I’ve already talked about my love for Zelda. Now its time to geek out over my love of making things!
I love working with new or challenging materials. Initially I had wanted to make my shield out of wood, but without a proper workspace, shared walls, and older neighbors, I thought that may prove to be too messy and noisy. I have worked with wood before, but always in a proper workspace. After successfully creating a tiny version of the Hylian Shield, I decided it was time to get started on my FULL SCALE version of the shield!
Step 1: Gather your materials:
YOU WILL NEED:
Foamcore (in large unbent pieces): I sourced mine from my local art-supply store. Michaels may have them large enough. Be sure they are at least 20 inches (50 cm) square.
Newsprint: (or other scrap paper) to make your template drawings. Or print them out from images you find online. Be sure to make drawings for the front of the shield AND for the back of the shield.
Pencils and Bold Markers to make your drawings on the newsprint and on the cardboard.
Brads: buy a lot of them, I went through close to 75 of them between both shields..
Glue: I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue and it worked quite well.
Masking Tape: .5 inches to 1 inch wide
Rust-oleum “Hammered” silver spray paint
Rust-oleum Primer (White)
X-Acto #11 Blade and Knife
Scraps of Leather or other durable brown fabric or felt.
Paint and Paintbrushes: I used Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Acrylic Paints and an assortment of brushes
Measuring tools: Ruler, compass, protractor, measuring tape, etc.
Handle: Purchase a drawer/cupboard handle and its hardware from your local hardware store. Be sure to use one that fits your hand nicely. This will be the handle on the back of the shield.
Wooden Buttons: approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. Embellishments on front and back of the shield.
Chipboard or (non corrugated) Cardboard for some of the detailing on the front of the shield.
Embroidery Thread: or yarn in several shades of brown.
Step 2: Draw out the templates for the front AND back of the shield. Be sure to make them the exact size that you want them to be. For me, that was 20″ tall and 18.5″ (approx. 50 cm by 45 cm). The shield may need to be larger or smaller to suit your needs.
Make sure you include all details too!
Once you’ve drawn out your templates from newsprint, cut along the outside like in the above photo. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by cutting the templates out this way. This would be a difficult project to freehand. Next, trace around the templates onto the sheets of foam core using your pencil. Carefully cut along your pencil line to cut out your first part of the shield.
While you’ve got your ruler handy, make some guide lines on the shield to help you orient the template onto the center of the shield. Make one line down the center and another 1/2 way down the shield. Cut out and mark 3 shield parts in the SAME way.
Step 3: Cut out the interior of the FRONT Template. This will assist in keeping the shield pieces symmetrical Using an X-Acto blade will be much easier than trying to use scissors. You will be using the inner pieces as a guide in our next step. Keep all shield pattern pieces.
Once you have cut out the boarder, place it atop one of your shield pieces. This piece will become the top layer on the front of the shield. Use a tiny bit of masking tape to secure the stencil to the foam-core. Trace the inner boarder with a pencil. Use an X-Acto bade to cut out the design. Save the pieces from the center and set aside.
Make sure you secure the stencil/template or it may shift during tracing/cutting.
Here you can see the stencil/template and the pencil lines. Ready to cut!
Step 4: Do the same thing for the back of the shield.
But here is where things may get a little tricky… or at least different. Depending on the size of your handle and your personal preference, you may give the supporting cross on the back different dimensions. I made the horizontal arm on the cross slightly smaller than the size of the handle. This way, the handle goes around the cross instead of on top of it.
This was cut after careful measurement.
Measure twice, cut once.
Carefully cut out the cross pattern and outer boarder. Make sure that you give the outer boarder a uniform thickness. For my shield, I gave it a 4cm thickness (see photo). This will make it look more finished and will also provide more stability.
I found it helpful to use a ruler to cut straight lines.
Here are the front AND the back of the shield.
Above are the two pieces we just cut atop the two shield pieces we cut from before. We now have two “front” pieces and two “back” pieces. That’s all the major cutting we have to do for today. Next we will add some of the hardware that gives this shield its character and believability. Gather your hardware and tools and meet me back here ASAP!