Introduction: Yet Another Captain America Shield.. for Pretty Cheap.

Picture of Yet Another Captain America Shield.. for Pretty Cheap.

It's hard to believe that one of my first Instructables was in 2011 and it was the WWII Captain America shield created from the back of a damaged theater seat.

And, like many others, after watching the Winter Soldier, I wanted to complete my shield collection with a proper round shield.

How to do that, without spending a lot of money on a cool spun aluminum shield, like some prop makers have done?

Step 1: Research!

Picture of Research!

Another Instructable member, Trans4mation, created a pretty neat shield… as did a few people on the Real Prop Forum. So we took some inspiration and went from there.

Step 2: Materials! Tools!

Picture of Materials! Tools!


MH round sled. $32 bucks on Amazon, free delivery with Amazon Prime

JB Weld

Duplicolor Metalcast Paint in red and blue

Black enamel paint

Rustoleum orange paint

Rustoleum aluminum paint


Assorted brushes and sandpaper

Matte board stock

Two "leather" belts from Kmart

Anchor nuts and screws and assorted washers.

Painters tape and newspaper.


Exacto knife


Drill to drill through metal ruler

Metal ruler

400 grit sandpaper

Leather punch

Lazy susan type thingy

Step 3: The Bodywork!

Picture of The Bodywork!

The sled comes with two nylon webbed handles and a couple of nuts and screws. Remove those, fill the holes with JB Weld, let it dry and then sand it smooth.

My trick for creating the grooves in the surface of the shield was to drill holes through a metal ruler at the right dimensions.

The inner circle is 10" so there's a hole at the 5" location. Each ring is 2.75 inches after that. The disc is aprox 27" round so I adjusted slightly so each ring is proportional. The hole I drilled in the metal ruler allows for the shaft of a ball end Dremel bit to fit through, but not the ball. The ruler, being made out of steel, wasn't cut by the ball end bit.

Bolting the ruler to the center of the dish, I was able to just move around in a circle, creating nice grooves.

I also have access to a nice lazy susan type of thing, often used for working with clay. Made things real easy for spinning the disk.

Then I spun the disk and held 400 grit sandpaper to the surface. This scratched the surface enough so that when I painted it with the aluminum spray paint, it looked like spun aluminum.

Step 4: The Handles!

Picture of The Handles!


Don't mean to yell, but I know it's not a hero prop from the film. I used JB Weld to glue the nuts to the disk, then paper to approximate where I wanted the supports, cut the supports out of matte board. (Someone else's amazing spun aluminum disk for reference) and then I cut, punched and screwed the leather to the shield. The matte board is held in place with double sided tape and the screws from the leather straps.

I know, I did not sand off the MH from the sled manufacturer. I was tired. and it really didn't bother me.

Step 5: The Paintwork!

Picture of The Paintwork!

The body work is done, things are relatively smooth time to mask off and paint.

I used Frog tape, because that's what I had from another project and it was still good. The grooves are going to eventually get gunked up but I was still as careful as possible, using an Exacto knife to get a crisp line.

Blue first, the Metalcast® paint was amazing. Let that dry fully. Mask off for the red.

Now you may be asking.. what about the star?

Step 6: The Star!

Picture of The Star!

The star I also cut out of matte board. I then scored it with the Exacto knife to create the engraving, then painted the whole thing silver.

I glued it to the shield using JBWeld again. Taped it down, let it dry over night.

Step 7: Battle Damage!

Picture of Battle Damage!

Ok, we're talking Winter Soldier here, it's too pretty.

Spraying some of the aluminum paint into a plastic lid, I then take a terry cloth towel, dip it into the paint, and brush it on the shield. Hitting several points as if a bullet had grazed it.

Step 8: More Gack!

Picture of More Gack!

This is my formula for grime. Black enamel paint, a healthy shot of orange spray paint, and add some water. Yep, water.

Wipe it on the shield from the center out. We're going to make a mess here so don't wear your Sunday finest on mom's rug.

Let the mixture dry a bit, wipe on some more.

Let the whole thing dry.



Jedi_zombie85 (author)2016-04-17

Finally got around to doing mine, cheers for the info mate worked out better than I expected

jkoro (author)Jedi_zombie852016-06-02

That looks great! What kind of black enamel paint did you use that works with plastic?

monkeywork (author)jkoro2016-06-08

any enamel will work after you prime the plastic. Since it's sticking to the paint, not the plastic. So prime first.

monkeywork (author)Jedi_zombie852016-04-18

That looks fantastic! Well done!

Jedi_zombie85 (author)monkeywork2016-04-19

Cheers mate, I took a massive risk on this with the way I did it lol, just had some spare black car paint I sprayed into the cap and used an old rag to drag it outwards ( was a great tip by the way )

as for the added silver shine I had a metallic silver marker that was pretty much useless but the ink on a cotton bud really worked making the "deflections" seem metallic and also ran it around in odd places in the grooves to make them look worn do to the metal.

Cheers for the guidance and feedback

jkoro (author)2016-06-02

That looks great! What kind of black enamel paint did you use that works with plastic? Is this what you were talking about?

jkoro (author)2016-06-02

That looks great! What kind of black enamel paint did you use that works with plastic?

