My boys are reprising old costumes for Halloween this year - 11th Doctor for the elder and Link from Zelda for the younger. So there isn't much for me to do. But one of the things on the younger son's birthday wish-list (which is also in October) was Link's Hylian Shield from The Ocarina of Time.
So I figured I could read a few instructables and make him one! And that's just what I've been doing. The shield is made of fun foam and foam core (that paper covered foam you get at Michaels). I thought about covering it with worbla like some of the tutorials I've seen, but that's pricey and I'm just not sure if he really needs something like that. So I cheaped out. :P
First I made sure I was looking at the right shield - turns out Link has like a million of these shields! :P So C confirmed that this is the shield he wanted.
So I looked at a bunch of Instructables to see what other people did. I found these were particularly helpful: Cairdy Crafts, Parker's Tutorials, and ShanesInsaneVids, thanks guys! I drafted up a shield, using the same sorts of methods I do for sizing up grided patterns - part math, part free-hand drawing, and a lot of reference to the source material. The sewing fashion curves were super useful for this part! I forgot to take a picture of my pattern before I started cutting it apart but there's the end result:
I used two pieces of foam core one 1/4 in deep and the other 1/2 deep. The shallower one is the silver framework around the shield and the 1/2 deep one is the base. I followed the tutorials and bent my foam by wetting it on both sides then putting something heavy in the middle while it dried so both pieces have a nice gentle curve. Then I cut both designs out with an exacto bladde then sanded the edges of the foam. Then I painted them with 2 coats of gesso and sanded them again.
I traced the shield design elements onto fun foam, cut them out with craft scissors then painted two coats of gesso on them and spray painted them gold and red. (I was psyched - we had all the colors of spray paint already in the garage!)
Then I painted the shield base with blue spray paint on the front and silver on the sides and back. And painted the frame silver. I did two coats on each and think I need one more.
I need to sculpt the weird squiggly silver element, paint that and some small wooden disks silver, then glue the whole thing together and add hand straps - and voila Hylian Shield!