Arms & Armour

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Contents
Grinding Wheel

Making a grinding wheel from a rotary tool grinding disc.

Kite Shields

How to make kite shields from an empty plastic milk bottle. 

Maces

Instructions for making a variety of maces from beads and cocktail sticks.

Rapiers

How to make simple rapiers from dressmakers' pins. 

Swords

How to make a variety of swords from plastic card and other cheap materials.

Practice Swords

Instructions for making two styles of practice sword from pop-rivets. 

       

Grinding Wheel (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Grinding disc for a rotary tool

Basswood strips

Cocktail stick

Plastic tube (cotton bud stem)

PVA

Craft knife

Pin vice & drill bit

Razor saw & mitre box

Paint & paintbrush

Stage 1

The cocktail stick will provide the axle for the wheel - check that it fits through the hole in the disc.

Paint the grinding disc with thinned black paint.

Allow to dry.

Stage 2

Trim the tapered part from one end of the cocktail stick, then cut a piece 23mm in length. Cut a piece of the plastic tube about 1.5mm in length and push it onto one end of the stick.

Stage 3

Fit a drill bit with the same diameter as the cocktail stick into the pin vice. Drill a hole near one end of a piece of 3mm square section basswood. Cut to a length around 15mm long for one of the vertical supports. Make a second identical piece.

Stage 4

Cut two pieces of 3mm square basswood 22mm in length for the base of the sides. Cut two more pieces  12mm in length for the cross-braces.

Stage 5

Attach the two vertical supports to the centres of the two bases with PVA. Check the holes for the axle are pointing the right way. Allow to dry.

Stage 6

Cut a piece of a coffee stirrer to 12mm x 4mm. Drill a hole near one end of the piece to fit the cocktail stick. Trim and sand both ends to round off the corners as shown.

Stage 7

Round the cut end of the cocktail stick. Cut to a 6mm length and add a 1.5mm collar of the plastic tubing.

Stage 8

Thread the axle through one side support, the wheel, the second side support and the handle offset piece.

Stage 9

With a little PVA, glue the two cross braces in place between the side supports.

Allow to dry. 

Stage 10

Cut four bracing pieces as shown, to fit against the side supports. 

Stage 11

Glue these pieces in place with a little PVA. 

Stage 12

Glue the handle in place with PVA.

Stage 13

Add a small drop of PVA to hold the wheel in place on the axle, and another to hold the turning handle.

Allow to dry.

Stage 14

Add paint or stain to the wooden parts, and paint the two plastic collars to complete the model.

 Kite Shields from Milk Bottles (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Empty plastic milk bottle

Craft knife / sharp scissors

Primer

Acrylic paint

Brushes

Stage 1

Wash and dry the milk bottle, and remove the label. Cut out one or more of the corner panels as shown.

Stage 2

Draw or print a template on paper, and attach it to one of the panels with masking tape. You can get about 10 shields from one of the panels from a 2-litre/4-pint bottle, assuming they are roughly 25-28mm scale.

 

Stage 3

Carefully cut out the shield shapes with a sharp craft knife. You can use scissors if you like, but they will need to be very sharp or you won't get crisp edges.

Stage 4

Undercoat the shields on both sides, allowing ample drying time before undercoating the second side.

Stage 5

Paint designs on the shields to finish them. I mounted mine on a rack, but they could also be used to decorate castle walls or on the sides of a Viking longboat.

Templates

Click the image to open a PDF file with templates for 72 variations on shield shapes. The outlines should be about right for 28mm scale shields when printed at Actual Size.

       

Maces from Beads (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Beads

Cocktail sticks

Plastic tube (cotton bud shaft)

Masking tape and cotton thread

PVA, Superglue

Craft knife, Tweezers, Sandpaper

Paint and brushes

Stage 1

Sand the tip of a cocktail stick to fit through the hole in a bead. Attach the stick to the bead with a drop of PVA. Trim the point and handle to length - around 15-19mm looks about right.

Stage 2 - grip options

Add a grip from a piece of plastic tubing, cotton thread or a thin strip of masking tape wrapped around the handle.

Stage 3 - pommel options

Add a pommel from a short length of plastic tubing or a small bead. If you use a bead you'll need to fill the hole and then glue it in place.

 

Stage 4 - optional

Make spikes from short lengths cut from the tips of cocktail sticks. Attach these to the mace head with superglue. You will probably need tweezers to avoid getting glue on your fingers, and accurately position the pieces.

Stage 5

Spray with primer and allow to dry. Paint in suitable colours - I used a gunmetal basecoat with silver highlights.

Example 1

I glued six different maces to a weapons rack, but you could add them to treasure piles or display them on the walls of the Great Hall.

 

Example 2

The rack in a Hirst Arts room with a figure for scale.

   

Rapiers from Pins (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Round-headed dressmakers' pins

Bugle Beads or fine plastic tube

Plastic card (old ID card or similar)

Superglue

Craft knife, Tweezers,

Map Pin or Pin Vice and Fine Drill Bit

Paint and brushes

Stage 1

Slide a bugle bead onto the pin. Alternatively cut a section of the plastic tube to length and use that instead.

Stage 2

Cut a small rectangle or diamond from the plastic card. This will become the hilt of the sword.

Stage 3

Using a map pin, make a hole in the centre of the hilt piece you just made. If the plastic is too stiff, you may find it easier to use a pin vice and fine drill bit.

 

Stage 4

Slide the hilt into place. If necessary, secure everything in place with a tiny amount of superglue. You may wish to use tweezers for this step.

Stage 5

Spray with primer and allow to dry. Paint in suitable colours - I used a gunmetal basecoat with silver highlights and deep red for the grips.

Example 1

Here are two of these rapiers along with four other swords on a rack.

 

Sword Instructions

Example 2

The same rack set in a room made from Hirst Arts blocks to show the scale.

   

Swords from Plastic Card (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Plastic card (old ID card)

Plastic tube (cotton bud shaft)

Beads, sprue

Superglue

Primer, paint and brushes

Craft knife

Tweezers

Stage 1

Cut a blade shape from thin plastic card. Blades can vary a lot in length and width, but between 12mm and 30mm (1/2" - 1 1/4") works well for 28mm scale figures.

Stage 2

For added detail shave the edges of the blade by back-scraping with the craft knife - place the knife blade at right angles to the plastic and scrape along the edges.

It may help to colour the plastic using a Sharpie to make it easier to see how much you have removed.

Stage 3

Cut a small rectangle from the plastic card for the hilt. You can vary the shape from a simple rectangle by trimming the corners at different angles, or rounding them.

Stage 4

Cut a piece of the plastic tube for the handle - 6mm (1/4") looks about right. For a simple variation, wrap the handle with a thin strip of masking tape.

 

Stage 5 - pommel options

Craft beads and pieces cut from old sprues make a variety of different pommels.

 

Stage 6

Attach the pommel to the handle with a small drop of superglue. You will probably need tweezers to avoid getting glue on your fingers, and accurately position the pieces. If you use a bead for the pommel, you can thread wire through to strengthen the joint and fill the hole.

Stage 7

Attach the sword blade to the centre of the hilt piece with a small drop of superglue. Use tweezers to help. Allow the pieces to dry before continuing.

 

Stage 8

Glue the two pieces of the sword together. Use tweezers to help keep the pieces aligned.

 

Stage 9 - optional

Add more small pieces of plastic to the junction of the blade and the hilt for extra detail.

 

Stage 9

Prime and paint in your choice of colours - I used a gunmetal basecoat with silver highlights for the metal parts and deep red or white for the grips.

Example 2

Here is a rack of swords made using the same techniques, along with a couple of rapiers.

 

Rapier Instructions

Practice Swords from Rivets, from an idea by Gabriel Tullis (Click thumbnails for larger images)

Materials & Equipment

Pop-rivets

Metal file

Hammer and anvil (or a second hammer)

Pliers

Primer, paint and brushes

Version 1 - Stage 1

Using the file, make a blunt point on the end of the shaft of the rivet.

Version 1 -Stage 2

Prime & paint in wood colours and it is done. The image shows one of each version primed in black.

Version 2 - Stage 1

Hold the head of the rivet with a pair of pliers, and hammer the shaft into a flat bar. Be sure to work on a firm surface. This is quite difficult to do, and the process could be less arduous if you heat the metal before hammering, but be careful if you do.

Version 2 - Stage 2

File the end of the shaft to a blunt point.

 

Version 2 - Stage 3

Prime & paint in wood colours.

 

 

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