Like many boys (and a lot of girls, too) I spent a bit of time – probably too much! – wanting to be a superhero, protecting people from the bad guys and generally saving the day with my awesome powers.
Of course, like all of the other kids, I didn’t actually have any awesome powers (well, I can wiggle my ears, but that’s about it).
I know I’m not alone in this childish ambition, and thanks to modern technology, and wild imaginations that have barely been tempered by adulthood, we’re in a world where superhero powers can exist, even if the heroes themselves cannot.
So join me as I take you on a journey through the 10 most awesome DIY projects that can turn you into a superhero (almost). You’ll need a few DIY skills on your side, however, not least soldering.
Some of these projects are quite dangerous and unsuitable for children.
Marvel’s Avengers are the most popular movie superheroes (as various mobile games and Avengers books will confirm), so take a look at these projects if you fancy a realistically “heavy” Hammer of Thor, Iron Man’s gauntlet laser, or Captain America’s devastatingly powerful shield…
Thor’s amazing hammer, Mjolnir, can only be wielded by one who is worthy; this is usually only Thor himself. So how on earth could you hope to pick up the mighty hammer? Well, it’s all about electro-magnetism and fingerprint identification…
For additional help, this Instructable provides the steps in text.
Finally, it’s time to see the hammer in action. Admittedly, it’s a bit of an elaborate prank, but it’s certainly impressive!
All you need now is the armor, a red cape, and the look of a guy who just walked off the beach.
Robert Downey Jr’s superb characterization of the morally ambiguous Tony Stark is one of the selling points of the entire Avengers movie franchise, along with the amazing suits. While we’re yet to see any full suits — not to mention ones that can be carried in a case — we do have a couple of excellent DIY projects that you can take a look at.
First is this, where it all began: Tony Stark’s arc reactor.
Now, obviously, this isn’t an actual arc reactor, as that device is pretty much a technobabble McGuffin, designed to stop shrapnel killing Tony Stark while powering the suit. But it certainly looks like one, and if you’re a crazy Iron Man/Tony Stark cosplayer, having this attached to your vest will look pretty good.
Want something a bit more suit-like? How about this palm laser? (Yes, I said laser.)
I had to rewatch this a couple of times just to make sure there were no special FX in use. Amazingly, it’s genuine, so check it out and add it to your list of superhero DIY builds!
Probably my favorite hero from the Avengers, Steve Rogers is the ultimate defender of freedom and liberty (regardless of what Marvel comics might say on the matter in early 2016…), which he battles for with his trusty shield.
The movie version of Captain America (Chris Evans) is shown fighting, defending, and throwing his remarkable shield. But such a device wouldn’t really be practical, would it?
Once again we’re looking at an electro-magnetic solution, but wow! This device looks amazing and dangerous in equal parts, however, so take care.
Let’s be honest: you’re not going to be able to climb a wall. But this great DIY gadget enables you to fire web “pellets” at targets, as well as launch a rope that you can then wind in, bring the target back with you.
Impressed? Would-be Peter Parkers (or Miles Morales’) can see it in action here:
Still no actual wall-crawling, but fun nonetheless.
X-Men DIY Projects
Marvel’s other famous team, the X-Men (yeah, we’re ignoring the Fantastic Four on safety grounds) also have a bunch of DIY projects based on them.
Scott Summers may come across as a bit of a jerk, but when he unleashes the amazing laser from his eyes, he’s a hero. This build might not actually emit a beam or even propel any projectiles, but it looks really good, in a 1990s/retro X-Men sort of way. Unfortunately, it also stops you from seeing anything…
The builder of this project resembles movie Cyclops actor James Marsden. Which is a bit weird, like watching Cyclops build his own gear.
Remember the fire-manipulating kit who joins Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted and then sides up with Magneto in the movies? Yeah, that’s Pyro, and this amazing build from the amazing Colin Furze shows you how to build your own wrist-mounted flame-throwing weapon.
No, really. Again, this is not for the children, and requires strict adherence to safety standards.
Want to see it all in action?
I like Furze, but he’s quite mad.
Mad enough, I suppose, to put the time and effort into designing and building this: real, retractable Wolverine claws!
Now, I’m of the opinion that recasting Wolverine is next to impossible, as Hugh Jackman’s characterization — like Robert Downey Jr with Tony Stark/Iron Man — is pretty much archetypal. But with this build, there’s a chance that ANYONE could become Wolverine.
You know, it’s probably best that you don’t take this outside. Or even show another human in the flesh. Alternatively, you could just build it out of rubber.
The Original DIY Hero: Batman!
Batman, the Dark Knight created by Bruce Wayne, is essentially a DIYer who designed and created his own gadgets and weaponry (what do you mean, you know nothing about Batman?). These two projects are wholly in the spirit of this invention.
Bat Grappling Hook
First up from the fevered mind of Bruce Wayne, we have this bat-claw-shaped grappling hook, a device that is based on the climbing aid from the Batman comics, TV series and movies.
Amazingly, someone has designed and built a collection of (quite dangerous) Batarangs.
Now, as you can see, these babies are pretty sharp, heavy, and will cause some damage. If you’re going to build your own, be safe.
Superhero DIY Projects We’d Like to See
We’re sure you’ll be as impressed as us by these DIY superhero projects. But we’ve noticed a few omissions that we think could be likely in the next few years.
For instance, there’s the obligatory Spider-Man web shooter that actually shoots webs. For me, this doesn’t need the tensile and adhesive quality required for swinging from lampposts, but it should shoot something that looks like a web.
It would also be great to see a Magneto helmet that can be used to manipulate metal objects, perhaps with magnetic gloves. Equally, this could be spun into a Darth Vader outfit for creating a force effect.
What do you think? Will you be trying any of these DIY projects, or are there any you would like to see? See yourself as a DIY vigilante (don’t!)? Share your favorites with us in the comments box.