Shield help

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Shield help

Post by Rebecca_Thurlby »

Please can you help?

My eight year old son is adamant he will be taking his home made Viking shield to the festival of history in two weeks time, it’s our first shield and it’s not finished yet!

We have a shield boss we brought at the St George festival at Wrest Park, I’ve cut a disk out of ply and fitted the boss to this. I understand we now need to glue material to the front before painting, and I wondered,

What is the best fabric to get for the front? We have found a supplier called Wolfin textiles who have a huge range and we were thinking of using cotton duck as it’s cheaper than linen will this be OK?

What glue would you recommend we use to glue it on, we are hoping the finished shield will be waterproof.

What paint would you then recommend to paint on the fabric?

If it gets finished in time you might just see a small boy carrying his big shield with dragons on the front round the festival of history!

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Re: Shield help

Post by Malvoisin »

assuming it's not going to be used in reenactment combat then a canvas fabric glued on with PVA glue should do the trick. Use fabric tacks for the edges if the wood thikness allows.A washable emulsion should do for painting too.

Enjoy the festival, take ALL day, there's LOTS to see!
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Medicus Matt
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Re: Shield help

Post by Medicus Matt »

As an aside, it's a damned sight easier to glue the fabric to the shield before you fit the boss.
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Re: Shield help

Post by Ulfar »

As per Malvoisin's reply, if the shield isn't being used for re-enactment, you could also use calico or a linen blend to cover it.

And as MM said, it's definitely easier if you put the fabric on before fixing on the boss!

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Re: Shield help

Post by nathan »

If the shield is not going to be used in combat you really don't need the fabric layers. These are added to make the shield stronger & better withstand blows, if it's not going to be hit you will not need it. It will of course make the faces of the plywood smoother (depending on the quality of plywood you used you may want it for this reason alone). Adding fabric to shields is something done by reenactors to make our shields last longer, it almost certainly wasn't done in period (they put leather on the outside and in some cases may have put garss or other materials as padding in-between ... hield.html).

Thin leather (or even a brown vinyl/faux-leather type fabric) could easily be glued on around the outside to form a rim, this is a good idea as it will help protect the holder from splinters off the edge of the plywood. Re-enactors might normally nail or stitch the edging on (as the thicker leather we need to use to protect the edge of the plywood won't stay put with just glue), with a good glue i suspect you won't need to do that. Faux leather is available at most fashion fabric retaillers.

Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

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Lady Willows Retinue
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Re: Shield help

Post by Lady Willows Retinue »

Dunno about vike period, but Roman period shields can be covered with fabric (probably a linen, but evidence from Fayum shield suggests wool may have been used - either as the covering or as a padding layer) or thin leather. The padding would then act as an additional "shock absorber" on impact. Some of the shields from Dura were covered with leather, others with fabric. This would have been glued in place - possibly with an animal-based glue, such as size (made from boied up bunnies etc) - this is described on the Doncaster shield as forming a "bubbly char" residue, but analysis could not determine if animal or vegetable based.
Before painting, this would be coated with a gesso-like substance (fills in the gaps in the weave and gives a texture with enough of a tooth to hold the paint).
Agian, dunno about Vike period, but possibly some continuity of methodology.

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