Captain America Shield from used satellite dish

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Picture of Captain America Shield from used satellite dish
side shield.JPG
I had been wanting to make a Captain America shield for some time, but had a hard time finding a suitable item to make it from. I originally tried using an old plastic sled, but it gave me all sorts of grief. The type of plastic would not take paint very well (not even Krylon Fusion for plastics), or any type of adhesive that I tried.

I eventually came across a used satellite dish, and with a little bit of modifying this turned out to the be best option for a Captain America shield.

If you are interested in making one of these, you may have to do a bit of searching and asking to find a used satellite dish. I've seen them show up at thrift stores from time to time. Keep your eyes open, and you should be able to find one.

I have a separate instructable on how to make a flyable version out of cardboard and duct tape, which you can check out here: Flying Captain America Shield.

Thanks for looking!
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Step 1: Disassemble the dish

Picture of Disassemble the dish
I began this project by disassembling the dish and components. Some of the nuts and bolts were kept and used later on to attach the handles.

Step 2: Draw circle

Picture of Draw circle
The satellite dish was an oval shape, and Captain America's shield is a round concave disk.

I was worried that a circle cut from the oval-shaped dish would look warped. But once it was cut out, the circle looked perfectly fine.

I eyeballed where the center of the dish was and put down three or four pieces of masking tape, which provided a place for the needle of my homemade compass to bite. I then drew as large a circle as would fit within the back lip of the dish.
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seamster (author)  prestonhines10 days ago

Nice work! I see you even added some battle damage. Very cool!

Yeah, then after that I added more that was a bit more noticeable!

prestonhines made it!12 days ago

WOW, what an incredible instructables! I'm 14 and had the easiest time working on this. I'll upload more when it's completely drying. You and Indy moguls channel on YouTube, (who referred me to you) really helped! I love you SEAMSTER!!!

seamster (author)  prestonhines10 days ago

Thanks! I'm flattered. Glad you found this useful and were able to make your own! Your friends will all be jealous of your cool shield.

Keep on making stuff. It's good for you! :)

How did you find the exact middle of the shield? I'm making one but every time I try to trace the stripes on, one side is 1 inch and the other 2 when I'm trying to make it 2 1/2.

seamster (author)  prestonhines13 days ago
Prior to cutting out the circle shield from the satellite, I measured from the sides to find the rough middle point and stamped it with a nail set. This mark becomes the center point and is used as a reference for all the steps.

okay thanks!

TheHowtoGuy12 days ago
fcrawford41 month ago

how long did it take you to make it

seamster (author)  fcrawford41 month ago
I think I made this over a weekend. It really didn't take too long, but there is a lot of waiting for paint to dry between each step.
MrShade2 months ago

I noticed when I cut my dish it is a bit flexable. Did you solve that issue or just go with it

seamster (author)  MrShade2 months ago
Yep, I noticed that too. I just went with it.
thejackson8 months ago
Hey what colors did you use (don't say red white and blue) is there a specific shade ?

Great work cant wait to start mine .

seamster (author)  thejackson8 months ago
For the base coat of white, I would highly recommend using an epoxy spray paint, like "appliance" paint in gloss white. It will give a durable base coat that will stick better to the original finish on the dish than basic spray paint.

For the red and blue, use Krylon spray Banner Red, and True Blue. Good luck!
apacheinferno9 months ago
Nicely done! What sized dish did you use?
seamster (author)  apacheinferno9 months ago
I'm not really sure, but the finished shield was about 20" in diameter.
cdog5571 year ago
It sure helps when it hails
afreeland1 year ago
Have been wanting to make one of these for awhile and finally got some time to do so =) ... I am a software developer and thought it would be fun to wear this to work one day, everyone got a kick out of it. My Gramps and I made this together, so got to spend a lot of fun quality time with him as well =).

We made a few modifications to the original instructable...we actually used a riveter so we could have smooth and seamless shield. We drilled the hole, riveted the dish and leather belt together, pounded rivets in, bondo, sanded, finishing putty, sanded...and then painted.

