Thursday, January 29, 2009

Custom Celt Shields

I'm working on a 1/72 barbarian army for WAB. My guys are Iron Age British, so I wanted shields specific to Britain. The Battersea Shield with it's outward top and bottom curves has become the typical British Celtic shield among illustrators and mini manufacturers. However, more recent archaeological evidence suggests that the most common shield in Iron Age Britain was the hide-shaped shield pictured above. (See Stead's article bellow)

To make my shields I bought .75mm sheet styrene (plastic card). The nice thing about this stuff is that you can score once or twice with a blade, then snap off a piece. I selected the Italeri/Zvezda celts because the shields in this set are separate from the figures. I started out free-hand drawing the hide-shaped shield, but found that it was easier to trace the set's oval shield instead. I traced the line with an X-Acto blade and drilled a whole with the same blade. I filed the shield edges, and I sculpted the shield bosses with Kneadatite (green stuff).

My slinger on the left is holding a shield based on the Hjortspsring find (see celtic shields article bellow).

Related Reading:
Stead, I.M., ‘Many more Iron Age shields from Britain’, The Antiquaries Journal, 71. 1991

Brozyna, A. 'Celtic and German Shields,' article on


Dave Conklin said...

Good stuff!!

I've been putting off buying the figs for my 1/72 Celt army. It seems like almost every manufacturer has one or two boxes of 'em...but none of them are close enough in appearance to mix-n-match (for my tastes).

Secundus said...

That looks like really handy stuff that plastic card, I saw some the other day and thought about buying some, I think I will next time I come across it.

Andrew said...

Dave, Yes the difference in 1/72 figure height is annoying. My army includes Zvezda/Italeri celts and Hat's Gallic Warband and Command sets. The proportions of these newer sets mix better than older Hat sets.

Secundus, I really like this material! I also use it for my bases. I don't know if this brand is available in the UK, but it's great stuff. It comes in different thicknesses, textures, etc. I added a link to the company website in the post.