Custom Made Captain America Helmet

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Introduction: Custom Made Captain America Helmet

Like many others out there, I decided I wanted to make my own Captain America helmet. I actually did this for Halloween, and have been wearing it to comic conventions for a while now, so it's actually DONE! Also, a little bit of history... I'd previously purchased a Disguise Deluxe Captain America First Avenger Costume. When it arrived, I was thoroughly disappointed with the entire costume, but specifically the mask! So with my small amount of knowledge, I decided I wanted to make a helmet as a means of taking the costume to the NEXT LEVEL...

Step 1: So, It Begins...

I began by researching on the helmet. Finding out what it looked like from all angles. Even though I did this research and it's based on actual images, I took creative liberties and made it my own design. So let me say this, my helmet is NOT a 100% ACCURATE COPY. I did many things the way I wanted to, or the best way I could (with my limited skill set), and NOT necessarily how they appear in the photos of the actual helmet. With that, I then created a shopping list and purchased the materials I felt I needed...

Step 2: Shopping List

  1. Captain America Half Mask from Target (or where ever you can find them for purchase)
  2. Child or Youth Skateboard Helmet (These typically have a smoother finish than bike helmets)
  3. Liquid Nails and Gorilla Glue (I used BOTH at different points to bond, seal, and fill gaps as I put the two pieces together)
  4. Blue Dupli-Color Automotive Grade Spray Paint (as close of a match to the blue of my costume as possible)
  5. White Primer Spray Paint (to even out the colors between the blue mask and the black helmet)
  6. Testors 1/4 oz bottle of brown brush paint (for leather accent pieces made into the mask mold)
  7. Testors 1/4 oz bottle of Aluminum brush paint (for clips and etc on the chin strap)
  8. White 3M Opaque Vinyl (option for applying the "A" and wings graphics)
  9. Blue Automotive Interior Trim Panel Striping (for the two ridge lines that run from front to back)
  10. Leather Strap & Various Leather Pieces (ear flaps and chin strap)
  11. Brown Shoe Polish (to even out the leather colors and cover any exposed glue/adhesive)
  12. Sand Paper, Paint Brushes, Thinner, Scissors, X-acto, etc (as needed)

Step 3: In the Middle, FABRICATION

Once I had everything I needed to start, I cut the rubber eye cushion out from the inside of the face mask. Cutting these support posts out was one of the more difficult portions of the project, but honestly the hardest part of the ENTIRE project was removing the dense foam padding from out of the inside of the FREAKING skateboard helmet! That one step nearly made me give up on the ENTIRE project! My advice is to just exercise LOTS of patience, and allow LOTS of time... I should point out that I left the elastic strap attached to the face mask for quite a while. As it was helpful in holding the mask and helmet together while fitting and bonding.

I estimated where I needed to cut the front lobe out of the skateboard helmet, and test fitted the mask over it. I did this a few times, only taking a slight bit off each time. This allowed me to "sneak up" on just the right size without going too far.

Once I had everything placed where I wanted and all was prepped, I spent countless hours bonding, gluing, and sanding until I had the finish looking as damn near perfect and smooth as I could. At that point, I sprayed the entire helmet primer white, then sanded it down again. I then used a computer graphics program to draw and print the graphics I could use to create stencils of the "A" and wings. That way they could be reversed out of the blue top coat (as the white primer would be exposed through he blue). I applied an even coat of the automotive blue. Once dry, I removed the stencils and realized that the blue had bled badly under and pretty much ruined the white graphics of the "A" and the wings. At this point, I decided to reprint them and stencil them onto white vinyl and cut them out. I basically made custom stickers out of them. I applied these over the previous white painted graphics. I then proceeded to paint the areas of the mask with the Testors brown that were molded to appear as leather.

To dress up the helmet dome and to also serve as a means of additional structural support, I applied the blue automotive trim as the ridges from front to back. I also inserted the original costume mask inside the helmet, making a cushioned liner inside. The strap from the original mask went under the jaw, which was NOT preferred. So, I cut it off and created a new strap and chin cup out of actual leather. I attached the strap to the rivets (which I had the foresight NOT to remove) that were the attachments for the original nylon strap of the skateboard helmet. I also used leather to customize the ear flaps of the liner mask, and to make them look more AUTHENTIC (I alternated between the smooth and the rough sides of the leather when I created my pattern). FYI, I didn't stitch the leather. I glued it all on the backsides, and along the edges to seal them. I then used the shoe polish to even out the leather colors, and to hide any exposed adhesive/glue. I stenciled off all the graphics and applied a final top coat of the automotive blue spray.

I then prepped the chin strap, and sanded and painted the original strap clips with the Testors aluminum paint.

Step 4: At Last! Final Helmet...

