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  1. Member Since
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    Mar 8, 2014, 9:03 AM - How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #1

    Okay, this has been bugging me and Im hoping someone has a good answer. We are constantly seeing shots of Cap slide his shield onto his back with ease, I don't see a J-hook and I know he has that back buckle tying all the leather harness straps together. Is there a magnet or something locking into place? I don't see any hooks, are the straps somehow involved? Please answer my query because it is bugging me to no end.
  2. drakeprimeone's Avatar
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    Mar 8, 2014, 9:19 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #2

    I've been wondering this as well. I thought the back buckle would play in to it however the concave nature of the shield creates a great deal of space between the shield itself and where the back buckle lays on your back.
    It's possible there is some sort of hook that is on a forearm strap and the shield mounts on your back sideways. I hope I get Dstengler's BBB Mk II in the mail today so I can experiment with one of my shields.
  3. Angelus Lupus's Avatar
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    Mar 8, 2014, 9:20 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #3

    Honest, but unhelpful, answer? Movie magic. When he needs to reach behind and quickly get the shield, it's probably only lightly attached (perhaps as you suggest, by magnets). But when he needs to run, jump, etc, I'd guess it's more tightly (even immovably) secured, so it doesn't come off and ruin a take. Probably there's also a difference between the lightweight-run-around prop, the tougher, withstands-getting-hit prop, and the one for throwing.

    For cosplay, magnets could work if your shield isn't too heavy, but hooks or something like that would prevent other people accidentally (or deliberately) knocking it loose.

    Edit: I'd forgotten how concave the shield was, so magnets might not be so good. Perhaps some sort of snap-fastener? You'd have to sling the shield and strap around to the front each time, but it would be secure and simple.
  4. Member Since
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    Mar 8, 2014, 6:47 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #4

    The only practical thing I can think of is using one of the straps, be it the forearm or hand strap onto some sort of fastener, like a wide clip that pinches once the leather is in the clip. Just a thought.

    - - - Updated - - -

    drakeprimeone said: View Post
    I've been wondering this as well. I thought the back buckle would play in to it however the concave nature of the shield creates a great deal of space between the shield itself and where the back buckle lays on your back.
    It's possible there is some sort of hook that is on a forearm strap and the shield mounts on your back sideways. I hope I get Dstengler's BBB Mk II in the mail today so I can experiment with one of my shields.
    What is Dstengler's BBB Mk II?
  5. Member Since
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    Mar 8, 2014, 7:41 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #5

  6. drakeprimeone's Avatar
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    Mar 8, 2014, 8:35 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #6

    BBB = Big Back Buckle, the silver buckle that links the shoulder straps together on the back. Dstengler has a sales thread selling that along with most of the other metal bits and buckles for the WS costume. I bought his 2nd generation prototype.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well at least I was right about using the fore arm strap. Dstengler's BBB design has a slot where you could slide a pin attached to the shield into. That's what I'll attempt when I get it in.
  7. RPF Premium Member
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    Mar 8, 2014, 11:58 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #7

    Angelus Lupus is correct, it's movie magic. In reality, just as they did in TFA, the shield he puts on his back is a light weight magnetic shield, that is also smaller in diameter and slightly flatter. Then the shields on his back when he's moving are similar light weight, smaller and flatter shields that are permanently attached to his harness. Sometimes the one he puts on his back is actually just a cgi shield when he's seen in motion putting the shield on his back or grabbing off his back. For my personal shield that I made for myself, I made the forearm strap quickly adjustable to be able to slip the strap over a shoulder. Works great.
  8. Fizbin's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2014, 1:01 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #8

    In the comics (back in the day) he put his arms through the forearm straps and kind of wore the shield like you would a common backpack. Not that this method actually works in the real world, but that's what he did.
  9. mudget's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2014, 6:58 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #9

    drake, when you receive the BBB can you let us know how you fared with attached the shield to the harness via the screw method? I'm wondering if it will be largely dependent on the shape of the shield. I can't recall if he mentioned where to affix the screw onto the shield itself to slot in?

    drakeprimeone said: View Post
    BBB = Big Back Buckle, the silver buckle that links the shoulder straps together on the back. Dstengler has a sales thread selling that along with most of the other metal bits and buckles for the WS costume. I bought his 2nd generation prototype.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well at least I was right about using the fore arm strap. Dstengler's BBB design has a slot where you could slide a pin attached to the shield into. That's what I'll attempt when I get it in.
    We've been brainstorming this too, and one of the ideas was to utilise the extra straps that serve no real purpose on the shield to clip around the shoulder straps on the harness. One of my main concerns is that the weight of the shield is going to drag the harness down...
  10. drakeprimeone's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2014, 7:11 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #10

    mudget said: View Post
    drake, when you receive the BBB can you let us know how you fared with attached the shield to the harness via the screw method? I'm wondering if it will be largely dependent on the shape of the shield. I can't recall if he mentioned where to affix the screw onto the shield itself to slot in?



    We've been brainstorming this too, and one of the ideas was to utilise the extra straps that serve no real purpose on the shield to clip around the shoulder straps on the harness. One of my main concerns is that the weight of the shield is going to drag the harness down...
    Besides my spun aluminum shield I also have a stunt shield made after the saucer sled design. The brackets are specifically reenforced to handle me running with it. I opted to bolt the star through the shield and the brackets are attached using the same bolts. I will try attaching it via the forearm strap or somewhere near the ring between the inner and outer straps.

