My $250 "Bucky Rescue" Captain America

sswift

Active Member
Finished painting the front of the shield white today. What a pain in the ass. Paint kept spraying droplets all over it, either due to the nozzle having paint on it or due to the wind. Had to sand droplets off several times and repaint those areas. Doesn't need to be too perfect since I will likely weather it once I'm done, but I wanted a good base for the red and blue. Haven't decided if I will do a gloss coat over the flat paints once I'm done. Not sure if the shield in the film is flat or glossy.

Also masked off the A on the helmet, which was made difficult because the helmet appears to have been badly dented at some point and repaired, so it was hard to find the center of the front, but once I decided on placement things went smoothly and I just finished painting that on there. Gonna wait till its dry to remove the tape, though I'm not sure if that's proper procedure or not.

Also got another pair of goggles in the mail today. No, I didn't order another set to replace the ones I'd screwed up. And it's not the set I ordered originally which never arrived.

Paypal put my friend's address in when I bought the second set of goggles. I'd been staying with him a couple weeks so I had the shield and some stuff shipped there. I noticed this immediately after I ordered them, and sent the seller a note about it with the correct address, and in the morning I got a note that the goggles were ready to ship... to his address. Then I got a note saying they got my note and would ship to the right place. Then I got another note saying they'd shipped... to his address. So I didn't know what the heck was going on, but when I got the goggles I assumed they went to the right address. Well my friend came by today with a package that arrived at his place and it was a second set of the same goggles. And I was only charged once, so... free goggles. :) I'm not gonna screw this pair up like I did the last set though. I may put em up in the Junkyard.
 

sswift

Active Member
Peeled the masking tape off the helmet. All of it, including the stuff protecting the straps from paint. Not gonna touch this again until I apply fuller's earth. The A came out great!

Originally my intent was to stripe masking tape across the region where the A would be and then use a razor to cut the shape out. But I realized I could do 90% of the outline just by laying strips along the edges of my template. I then cut out the base of the A and the hole with the razor.

I'll post some photos later today.

I painted the insert as well as the helmet, because the paint on it was cracked and flaking off. I couldn't tell what color it was in the film, so I just assumed it was olive, and after first painting the shell black to see how that looked I hit it with the olive which came out nice and dark.
 

sswift

Active Member
Got some new photos for ya.

So here's the star I cut out of the satin fabric. I've decided it would be too difficult to sew this and have purchased some craft foam instead. I think the craft foam will be more accurate anyway, in some parts of the film the star appears to be made of some thick material:



And here are the goggles and helmet:




I'm not happy with the look of the foam on the goggles and I think the ones in the film are olive drab or tan anyway, so I'm gonna replace that with the craft foam as well, but first I'll do a test and see if the olive drab paint I have will eat the foam or not. Then I'll have to decide if I'm gonna try to glue the foam to the goggles again or sew it on. I can already tell cutting the right shape out for the eye holes is gonna be a pain in the ass.

And finally, here's the helmet with the A painted on:



Came out pretty nice. Shame the helmet is so dented though. I still like the blue color even if it's not accurate. I think it'll look better in photos. I may keep the craft foam white for the same reason. It's hard to decide.

And just for comparison, here's what those goggles looked like originally:
 

sswift

Active Member
Got my dog tags today. Woo! First pair got lost in the mail, second pair took forever to arrive.




They were custom made, so I chose the text on the tags. They're similar but not identical to a real WWII tag. For example, the third line would be where I've placed "Captain America" and rather than his hometown, the bottom of the tag would list the name and residence of his next of kin.

The serial number starts with O- because he is an officer. The rest of the serial number makes up his date of birth: 07/04/1920. The guy that made he tags removed the trailing 0, to leave a space between T42 43 which are the years of his tetanus shots. The A is his blood type. And the C down in the lower right is his religion, Catholic, which is the most likely as he was of Irish descent.
 

BobbyS95

Well-Known Member
Got my dog tags today. Woo! First pair got lost in the mail, second pair took forever to arrive.




They were custom made, so I chose the text on the tags. They're similar but not identical to a real WWII tag. For example, the third line would be where I've placed "Captain America" and rather than his hometown, the bottom of the tag would list the name and residence of his next of kin.

The serial number starts with O- because he is an officer. The rest of the serial number makes up his date of birth: 07/04/1920. The guy that made he tags removed the trailing 0, to leave a space between T42 43 which are the years of his tetanus shots. The A is his blood type. And the C down in the lower right is his religion, Catholic, which is the most likely as he was of Irish descent.
Those are amazing. I'm going to order myself a pair right now.
 

sswift

Active Member
Red paint has been applied to the shield. Dark blue paint won't arrive till tomorrow, and it will be raining, so I'll have to wait till thursday to finish painting it.

