Instructables
here i am going to be showing step by step guides on how to build and tech up an iron man costume, its a work in progress and will be added to each week. The reason ive added it now is if i dont start an instructable now ill likely forget to take progress pics.
the matirials are varied and relatively inexpensive wherever possible, some progress pics are missing due to writing an ible 3 weeks in to working on it.

mostly made with eva foam (foam camping mats)
hot glue gun
sharp stanley knife 
scissors
various spray paints
small battery operated under cuboard circular lights
safety glasses lights for  the helmet
shinpads
rubber work boots
extreme sports knee pads.
whatever i find along the way
please be patient as this will be finished at the latest by september. but hopefully sooner.
 
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Step 1: Body

the most important parts for me were the helmet and chest, because if these parts look stupid then it doesnt matter how good the rest is.
the main chest was made using eva foam camping mats that cost around £2.99 at most discount stores.

the chest front
the process was to create the upper chest that houses the arc reactor and mount it over a longer piece of foam that encompasses the whole body from shoulder to groin.  then another upper chest piece was cut from the first and went on top of the other. this gives a depth and durability.

these pieces were glued together with a hot glue gun.

then definition was added to the abdomen area with a large piece cut with a U shape giving a 6 pack area.
a few pieces of foam were cut out to give detailing and added were it needed something to build it up.

i had no templates but looked at different versions of iron man for guidence and this was mostly trial and error.

using a sharp stanley knife i cut a hole for the ark, leaving the inner layer (of the three) of foam to mount the light later. I also added the sausage shaped slits either side of the central circle, based on one of the movie suits.

i made a very plate armour style collar from scraps of foam and attatched it with more hot glue.

the back
the back and front were initially from one piece of camping mat that draped like a tabbard, this proved very weak and required strengthening up, so i cut them at the shoulder and added extra foam to reinforce.

the back and front are now attatched with a strip of red nylon belt on each shoulder.

the back, as can be seen, is made with pieces of foam that are cut to look like shoulder blades and a spinal design, with other components added to it. again trial and error.

once finished with the foam work i tried it on for size and sealed the foam with pva glue to aid in painting later.
then after the first coat of paint i decided to add belt clips either side of the waist and under the arms (4 in total), this was done with a hot glue gun.

as an after thought to reinforce the front torso and hold its shape i used a makeshift body manaquin and added fibreglass and resin, this was done to the front only, to shape around the waist better.

UPDATE
ive now dremmel sanded and resprayed the body armour that was fibre glassed using an all purpose bright red "easy spray" paint. it looks better on the back section now

update 19-6-12
im now making a miniture version for my son so you can see the raw unpainted one, see last pics.