View Full Version : Mark IV Arc Reactor Build Version 2.0 (Tony Stark Costume)

07-28-2011, 01:57 AM
So last year I whipped together a quick Tony Stark costume for my first con ever, DragonCon. Here is what I was working with.

This was my quick and dirty arc reactor for the costume that I whipped together in the two days before the con with using minimal fabrication. I ordered the LEDs and then the rest was made out of stuff around the house and the housing of a large tap light.


Turned out decent for an under the shirt arc reactor, but this time I mean business.

First off I'm going to go ahead and give Tuxedo Tony a run since I bought my very own designer Tux for my wedding this May. Here is me in my Tux on my honeymoon cruise alongside Tony Stark in the Tux. I'm not all done up like Tony, but you can compare the Tuxedos and see they are pretty much identical. I have also ordered a Tuxedo shirt without pleats to match Tony's and let the light show through better.


A couple of my costume props just for your enjoyment. Bow tie and me Tony Stark sun glasses. I have a short highball glass in the mail to complete the accessories.

07-28-2011, 01:58 AM
Now to the meat of the project, arc reactor Mark IV 2.0.

Here is a screenshot from the film.

Part of this build is that in the past year my job got its own rotary engraver table and I'm the tech/designer for all the engraveable products we use. I am putting that to use in my design.

Today I went and bought the stock I need, but the piece for the top design is on order getting shipped from a warehouse to my home. I went ahead and cut out all my other pieces though and will start working on them tonight.

The piece in the middle on the top row is actually a small section cut off the end of a PVC pipe joint that has an outer diameter of 5". I sanded down the inside of the PVC piece to give me more clearance to work with LEDs, I'll explain that more later. All the other pieces were cut out on the engraver to exact sizes to match my design based off the PVC piece. The white piece on the top left is the back plate that fits inside the pvc ring. The small white ring will be glued inside the pvc ring and will be the lip that the back plate sits against. The bottom row is the top acrylic piece, the lower one the LEDs will be mounted into, and a white back plate that will be attached on back side of the acrylic.

Here are the two halfs sitting how they will eventually be assembled.


The PVC ring will be painted silver to match the top sheet so none of that white will actually be visible. The two acrylic sheets will be bonded together with an adhesive compound specifically for this purpose. I'll post what it is when I go dig it up. Then on the lower, smaller piece I will drill holes in the sides and glue a whole bunch of LEDs around the circle aimed inwards. The light should transmit through the acrylic and make the whole thing glow without any hot spots from the LEDs. I'll also sand the top surface to make it so the light refracts off the top surface to make it glow correctly instead of just being transparent.

Then when I'm all done with that I'll design the top piece that gives it the right look in AutoCad and cut it out in one piece with the engraver.

I have a quick little video of the engraver cutting out one of the acrylic circles, but I'm having trouble getting it to upload. I may need to convert it to a different format than what my blackberry records in.

07-28-2011, 02:03 AM
Here we go, photobucket was just being difficult.
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u103/CaptainMorgan628/Cosplay/Tony%20Stark%202%20point%200/th_EngravercuttingAcrylic.jpg (http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u103/CaptainMorgan628/Cosplay/Tony%20Stark%202%20point%200/?action=view&current=EngravercuttingAcrylic.mp4)

08-23-2011, 10:33 PM
Started laying out the front plate of the arc reactor in AutoCad today. Got all the shapes in there, just need to spend a bunch of time cleaning up the lines. I'll save that file as my master copy of the design, then alter it for the engraver. I have to split it into multiple layers, and then move all the cut lines out/in to account for the width of the cutter and I'll be ready to go. I'll export my final design into a jpeg to post too just for fun.

I also started drilling the led mounting holes with my drill press, but didn't get very far before I had to leave.

08-28-2011, 06:46 PM
Alright, finished my design and cut the first prototype.

Definitely some tweaks to be made and have this recut before the final version, but turned out pretty good at this point. This picture is just the parts sitting together. There will be plenty of sanding, painting, wiring, and gluing to get it to a fully assembled state.

The very bottom layer was cut a little too thin and I lost some material on the edge of the innermost triangle area. I'll recut that piece for sure.


I'm hoping to finish wiring it up Tuesday, and I'd like to get it painted at least by Wednesday so the paint can really cure before the weekend.

09-01-2011, 02:30 AM
Now starting to get some better progress and pictures. I didn't get through this as fast as I'd hoped, but I'm down to painting and final assembly for tomorrow, and I have the day off work.

I have the led's all wired up and installed. I still have to do a bunch of sanding to diffuse the light better, but it already is crazy bright. Here is all the pieces together with the re cut top layer. The changes turned out really well, this is a solid version.

Now to show off the goods. Here is it turned on. There are 20 white LEDs in there along with five wide angle blue LEDs to give it a slight blue tint. The white is so bright you can only barely see the blue. That's alright, its mostly white in the movies with just a hint of blue, so its pretty close to what I was going for.


09-06-2011, 04:02 AM
Well I finished it for DragonCon, and the only thing I really messed up was the clearcoat. The adhesion promoter, high build primer, and Metallic undercoat went essentially perfect, the issue was that the clear of the same brand came out of the gun waaaay faster than the base coat. I wasn't prepared for this so there is way too much clearcoat. I'm going to recut and repaint the top plate (I have the design already, so the cutting is the easy part), because honestly I feel that is easier than sanding off the clear out of all those tight spots and polishing.

I'll get some shots of just the light up some time this week, but for now we'll settle for full costume shots.