Captain America Heater Shield Build from Worbla and Craft Foam

I wanted to make a easy to carry, lightweight shield for my WWII Captain America costume. I have seen several of these done using a metal medieval shield as a base, and that was going to be too big and heavy to carry around all night. So I made one from craft foam and Worbla.

WWII Captain America Costume with Shield

Materials needed:

  1. Large sheet of Worbla, which I sell in my shop: http://3musesboutique.com/collections/worbla
  2. One large sheet of craft foam, which you can find at any craft store. I used black and about 3/4 inch thick. I wanted something substantial enough to hold the straps.
  3. Elastic, needle and thread for straps
  4. Glue
  5. Heat Gun for Worbla
  6. Large sheet of paper
  7. Some kind of primer, either spray or Gesso
  8. Sandpaper
  9. Red, White and Blue spray paint
  10. Painters tape
  11. Scissors
  12. Utility Knife

Steps:

  1. Draw your design out on paper and cut it out, same with the craft foam but use a utility knife

2) Next up create holes and add the elastic straps, then cover with paper.

3) Now time to trace, cut and apply the Worbla

4) Next comes the long boring process of preparing the Worbla surface. I used several layers of Gesso and a sander. I applied the coats with a big paint brush until I couldn’t see the Worbla texture anymore, then went at it with the sander until smooth. I then repeated the process until I had a nice smooth even surface.

Apply Gesso to Worbla

5) Once your surface is ready then it’s time to paint! I started with a white base and then added the blue and then the red.

6) Peel off all the tape and you should have something that looks like this!

Captain America Heater Shield

Easy Tutorial for 3-D Tattoos, Scars, Tears and Skin Art

Cry for Dawn cosplay

Cry for Dawn

Super easy tutorial for 3-D designs you can apply to skin.
I wanted to tears for my Dawn costume to really stand out, so I made them with dimensional paint! You can also make 3-D tattoos, scars and any kind of skin art this way.
1) All you need is saran wrap, Tulip dimensional paint and your design printed out if you aren’t doing it freehand
2) If you are doing an intricate design, tape your printed or drawn design on something like a small box or piece of cardboard then cover it with the plastic wrap
3) Trace your design with the dimensional paint. Go slow and make sure your lines are nice and thick. You can use any color as long as the bottle says “dimensional.” I always use Tulip brand, which can be found almost anywhere- JoAnn’s, Michaels, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, etc.
4) Let dry overnight and peel off when ready to use
5) Apply to skin with spirit gum and just peel off when you are done! Design can be reused if you stick it back on any kind of plastic surface

First try using Worbla to make a DC Bombshell Supergirl “S” Plate

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl

Last month I made a costume based on the new DC Bombshell Supergirl statue. My first attempt at the “S” plate was made with craft foam, but riveting it to the leather belt proved to be too much and the corners got crushed. I needed a stronger material so I figured this would be a good time to test out Worbla. I’d been hearing great things about this thermoplastic and seeing some amazing creations, so I order a large sheet online, but we now also sell it in the shop: Three Muses Worbla

Supergirl plate first attempt

Supergirl plate first attempt

The Worbla comes rolled up and is a little hard to work with in that state, so first I lightly heated it to make it flat. At this point I was using a hair dryer for heating. It seemed to be taking WAY longer than those easy breezy tutorials I had watched. Also, my dryer kept shutting itself off when it got too hot. I finally managed to get it flat enough to trace my pattern and then cut it out with an Exacto knife and scissors.

Tracing pattern

Tracing pattern

Cutting out pieces
Cutting out pieces

The curve in it actually worked for my design because I needed it to curve against my body when on. But you can see it didn’t exactly get flat with a hair dryer. Since I was moving on to the heating portion of things, it was time to bring in the big guns. The heat gun to be exact.

I first tried it on a test piece, which is the weird wobbly looking thing to the right of the plate. It started getting wiggly looking if it got too hot. But it stuck to the other piece really easily with a secure hold. Heating it up slowly and steadily seemed to be the best method to make it pliable without warping it too much. I didn’t really get the hang of seeing the color “change from caramel to light brown” like the tutorial on the website says. There was a lot of guessing involved. But attaching it was really easy, smooth and quick.

Worbla attached to form plate

Worbla attached to form plate, test piece on right

Next up I started sanding to make it smooth. So I sanded, and sanded, and sanded my little heart out with fine grade sand paper and it still looked rough. I read about covering it with gesso and then sanding it smooth, but all I had handy was resin and I’m impatient. Resin it is! I did 3 coats of resin, letting each one dry for a couple hours and decided a bit of texture was just fine with me. I was tired of sanding and ready to get started painting.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

All the tutorials recommend using acrylics, but I just had spray paint and fabric paint so I was determined to make that work. The gold parts were done with spray paint in a cup, which happens to be a favorite technique of mine for getting a nice metallic appearance. The dark part is the first coat of paint, which is Tulip fabric paint in red and black mixed together. It took about 3 layers of paint to get it nice and solid.

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

Worbla Plate vs. Foam Plate

I am happy to say that the Worbla held up really well when riveted to the belt and was much more solid than the attempt with the craft foam. I was doing a pretty easy piece, but it still was not as easy to work with as I thought it would be. My next project after this was a full chestplate and that required a lot of heating, messing up and re-doing.  It is a material that definitely requires a lot of practice to get just right. The good thing is that is can be reheated when you mess up. I saved every little scrap for future projects and hope to get the hang of it a little better. The Supergirl belt was a success and I’m glad I went the extra step and made it out of something solid and long lasting.

DC Bombshell Supergirl

DC Bombshell Supergirl