Hi guys RYNO here. I am an active member of the 405th.com and we have the most beautiful works of art created daily on our site. Most of us have never even had training in many of the crafts or skills that are used on our site daily. Many of us are learning to do the very basics of Prop building and working with media unfamiliar to even some of the Elite Cosplayers. Most of us are noobs and would never dare call ourselves heroes of the cosplay world. But sometimes it needs to be done.
My hero is Barry Armstead aka “SANDBAGGER @405th” a real life IRON MAN. He has been with us on the 405th for a long time and started cosplay here like many of us. Barry Armstead has spent much of his spare time over the past two years fabricating/building in his backyard workshop a replica Iron Man suit. This particular build is a cosplay that humbles even the most talented of Prop makers. His Iron Man suit is made of steel sheets less than a millimeter thick, the suit weighs 35 kilograms and will top out at 40 including the electronics, batteries and padding.
“Most of the weight is spread out over the body so it’s not as heavy as it might look,” he said.
A superhero enthusiast at heart, Barry said putting on the suit made him feel bulletproof.
“At the same time, you feel very vulnerable,” he said.
“If I was to fall over, it would be like a turtle on my back.”
“I’ve certainly learnt lots of skills along the way,” he said.
“I’ve got some high-definition video glasses mounted in the face plate and there will be a camera in the top of the head with a nice wide angle so I can see my feet and any life support cables that may be around me in the Children’s ward”
“I have absolutely no trade skills whatsoever and never had any formal training.”
“Work experience, tinkering at home and a job I had as an inventory manager for a building company gave me lots of inside knowledge on raw materials, where they come from and how to get them.”
Barry taught himself every skill he now possesses. He is a self taught man and has the tenacious persistence to overcome what would probably drive most people mad. He’s a great craftsman but that’s not the thing that sets him apart. See Barry does believe in something that goes beyond his builds. He believes in helping others, in all walks of life. The Canberra father of four is on a mission to give to sick kids hospitals a hero “REAL STEEL.” Barry had the idea after spending many hours in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Canberra Hospital after one of his children was born two months premature. This was his first Pepakura or “Papercraft” version built entirely from Cardboard paper utilizing a method we at the 405th are known for.
“We did spend quite a lot of time in the hospital and saw a bit of what was going on with the other kids around the place,” he said.
“I made the first iteration and knew this would go well in children’s hospitals.”
Barry Armstead is a 45 year old father of four, raised in country towns and started out in the workforce on wheat and sheep farms. Progressed to larger stations, then onto the north west of Australia as a stockman on horseback. Where he worked mustering cattle for a living. He then joined the Royal Australian Army. He spent 15 years as a paratrooper in air dispatcher rigging and using air drop, air land/underslung (helicopter) operations. He was a section commander, crew commander, parachute jump master, physical training instructor and a drop zone safety officer.
Since leaving the Army he worked for some trucking companies, a building corporation. ran his own business as a professional photographer and now he works for the Government in national parks as a field officer.
“I’m into all kinds of things from building my own two-story domed observatory for long-exposure deep space astrophotography and am a budding blade-smith. I cave, kayak, canyon and scuba dive when I can.”
“If I could, I would encourage others to -JUST HAVE A GO- even when they doubt their own skills and abilities.”
“To all the kids never let any one tell you, You can’t do that”
“I love life, believe in God and I make stuff.”
“Without a doubt, Iron Man is the coolest in the whole superhero mob.”
RYNO-666 of RYNO666.com