shown you our own [James Hobson]’s exoskeleton lifting a Mini though.

Thanks [Joffy] for the tip.

28 thoughts on “Iron Man, In IRON!

          1. As long as he wasn’t immediately surrounded, a dismounted knight stood a fighting chance.
            I have seen Carlo Tuzzio (, wearing accurate reproduction armor, get up off the ground quickly, unaided. He also demonstrated that he could run, and mount his horse using only a mounting block.
            The idea that knights were helpless once on the ground is a myth.
            Also, if defeated, they were often captured and ransomed, rather than killed on the battlefield.

  1. The suit weighs 36kg, spread over my entire body. Of that, the legs’ weight sits on the ground via a pivoted support strut both sides of each foot. It is comfortable and although a rigid exoskeleton that of course limits some movement, it is quite easy to get around in.

    1. An 86 lb load in total, minus the leg weights is still a hefty amount of mass to move around with for a period of time. Being in good physical condition, that would be possible for a while but not trivial. Also, how much heat does it both trap as well as absorb from the sun? How long would it take to remove if necessary in a hurry?

      1. The weight is fine. Really. I have worn it without any problems whatsoever to walk around, stand, sit and adopt poses. It’s mission is into kids hospital wards, not parading around in the middle of summer outdoors. Not an issue.

        1. It’s a neat build and you have clearly put a considerable amount of time into it. Still curious how much heat it traps and how long would it take to remove if necessary in a hurry? At least it is sort of a Faraday cage of sorts.

          1. Hasn’t been an issue so far. The seven P’s apply – Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. That in mind, I suppose a wet towel or blanket draped around the suit to cool it down would work. The suit is padded with 2 and 3mm EVA foam in places, plus I wear a thin spring-suit underneath to protect me from edges, rubs etc. I will be getting suited up indoors, (hospitals) and making appearances indoors, (wards) which are generally climate controlled anyway. In winter it is nice and cosy, while if I get requests for a football match in the midday Darwin summer sun I will exhort a polite no.

          2. Catheter doesn’t start with a p but is an option too, I guess. How long does it take to put on and take off?

            Summer football could be pretty amazing though. How would they even tackle you?

          3. @Internet

            Tackle? Which football do they play in Australia? My understanding was that pretty much everywhere outside the US they play the one that you probably refer to as Soccer.

    1. Yup, in the movie the Mark 3-4 were said to be titanium, modern steels sometimes contain aluminium and / or other metals / elements too. I’ve moved beyond metals though …………….. woooosh…….. “\_(9_9)_/”

  2. I used to frequent OCAU a while back, but since moving overseas I only really check back for the misc pics on Friday. I will say though that Baz’ Iron Man build was one occasion that I have gone back into the forums to check out a few times.

    His back yard observatory build log was a good one too! Highly recommended to check out.

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