Still trying to find a damned belt or collar which will work for the back of the shield. The slot is 1" wide and narrow, so the collar I found didn't work due to not fitting through the slots. And it's hard to find cheap brown leather belts that are 1" wide. Walmart didn't have any suitable ones, nor did TJ Maxx. I've been to the Goodwill several times and they keep getting new belts but no luck there so far.
 

sswift

Active Member



I don't know how but red paint got under the newspaper, so I'll have to respray some of the top with white before I apply the blue on thursday. There were also a couple spots where the masking tape wasn't down firmly enough but they're not major enough to concern myself with, since I'm gonna be weathering this quite a bit. That chrome paint on the back is a ***** to keep from getting smudges all over it btw. Even the masking tape caused an area to lose its luster where it adhered to the back. Oh well, like I said I'm gonna be weathering it.

Found another lead on the leather strap situation this evening. Boy's belts are narrower than men's belts. Probably thinner too. If I can find some leather ones locally, they'll most likely be 1" wide like I need.

If that fails... I may end up having to buy some leather strap and dye it. But that would be an expensive solution. The other option is to take one from the goodwill which is good enough and cut it down with a razor. But then the buckle may be useless.
 

sswift

Active Member
Got the blue paint today. It's darker than I was hoping for. Bought some blue krylon for comparison, and painted a few things with the new paint, the krylon, and the blue I used for the helmet. The krylon ended up being a glossy version of the helmet color. Maybe slightly darker, but not enough to really notice. And hitting it with flat doesn't really give it the same matte as the Montana Gold.

I went back to the film to compare with the colors there, then did some more tests. This time, I decided to see how the paint would look under flash. The new blue paint looked great under flash, while the blue for the helmet was obviously much too bright for the shield. I've seen some shots of a blue which I believe is between the two under flash and while it looks more like the film, it also looks a bit odd with such a bright blue for the flag.

In the end, I've decided that while I might go with a lighter blue if I were purchasing the paint again, because in person, without flash, it would look better, I think I can live with the darker blue which looks a little dark in person (but a lot lighter than the official sheild that sells for $1000) but good under flash, given the alternative is to spend another $16 on a single can of paint and wait another week for it to arrive. Even if I could find a krylon or rustoleum in the right shade of blue, I'm afraid how it will react being painted over the Montana, and that even after being sprayed with matte finish, it wouldn't match the matte of the red and white.

So, tomorrow when it stops raining, I'll finish painting the shield, and post pics. Gonna see if I can settle on a belt at the goodwill to use as well.
 

sswift

Active Member
Just put the final coat of blue on my shield. I noticed the blue which appeared too dark under indoor lighting and on a heavily overcast day looks quite a bit lighter today now that it's sunny. I won't know for sure till I peel off the masking, but I think I'm gonna be pretty happy with how it turned out.

Also weathered my cargo pants and cartridge belt. For those, hit them with a high grit sandpaper, then I took some black fabric dye, mixed it with some water, and took a paintbrush and paper towels and went to town, going back over them several times to darken them sufficiently. I then applied fuller's earth to both by putting some in a sock and patting it over them and rubbing the dust in.

On the pants I paid special attention to darkening up the lower legs, and around the side of one of the leg pockets where the pants seemed especially dirty in the film. And when sanding them I paid special attention to the knees and seat. And when dusting them I applied extra around the lower legs, knees and seat.

I'll post some new pics tonight.
 

The Saint

New Member
Nice Job So Far, I like this area of Marvel Hero Icons, Im a WWII Living History Guy,& History Buff Right down to the Little detail, The New Cap. Movie was Perfect. So If you need any Ideas for correct display,or even if your looking for items,etc.... Please Contact me, Im here to help everybody out. Im sure Im going to need some one day!!!!!
Really Email me if you have any questions on old WWII Era Items, and so on........Good Luck Friend!

"The Saint"
 

sswift

Active Member
And here's the latest pics:




I can't say the weathering on the pants turned out awesome. I think I need some larger stains.



The el-cheapo cartridge belt made in China distressed nicely though. Partly due to the olive drab dye being so lightly applied that minor scuffing lightened it significantly revealing the white cotton beneath.




And here's the shield. I'm gonna feel bad when I have to weather it since it came out so nice. I'm not gonna get too attached to it though since it is only a cheap steel shield which has been poorly welded and the chrome paint on the back keeps rubbing off on my hands no matter how many times I wipe it down with a wet rag.

I am happy with the way the blue turned out. I might have gone a shade lighter if I had it to do again, but it's not nearly so dark as I was afraid it was going to be.
 

VariablePenguin

Well-Known Member
Lookin' good sswift! I just have to paint the blue on my shield. Having a bugger of a time getting my stars right though. I might have to make some new templates for them.
 

