Heroes aren’t born, they’re built…

The Royal Armouries has gained a superhero for the summer, in the form of the impressive and imposing Iron Man, and there is no doubt that this superhero was built.

Mark Pearson, a car body repairer from Bradford built the impressive six feet tall replica suit especially for the Royal Armouries after he hit the headlines earlier this year for building his first Iron Man suit. Mark, a fan of the comic book hero, took his inspiration from a 12-inch toy model of actor Robert Downey Jr in the famous red and gold suit. He started making a supersized helmet, but then found he just could not stop until he had built a full-sized suit. The suit is built from 400 sheets of cardboard, which Mark turned into a three-dimensional structure and then fibre-glassed.  It is also fitted with flashing lights for the eyes, hands and chest.

Mark said, “This all started out with a quick browse on a movie replica-makers’ website but quickly spiralled into a challenge that I just couldn’t resist.  The first replica attracted a huge amount of interest, but the high spot came when the Royal Armouries got in touch and commissioned me to create another. It will be one of the first things that visitors see when they enter the museum.

“I am a huge fan of the film. It’s just a shame that I am too short to wear the original suit but friends have worn it. The only thing it can’t do is fly!”

The story of Iron Man sees billionaire playboy and ingenious engineer, Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark, suffer a severe chest injury during a kidnapping, his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction. He instead creates a powered suit of armour to save his life and escape captivity. He later uses the suit to protect the world as Iron Man.

Standing alongside the Royal Armouries’ extensive collection of armour, Iron Man will stand proud in the Hall of Steel throughout the summer, although it looks like he may be intimidating some of our existing residents!


We welcome Iron Man as part of our summer theme of Games – Sporting and Gaming. For more information about our summer events visit our website here.