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How to make a lifesize, wearable Iron Man helmet

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Picture of How to make a lifesize, wearable Iron Man helmet
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I think this is the biggest project I’ve done yet. My favourite movie is the Iron Man and I wanted to get an Iron Man helmet, but I’m a student and I couldn’t afford it. Then I decided to make one. Now I’ve done and I really like this helmet. I’m happy that I didn’t buy one.
 
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Step 1: Safety

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You are going to work with dangerous materials. Always wear respirator while you are working with resin or you are sanding. Resin isn't good to touch before drying, so it's recommended to use rubbergloves too.

Step 2: What will you need

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What will you need:
-17 hard papers (I used 210gsm paper. (gsm = gramms per square meter). I tried 250gsm paper too, but it was too hard and it couldn't suck the resin in.
-Technokol Universal glue
-Polyester resin
-fiberglass cloth
-resin based filler
-metallic gold spray paint
-rally red spray paint
-sand papers (60, 120, 360)
-6 LEDs
-a small switch
-2 batteries
-a battery holder
-wires
-soldering wire
-electrical tape
-a piece of transparent plastic (for the eyes)
-two pieces of wood (10cmx2,5cm)
-small magnets

The tools:
-hot glue gun
-soldering iron
-scalpel or scissors
-engraver (isn't necessary)

Warning!
Always wear respirator while you are working with resin, paint or you are sanding! Fumes and dust can damage you lung, if you are not careful enough.

Step 3: Printing and cutting the parts

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The mask has a paper base, which is designed by a program named Pepakura. It makes 2D parts from a 3D model. Fortunately, you don’t have to design the model, here is the .pdf file. You have to print them to hard paper. Normal paper doesn’t work perfectly.
After you have printed you have to cut the staight lines out (don’t cut the interrupted lines). You can use scissors or scalpel.
If someone knows how to use pepakura here is a link where you can download the pdo file: http://www.4shared.com/file/Kd2YFv88/IronmanA4.htm

Step 4: Gluing the parts together

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You can use almost any kind of glue you want. I tried glues and the Technokol  Rapid universal glue worked the best for me. It dries fast, so you don’t have to wait much.
As you can see there are two of every numbers ont the parts. Every number goes to the same number. It helps you to match the parts together.
The helmet will have a drop down back, so don’t glue it to the front part.
There are two triangular parts. You need those parts until you resin the helmet. They hold the two sides close until the helmet hardens. After that you don't need them. You can see on the pictures where you should put them.

Step 5: Resin and fiberglass

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The polyester resin and the fiberglass makes the helmet strong and durable. The first layer should be only resin ont he outside of the helmet. The next layer should be resin with fiberglass in the inside. Then add two or three more layers of fiberglass with resin to the inside.

Step 6: Filling and sanding

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I used Trinat filler, which is a one component, resin based filler. I added about 3 layers and sanded after each layer. The numbers of the sandpapers I used were 60,120 and 360. I This step takes longest time, so be patient.

Step 7: Painting

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I used masking tape to cover the places I don't want to paint. The paint sprays I used were a metallic gold and a rally red. I painted two layers.
It is highly recommended to paint the inside too, so you don't have to inhale the resin.

Step 8: Making the back part

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The method is the same: Resin, fiberglass, fill, sand, paint. In the real Iron Man helmet the ears are not just a simple circle, but on the paper base they are. I made the original ears from a 3mm thick wood plate and glued a piece of plastic to the bottom of them. After that I glued the ears in place.
You can't put your head inside until you have removed the back part, so you'd better use magnest to make it removable.

Step 9: Making the teeth and the eyes

The teeth are two piece of wood (10cmx2.5cm) with thease engraved lines. I painted them black and glued inside the helmet  using hot glue.
The eyes are LEDs behind scrached transparent plastic (you can get it from for example plastic cups). You can scarth the plastic using sand paper. Then you should glue the LEDs using hot glue. After that, you have to add a piece of aluminium foil or beer can to reflect the lights. Don't forget to leave a few milimeters under the eye lights, so you can see trough.

Step 10: Wearing :)

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Congratulation! You have finished your own Iron Man helmet! :)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as I did making it.
If you have any questions leave a comment or send me a message.
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Bobgeo8 days ago
I am half way done and now I Started getting problem the ear pice is not properly attaching to the flat piece as it is too short I have printed everything in a4 paper and still face this issue, the piece frome the page 11 is not going with the page 1 here is the image please help
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Nice! Do you know how I could get the mask to open up? And how much did this helmet cost overall?

