This Roman shield has been a long time coming. We have had many previous attempts when the boys were smaller but had problems keeping the curved shape of the shield. So when my daughter decided that she wanted to make one for a school topic we just had to come up with the new improved version..
The original Roman shields or Scutums were made of layers of wood, with a metal frame and boss (the sticky out bit). They were most commonly rectangular in shape and big enough to properly hide behind. The wood was enough to stop most missiles but still light enough to carry.
In battles ranks of Roman Legionaries could overlap their shields to form a wall, or even make a roof above their heads to form a testudo (which is latin for tortoise.)
To make your very own shield you will need:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Red paint
- Gold card
- Silver paint
- Plain card
- Round plastic tub or the bottom of a plastic bottle
- Silver duct tape
First cut out a large rectangle from the corrugated cardboard. Make sure that the corrugations run from top to bottom – this is essential so that the shield can curve around your body.
Next round off the corners – we used a bowl as a template.
Cut two long strips of cardboard and stick them across the back of the shield in the middle. Then stick the two ends together (you could also staple them for extra strength.) You want to make the strap short enough so that the whole shield curves.
Now make the metal boss. Cut a circle in the centre of a piece of card just smaller than your pot slip the pot through it. Either tape it or glue it in place. Once the glue is dry you can paint it silver or gold. We sprayed it with some metallic paint we had but acrylic paint would also work well.
Paint the front of the shield, stick on the boss and then you can decorate it with the gold paper. Make sure you get your pets to help out.
To finish it off stick some of the duct tape round the edge of the shield.
We had great fun using it to protect against hails of nerf bullets and a toy cross bow. Now we just need to make a few more so we can form a testudo…