DIY Skyrim Windhelm Shield: Day 1&2

downloadSo I’ve started working on yet another new project. I wanted to create a shield to hang on my wall, and after some consideration, decided on the Windhelm Guards’ shield from Skyrim. Yes I know, I might be a wee bit obsessed with Skyrim at the moment. From looking at the in game graphics and some quick online research, I was able to come up with a design.

Day One: I started with a sheet of plywood which I had been using to stop arrows which missed my target during archery practice. It was full of arrow holes which I thought appropriate. I cut out a 24″ wide circle and proceeded to sand it until my hand hurt to much to keep going. I carved a rim around the edge and using a wood burner, created the illusion of 5 planks of wood. I then stained the perimeter of the shield a dark wood colour.

File 2016-02-28, 8 49 02 PMDeciding that I didn’t like the look of the carved rim, I cut out 2.5″ wide strips of black craft foam and used a heat gun to mould them over the edge of the shield. To give the new rim, a hammered, battered look, I again used the heat gun and the handle of a dinner knife. I accentuated this with the wood burner and a round tip.

Day Two: I printed out an image of the Windhelm bear emblem on several sheets of paper so that they could be taped together to form a stencil. I transferred the bear onto the shield in light pencil marks. Very carefully, I traced the image in blue acrylic paint and fleshed out the full circle. I went back in afterwards and painted the bear outline in cream paint. I used the stencil itself to add the blue eye afterwards. When the paint was dry, I went back over, adding finishing touches. Then, I used blue masking tape to carefully seal the edges of the shield next to the foam rim. I taped one half of a plastic bag over the face of the shield. I did this on both sides. Then, I applied several layers of black Plasti-Dip to the foam and waited overnight.

See finished project.

Making a Medivial Arming Cap or Biggins

Biggins were a type of undercap worn by all classes, ages, and sexes during the sixteenth century. They kept hair in place and sweat from staining hats.

“Peasants and children almost always wore the biggins alone, as they had no other cap. Working classes would frequently wear the biggins alone, but perhaps made from nicer fabric or they might add a touch of embroidery to show a higher standing.”

A padded version of the biggins, the arming cap, was worn beneath the a coif or helmet. It served much the same purpose, but with the added benefit of reducing shock to the head and keeping one’s hair from being caught in mail.

When making my own, I used a pair of old pants which did not fit me for the fabric. I drew out the pattern on newspaper and taped the pieces together to ensure a good fit. After that, I cut out my pieces and sewed everything together on the sewing machine.

If you want to make one, this is the design which I followed when making this piece:


The Dragonborn Comes – Skyrim | Ocarina Cover

The epic ballad sung in taverns all across Skyrim heralding the coming of the mighty warrior known as the Dragonborn, sung and performed on the ocarina by Callum Pengelly.

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The design is inspired by the dwarf axe head from Lord of the Rings.

Skyrim is hands down my favourite video game. I was hooked the moment I heard the music playing in the main menu screen. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Tamriel, but when I bought my beautiful new 12 hole ocarina, I knew which song I wanted to try first. Sven is a bard who frequents the Sleeping Giant Inn who performs several ballads, one of which caught my ear: “The Dragonborn Comes”.

I found the sheet music online. However, after I had transposed the song to a more workable key, I went a little bit overboard, adding an accompaniment and vocals (both harmony and melody). GarageBand came installed on my mac so I used it to combine all seven unique tracks. I had to learn the basics of mixing (an area where I have so much yet to learn). Even though I had finished the song, I wasn’t ready to leave the project behind. Out came the trusty sewing machine and soon I had myself a set of makeshift black hooded robes complete with warpaint! Luckily, I had the materials already on hand, so I didn’t have to spend any money on the costume. Kching!

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