Painting was a semi irritating, most chrome paints are non-porous..found out the hard way when the red paint peeled =(. After sanding it back down went and got some chrome engine enamel and it worked well. Before I was able to put clear coat on it I had it sitting on our kitchen table and we have one of those automatic spray dispenser...3 days of getting sprayed misted down on it, the chrome paint on the star rubbed off a little...have to go back and redo. I will post additional photos with more views..wanted to make sure I finally posted something before I forgot.

Excellent instructable !!

gfoster41 year ago
Great step by step process. Now to fine a satellite dish ASAP
Oh! I see now. You didn't go through the shield you just epoxied the bolt heads to the back...but will that take the stress of daily use? I'm making it for a friend to use during paintball. Is it strong enough?
Mine's held up fine, although nobody's shooting things at me. If you prep the surfaces well (very clean, dry, and appropriately roughened up), an epoxy bond should be very durable.

If in doubt though, you could put the bolts through the shield. If the main purpose is to actually use it as a shield, you may want to go that route just to make sure it's going to last. Good luck, let me know how it turns out!
Everybody wants to be Cap. America ;)
How did you hide the bolt heads on the visible painted side of the shield? I'm making one and its looking pretty good but I really don't want the bolts to show on that side. How did you do it? Oh an I'm a huge admirer of your work! Think I'm going to try and make a Legend Of Zelda Hylain Shield next!
They are epoxied to the back side of the shield, rather than bolted through. I covered this in steps 4, 5, 6 and 7. Good luck on yours! Post a picture when you're done if you get the chance.
jdignum1 year ago
does anyone know how big the satellite dish is?
seamster (author)  jdignum1 year ago
The finished size was about 22 inches.
PixieBeck1 year ago
Hot Dog I was going to use mine to make a bird bath using mosaic tiles. I think I'm still going to make my bird bath and using Mosaic tiles I'm just going to adjust it to look like Captain America's Shield for my son's 7th birthday in July. Thank You for a wonderful idea.
davjohns1 year ago
I did one of these a few years ago with an aluminum blank I ordered online. This was before the movies came out and everyone started liking this classic character. I like the way you did the paint. It came out much better than mine. I've been planning to revisit the shield and get the paint right. You've given me a fine plan. Thanks. David
seamster (author)  davjohns1 year ago
Thank you for the comment. Good luck on yours!
ble121 year ago
Here is my finished, not what i pictured it, but not bad for something i don't usually do. I am still proud of what i accomplished.
ble121 year ago
I bolted mine too. Only advice is to use a drill bit to make the holes then you can spin the leather strap on the inside of the shield to get the belt on. Otherwise it will be too hard to push the strap through the screw/bolt.
ble121 year ago
Here is my star stencil. I did a 9.5cm full length by 3.5cm short length. I found the center and drew 9.5cm out from the center with a compass i made with paper. The 5 lines I used was 72' degree part since 360' divide by 5(star points). I am good with math, but lack motor skills. This i did quite well, but would need another shot at another shield before i perfect my craftsmanship. I have attached diagram to show everyone what i mean with the star stencil.

I did it on paper first and see how it look before i transfer the same on the shield.

ble12 ble121 year ago
Here is the side by side comparison. Next photo with have a zoom up of the star dimensions.
ble12 ble121 year ago
Star dimension details.
ble121 year ago
My mistake was using normal printer paper to help cover the red/white part of the shield. After 2 coats of blue paint the paint went through the paper and was stuck on. I had to use a brush and brush as much of the paper/blue paint off the red painted area. Afterwards, I had to repaint the red.
ble121 year ago
This is where the skills comes in. If you can use an exacto knife well you can get near perfect circles, if you can't then it will look a bit off. It will also, scratch the shield but, with 2-3 coats of paint you should cover the scratch. Make sure you do 2 coats and make sure you have the tape on tip as bleeding will happen if you don't.
ble121 year ago
I used mask and in an mainly open area. Try not to do it in a garage. Makes sure you cover the background with cardboad of course unless you want stains.
ble121 year ago
I find this the most important step. If you don't get circle the look of your shield will be off, being not circle. Make sure you make a good compass to give you those perfect circles.
ble121 year ago
Also, i fine that you need to put more on the inside as there won't be enough surface area that touches the shield. My JB weld holes actually fell out as it was too thin near the edge. So, i did it a 2nd time where I had to put extra on the inside of the shield to create more grip.
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