Assembling a Scutum


Other sites to visit:

Legio XX site on Scutum 
Legio XXX on scuta construction

The basic requirements that you will need to buy specially are the curved blank, the boss and leather for edging. All the rest of the materials can be obtained locally.

My boss and curved blank were obtained from Len Morgan. Recommended

Both the links above list the references and sources for the shield itself, so it's not worth repeating.
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Coverings and durability
As we are a society that actually uses it's equipment then it is worthwhile spending a little more time and effort to make the shields as durable as possible. I covered the front of my shield in very thick canvas and the rear in linen.
Paint on, with a brush, a good layer of PVA glue. Go right to the edges of the shield and all over. Gently apply the cloth, easing out all the creases and air bubbles.
Mix a 3 parts water to 1 part PVA solution and paint it over the cloth.
Allow to dry.

I decided to apply a leather edging to the shield. Vicus guidelines are that all applied organic edging must be sewn to the shield. Cut strips of leather into lengths with enough overlap for at least half and inch each side of the shield. 

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I use Evo stick impact adhesive to then glue the edging into place. 
Do not forget that this is contact adhesive and needs to be left a little while to "dry"

Once the edges are glued on and dry, then take your Dremmel (or other electric drill) and make a series of small holes though the leather and the shield itself.

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Sew through these holes with linen thread. 

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I used ash strips around 4/5mm thick to form the bracing. I applied the bracing over the linen covering, which I had already painted. 
Ash is a flexible wood but required steaming to bend across the boss area without breaking.

I rivetted the bracing on as this is a combat shield and required strength.

I also realised that the bracing has pushed the shield "out slightly". To sort this out, I should have compressed the shield while the ash was forming OR pre-bent the ash around a former (or the outside edge of the shield). Lesson learned

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The handgrip is actually made of a series of strips glued together and then rivetted through the shield face. The grip is off centre as the knuckles require more space than your fingers. 
Wrapped in leather for comfort !

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The front design
I have the templates that I obtained from Legio IX, in the States, with whom we share our unit. Please ask either Martin, Adam or myself for copies (they ae not available online and you want them full size anyway). 

All shields currently without a design and shields bought from May 2005 onwards MUST conform to this pattern. Earlier shields, featuring the deepeeka design, which is similiar, only require the LEG IX HISP designation to be applied.

As shield bosses are different then the wings, bolts and tridents are all going to be slightly different in exact positioning. Don't get excited about it.
Paint your shield RED and then, when dry, draw around the templates in pencil. Paint them, in block with yellow .
When dry, then either blackline in the details straight off OR sketch them in pencil first and then paint with black.

My shield is currently unshaded but it will be soon. Below are a couple of images of shaded designs (Martin Ward's). There is also a good picture on the legio IX site here

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