Quick 'n' Easy Cap Shield from ThinkGeek backpack

Discussion in 'Marvel Costumes and Props' started by paxtoprime94, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    So long story short I already made my own shield a few years ago the hard way with an MH saucer sled and absolutely love it, but didn't have the need to use it for cosplaying until now. Work and school have got me busy so I don't have alot of time to work on sewing my Batman Beyond suit anymore, but I still want something cool for conventions and Halloween so I went ahead and bought a Cap suit from the internet. Already got the shield so I'm all set right? Well....

    The problem with my shield is it's a bit heavy and the clear coat gets scuffed easily, so I'm saving it only for special occasions, and I needed a lighter alternative. We all know the Rubie's Halloween prop shield is garbage so I didn't want that one. Then it hit me: the ThinkGeek shield backpack:
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    If you've never seen it, the shield portion is a hard durable plastic. Nowhere near as thick as my MH sled shield but still decent. The diameter measures 18" so a little small but I'm 5'6" 130 lbs so I think it works great with my proportions. Found it at Gamestop for $20. They also have a battle-damaged one that looks cool but the price on that one is steeper while the paintjob looks alot cheaper
     
  2. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    Your first step is going to be to gut the backpack and get the shield off. The outer seam of the pack along with the zipper are sewn onto the edge of the shield.

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    Simply pull the threading out with a seamripper and you'll have your shield free of the rest of it. (I plan on saving the other parts of the backpack for various other purposes).
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    The back of the shield has a polyester fabric layer glued into the rim, with a foam insert inside between it and the plastic. I'm not super worried about being screen accurate on the back side so I'm just leaving it there. I think it probably looks cleaner like that than if it were removed anyway.
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    Mike J. likes this.
  3. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    The main problem with this one is that the sewing during production has left small holes in the outer rim of the plastic (which quite frankly, is impressive. Industrial sewing machines must be absolute mechanical beasts in order to punch through that thing). Each hole is raised due to how the needle must have gone through, which makes the outer rim look and feel rough/bumpy.
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    To solve this you can just sand it down. The plastic seems to be red all the way through so discoloration isn't much of an issue. I started with 150 grit and went all the way up to wet-sanding with 600 grit.
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    The result is very nice, smooth, and even. The rim may have a bit of a different finish now, more satin/matte than the rest, but you'll barely even be able to notice it. As you can see in this pic, it's visually still a bit polka-dotted from those holes though. It is at this point that a perfectionist may want to consider doing some body work and repainting, or trimming the rim off completely, etc. I don't think it's a big deal though and I'm fine with just leaving it as is
     
  4. maffhewdc

    maffhewdc Sr Member

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    That actually looks pretty good. Way better than the Rubies. Could you post a pic of it being held? I'm nearly the same height as you and I'd like to see if it'd work good for me :)
     
  5. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    After spraying it with some Goo Gone to get off leftover adhesive residue from multiple previous price stickers, and giving it a good soapy wash, it's looking pretty great. I'll update again when I figure out how I'm going to do the arm straps on the back; I'm waiting to start that step until my suit comes in the mail so I can see what the harness is like and how I want to attach the shield to it. For comparison, here's a picture of it next to my (very slightly battle damaged) 25" MH saucer sled shield:
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    I think the paintjob on this one is awesome, it lacks a "spun metal" look but has a high-gloss finish . The silver is very metallic, the blue and red have a small hint of metallic in them. The shades of the colors are the same that you find on most standard MCU cap merchandise; I painted my sled shield in somewhat dark/muted shades to fit in with the on-screen aesthetic of Age of Ultron and Civil War, but as you can tell this one's a little more vibrant. However, in the right lighting the colors do look nice and deep.

    By the way I've uploaded images on all of these posts, I can see them so I think they're okay but let me know if they're not displaying

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah give me a sec
     
  6. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    Alright sorry that was more than a sec haha, had to take care of something real quick. Anyway, one pic holding it in front, two pics holding it on my back, for size reference
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    maffhewdc likes this.
  7. maffhewdc

    maffhewdc Sr Member

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    It's all good man. It looks great, I'll definitely get one of these when I see it. Thanks!
     
    paxtoprime94 likes this.
  8. paxtoprime94

    paxtoprime94 Member

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    No problem dude, happy to help!
     

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