Intro: Captain America: Winter Soldier - Stealth Suit Build
As Captain America has a different suit per movie, I'd created different costumes for myself. I'd already worn the Avengers Captain America Costume (mostly store bought), and my Super Soldier Captain America Costume (mostly custom) a few times each. So I decided I wanted to make a Stealth Suit Captain America Costume (nearly all custom) Similar to the one in the Winter Soldier movie.
Step 1: Research...
I always start with research. This helps me decide how to pursue a particular build, and even helps me to figure out what materials I may need. I often make a "style sheet", so I can view the proposed design from every angle (if possible). With this build, I decided that I wanted to reuse my Custom Helmet I'd already created for my Super Soldier suit (see my Instructable on building the helmet). Seeing as the graphics on the helmet were white (not silver like the movie), that meant I wanted my suit graphics to be white too. I did, however, prefer the graphics layout from the movie version over the comic version (the star with circle just seemed TOO oversized to me). With all that in mind, I knew this wouldn't be EITHER movie accurate or comics accurate, but a combination of BOTH.
I should also mention that I'd be reusing my customized shield too (I'll do an Instructable on this if needed).
Step 2: Materials...
I thought a good base for this suit would be a navy blue flight suit, so I started there and added the other pieces as needed...
- Navy Blue Flight Suit (ordered off of Amazon.com)
- Brown Leather Gloves (Under Armor Badge was removed, ALSO reused from Super Soldier suit)
- Palladium Brown Leather High Top Boots (They have a military look to them, but are QUITE comfortable)
- Skateboard Pad Set (Specifically wanted black and blue)
- Knee Pads (Wanted them simple)
- Soccer Shin Guards (Will use them as forearm guards)
- Various Buckles and Clips (Fashion Belt Buckle, Plastic Clips, Carabiners, Quck Links, Overall Clips)
- Black Nylon Belting/Webbing (Used for straps and etc)
- White Craft Foam (Used for chest and shoulder graphics)
- American Flag and SHIELD Patches (Military grade for shoulders)
- Blue Automotive Spray Paint (For knee pads, elbow pads, forearm guards)
- Loctite for Vinyl (to adhere craft foam to chest piece)
- Fabri-Tac Glue (to adhere any items that aren't sewn or stitched down)
- Leather Strapping (for utility belt and shoulder harness)
- Belt from Disgusie Deluxe First Avenger Costume (Disassembled and used pieces in both belt and harness)
- Blue Fabric for Over Shirt (to match flight suit as close as possible)
- Red Fabric (for striping down legs)
- Velcro, thread, X-acto, Hand Drill, etc. (Any additional items required to assemble everything)
Step 3: The Over Shirt, Graphics and Straps...
I sketched out my idea to help convey what I wanted to a seamstress friend that was helping me (MANY THANKS!!!) She created the over shirt based off of a t-shirt I gave her as a template (I sketched in short sleeves, but these were eliminated from the over shirt). Once ready, we fitted it over the flight suit, and tacked on the straps across the stomach of the suit. AGAIN, THIS NOT MOVIE ACCURATE. The thought is that he straps, clips, carabiners, and over shirt would help to DISGUISE the zipper of the flight suit and make it appear more as a tactical suit. If you use this strapping, be sure to FLAME the ends and edges or it'll continually fray. The vertical straps were cut and stitched from the same blue fabric as the over shirt. I added the overall clips and the strap sliders to be able to connect the shirt to the utility belt, and adjust slack as needed. The vertical straps add some vertical lines to the suit as well.
Meanwhile, I produced the chest graphics in a computer design program, and printed out the paper templates. I spray mounted the templates to the craft foam sheets. Using a straight edge and x-acto knife, I carefully cut them all out. You'll notice that the two chest graphics drawings are slightly different from each other, these separate layers are meant to give the graphics some dimension when glued together.
I then used Fabric-Tac and Loctite for Vinyl to adhere them to the shirt so that no stitching would be required or show (this is still an issue and stitching MAY be required to attach them).
I also used the Fabric-Tac (and some Loctite) to glue the red striping from the waist, down the legs, to just above the knees. This can be sewn on IF you have THAT skill.
Step 4: Utility Belt and Shoulder Harness...
CAREFULLY disassembling the utility belt from the Deluxe Disguse First Avenger costume (pictured above), the leather belt strapping (measured to size), three sets of buckles, quick links, flat head screws and nuts (as I wanted my belt and harness hardware to show), I assembled BOTH the utility belt (including the salvaged pouches) and the shoulder harness. AGAIN, NOT AUTHENTIC. I pre-drilled the holes with a hand drill, inserted the screws and finished with nuts, and used the Loctite to glue where needed.
FYI, The photo of the belt is PRIOR to installing the anchor buttons for the overall strap clips. You can see them in some of the final images later in this Instructable.
Step 5: Painting Pads of ALL Kinds...
I painted all of the pads and guards with the automotive blue. Being sure to lightly sand and clean first, and to take my time when applying thin/even coats. Also, the rubberized logo on the knee pads wouldn't hold paint (and were near impossible to remove). So, I glued them with Loctite, overlayed a pieces of aluminum foil, and THEN painted them. Made the difference.
Step 6: Test Fit...
I test fitted the suit with the half shirt and graphics. I then added the gloves and the boots. Satisfied with the results, I added the forearm guards, knee and elbow pads, utility belt, shoulder harness, and even the helmet. NOTE: The shoulder graphics were NOT installed in these pictures. These were pre-glued, and attached to the flight suit shoulders while I was wearing the half shirt, so that they could be aligned with the chest graphics. At this point, I decided to eliminate some of the smaller "fiddly" shoulder pieces. FYI, both the flag and SHIELD logo/icon are attached with the Velcro that they were supplied with.
Step 7: Test Drive...
Happy with the results, I took the suit for a test drive at a comic con (pictured above). Though I only wore it for a couple of hours, I received LOTS of positive comments, and it was VERY comfortable to wear.
NOTE: There continues to be some MINOR issues with separation of the chest and shoulder graphics from the suit, but it's nothing that touch up with the glue can't solve. Again, I have considered stitching them in all of the corners to prevent this further...
If you need ANY additional information, or details, or pictures, then let me know. I'll do my best to help out!
Also, due to how dark the fabric is, I'd HIGHLY suggest taking a lint brush/roller with you any time you plan to wear the suit. as the suit picks up EVERY bit of lint and dust around!