Mark Pearson, a 44-year-old repairman who loves comic books, has spent 14 months of his life creating an almost perfect replica of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, from sheets of cardboard covered in fiberglass.
Perason certainly isn’t the first one to build a replica of the famous Iron man suit, but his is definitely one of the most realistic looking, regardless of the materials during the build. “I don’t know why I did it”, the repairman from Bradford, West Yorkshire, says, “I guess it was just a moment of madness. I decided on making the helmet then I said to my partner – I’m going to make the full suit.” The comics fan bought himself a 12ft cardboard model of Robert Downey Jr. in his iconic superhero suit, started work on the helmet, but simply couldn’t stop. He downloaded the templates from the Internet, and made them into cardboard moulds. Once those were all created, he was able to create the fiberglass parts of his magnificent Iron Man suit.
Photo: Ross Parry Agency
Mark’s partner, Karen Hopkins, wasn’t very thrilled with his idea. “She said to me ‘you’re 44, what are you doing making a model of a man from comic books?” the repairman remembers, but when she finally saw it finished and the reactions it provoked all over their home town, she was delighted. But the strangest thing about this particular Iron Man suit is that it DOESN’T fit its own maker. Mark is just 5ft 6in, so he had to find a suitable Tony Stark type guy to put on his fiberglass creation. He was able to convince 24-year-old Darren Higgins, a local supermarket manager, to put on the armor and stand in front of the Bradford cinema, waving at film goers attending a screening of The Avengers.
The Iron Man suit made by Mark Pearson started out as a set of 400 sheets of cardboard that he turned into a 3D structure, and later into a fiberglass replica. It has some nice touches, like flashing lights for the eyes, hands and chest, but Pearson says he also used quite a few household objects. For example, the art reactor in the chest started off as an ordinary ashtray. He says the suit is still a work in progress, and that he has some cool ideas about what to add to it next. “All it’s missing is the ability to fly – but that would have been a bit tricky. I really would have needed superpowers myself to have made that possible”, Mark says.
Photo: Ross Parry Agency
Asked why he chose Iron Man’s suit, the English repairman said “I’m not sure why I picked Iron Man. I’m a big fan and I think I like the fact that he is not really a superhero, he is just a man with a flying suit. But what a suit – it’s the Ferrari of superhero suits.” I’d have to agree with him on that one. About the new Avengers movie, he really enjoyed it, especially to see what the new Iron Man suit can do, and said “it looked almost as good as mine”.