WestonCurran (author)2016-02-16

Thats amazingly cool, so if its 25 inches is their a way for me to cut it down to at least 20? I'm quite short almost 5 foot lol I know, thanks!

monkeywork (author)WestonCurran2016-02-16

one of great things about making your own props is making them to fit you. It was very freeing to realize that every Jedi had to build their own lightsaber. Which meant I could design my prop for me, and not have to be screen accurate to anything in particular. Same with this shield, make it fit you. You wouldn't build an Iron Man outfit that didn't fit right?

Cut it to size, and post the results!

Jedi_zombie85 (author)2015-12-31

Seriously cool dude, looking to find one of these in the UK but they are £90 even on amazon, will have to continue the hunt,

monkeywork (author)Jedi_zombie852016-01-12

£90!? Ouch. Will the factory ship it to you for less?

Jedi_zombie85 (author)monkeywork2016-01-14

yea tell me about it, have seen some cheap ones for £5-£10 but would have to buy 2 and cut them up and fill in the gaps for the handles or use filler.

Either way will deffo give this a go

Arduino_Tutorials (author)2016-01-01

it looks verry verry good

Thank you!

Haunted Spider made it! (author)2015-12-31

I made the shield last year for Christmas as a gift to a nephew. He didn't want the battle damage so I left it off. The shield came out great for my first attempt. I found out a few things. First Bondo works nice but there is a better product. Apoxie scupt is way better. It bonds to the plastic great, sands better, can be smoothed easier and has hours of work time. Once dry (in 24 hours) it is harder than the bondo by far and way less grainy.

Second, don't mix paint manufacturers. I put on the duplicolor system to get the colors I wanted. They were flawless. I topped it with a high end dupont clear coat designed for cars. It was 18 a can. It ate the previous paint, through 7 layers. You can see in the second picture that I touched it and it went to the base layer covering the plastic. Be wary of using separate manufacturers for paint, even rustoleum / duplicolor can react if they change the propellant in one or the other. It made for alot of rework. Luckily Amazon sells duplicolor in all the shades needed including the clear coat.

Thanks for the instructable. It helps immensely to pull of the gift.

OUTSTANDING! I've had people ask me to make shields for them, so far I've resisted, but for a nephew? That would totally rock!

mchau2 (author)Haunted Spider2016-01-02

Cool work! Loving the packaging too.

trans4mation (author)2014-05-29

Very nice Monkeywork, great minds think alike. I was going to add battle damage to my own shield, but it was so shiny and I didn't have the willpower to do it. But now that I see it, it really pays off. I'm so happy to see your rendition! Best regards!

monkeywork (author)trans4mation2014-05-29

Thank you! Battle damage also covers some bodywork sins..


Nothing like some makeup to hide a flaw.

mchau2 (author)monkeywork2016-01-02

the damage battle adds up a lot to the successful look of the Shield! I was wondering how to make those paintjob so realistic.

primeauxmey3 (author)2016-01-02

My kid really want it

mchau2 (author)primeauxmey32016-01-02

i really want it too

Sparximus (author)2015-08-20

So, I just came across this, and your design looks AWESOME!! I am trying to use a plastic Cap shield that I bought off of amazon as a visual prop/illustration, but the plastic is way flimsier than I anticipated. Someone suggested using bondo on the inside of the shield to give it some more weight & support. I'll be using it from a stage, so I really want it to look like it has some decent fill to it. The shield is 24" wide, and the plastic already isn't super thick. I attached a photo of it for a better idea of what I'm talking about. Do you think bondo would do what I need? If so, how thick should I layer it on the inside, and what mixing ratio should I use for it? (I've never used the stuff before, and have no idea how it's all supposed to work). Thanks for any ideas!!

NicholasB33 (author)Sparximus2015-12-02

Fiberglass the inside (: extremely sturdy

monkeywork (author)Sparximus2015-08-21

Hmmm. I think that shield is to flexible for Bondo. It would chip and fall out quickly. What I would do is cut a small piece of thin plywood, something that would fit where the star and handles are, and then mix up some epoxy to glue it into place. The handles could then be moved to the plywood, the epoxy would fill the gaps and give you some weight.

This shield looks like it would be perfect for some battle damage paintwork!

Sparximus (author)monkeywork2015-08-21

Thanks for the advice. I have a pretty quick turn around time (by Sunday), and im not all too handy with tools, but that gives me a better idea of how to reinforce it. Thanks!!

AlexF27 made it! (author)2015-10-05

Awesome tutorial and thanks for the help! I ended up making two and they both came out great. The stars are a little wonky, I couldnt get the sizing to match the center circle exactly. None the less I'm stoked to bring this to Comic Con this year. Thanks again for awesome tutorial

monkeywork (author)AlexF272015-10-05

those look badass! Well done!

