Modifying an Iron Man II Toy Repulsor Part 2

[28042010 1950]

Working from a cave....

OK, I am pushing my luck here. I am going to make the prototype arm in less than six hours. But in actual reality, I had worked six and a half hour out of nine hours. I mean, by about 4 in the morning, I realised I was not as young as I thought to be. And so, after the drill bit shattered from hitting the table, I just about had it. There is only so much I can keep on going and so, I decided to stop at the forearm, nothing to do with the Arc Reactor or the biceps.


Building the skeleton & Assembling everything

My idea of going about doing this repulsor is to try to recreate the prototype unit which was from the first movie. Although it looked simple, by the time I put the plan into action, I was not as simple as I thought it would be. And so, if its all OK with you, I really want to skip the construction stage. Because, it looks, well, cheesy.


These were the material I have collected and bought two days before. I say 'before' because no one told me our family drill broke years ago. I bit the bullet and bought a new drill on the day 'before' the Preview.


One hour later, the basic skeleton is ready and now, its time to transfer the whole circuit from the toy to this..... this..... monstrosity.


Cut the two Green cables to the "I am Iron Man" switch because you do not need it. Lable the cables to the batteries (Red and Brown). Leave the speaker and the 'flick' swith alone for the moment. Oh, at this time, It is a good idea to glue the two halves of the speaker together.

Using strong double-sided tapes (acrylic, not foam), Stick them into the skeleton. Again, using the DST, stick the circuit to the skeleton too. Secondary usage of DST here is to prevent accidental contact to the PCB since the skeleton is metal.

Lets prepare the reed switch. Here, I am about to trim the long leads. Because the reed switch is made of glass and costs a lot, you need to hold the pliers near to the glass before cutting it. This is to help prevent the vibration/shock of the cutter cutting the metal legs from reaching and shattering the glass.So, remember, EXPENSIVE and FRAGILE. Notice we are using the two legs on the right. Remove the left.


Do the same thing when you're soldering the legs to the wires. Remember to tin both the legs and the wires and solder them quickly. When that is done, you can now use DST and other gluey stuff to glue to the velcro strap. Do not. I repeat. Do not use Hot Melt glue as the heat will transfer to the glass which expands and either cracks the reed switch or let the gas in the tube escape. Either way, the switch is useless. Test fit which direction works best with the magnet by slowly twisting the tube and holding hte magnet near/far until the circuit activates.


OK, this is a bit difficult to explain as I have forgotten to take pictures on how to solder everything together. Using the Red cable from the PCB, solder to the Red cable of the new 3x AA battery holder. Here, I used a small 10-way ribbon cable for the repulsor (on the left), which only only serves to keep the band in place but also to connet to the reed switch and the LEDs. For the reed switch, solder the PCB's Brown wires to the ribbon cable, then to the reed switch. For the LEDs, solder the Orange/RED cable to the ribbon cable and then to the Black/Orange wires in the PCB. If it does not light up when you test it, the the polarity is wrong. So, do invest n a reasonably priced miltimeter. You do not need a Digital version for this mod because we are not looking at accurate voltages.


This is me testing the Repulsor unit. To shoot the repulsors, I just spread my fingers, moreso between the first and middle finger. Once the magnet is separated from the reed switch, the switch will make contact and complete the circuit. The PCB will think you have just 'flicked' your wrist and starts to play one of the two repulsor sounds. So far, at this stage, its working 4 out of 10 times. You need to adjust the magnet strap. The trick is to spread your fingers to activate the Repulsors. If this was a full costume glove, I would have absolutely no idea how to achieve this. I would still be using the reed switches but in a more refined/protected case. Oh, hey, in this lighting, the modified Toy Reactor looks just like in the movie......


[Update 02052010]

While its still fresh in my mind, here is the diagram on the wires you would be working on:

1) Battery pack: Cut off the wires to the toy's AAA battery pack and replace them with new 3x AA battery holders/packs. I am sure the circuit would still be running even after one night of being 'Repulsive'.

2) "I am Iron Man" switch: The two Green cables to this small rubber black switch is useless and so, you can cut it. Because you do not need to use your arms to tell everyone you're Iron Man.

3) Repulsor Unit: If you have followed my DIY LEDs method, then you need to cut the Orange/Black cables and join them to your own LEDs. Bear in mind the LEDs are polarity sensitive where Positive goes to Positive and Negative goes to Negative. So, at this stage, if nothing goes wrong with the circuit, and you can still activate it, connect the DIY LEDs to the Orange/Black cables. It if does light up, remember the colour of the cables. If it does not, switch the cables to the other ends. (Assuming there is no shorting in the LED ring)

4) Flick Switch: Cut this BROWN/BROWN cable and solder them to your reed switch. Test with the magnet until you have the perfect release position.



Finally, this is the full picture of the whole repulsor. It looks bare and, well, does not look like anything at all from the movie, not by a long shot. Sigh.


I tried putting some false cables and even the wire mesh but well, it still look cheesy.


And so, on Preview night, I was embarassed as Hell. But thanks to my friends (who did not laugh at me), I wore it. And when 'Iron Man' and 'War Machine' showed up after the movie, everyone went nuts and with much encouragement, I was with them. And guess what? It worked 8 out of 10 times. Everyone took a lot of photos and I am not sure who took mine or which blog I ended up in. Heh


I masked my face. Just in case someone else recognises me.

Yes, Iron Man is wearing the toy Arc Reactor which I modified for it to turn the yellow LEDs permanently. I was so tempted to punch out the cover beneath and modify the toy with all white LEDs which is what its supposed to be (see my Arc Reactor mod). Ditto with War Machine. Oh well.....



And so, in summary, this was what I wanted to achieve.

(Image taken from


Knowing my skills, I compromised


And at 4AM in the morning......WTF!



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