If you’re the kind of person who dressed up as Captain America for the premiere of Captain America: Civil War, you might have appeared with your very own patriotic shield. But did your shield boomerang back to your arm after your movie theater lobby fight scene? James Hobson went the extra mile to create an electromagnetic shield that bounces back to attach to the wearer’s arm, just the way Steve Rogers’ shield does in those epic Captain America moments.
Hobson calls himself the Hacksmith, and he lives up to his reputation as a maker and tinkerer with this new Captain America creation, which is a pretty impressive piece of hardware. Steve Rogers has the benefit of super strength to ease the force of a hunk of vibranium ricocheting back to his arm each time he launches it at his enemies. But since Hobson didn’t get a dose of super soldier serum in the 1940s, his 30-pound shield actually had to start with some arm and elbow padding.
With his arm protected by shin and knee pads, Hobson set to work on the shield itself. After constructing the handle for the shield’s bracer (complete with a power button), Hobson attached a set of industrial electromagnets (that he opted to buy from Amazon instead of coiling his own microwave transformer magnets). The shield is powered with three lithium polymer battery packs that you can also buy commercially.
Although Hobson’s shield is made from aluminum — the local hardware store must have run out of vibranium that day — the electromagnets and batteries alone helped bring the shield’s weight up to about 30 pounds. Nonetheless, Hobson demonstrates that he can catch the shield as it shoots (magnetically) back to his arm after bouncing off walls. Hobson says he’s still working on improving the shield, and will also pad a replica of Steve Rogers’ leather jacket with magnets so he can holster it on his back.