AyliK (author)2015-09-16

Hi there monkeywork,

shield (which is amazing!) has inspired me to attempt it, but I'm a bit
stuck on the paint - sorry for the deluge of questions... 1) Does the
primer have to be a specific colour like white or grey to get the
red/blue that spectacularly bright? 2) Do you recommend the silver to be
Rust-Oleum or did you just happen to have it? Why not use Dupli-color
silver? 3) Was the light coat of clear you mention in one of the
comments a sealer and what kind would you recommend?

Sorry again
for all the questions, but since I have almost none of this stuff it's a
bit of an investment so I'd like to get it right (or pretty close)
first try. :) Thanks!!

monkeywork (author)AyliK 2015-09-16

1. The primer doesn't matter, I use an automotive sandable primer, figure it's good enough for bumpers, it will work on this. You're going to coat the entire thing in metalic silver anyway.
2. I'm not cheap. I'm thrifty. I use the spray metalic because it's what I have and what's at the hardware store. Dupli-Color should work just fine if it has some metal flake in it. The metalic has a nice sheen verses a flat silver.
3. a sealer yes. Since all my paints are enamel, I'd stick with an enamel clear satin. Just a light coat to seal in the battle damage when done, so you don't fear wiping the dust off as it hands on the wall.

Can't wait to see it!

AyliK (author)monkeywork2015-09-16

Wow - thanks for answering so quickly & in such detail! If I don't screw this up royally I will definitely be posting pics ;)

monkeywork (author)AyliK 2015-09-16

Bah, what's to screw up? if it looks funky, sand it down and try again. That's the fun of building things. The second time, things look even better.

monkeywork (author)monkeywork2015-09-16

Just a thought, I seem to remember that a dark primer makes the metalic paint pop a little more... it may be true, I generally use a gray primer.

AlexF27 (author)2015-09-14

Hey, in a previous build I used a steel saucer sled. After sanding the original paint off and priming, I sprayed the Rustolium silver, after letting it dry for 2 days it dusted off when I dragged my fingers across it. Have you had this problem, or any advice on how to avoid it?

monkeywork (author)AlexF272015-09-14

I haven't had that problem at all. What kind of primer did you use?

I tend to use an automotive primer or zinc etch primer on steel, then give a light sanding to give the paint color some tooth to stick too.

AlexF27 (author)monkeywork2015-09-14

I used Rostoleum professional primer in flat grey.

I sanded lightly, then sliver followed by blue. I used frog tape to mask but it didnt pull up any of the silver, only the blue ontop of the silver. It was odd.

monkeywork (author)AlexF272015-09-16

did you scuff the silver before painting? Also, you want to pull the tape before the blue paint dries.

the_classy_man127 (author)2015-05-29

Nice! How much in all did it cost?

Hmm. The tools I had, basic shop hobby stuff.

The sled was $32
dollars, the paint $18, the leather belts were $12 I think. The body
filler I had from other projects, and the paper for the star was scrap
from a picture frame. There were a few assorted nuts and screws, no more
than $5.00.

So totaled, $67 dollars.

And some spare time...

Thanks! I'm heading out to Colorado in a few days and I plan on getting the supplies ready and bringing them out there to do this! Ill be there for a month so that should be enough time! Overall, this is my favorite way to make the shield! Thank you!

Haunted Spider (author)2014-07-11

It looks like you coated the whole surface with something. Bondo? Just curious what that step was for. I am hoping to create this in the next few months for a nephew.

the surface was primed, with sandable primer, the only Bondo or filler was where the holes for the handles in the original sled were, very little.

CaptainTexas (author)2015-05-05

About how much do you mix of each for the gack?

monkeywork (author)CaptainTexas2015-05-06

it's not really a precise thing. The base is the acrylic black, with a splash of water to thin it out to a coffee consistency. Then a spray shot or two of the orange or brown for rust, and then I added a shot of white for dust and sand.

Use a paper cup, the styrofoam cup I used didn't last long before the spray paint ate through it.

sylveonce (author)2015-05-03

Hi, I want to make a similar shield for a different costume (not Captain America). Can you explain how the straps work? I just want the bare minimum that will make the shield functional so I can wear it on my arm and back; I don't need it to look nice or similar to the movie prop. Thank you for the tutorial and your help!

monkeywork (author)sylveonce2015-05-04


First check out my other instructable:

What you'll find for the most durable hand straps is to drill all the way through the shield and use either carriage bolts or t-nuts to secure the strap to the shield material.

With my first captain shield, that's what I did, and I could use the thing for battle. The arm straps are secure, and I use a belt through those arm straps to hang it over my shoulder. (Same with my Scottish Targ shield.)

The round shield uses the epoxy and strapping to maintain good strap security, but that's because I didn't want to puncture the surface of the shield and create more bodywork.

robertplumb123 (author)2015-04-26

Would you mind linking the sled from amazon please, I can find it...

I'll do you one better. Here's the company directly. You can order online.


Thank you so much :) great tutorial btw :)

r8rson25 (author)2014-12-06

hey monkeywork. I was wondering if the sled you used was painted blue or if the actual color of the plastic was blue. thanks ahead of time and great tutorial.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an actor/tech/IT/graphics/editor/writer kind of guy. I do a fair share of voice over work and have the full ... More »
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