Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Shield Manufactory: How the other half lives

Thought I'd post a quick bit about how I did my shields for these 28mm Ancient and Dark Ages armies.
Like anything looking at a large pile of shields is a bit intimidating, so break it down into stages and do it a bit of assembly line stylee.

First off go through your collection and see if you can vary the types a little bit. Maybe one of your men was on tour of the Black Sea? Or maybe it was his dads or grandfathers? Was there a different fashion a few years ago, or is he a part of some military society within the army. Not to mix them up too much though. NCO's will not stand for it usually. (IME)

Then blue tack a bunch of them to some card, face down, and primer the inside surfaces and paint them brown. (I cheated and used my German Armor Desert spraypaint.)
While you're waiting for them to dry, hit the web and research a few cool ideas and start sketching the ideas you like.

These ones are mostly done. The Rus'

Then you will want to make some rules to help you keep your units organized and just different enough. Color or design or both. It's OK to break a rule here and there.

Flip the shields on their cards and primer the fronts with, in this example, grey. So the colors will be brighter in contrast to the dull fabrics most warriors prefer.

After they dried, I put mine in front of the heat pump to cure, I started drawing in pencil on them. It doesn't have to be too complicated, just enough to guide your painting and help you lay out the colors.
Pick colors and designs that each unit will use, or for example I had one shield design repeated through two units. Why? Brothers! Both red heads too.

Ditto, but mostly Slavs.

Paint in blocks of colors like you are fascinated by the one color, do a bunch of the same color at a go. Then onto the next color, start at opposite ends so they will be dry by the time you come back through. Obviously start lighter and get darker as you go. Then go back and touch up your features like crosses or whatever.
Then you can break out the fine tipped pens, .2mm seemed to work pretty well for me. Be sure that the paint is well dried and that the pen is dry before you wash or brush anything. Give it a bit
Then gunmetal exposed metal bits on the rims and bosses, and a brown Future wash.

Finally, when you mount them be sure to scrape off the paint on the mini and the shield so they'll stick better.

They will really help your warband's character. [The butcher's bill from our SAGA four way!]

I'm not that flash a painter and they still came out pretty cool.
Next time, maybe I'll find some decals.;-)


  1. Loving those shields Adam!

    Those will be some fine looking Rus- now you have to finish off those bases....


  2. Great looking shields Adam


  3. Thanks guys, just wanted to give out some tips that may help out someone.
    Basing is coming right up, as is my objectives for SAGA and Impetus.