Friday, May 6, 2016

Captain America Shield Project

With Captain America: Civil War opening in the United States today, I finished this project just in time. There are more accurate shield builds out there using a satellite dish or a metal snow sled, but I wasn't ready to tackle cutting metal. So I decided to buy a plastic Captain America shield made by Rubie's and repaint it. I got the inspiration for this from Cosplay Chris who painted a child sized shield and it looked awesome! So I applied those techniques to my full sized shield. 

You'll see the costume shield is actually already pretty good looking. But I wanted to give it a very battle weathered look, as if it had been through a war, dare I say, a Civil War? Thank you, I'll show myself out...

Anyway, the back of the shield just has these small elastic straps. Those are getting replaced.

I used a sanding sponge to scuff up the plastic a bit to give the paint something to grip on to.

I used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Aluminum which is both paint and primer as my first few coats. This gives it that raw, base Vibranium look.

I masked off the parts I wanted to stay silver with painter's tape using an X-Acto knife.

Then a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Gloss Apple Red.

Then I removed the center masking and remasked the star.

Then a couple coats of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Gloss Deep Blue.

Removed the tape to reveal a very shiny shield. Some of my edges weren't perfect, but that's what weathering is for!

I basically went to town on the shield with varying grits of sandpaper, from 100 to 400. The scratching reveals the silver paint underneath which is exactly the look I'm going for. I also sanded in some larger spots intended to be bullet deflections.

Then I used some black acrylic paint to highlight the edges and low points.

Then my first pass with an airbrush to further accentuate the low points and bullet deflections.

I also sprayed it over parts of the shield to give it a sort of charred look.

And the edges of the star pop a lot better with the airbrush.

Now on to the back. The elastic straps got removed and most of the plastic got removed. I realize I should have done this BEFORE I started painting. I also sanded the areas where I was going to attach the straps.

I got some d-ring anchors from Home Depot, and a couple of belts from Walmart and I plotted out where everything was going to go.

The belts were cut to size cutting new holes, and I used JB Weld epoxy to attach the d-rings anchors to the shield.

I cut out some gray craft foam to cover the middle and to create the base of the supporting straps using Super 77 adhesive and super glue.

I then used some Mod Podge, (first time using it) to seal the foam so it's ready to paint.

I cut the remaining belts straps to length, covered them in painters tape, hot glued them to the foam, and painted the back in aluminum.

Removed the painter tape, and airbrushed the ridges. I realize this looks like the inside of a trash can lid but I'm okay with that. I think the straps look pretty good.

A little more airbrushing, a clear gloss coat and the shield is finished!

I am genuinely pleased with how this turned out!

And the straps work surprisingly well to hold the shield!

And just in case you needed a size reference, here I am holding the shield. Can you tell I'm Team Cap?

And just a few more pictures.

I worked on this project for about a week to ten days, and I used it as another chance to practice my painting and airbrushing. The most time consuming part was waiting for the paint to dry. Maybe next time, I'll actually do the metal shield. Considering that replica metal shields can cost anywhere between $200 and $1000, this project wasn't really that expensive.

Materials and Cost

Rubie's Captain America shield: $24
Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Gloss Apple Red: $4
Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Gloss Deep Blue: $4
Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Aluminum: $4
D-Ring anchors: $5
JB Weld Epoxy: $6
2 Brown leather belts from Walmart: $14
Craft foam and tools I already had: FREE

Total cost: $61

Anyway, the build was super fun and now I'm ready to go fight Iron Man, as long as his armor is just made of foam... ;)

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