Iron Man Life Size Statue

Ironfinished05_smI decided it was time to just go for it and make a full size Iron Man statue. There’s an official product available in the US for around $3200, but I thought that was kind of pricey, and it’s more fun to make your own right?. Having already build a full scale replica of R2-D2 and C-3PO, I didn’t really want to have to carve an entire Iron Man out of wood again, so I’ve been thinking about alternative construction methods.

This Iron Man is going to be made on a wooden frame, padded out with cardboard, foam, and Papier-mâché to make the basic shape. Then sheets of plastic and card, car body filler, wood filler and some vacuum formed detail parts will be used to finish it off, followed by primer, metallic car paint and lacquer.

Here are some pictures and a video of the finished Iron Man. Scroll down for the complete construction details.

13th September 2008

I cheated a lot and purchased this fibreglass Iron Man Head on eBay. It appears to be slightly smaller than it should be, but having looked at photographs of the official Iron Man statue product, I’m convinced that this head is a recast of the official one. The neck is in-humanly long and the head itself it too small, but this appears to be how it was intended.

It came unfinished, so I’ve masked and painted it with Ford Jupiter Red Metallic, and Ford Solar Gold Metallic car paints, followed with lots of lacquer to make it shine. The eyes have been cut out and blue cellophane has been stuck behind them so I can make them light up later on:

Here’s a picture of the official Iron Man life sized statue that I’ve printed out 1:10 scale so I can measure it and work out how big each piece should be. I also purchased a 1:6 scale (12″/30cm tall) Iron Man toy for quick reference:

And here’s the start of my frame built from the scale drawing…

…with toy Iron Man:

I’ve started wrapping a lot of single sided corrugated cardboard around it:

It’s going to take quite some time to get the basic shape for the whole thing:

14th September

The legs are taking shape correctly (I think):


15th September 2008

and a little bit later this evening:

16th September 2008

Some more subtle additions today, Looks about right with the head on, should work out alright:

17th September 2008

So, I decided to add some legs details, and 4 hours later. All the bits that should be gold come off for painting separately. Lots more to do to smooth out what should be the red parts with Papier-mâché or filler before painting… and the rest of the body to do:

18th September 2008

Some work on the top half today and the back:

Space for the Arc Reactor to fit:

19th September 2008

Some work on the arms, shoulders next…

22nd September 2008

Most of the Armour pieces are done now, with the exception of the ribs and other middle sections which will go on later. I also need to find some suitable gloves for the hands. Iron Man stands at 6’1” (185cm):

25th September 2008

I’ve filled all the edges and gaps of everything, lots of sanding, priming and more sanding to do now. I’ve also added the ribs and middle section armour pieces. The ribs are a little bold, but it gives it some more character and he’s inhuman looking anyway:

27th September 2008

Time to prime, sand, and prime some more. I decided those ribs weren’t right after all, so I made some new ones. Some bit will never be perfectly smooth, but then it is made of cardboard. Here are all the gold bits:

28th September 2008

Most of the red is done now, it just needs another coat all over and the arms painting:

2nd October 2008

Iron Man is pretty much finished, I just need to wire in the eyes and the Arc Reactor so they light up. Also, some shots with me for size reference:

3rd October 2008

Iron Man is now as finished as he’ll ever be, with his eyes and Arc Reactor lights wired in:

That’s it for this project, but be sure to check out my Iron Man custom helmet sculpt project: