This is our fun version of the famous shield used by the Roman Army.
Large, rectangular and curved, it could be used by individual soldiers or in formation. The Testudo (meaning a tortoise) is a famous close formation that created a shieldwall. Soldiers positioned at the front and back rows, as well as at the sides, held shields in front of them, and soldiers in the middle held the shields over their heads. This made the soldiers into a single and well-defended unit, who could move forward under siege.
You will need2 large pieces of cardLong strip of cardPVA glueMasking tape or decorative sticky tapeColoured paper or plain paper and colouring pencilsStaplesSafe ScissorsA tape measure and ruler
Measure and cut out your shield
To measure your shield: measure from just above the shoulder to just below the knee and this will give you the height. The width, allowing for curve, is two thirds of the height.
The shield should be shaped like a ‘playing card’. For strength, glue two pieces of pre-cut cardboard together using PVA glue.
Tape around the sides of your shield to neaten up the edges.
Make a design for your own Roman Legion.
Design a bold military motif to identify the Roman Legion you belong to.
Roman Shields had a “boss” (a metal dome on a flat plate – sometimes circular, square or rectangular) at the centre of the shield to give it extra strength, so remember to incorporate this into your design. These bosses were often plain, but sometimes they were very decorative, so you could make a detailed design for yours.
Draw an outline of your design onto coloured paper and then cut out the shape.
Paint a background colour onto your shield and wait for it to dry thoroughly.
Glue your pre-cut design onto the shield.
Attach the boss. Strips of card could be used and covered in PVA glue for strength if you want the boss to stand proud of the shield
Glue and tape, or staple, a strip of card for a handle across the reverse of the boss. This should be horizontal and long enough for you to be able to use your shield in battle.