genderbent!iron man

Character Name: Iron Man
Series: The Avengers
Outfit: genderbent!Iron Man (Mark VII)

Started: September 2012
Finished: August 2013
Hours to make: 300
Cost of materials: approx. $500 CAD
Status: Retired
Worn at: Otakon 2013, Otakuthon 2013

My friend and I had started thinking of doing genderbent Avengers cosplay the previous summer and I was a crazy person and thought that doing the Iron Man suit would be a really good challenge and an interesting project since I'd never attempted armor on a scale larger than doing a handguard. I have an extreme love hate with this costume since I was an idiot and left about 90% of the work until three and a half weeks before the con, leading to much more stress than was probably necessary. I also have very limited movement in the costume which could have been avoided had I had more time to work on it. Nonetheless, I am still very proud of how the costume came out considering the timeframe I was working with and how new everything was to me.

I used Darkside501st's pepakura template as a base for my suit. I had to rescale it to fit me and I modified a few parts for simplicity's sake. I also had to draft a few parts such as the neck and metal middle layer. Once I had a template that was scaled appropriately, I constructed the suit using craft foam. Most of the larger pieces are made out of 6mm craft foam, while everything else was done using two 2-3mm sheets glued together.

The foam pieces were then coated in white glue 3 times in order to seal the foam. I then coated the pieces in 2-3 layers of resin in an attempt to harden them. I don't know if I just wasn't applying enough of the resin, but I found it didn't really help in making the pieces more solid and had to papier macher some of the insides of the larger pieces to make them more durable overall.

A big shoutout to Steph who then helped me sand everything down since it took forever to do and my fingers were raw by the end of it.

I was a crazy person and decided to paint the red parts of the suit using Metalcast paint which is an enamel auto paint that cost an arm and a leg. Montreal is not an ideal place to be painting this since it requires humidity of 50% or less to paint. Thankfully Steph's mom was kind enough to let me use their garage with the dehumidifier on (so many thanks to both of them <3). I coated it with the Ground Coat followed by the Red. The gold and silver parts of the armor were spraypainted with acrylic paint.

I really wanted to make the suit light up so I decided to try my hand at using the Lilypad e-textile technology. It was fairly simple to do and I thought it turned out well. The batteries I used were also surprisingly way more powerful than I thought they'd be and lasted for more than a day.