Iron Man Mixed-Media Stained Glass Computer Component Mosaic




I love comic books and stained glass.  I have had this project in my mind for 3 years after learning that Iron Man movie was being made. 

Step 1: The Idea

First was the idea.  I drew a quick sketch of what I wanted the end piece to look like.

Step 2: Give the Man a Hand

Next step was trying to figure out how to do the mask, chest piece, and hand. I created a mold that could be filled with plaster to do the head, however.... it did not give the results that I wanted. The head did not look like Iron Man's mask. The Mask is actually longer than a normal face, so I had to come up with a new idea. I had the idea to use the chest of a plastic manequin that I had bought from a store going out of business for the chest piece, but again...same result. So that had to be scratched.

I got lucky on the hand.. after 3 tries I finally found the perfect mix for the hand and forearm. I used extra large rubber gloves and filled them with plaster-a-paris, shaped them the way I wanted it to look and let is cure for more than 3 weeks. Plaster stays pretty wet for about 3 weeks and cant be worked with till it completely dries.

The palm will be hollowed out and an LED light will go into the hand serve the purpose of "Repulsors"

Step 3: Who Cut the Wood?

Finally decided to use plywood and under laminate to give a 3-d effect to the mask and Chest piece. This was cut out and glued with liquid nails and screwed together. Eyes will be cut out of the mask. Another LED light will be placed in the chest piece and mask. After this is put completely together and mosaiced, it can be placed on a 2x3foot piece of plywood. (thanks Nate)

Step 4: Time to Put Some Glass on It

The next step is mosaicing all the pieces.  I used Spectrum Whispy stained glass along with a mosaic glue and tile adhesive.  Started with the easiest pieces first.  Cut my hands to pieces too!! Ouch.  Finished the chest, then the mask, then the abdomen.

Step 5: Mosaicing the Hands

In doing the hands, I had to drill a spot for the repulsors and a hole for the electric cord. These have been prepped to mount to plywood with a hole drilled for a "wall anchor" in the bottom of each hand and a corresponding whole in the plywood. This has been very difficult as the plaster is so delicate. I have broken off fingers and shattered the left hand.  Both hands had to be repieced together several times.  I dropped a hand and my son tripped over one.  Thank goodness for liquid nails and tile adhesive.

I cut multiple small squares for the hands as they are curved and large glass pieces will not glue snuggly to the piece.

Step 6: Getting Hands on With the Grout

I found a light red grout to be used on all the pieces.  I cut my fingers up pretty bad (worse than I ever have) applying the grout. Once the grout dries, then the excess grout will be cleaned off the pieces using rags, tooth picks, and brushes. The glass will then be cleaned with a glass cleaner to make sure all the glue is removed from surface. 

Step 7: Time to Paint the Piece

After all the grout dried, we applied a dark red water based paint to all the grout.  This gives the piece a deeper richer color instead of a "rose/pink" look.  Thanks Hannah for your help.  This step required going through about 2 rolls of paper towels as the paint was wiped on then immediatley wiped off.  If the paint sat to long it becomes work difficult to get it off the stained glass.

Step 8: Let There Be Light!!!!

Now that all the glass is finished all the LED lights have to be wired and holes drilled in just the right spots on the plywood base.  After all the glass is positioned, the plywood will be marked.  The plywood is also painted the same color as the grout, just in case any shows throug.

Step 9: Does Not Compute...does Not Compute....does No.....

In order to really highlight Iron Man's tech influence, I decided to use mother boards and other computer stuff as the background for the piece.  My son, Nate, broke down about 10 computers, printers and treadmills and pulled out all the electronic components.  The main pieces were then screwed onto the plywood backing board.  Smaller pieces were glued onto the other electronic pieces to give a greater 3-D lool..  Once all the computer components are secured, then the mosaiced pieces are screwed on and glued to the piece with liquid nails. 

Step 10: Tada!!!!

Finally finished!!!  Light her up!!!!



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