Introduction: Dragon Viking Shield

About: Some of the best building materials are cardboard, duct tape, pvc pipe and imagination.

My son wanted to be a Viking for Halloween. So, with a few sheets of cardboard, a bowl and some duct tape I built him a Viking shield even Gobber would be proud of. Remember,

“Your most important piece of equipment is your shield. If you must make a choice between a sword or a shield, take the shield!"
- Gobber

Step 1: Materials

Materials for the shield,

-   Two large pieces of cardboard
-   Small metal bowl
-    Three rolls of duct tape
       - one roll of red
       - one roll of silver
       - one roll of brown
-  One roll of mat-tact (sticky vinyl wood sheets your grandma placed in her cupboards)
-   An exacto knife
-   Black marker

Step 2: Front and Back Pieces

On one sheet of cardboard, draw straight lines from opposite corners making an X in the middle. Tape the two pieces of cardboard together then place a thumbtack in the centre of the X and press hard enough to pierce both sheets. Pull off a strip of duct tape longer than you need, in my case 11 inches, and place the thumbtack in the middle near one end. The thumbtack should go on the sticky side and placed back into the centre of the cardboard with the colored side down. Make a hole in the other side of the tape the radius of the circle, place a pen in the hole and trace around. Cut the two cardboard sheets into 18 inch diameter circles. You can make it larger or smaller to suit.

Place the bowl in the center of both cardboard wheels and trace around it.  Take one wheel and make another couple circles, about an inch smaller, inside the first. Cut out the smaller circle from the inside of your cardboard. This will be the front of your shield. Place your cardboard over the bowl and check the fit. The front should sit about 1" - 1 1/2" above the back part of your shield. 

If your circle is too small, no problem. Just cut out a bigger hole.  Too big and your starting over. It’s best to trace out a couple holes before cutting them out.

Step 3: Adding the Wood

Take your back piece and place it on the mat-tact to adjust the fit. Peel the backing off and place the cardboard onto it. Push out all the air bubbles and make two small cuts to either side of the inner circle. This is where you will be adding the straps.

Step 4: Give It Some Girth

Now to give your shield some depth. You want to make a ring around the circumference of the shield and another ring around the bowl. Cut out 5-6 strips from your remaining cardboard as wide as the gap between your front and back pieces. Make sure to cut across the corrugated parts, this will provide a more ridged support. Roll the strips up and tape them to the side of your shield.

Step 5: Braces

Cut out three strips of duct tape about 14 inches long. Slice the strips down the middle then fold one third to the centre and the other third on top.  When you have six folded strips, braid them together to form the two handles. Push the ends of the braids through the two slits made in the back piece and adjust the fit. Tape the ends to the inside of the shield.

Step 6: Steel Banding

Using your bowl as a tracing tool again, cut and stack four pieces of the shiny duct tape. Place the bowl over it so that bowl doesn't quite touch the top. Trace around the bowl and cut out the shapes. These will be used later.

Step 7: The Umbo or Shield Boss

 Tape the bowl to the back piece, inside the circle traced earlier. Use the remaining cardboard strips and tape them around the bowl. 

Step 8: Give It a Coat of Red

Take the front piece of your shield and cover it with red duct tape. Keep the tape straight and try not to overlap too much as this will give the added look of paneled wood. Cut off all the excess and grab the silver tape pieces cut from before. Place the strips on the outside of the hole. Slit the silver tape and fold the remainder to the inside.

Step 9: Putting It Together

Sandwich the bowl between the front and back pieces.  Use you silver duct tape and tape the front and back together. Leave enough of the tape overlapping the sides to match the overlap in the centre. One piece did not cover enough, so I wrapped the shield again, leaving the same over lap on the back piece.

Decorate the shield with Viking runes, scuff marks or just bring it into the dragon training academy.

"Remember today is about survival. If you get're dead! What's the first thing you'll need?" - Gobber

Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

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