Iron Man mk.7
Created from scratch, this Iron Man mk. 7 suit was created to be screen-accurate to the iconic suit from the Iron Man movies. Designed with human movement, comfort, and articulation in mind, this suit was created to be worn as a cosplay, making the dreams of those who see it a reality both in public and in hospital settings.
3 Years of Learning. 3 Iterations. 5 Month Final Build. 1 Suit.
The Iron Man Mark VII (mk. 7) suit seen in Iron Man 2 is the flagship project from my work at Kimer Props. A self-taught and independently researched endeavor, this suit is created to be worn and has details that matches the on-screen hero suit. The process was an intensive marathon that included 3 iterations of the suit over 3 years, with 5 months spent creating the final EVA foam suit. It was a dream in high school to own an Iron Man suit, and making this dream a reality was a journey I will never forget.
From 2D Sheets to 3D Piece
Over 90% of the suit is made out of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam sheets. Hundreds of individual shapes were hand cut from sheets of EVA foam before being beveled, curved, and glued to each other to create the compound shapes for each part. Working out of my basement, the humble hobby knife became the primary tool used for the suit's creation. Details were added using various techniques including heat forming, layering, and different adherence techniques.
"Tell you what...throw a little hot rod red in there."
The suit was finished with its iconic hot rod red and gold color scheme as seen in the movie suit. To prepare the foam for paint, PlastiDip was used to seal all of the surfaces and to provide an elastic base for the color coats to flex on. The colors were then sprayed onto the suit in multiple light passes to allow some flexibility and crack resilience. Automotive paints were used to give the foam a solid look and feel.
Over 40 Individual Parts
The full suit consists of over 40 individual parts, most of which were crafted and shaped by hand. Hand shaping gave me complete freedom to craft with as much detail as possible. Several parts (the ears, hip joints, and elbow buttons) were 3D modeled and printed as additional details for the suit. Each part was based off of the research conducted on the actual movie suit in order to fully bring the suit to life. Each part attaches to the body with a system of straps, elastic, and buckles.
Giving the Suit Life
To further simulate the movie suit, lighting effects were added to the suit. The eyes, palms, and chest of the suit are illuminated by independently controlled electroluminescent (EL) panels. These panels are powered by individual drivers that are attached to a harness, and can provide lighting effects for the suit for multiple hours. The wires are run underneath the suit and can be attached to different drivers for additional effects.
More Than a Suit: A Symbol of Dreams Becoming Reality
This Iron Man suit was made with a specific dream in mind. From the conception of the project back in my high school years, I have dreamed of using this suit to directly impact the lives of pediatric patients. I was given the opportunity to bring parts of the suit to Lurie Children’s Hospital for a super hero night and seeing the reaction of the patients was an unforgettable experience. I hope that some day, as a pediatric surgeon, I will be able to conduct post-operation consultations as my patient’s dream super hero instead of being another doctor in a white coat. Making the dreams of my patients a reality in the hospital setting would be the fulfillment and pinnacle of my prop and costume work.