My $250 "Bucky Rescue" Captain America


Well-Known Member
Hey guys,

I didn't think I'd have the time or money to put together a decent costume this year, but while browsing the Goodwill store a week ago, I found a great deal on a leather jacket and I decided I'd see how cheaply I could put together a "Bucky Rescue" Captain America.

I haven't finished gathering all the elements of the costume, but this is what I've got so far:


From the Goodwill store -
Leather jacket: $20
Blue long sleeve t-shirt: $2





From Army Barracks -
Dirty boots: $10
Steel pot helmet w/ liner and chinstrap: $25
Cartridge Belt: $18
French leather holster: $7?
Colt .45 cap gun + caps: $4
Cargo pants: $20


From Walmart -
Tan leather "Stanley" work gloves: $9


From Hobby Lobby -
Thick white satin fabric for the star on the shirt: $2

I also purchased some Montana Gold acrylic spraypaint that I found at Blick art supply, in "shock red", "shock white", and "magic blue". That was a little more expensive than standard spraypaint at $8 a can, but I knew exactly what shades I'd be getting with that, and I was curious about it since I've never seen it before.

Unfortunately I discovered after purchasing everything that the captain's cartridge belt, pants, and gloves are brown, but I don't think I'd have been able to find a cheap brown cartridge belt, and it would probably look silly to have OD webbing with brown pants and gloves.

But I'm not trying to go for super accuracy here anyway. I just want someone who watched the movie to recognize me as the character, and for that I really only need the leather jacket, blue shirt, blue helmet, and shield.

Regarding the shield, I'm still up in the air on whether I will make my own out of two sheets of 1/4" plywood glued together and bent, or if I will purchase a premade wood or steel heater shield and paint it. I'll probably go for one of the metal ones though since I don't have a lot of time, and a metal shield would be lighter and cooler than a wooden one. It is the most expensive option, but the final cost of the costume even with that should still be under $200.

I'll post more pics as I go.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I purchased a pair of these the other day:

$8. I'll be replacing the elastic band with a white one so they'll be closer to the ones in the film.
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New Member
Re: My < $200 "Bucky Rescue" Captain America

This was my Favorite costume overall cant wait to see it when its finished


Active Member
Re: My < $200 "Bucky Rescue" Captain America

Agreed! Great budget build. I wanted to do something very similar, but can't seem to find a leather jacket that makes me happy.

Can't wait to see pics of all the pieces together!


Well-Known Member
Changed the thread title to reflect the new total.

I'm still trying to do this on the cheap, but I'm also pressed for time, so I decided to go with the more expensive shield, and rather than make a bunch of trips out to the local army surplus stores to look for cheap merchandise I decided to go for what I could find on ebay. It would have cost me $50 in gas to drive all over the place anyway. :)

Here's the latest items I picked up off ebay:

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

Steel heater shield w/ handle - $56


I will probably leave the shape as is, but I will paint the back silver. I could replace the straps with leather, but I probably won't have time.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

1945 suspenders. Slightly inaccurate, but the rest of my webbing is the wrong color anyway and they were 1/3 the cost of most 1943 / 1936 suspenders - $20


eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

Canvas belt pouches - also known as an ammo pouch, shotgun shell pouch, or rifle sight pouch. Needed two of these for the suspenders across Cap's chest. I hope they're not as grey as they appear in the image! - $13



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Purchased WWII style notched dog tags - $9

Line 3:: O-7041920 T4243 A
Line 4::


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Received the canvas pouches yesterday. They were better than expected, and should match the suspenders nicely:


Since the hooks on the back were made to attach to the holes in a pistol belt what I will probably end up doing is cutting two slits in the back so I can thread the suspenders through them. I never did find any pouches which looked like they were made to be affixed to the suspenders. Friction should keep mine from slipping down, but I don't know how the real pouches would stay on with no attachment points on the suspenders.

I've also been beating up on the gloves. Here's how they looked originally:


And here they are after [strike]punching out Adolf Hitler over 200 times[/strike] removing the labels, rubbing coffee on them, wetting and drying them three times, twisting and flexing them, rubbing them together, and roughing them up a bit around the knuckles and palms with a copper brillo pad:



Not sure I'd use the coffee if I did it again, but the brillo pad worked nicely, and they're really soft now, and conform better to my fingers.