THEMAN

Well-Known Member
ssw - I'm curious why you are putting so much effort into the specific "correct" blue colors on the shield, but when it comes to the pants and web belt rigging you are getting these inaccurate offshoots?
I am not knocking your build and am sure the costume will look awesome anyway, but since all the actual gear used for the movie is available and inexpensive I was just wondering why you would source this other stuff...
 

sswift

Active Member
Heh, well I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I probably could have saved myself $16 and just used the same blue I used for the shield, but if I was gonna put so much work into painting it and fixing the straps, I wanted to at least be a color I was happy with.

but since all the actual gear used for the movie is available and inexpensive
Inexpensive?

Replicas of the original goggles go for $250:
WWII AN-6530 Pilot and Aircrew Goggles Reproduction | eBay

Suspenders: $50
M1943 Suspender

Boots, I would assume run around $150 if what the paratrooper boots I bought for my Ghostbusters getup is any indication.

Catridge belt: $250
WWII Tan Web Cartridge Belt and Pouch | eBay

Cheaper ones can be found, but if I'm gonna spend a lot of money on it, I want it to be the same brown color as the one in the film. The cheap reproductions I've seen are all light tan or olive drab. Maybe you could dye the tan ones brown, but it would be an expensive mistake if it didn't work, and you'd have to dye suspenders to match.

The correct paratrooper pants are also expensive. And I never did find a proper chin strap.

Oh, and the most important thing I almost forgot, the leather jacket. How much do those go for? $500?

Doing an accurate Cap, you're not gonna get away with spending less than $1500. I've spent less than $300.
 

sswift

Active Member
You know, I think the reason I care so much about the blue I use for the shield and not whether the rest of the costume is terribly accurate is because the shield is the most important part of the costume, and it's the part I've had to put the most work into. The shield required four coats of paint with a lot of stenciling and careful measurements taken in photoshop, and I had to replace the strap and handle with custom ones I made myself.

The shield is really the only part of the costume I can really say I made, other than the goggles which have been almost completely rebuilt, and who's gonna care about those?
 

THEMAN

Well-Known Member
Man for those kinds of prices I could not have got my outfit together. I outlined a lot of places to get the correct stuff in my thread... Economy Cartridge belts can be had for $35, correct repro goggles are only $150, Para boots $119, correct suspenders $25 BIN ebay, correct 82nd reinforced para pants $75...
On the coloring, you are already weathering stuff anyway so a 30 second bath in a couple gallons of hot water with some dark brown Rit dye takes care of all the webbing/belt coloring at one time.
I see all the effort you put into the shield and helmet, so just thought if you had a little more help finding the other stuff you could really get this thing going.
 

sswift

Active Member
On the coloring, you are already weathering stuff anyway so a 30 second bath in a couple gallons of hot water with some dark brown Rit dye takes care of all the webbing/belt coloring at one time.
You gotta be careful dyeing stuff. Rit dye won't dye synthetic fabrics well. If your suspenders are made from nylon while your cartridge belt is made of cotton, the suspenders may not take any dye at all. Or worse, parts of the suspenders might turn brown while other parts remain OD.

And even if you don't end up with mismatched colors or stuff that won't take dye, getting a shade of brown that looks good, and authentic is another matter entirely. You'd have to do quite a bit of experimentation to find the right amount of red to add to your green to get the proper shade of brown. And what works for one shade of green might not work well for another.

I've dyed stuff with Rit before, when I made my ghostbuters outfit. All I was trying to do there was make the suit a little more grey like the film and I ended up dyeing and stripping it three times and ended up spending around $20 on dye as a result.

Also, I really am working on a budget here. I didn't want to go over $200, and you're talking about $150 goggles, $119 boots, $25 suspenders, and $75 pants. That's $369 alone. Now add a $55 shield, $25 helmet, and $32 in paint, and you're up to $481.

And I haven't even included the cost of the jacket. By my calculations you've spent around $1200 on your outfit.

Nothing wrong with that mind you; I spent over $1500 on my Ghostbusters getup. But I don't have that kinda money to spend this year, so I went for the cheapest possible stuff which was close enough that your average joe wouldn't know the difference.
 

sswift

Active Member
I finished the strap and handle for the shield!






Got lucky with the belt. Finally found one at the goodwill which was the right color to match the swatch of leather I bought for the handle, and the right thickness to pass through the slots. It was still too wide, and I think it's a synthetic leather and so not as strong as real leather would be (it's laminated in three layers), but it really looks the part and so far it seems to be holding up. Also, I lucked out in that even though it didn't have a buckle I could use, there are hooks on the back side which allow me to adjust the length. At the shortest length it's just a little too tight on my arm and I can adjust it to be quite loose if I wish.

The handle is a dowel, which I stretched leather around and then stapled on the back side. Unfortunately, the threads I made inside the dowel don't seem to be good enough and the screw on the top is a bit loose. But I'll be fixing that by purchasing some brass threaded inserts.
 

VariablePenguin

Well-Known Member
Ooo! I like your strap! That is a great find.

I'm all with you on being economical on the costume build. I did spend the money on the jacket (PS, it's more :lol ), but that I intend on wearing all the time anyway so it was well worth it.
 
Top