I laid out a design for the body by copying details from photos of Iron Man and an Iron Man toy I borrowed from a friend. If you're feeling ambitious, I've included a PDF with the front and side lay-outs that I created. The total height of the finished rocket is 36 inches.
I ordered rocket supplies from apogeerockets.com
, which has been a very nice company to work with. I ordered a bunch of 24mm tubes (which hold D- and E-size Estes
model rocket engines), some tube couplers, engine block rings, launch lugs, and kevlar cord.
My first attempt at making the body was with layers of pink insulation foam glued together with the rocket tube structure sandwiched inside. I used a sharp knife to carve out the body shape, which was tedious and messy. In the end it weighed too much to use and I had miscalculated the proportions, so the head which I had already finished was too small for the body. After plenty of cursing, the pink foam body ended up in the trash... in very tiny pieces. I re-sized the lay-out, and waited a few months till I was ready to work on it again.
For my second attempt, I decided to build the body up using foam board (1/4-inch foam sandwiched between paper). This proved to work very nicely for making a lightweight skeletal-type structure, but led to some difficulties in covering.