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My shield arrived today!



The good:
It's pretty close to the same size as the one in the film. It's got a nice heft. It feels solid, and not at all flimsy. The front is nice and flat so I won't have to do much before painting it.

The bad:
The armband is kinda crappy. Unless tension is on it the hooks that fit in the slots simply fall out. And the handle is simply a tube with a long bolt through the center. The hole through the tube is much larger than the bolt, so the handle flops around a bit, and the bolt is too long to tighten down the angle brackets enough to force it to stay in place. The edge of the shield near the corners also needs some work. The front is rounded there while the bands taper to a point, so either some filling or filing is in order.

Overall, it's perfect for my needs though. The slots which do a poor job of holding the strap in place will be perfect for threading a leather belt through to replace it. And the handle should be easy enough to fix. I will probably spray the angle brackets silver like I plan to do to the back of the shield, and then I will wrap the handle in leather. Or I will replace the handle with a dowel wrapped in leather. It would be easier to attach leather to a dowel. I could use small nails or glue.


New Member
Interesting. I am working on my shield now and I considered the same one you bought, on eBay and it's good to know the details about it. I am thinking about buying a wooden one, right now.


Well-Known Member
Was out shopping today for leather belts which might work for the shield strap, when it occurred to me that a dog collar might be better suited. So I checked out the local pet stores and sure enough there were several leather dog collars which were basically short brown leather straps which wouldn't even need to be cut to the right length as a belt would. So that's an option I'm considering. They were kinda pricey but I think I can probably find a deal online.

Not sure yet if I should just thread a collar through the slots on the shield though, or if I should custom make something which snaps at each end so there is only one thickness of leather. Might be hard to get snaps into leather this thick. Gonna need to take another look at the shield in the movie and see if I can see how the leather straps are attached there and see if I can emulate that.

Also moving into a new apartment tomorrow, so I'll be able to paint the shield and helmet in a few days.


Well-Known Member
Purchased some brown shoe polish the other day, and went to work on that ugly yellow holster.

Here's what it looked like originally:

And here's how it looked after five coats of polish:


Unfortunately, decided to try the polish on my gloves as well and that didn't work out nearly as well. While the polish got into the cracks of the holster and darkened them right up, it mostly clung to the raised areas of the gloves which looked wrong. In addition, anywhere I'd scuffed the leather up, instead of turning brown it took on an orange hue. The end result was one ruined pair of gloves. Lesson learned I guess. I'll have to head back to Walmart tomorrow to pick up a new pair and start the weathering process all over again.


Another snag I hit is that I moved back to Manchester, NH at the end of September, and my goggles either never showed up or were returned to sender by the storage facility I was using. My dog tags also went missing because I had them shipped under my name to my friend's apartment and the front desk decided to return them.

Thankfully, the guy that shipped me the dog tags is shipping me a new pair free of charge, and the goggles getting lost may have not been all bad since though I lost $10 in the deal, I found another pair of goggles on Ebay which were a little more accurate for $5 more. Hopefully the dog tags will arrive today or tomorrow, and the goggles in another few days. Then I can get to work modifying the goggles to be more accurate.

The last bit of progress I have to report is I also started weathering my jacket this evening.

The first thing I did was take some rubbing alcohol to it,. I'd read here that that will remove the shine from a new jacket. The effect was subtle, perhaps owing to the jacket being used in the first place, but it definitely knocked down the shine a bit.

After that, I took some black shoe polish and started rubbing that in. That took quite a while, even after the puck of polish broke and I grabbed a chunk and just rubbed it directly on the jacket, then used a cloth to wipe away the excess. The polish worked pretty well, and it definitely darkened the jacket up.

The last step was to rough the jacket up with sandpaper. I started out with a fine grit, but that wasn't doing a whole lot, so I moved up to the roughest paper I had and really went to town on the thing. After a half hour I still wouldn't call the jacket beat to hell, but it's nicely roughed up now. I haven't decided yet if I will tear holes in it or not, or what else I might do to it, but it looks a lot cooler now at least.

Have to wait till morning to post some pictures of that though. Camera phone can't adequately capture it, so I'll switch to my Canon.
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