A spectacular replica of the suit worn by super hero Iron Man is now a major attraction at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

Britain’s oldest public museum asked Bradford’s Mark Pearson to create the suit, now taking pride of place in the Hall of Steel throughout the summer holidays – and museum admission is free.

Armoured knight goes face to face with Iron Man
Royal Armouries knight Keith Ducklin faces off with Iron Man – click for larger image

Mark hit the headlines nationally when he created a full-sized version of Iron Man, based on 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.

Mark’s re-make of his first replica suit is displayed in a specially-built and illuminated exhibit case, linked to the museum’s summer theme of Games – Sporting and Gaming; and the museum’s “Inspired by …..” programme.

Karen Whitting, Head of Creative Programmes, said, “We are delighted to be kicking off a packed summer event programme with the display of this stunning exhibit. The replica suit makes a great centrepiece for our robot themed weekend and an interesting counterpoint to the Royal Armouries own permanent armour displays.”

Mark, a car body repairer from Bradford said, “This all started out with a quick browse on a movie replica prop-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!”

Iron Man is a fictional super hero, who appears in comic books and later in the popular film. The story is based on an engineer who 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.

The replica 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.

The Iron Man suit was unveiled at the Royal Armouries’ Robots Weekend (July 21 and 22) and will be on show throughout the summer holiday events, which run until September 2.

The Royal Armouries is Britain’s oldest public museum and home to the national collection of arms and armour, including artillery. For more information about the summer holiday programme, visit:

Royal Armouries website
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