Recently, we reported on an all metal Iron Man suit, but here’s an update with some cool new details- check out the full story at the link below!
“Barry Armstead has spent much of his spare time over the past two years tinkering away in his backyard workshop building a replica Iron Man suit.
Without a doubt, Iron Man is the coolest in the whole superhero mob.
The Canberra father of four is on a mission to give sick kids in hospital something to smile about.
Mr Armstead’s idea was born after spending many hours in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Canberra Hospital after one of his children was born two months premature.
“We did spend quite a lot of time in the hospital and saw a bit of what was going on with the other kids around the place,” he said.
“The idea evolved after seeing something like this suit on the internet.
“I made the first iteration and knew this would go well in children’s hospitals.”
Made of steel sheets less than a millimetre thick, the suit weighs 45 kilograms including the electronics, batteries and padding.
“Most of the weight is spread out over the body so it’s not as heavy as it might look,” he said.
“It’s certainly not as heavy as what knights in shining armour would wear fighting battles on horseback.
“I think I’ll be pretty comfortable on a hospital ward for a few hours.”
The construction of the metal suit has been more than two years in the making.
“Before that there was a cardboard version and a paper fibreglass version that led me to this,” he said.
“Finding all the right nuts and bolts and coming up with mechanical solutions to free up some movement was difficult.”
A superhero enthusiast at heart, Mr Armstead said putting on the suit made him feel bulletproof.
“At the same time, you feel very vulnerable,” he said.
“If I was to fall over, it would be like a turtle on my back.”
Self-taught backyard metal worker
A former professional photographer, Mr Armstead is a self-taught metal worker.
“I’ve certainly learnt lots of skills along the way,” he said.
“I have absolutely no trade skills whatsoever and never done any formal training.
“Work experience, tinkering at home and a job I had as an inventory manager for a building company gave me lots of inside knowledge on raw materials, where they come from and how to get them.”
With the birth of twin daughters just five months ago, Mr Armstead said completion of the project would depend on the availability of time and funds.
“We’re a single-income family and I’m out of pocket money for the moment,” he said.
“We’ve got electronics, padding, painting and some motors to actuate some of the moving parts to go.”
Help from friends and support from self-confessed “computer geeks” via online forum Overclockers Australia has been crucial along the way.
“I’ve got some high-definition video glasses mounted in the face plate and there will be a camera in the top of the head with a nice wide angle so I can see my feet and cables around me,” Mr Armstead said.
“I’ve called on the help of a friend who is right into IT security and electronics.
“He handles all the wiring, connecting and power.”
Mr Armstead said seeing smiles on faces of sick kids would make him feel accomplished.
“Without a doubt, Iron Man is the coolest in the whole superhero mob.””