Halloween is coming close and I was trying to think of a costume. I have a leather jacket, some cargo pants, brown boots and can find an Army helmet to paint NATO blue with an "A" on it.
I need a shield.
I found this laminated chair back from a chair that had seen better days...
Step 1: Planning Out the Shape
The curves are actually easy to create using a string, a pushpin and a pencil.
You first need to find the center of the piece for this kind of curve.
Once everything is drawn out, it's time to hit the saw. I have access to a nice bandsaw, but a jigsaw or coping saw will work the wood nicely.
Then I sanded the edges on a belt sander to the final line.
From there, I started filling in the holes and printed out some stars from Adobe Illustrator. (the trick of holding down the option key when using the star tool was crucial)
I painted a couple coats of white and then figured out where I wanted the handle and arm brace to go. I used an old handle simply as a guide for the holes. Then I drilled for 4 carriage bolts and used some old webbing from a defunct gym bag for the straps. After the first set of holes were created, I measured and duplicated them on the other side for the forearm strap. We're not going for a 100% accurate film replica here, we're going for something we can use next week...
To clean up the fraying from the nylon straps, I just hit it with a heat gun for a second to "singe" the ends.
Ok, I cut out the stencils and tacked them down to some still sticky white paint.
Then painted the blue right over them. Not the neatest job, but I can go back and touch up the lines. To do that, I'll use a razor blade and a ruler, then a steady hand with a paint brush.
From there, I measured the width of the shield, and divided it by the total number of stripes. Left me with stripes that were 2 3/8" wide alternating white and red.
The paint was small pint size water based enamel. I barely used any! Easy clean up and cheap. (Not a fan of the gloss, but a bit of steel wool after everything has dried, does wonders.)
This was the tough part. after making all sorts of nice neat lines, and really focusing on it being pretty...
It was time to get rough with it. Out into the garage and bap a few walls to scuff it up. Then adding some copper colored paint (Testors from the craft/hobby shop) to simulate bullet strafing. I would create a drip, then dry brush quickly away in the direction of the bullet.
The final was a wash of some black, which was basically a few drops of black in 2 ounces of water, to add grime and grit to it. It had to be used. Well loved even.
Now off to go find a helmet!