    The trick will be not only finding a place on the shield that can support the weight of it hanging but also be at the correct height so it falls on the back where it should.
  11. Member Since
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    Mar 10, 2014, 8:06 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #11

    i am going to try to bust open an old speaker maybe from goodwill and see if the magnet will attach it

    - - - Updated - - -

    sorry I have a steel one and even the aluminum ones I would you a magnet on the back and the shield
  12. drakeprimeone's Avatar
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    Mar 13, 2014, 10:12 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #12

    Ok so here is my report on shield mounting. I want to apologize in advance for the large pics and bathroom selfies. I received dstengler's BBB Mk II in the mail yesterday and I must say it is quality work. Those of you who are buying his newest version along with his buckle kit will be receiving quality stuff!


    I went ahead and rigged up a nylon shoulder strap harness. Not movie accurate but did the job. Note the slot in the top middle of the buckle.



    The goal was to attach a peg (long bolt / Chicago Screw) to the shield at some point so that it will then slide into the slot and in effect attach the shield to my back. The trick is finding a place that will not only be sturdy enough to hold the shield but also be at the appropriate height on my back, and hopefully inconspicuous. My first attempt was with my modified saucer sled shield. The only real difference are the brackets are attached to the star so the left bracket is a fatter than normal. That being said the brackets and screws themselves are proportional to the standard brackets most of us use or replicate.
    I opted to replace one of the bolts nearest to my hand strap



    I can say that it takes practice to line up the shield yourself... takes a few trys. Ultimately it works. It feels sturdy enough for general movement and falls where it needs to. Because it is on a singular peg it does swing side to side a bit but I would call it a success



    For those of you with spun aluminum shields or standard brackets I recommend replacing the screw illustrated here. IMO it will most likely be the sturdiest part of your bracket system at the appropriate height.



    Airsoft and other similar light weight shields should yield the best results. Full spun aluminum and other heavy shields will work as well depending on how well your brackets are secured. Your mileage may vary.
  13. pew pew RPF Premium Member Kevin Gossett's Avatar
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    Mar 13, 2014, 10:47 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #13

    I was curious to see how this would work in the real world. Looks good!
  14. mudget's Avatar
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    Mar 14, 2014, 12:35 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #14

    Thanks so much for sharing, Drake! Very useful to know. I suspect that even with some swinging movement it's not going to slip out of the groove, and it's an option that will provide some relief from holding it, as well as for photo opps. Cheers!
  15. Fly4v's Avatar
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    Mar 14, 2014, 6:46 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #15

    Simple and functional, Bravo!
  16. Member Since
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    Mar 14, 2014, 7:22 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #16

    In reading this (and not having a shield mind you), one thought that jumps to mind is, perhaps you could make the "peg" by slipping a machine bolt of appropriate size over a nylon sleeve, but with a head or washer of the bolt larger than the width of the slot...so that contact at the slot is made between nylon and steel? Just a thought.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. akuzihs's Avatar
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    Mar 14, 2014, 7:56 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #17

    rare earth magnet
  18. third3ye's Avatar
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    Mar 14, 2014, 4:30 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #18

    In the movies it's supposed to be a magnet, probably built into the star-shaped buckle.

    For what they actually use on set, I have no clue, but I presume they have a removable shield rig that clips onto the actor's back, and this version of the shield is only used for those shots (different from a hero shield). Now that you guys mention it, I don't recall him ever holstering his shield on his back in Avengers, probably b/c the suit wasn't designed for it. The star buckle probably plays a key role in securing the shield.

    Earth magnets won't work, don't even bother.

    I like the rig that drakeprimeone put together above btw, pretty clever design.

    For my aluminum shield, I use velcro elastic cinch straps secured onto the shield's leather handles. Obviously for a TFA costume you'll see the straps around my shoulders but I don't mind, rather have it secure. I walked around the house like this and it felt pretty secure. I haven't trooped a full day with this yet but will be doing so at WonderCon this year.
  19. Member Since
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    Mar 15, 2014, 8:39 AM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #19

    Darkprimeone, great pics, thanks, finally see the light. I have a heavy aluminum shield and still have to put the brackets on. Im hoping I find someone with some decent welding skill to attatch them. I tried using jb weld and that so did not work. Thanks for pics of the BBB MKII, looks like a great piece of work.
  20. HaNDiCaPZaCH's Avatar
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    Mar 19, 2014, 8:18 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #20

    I use magnets for mine so far and they work great. My shield isn't very heavy (plastic) so i guess that's the catch with magnets. As far as the concave interfering with it, I haven't had any problems so far. I actually use two magnets,one for my arm and one for my back. The upper forearm strap of the shield is replaced with a piece of metal to attract the magnetClick image for larger version. 

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    I am thinking of of putting an angled strip of aluminium on the shield to keep the metal plate flat against my back and arm Click image for larger version. 

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    but i'll have to play with the idea a bit.

    A strong magnet is a great way to go for many reasons, the best being speed and ease of use. My magnet completely replaces the upper arm strap so when putting it on I really only have to aim for one strap (hand strap) and the magnet attaches by it self. Also if the shield is thrown to me, i can catch it by the front handle end and throw it on very fast (with practice of course).

    By keeping the magnet on my body, I keep the weight of the shield down for things like the elevator scene (TWS trailer) when he kicks the shield and catches it (also takes practice but totally worth it).

    I hope my rambling helps
  21. Member Since
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    5 Days Ago  Oct 25, 2014, 11:25 PM - Re: How does Captain America's Shield stay on his back? #21

    so... I was looking through some pics on google of cap to get a close up of the leather strapping used on the holster for the shield and came across this video from the filming of Avengers 2 and it shows the film crew putting on and taking off the shield from Chris' back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgm1Q7EVpGE

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