Hello! I will be taking you through the steps necessary in creating the War Machine suit, which can be seen in the photo above. This suit was built for a school project and took me about 5-6 months to create, however it was mainly built on the weekends. This began July 2015 and "ended" January 10th, but I will still be making additions and modifications to it in the future. In total, this suit cost around 50$ to create. This is a very fun project to work on, however it takes lots of patience and trial and error. Things might now work the way they should, but all I can say is, make the best out of it, and be proud of your work.
Step 1: Materials
Materials needed throughout this product are:
(Please not that these items will be listed with a 1-10 rating depending on importance, with one being optional and 10 being a must.)
- Hot Glue Gun - 10
- Cardboard - 10
- Scissors/X-acto knife - 10
- White Glue/PVA - 8
- Spray Paint - 8
- Pepakura - 10
- War Machine Files (Program and files listed in above mentioned step) - 10 (If building the War Machine suit)
- Pencils/Pens - 6
- Rulers - 5
- 3d printer (Only for arc reactor) - 1
- Flashlights - 2
- LED's/RGB LED's - 1
- Cutting Mat - 5
- Tape - 9
- Super glue - 3
- Velcro - 7
- Binder clips - 4
- Buckle clips - 9
Step 2: Pepakura
In order to create the War Machine suit you will need to have installed Pepakura, which is free program that 3d models certain objects. These can then be printed and glued together in order to make said object.
Stated in the product info:
"Pepakura Designer makes unfolded pattern of 3D data.Several editing tools are provided. Pepakura Designer allows you to create paper craft models from 3D data. This software is open to the public as shareware so you can download and try it freely although some advanced features are limited until you purchase a license key.Please note that Pepakura Designer does not contain software to create the original 3D models, but instead translates them to a 2D printable format. Pepakura Designer supports common file formats of 3D data."
The link to the Pepakura download is:
The link to the War Machine suit and helmet is:
When you have downloaded Pepakura and opened the selected file, you can now print the model out on paper. I suggest printing certain parts one at a time for organisation. When you print, there should be polygonal figures on the paper, which are the blueprints.
Step 3: Pepakura to Cardboard
After using the Pepakura files and printing, carefully begin cutting the figures out. These figures will then be transferred onto cardboard, traced, and eventually cut out.
*You can use the Pepakura interface to help guide you when putting the parts together by selecting certain pieces and finding their corresponding piece*
When the parts are cut out, begin to hot glue! Carefully hot glue all the seams together, however if there are gaps or rough edges, it will be okay, because the paper mache will cover it up.
For example, after the main torso has been created, add buckles on the top and sides in order to take it off easily.
This is how the whole "shell" of the suit was created. Simply cut and glue together, until you have a suit.
Step 4: TRIAL AND ERROR
This picture isn't stunning, however I kept creating and building. You may think it looks bad, but keep building and make it better. This was one of the very first pictures I took of myself wearing the suit. All the parts fit together, however I still needed to create more parts.
*DO NOT BECOME UPSET WITH YOUR WORK*
Step 5: Paper Mache and Cardstock
I "stupidly" forgot to take photos of the paper mache progress. Nonetheless, I still used a strong recipe in order to make the suit stronger. The links can be seen below:
I choose to use a 1 part water and 1 part white glue, Elmer's glue, which creates a substance called PVA. I dipped the newspaper into the warm PVA glue, waited for it to absorb, wiped of the extra, then applied it onto the cardboard. After creating about two layers and letting it dry, I painted a layer of just PVA over the suit again. This extra layer will help reinforce.
After the suit had been paper mached and was completely dried, I re-cut out the paper templates on cardstock. The templates were then glued over the paper mache to add a smoother surface. These can be seen in the photo above.
Step 6: Suit Test Fit
Throughout the build, make sure you constantly test fit the suit in order to make sure everything is in working order. I attached clips to multiple parts in order to make sure it was all held together.
As seen in the pictures, the whole suit wasn't finished all at once, this was because weather forced certain pieces to be paper mached first. Nonetheless, I was still able to paper mache all the pieces and cover with cardstock
Step 7: Spray Painting
The suit was then spray painted with black and gray. This was done using reference photos in order to match the colours. First, I spray painted the suit gray and let it dry. I then taped off the areas that were supposed to be left gray and sprayed the rest with black.
Step 8: Finalizing and Weathering
After the whole suit has been painted, I wanted to make it look battle worn. This is because I didn't want the suit to look band new, which would show imperfections. In order to make it worn, I had to "weather" the suit. This was done by taking silver metallic spray paint and spraying it onto a ball of tissue/newspaper. This was then swiped quickly across the suit which created a gash effect. Another method I used was ripping the tape and placing it on the suit in a scratch fashion. This was then spray painted to create the effect.
Step 9: EXTRA: Arc Reactor
The first arc reactor I made was from household materials. The link is below:
The second arc reactor I made was 3d printed. I designed the arc reactor on Autodesk and the link for it on Thingiverse and the instructables is below:
Autodesk inventor download link:http://www.autodesk.com/products/inventor/overview