If you are about to buy an iron man suit, here are things you should consider. I'm sure they will help you make the right choice on the issue which is going to spend you more than 1000 US dollars at least.
1.Usage: Do you want it for display or wearing ,or both? Different usages lead to different techniques and materials on building an iron man suit. That's the part of reason why the range of a fine iron man full body armor's price can be extended from $1200 to $9000 .As far as i know ,there are four techniques the producers are using in the market :hand make in EVA foam, cast in fiberglass ,3D print and PU plastic uptake.If you just want it for display,you can choose a fiberglass suit . If you just want to wear it and take some photos in a comic convention , EVA foam suit will be more suitable than others. If you want both ,3D print technology and PU plastic uptake machine are able to meet your demand.
2.Price: How much at most are you willing to spend on a movie accurate iron man suit?The element of price often influences a buyer's behavior and decision.To save your money for the right choice ,you'd better do a research before buying. Try to put stores, techniques, materials and all other elements that influence the price into a sheet to compare ,so you may figure out which is the best for you. As far as i know from the iron man suit market, cost for a foam suit is the lowest, then the fiberglass suit as it can't be customized. 3D Printed and PU suits are the most expensive. If all of these prices have exceeded maximum cost you can afford ,don't stop searching.Because some people are selling their used iron man suits with really cheap price.As long as the size is suitable for you, you can buy it and upgrade it as you want.
3. Size: Although most of iron man suits builders declare that all suits are made to measure, none of them can ensure you that their suit fits you body perfectly. Please keep in mind that iron man armor customization is not like normal suits custom in which the tailor is able to change every millimeter to fit your body shape. The iron man suit design is idealized from movie, it's all proportional.Therefore the builders can either change the length or width of every part.In this situation ,they will definitely take the bigger measure so to guarantee the armor coverage. As a buyer, don't expect the suit will be perfect for you, at meantime, emotionally prepare for few modifications. Another point is ,if you have a huge body like more than 200 lbs, you may asked to pay extra payments.
4.Durability: Durability is another important element which effects the value of the suit. Among the 4 techniques and materials i mentioned, EVA foam suit is less durable than the other three, because it's ductile, while the painting is not. So after a series of putting on, taking off, movements and postures, some cracks and wrinkles will appear unavoidably. You may ask if it's such weak, why does it still worth four figures. I think it is because a lot of time and energies involved in as it's 100% handmade and it takes at least 20 days to build one set of the full body armor. Despite this shortage of foam suit, it is welcomed by most of commercial usages, people who are having a budget and those creative people who are capable of repainting and modifying.
5.Weight: This point will affect your wearing experience ,movements and postures.Fiberglass suit is the heaviest and usually can not be customized to fit individual's body. The weight of 3D printed suit is between fiberglass and PU plastic.Foam suit is the lightest ,which means easy to put on, take off, move and pose.
6.Electronic systems: A cool iron man suit must come with an electrical package (lights, flaps, face plate, etc) . Pay attention to the description of every iron man suit. What electronic system is included in the given price? How much is the extra cost for each of the motorized function. Ask for demo video that present the motorized effect as much as you can .
With these tips, you will be more likely to make a good decision.