I think in this particular design there isn't a way to open up the mask, but you could look for a tutorial on youtube (there are a lot of those tutorials) and you could adjust your helmet Good luck!

MridulA11 month ago

Hi there! Nice work with the helmet! :)
I've printed the pdf which you've provided to make on too but I'm facing size issues with my cuttings. I've printed and cut the exact pdf. It is exist some parts only. Here is a pic of the same. Please tell me if I've done something wrong or It's a fault in pdf. :(

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Same problem here.
Don't know what is wrong.

I didn't had that problem, but maybe you printed not al the pages at once? that the printer resized some of the pages to match te paper? at least my printer resized the pdf to fit the paper.... Currently I'm starting al over again, I tested a lot of materials end methods. Now I'm using a model from internet (that i had to open wit pepakure viewer) I'm currently printing all the pages (I guess around 150 pages at least)

MridulA11 month ago
MattL61 month ago
I'm just starting out on it and even on the first one it seems way too small... I printed it directly from the PDF. Will everything work out?
geq1 (author)  MattL61 month ago
The pdf was designed for a4 paper. If you printed it to a4 it should be the right size.

Hi Can you tell me the dimensions of this helmet. Is there any guidelines on how to scale up the size of the helmet. Really appreciate any help you can give. Thanks.

geq1 (author)  robert.bradley.564812 months ago

About 25x18x22 in centimeters.

nikola.kucar10 months ago

Do you have pep file?

geq1 (author)  nikola.kucar2 months ago

Yes, the link is in step 3.

BartłomiejH11 months ago

A good job, I'm impressed

geq1 (author)  BartłomiejH2 months ago

Thanks!

baron.ren.711 months ago

ok first of all. awesome. second. i used the file.but when i made it. it was too small. i made it bigger. but still. its too small

geq1 (author)  baron.ren.72 months ago

Which one did you use the pdf or the pdo?

How would you put the parts together, are there numbers that correspond with each other?

geq1 (author)  CaptainRex21212 months ago

Yes, every number goes to the same number.

afriyann6 months ago

Can you give me the video tutorials in order to practice, in order to more clearly
I come from Indonesia

geq1 (author)  afriyann2 months ago

There are tutorials on youtube from other people.

timojloo6 months ago

The finished product is excellent! I'm part way though making my own and I have a few questions:

1. Did you glue the faceplate in place before applying resin?

2. It looks like you applied resin to the whole helmet at once - how did you keep the back piece attached?

3. Is there a gap at the back between the back piece and the helmet?

Any feedback would be highly appreciated! Keep up the good work :)

geq1 (author)  timojloo2 months ago

1. Yes, I did.

2. I used duct tape.

3. Yes there is a small gap. It's necessary for the hinges.

If there are more questions, I'm happy to answer them. :)

simong1133 made it!3 months ago

This was a lot of fun to make. It was my first time making any kind of helmet / prop replica, or working with fibreglass, pepakura or fillers, so I made quite a few mistakes along the way. But I can't wait to try again and get better at it. Thanks for the brilliant guide.

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geq1 (author)  simong11332 months ago

Your welcome. Nice prop.

EricVera5392 months ago

Hi! thanks for all the step by step info. I have a simple question.... can I do this whole thing using normal paper instead of hard paper? I just can't find it in any store. /: What would happen if I go with normal paper? thanks for the post.

geq1 (author)  EricVera5392 months ago

Unfortunatelly, no. Maybe with simpler models, but not with this. You can order from ebay too.

I researched the exact same thing you are having trouble on and found that cardstock paper works well based off other models I've seen.

This is one model I'm talking about => http://visualspicer.com/personal-work/r2-a4-star-...

As well this one => http://visualspicer.com/personal-work/starfighter-...

Both are a PDO and PDF file that follows the same printing process and both used Cardstock Paper.

Hope this helped!

teena.tobey2 months ago

Cool Version of the helmet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzNgLcxb5XU

Cool Version of the helmet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzNgLcxb5XU

hshahzad15 months ago
can you give the video please

how much time you took to finish this helmet ?

I printed it out last week and just finished it today. Only working on it a couple hours a day though.

j-vega1 year ago

Ten out of ten !!!!! ;-)

fcolon21 year ago

could you please share the .PDO file with me as well? ferdinandcolon41@gmail.com

Can you please show me or have a tutorial on how to cut. Thanks

Do you cut where the dotted line is?

karora41 year ago
can u plz send d link of pdf for paper markings and cutting
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