On his Blackout Props Facebook page, Archie Whitehead introduces himself, saying, "Hi! I'm 17 and have just got into special effects, props, and costumes." By "just got into," he actually means, "I just build an awesome wearable Iron Man suit from scratch while you were busy surfing cat videos online."
The materials for the suit alone cost around $500. Some portions of the costume are made from foam rubber. Automotive spray paint gives it the glossy, just-built-by-a-billionaire look. Battle scars across the helmet hint at some epic conflict. It took several months to put the costume together.
The U.K. teen took his suit out for a test drive by attending his local "Iron Man 3" premiere in costume. He reports lots of staring, photos, and Iron Man hugs from the other viewers.
In a Q&A on Reddit, Whitehead said he's not likely to sell the costume, "unless someone was willing to pay ludicrous sums of money."
In case you're wondering about the mechanics of going out in an Iron Man suit, the codpiece is made with Velcro and clips that make it easy to remove to visit the loo.
The suit is a big win for teen makers, showing what ingenuity, determination, and a healthy amount of tape can accomplish. Plus, it saved Whitehead from being tempted to drop $8,500 on a full-size Iron Man suit figure that he couldn't even wear.