This is Part Two of Three in a tutorial to make your own Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda series. If you would like to start at the beginning, please follow this link to PART ONE.
We last left off at Step 4 after having cut out the front and back shield pieces. I hope you have gathered your hardware and tools to add some of the important details to the shield! Let’s start with the front of the shield and work out way to the back.
The chipboard pentagon in place. To the right you can see some of my hardware.
Step 5: Gather your hardware and your Chipboard or corrugated cardboard. For my shield, I used chipboard from the back of a nearly empty sketchbook. You could also use a full sheet of matting material for framing, or even a cereal box. The chipboard is the perfect thickness but is HARD to cut. So make sure you have some spare X-Acto blades handy and a good pair of scissors at the ready.
We’ll use the Chipboard for the pentagon at the top of the shield as well as the interior shield design with the bird and Triforce. This will add dimension to the shield without making it the same depth as the outside boarder. I used my template from earlier to cut out the design for the interior of the shield. Trace those pieces onto the chipboard and get cutting. It will take a few passes with an X-Acto blade to get the pieces all the way cut. Once cut, place all the pieces on the front of the shield in the way you want to glue them down. Use beads of glue to cover the back of each piece and press it down. Allow ample time for drying.
Leave the right wing of the bird unglued for now. We will be placing screws for the handle through that side of the shield.
Make sure you use enough glue. You don’t want the pieces to come off!
Step 6: Detailing the back of the shield is a little less tedious than the front. For the wooden buttons, you will want to gather 3 small screws that will pass through 2 layers of foam-core and still have about 1/2 cm of thread sticking through. Prep both pieces that make up the back of the shield. Cut small slits with your blade in each of the three corners where you will be securing a wooden button. Then push/screw the small screw so that the head is on the BACK of the shield and the thread end is sticking out the front. Carefully screw the thread of the screw into the wooden button, securing it to the shield. This is a little tricky at first, but you will find it easier after the second one. I also put a little glue on the underside of the wooden button as I was screwing it into the foam-core for added strength.
Now glue, glue, glue! When the first wooden button was in place, I used the screw as a hinge and opened up the BACK of the shield. I then put a generous amount of glue on the back of the cross-shaped piece.
Be generous with the glue. You’d hate for the pieces to come apart in battle.
Align the two pieces and press together gently. Set aside to dry.
Wooden buttons screwed in place. Other hardware staged.
Once the wooden buttons are secured, it is time to add the brads to the vertical beam on the back. As with the screws, make a small slit with your blade where you would like them to go. Carefully push the brads straight down (they bend easily). Put a little glue on the bottom of the brad for extra strength. These will pass through both layers of foam-core and have a little bit sticking out the back. This is okay as this will help secure the front and the back pieces of the shield.
Set aside the BACK half of the shield and add the 3 wooden buttons to the FRONT half of the shield. Use the same method you did for the other wooden buttons AND for gluing the two front halves together. Once the wooden buttons are secured and dry, it will be time to move on to the handle.
Step 7: Adding the handle.
Once the brads and wooden buttons are in place, it is time to move on to the handle. I made my shield RIGHT HANDED. If you would rather use your shield with your left hand, just slide the handle over to the other side of the shield. Wherever you are putting the handle, make sure to measure carefully to ensure it is straight up and down. To properly secure the handle, you will need to work with both the front AND the back of the shield.
This is the last time you will see them apart!
Make holes on the back of the shield where you will be inserting the screws. Turn the screws around and push them from the back. Mark where they land on the backside of the FRONT half of the shield. This is where you will be screwing them from. Remember where I told you not to secure the right wing of the bird? That is because we will be inserting the screw through there and we will use the wing to cover one of the screws when everything is secured.
Following the manufactures instructions, secure the handle. For my handle, I begin with the head of the screw on the FRONT of the shield, with the thread passing through to the back and into the handle. Add glue between the two halves before completely screwing them together. Secure tightly. FYI: mine came with two sets of screws, but I thought that one set of screws would be strong enough. It seems secure with just the single set.
Step 8: Finish the front of the shield by gluing the right wing of the bird over the screws for the handle. Once the bird motif is finished, you will want to start adding more brads to the front.
Laying down the last piece of the bird motif.
These add a nice amount of detail to the shield as well as more contact points to secure all parts together. By adding more brads around the perimeter of the front and back of the shield, we are making it stronger and less likely to pull apart with use. There is no right way to do this…just make sure it looks symmetrical on each side. Also be sure that you stagger them from the front and back so that there are not two brads pushing into each other.
There is no “right” way to put the perimeter brads down.
Once the shield is secured with brads and glue, make sure that there are no parts that seem loose or out of place. If anything seems loose, add a little extra glue (or whatever you need to do to fix the problem). This will be the last time you will be able to make any major changes without it being difficult. The next step after this is PAINTING! We are almost done!