Finished helmet with a couple of different costumes...

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37 Comments

Love the suit, and the helmet. Great tips to make a custom one.

Im in the process of trying to make one, and am wondering how to get the size of the skateboard helmet just right. You mention cutting the front lobe, but with what? It seems like a hard material to cut.

Also where did you get the automotive interior trim panel? It seems like something very specific an automotive store would not have.

Thanks!

I used a small hand saw to cut the helmet, but a dremel or some kind of small power saw might do the job just as well. Just be sure to secure it snugly with a vice or some similar device.

I got the automotive trim from Pep Boys. You can find it online too. In fact, I researched it online, found it, then found out where it was sold. AutoZone had it, but only in red. That's when I tried Pep Boys. They had lots of colors but for obvious reasons I specifically wanted blue.

Hey I was just wondering if you could give a few steps on how you made the First Avenger costume. Thanks!

I can tell you that my version of the "First Avenger suit", which I call the "Super Soldier suit", has been an evolution. It's my own take on the "First Avenger suit", and a more modern look than the movie. It's been my favorite of my Cap'n suits, so I've been hesitant of doing an Instructable on it.

It started off as an off the shelf suit, "Disguise's Deluxe First Avenger" suit. Honestly, it was a piece of crap! Basically a jumpsuit that zipped up the back. So, I cut off everything from below the chest (blue to white transition). I even took the zipper out of the back and the original strapping off of the front of the shirt. I bought my own pants (originally blue track style pants without any markings or logos). I've since upgraded to a pair of snowboard/rain gear pants. The pair I found is a dead on match in color for the blue upper shirt. There was however, a HUGE logo on the leg! So, I covered it with a Cap'n shield patch. You can really use whatever pants you like the best.

I made my own utility belt/holster and shoulder harness. The shoulder harness is a lifting harness that I found at Lowes/Home Depot. I connected the red straps, which are just suspenders cut to the appropriate length, with quick links. You can find those at Lowes/Home Depot as well. I use the clips from the suspenders to attach the harness to my utility belt/waistband. The utility belt is black webbing and inexpensive cell phone/camera pouches. The holster was on clearance at Wal-Mart.

The plastic elbow pads and knee pads are exactly that. I looked for blue ones, but that can be difficult. So, I painted them to match my helmet color. The plastic forearm guards are soccer shin guards that I painted the same red as my shield. I looked for the plainest ones that I could find. That way, there wouldn't be any names or logos that I'd need to conceal.

As far as boots go, maybe consider Palladium high top boots with a leather cuff topper. They are really comfortable! I used to wear them with this suit (I'm wearing them with the Stealth suit and my new Age of Ultron suit), but I changed to the custom red boots that I made for my Avengers suit. They were originally very sloppy! So, I bonded the boot covers to a pair of black rubber rain boots using Loctite for vinyl. I painted the fabric on the back half of the boot covers with red and maroon acrylic to match the latex front half.

For gloves, I bought football receiver gloves. Under armor makes some great ones. I bought a pair of brown Under Armor gloves for the retro look, but I've switched to the Under Armor Cap'n themed gloves that I'm currently using. These were kind of expensive, but they've held up well.

Once you've read through all of this, let me now if you have any questions. also, you can follow me on my "Captain America Nashville" Facebook page. I've got TONS of photos of all of my suits on there. All the best!

Ok you probably answered this in there and I'm just to dense to understand but how do you fill in the gaps from inside the skate board helmet? That's the only thing I'm having trouble with

Hey Harmony! Which gaps are you referring to? If it's where the mask and the helmet meet, I used gorilla glue and liquid nails both inside and out. I did lots of sanding to smooth the out side. I didn't worry too much about smoothing the inside. Plus, I've since put a liner inside the helmet that conceals all of the seams and such. If you're referring to the vent holes, then I didn't fill them in. However you could use epoxy putty to do that. You can buy a tube at Home Depot/Lowe's. It'll just require sanding to get it smooth. I hope that helps but if it didn't, please don't hesitate to let me know. Good luck!

hey i was wondering what size helmet to use i was gonna try this for my hawkeye costume cause i really liked the way yours came out i just dont know which size to get how did you figure it out?

I used a child sized skateboard helmet. Because I knew once I removed the thick foam lining, it would fit me better.

dont they come in different sizes at the child level?

Hello!

I love how you made the helmet man. Big Captain America fan!! :). In march I'm having my first Comic Con in the netherlands and I'm cosplaying as Cap himself. I wanna try to create the helmet and tehn I found you instructions.
I was just wondering, could I do it without remiving the inside of the mask and foam of the helmet? (so simply attach the mask to the helmet with the glue and spray it over in blue).
Thanx! :)