Battle Tackle, ELF style

Coming soon to a Saxon unit of mine- this shield wall!

A trove of weapons. The smaller daggers are for my daughter.

Instead of filling inthe the ranks this month, I have been making Christmas presents for my children, godchildren, and children of close friends. This started with  my son Nolan's first Christmas a couple of years back. I made him a Viking sword and shield, because, well, that’s what father’s who's last names are Foss do. Whenever children come over to play, the battle tackle is almost always played with, so I decided this year I would make some as gifts and share the joy of blood lust among other households.

6 of the 8 shields I made this month. These are just shy of a foot in diameter, and are made of 1/4 inch plywood, with a half round dowel glued down the spine for a hand grip. The bosses of the shields are made of plastic “watercolor” cups, which cost 49 cents. Bosses are spray painted with a cool “deckle” metal, then weathered using Taimiya smoke. Fronts are painted with acrylics (and my miniatures paints). I give Little Big Men Studios full props for the inspiration for the shield designs. I love their transfers and you should too!

The swords are made of a mix of wood that was visually appealing to me, and easy to find. For the blades I mostly used poplar, which has an awesome green hue to it when oiled, and pretty easy to work with. In the photo is one blade of red oak, and another (my son’s) of zebra wood. The hilts (quillion and pommel) are a mix of mahogany, walnut, poplar, red oak, zebra wood and blood wood; what ever I could find in the off cuts bin or what i had in my "bits" box. The grips are wrapped in velvet ribbon. I use olive oil to polish them as my daughter Persephone likes to chew on hers (such the berserker in the making). The shine is good, easy to update when needed, and totally non toxic.

Back side of a shield with some swords for scale.

My son's new shield and sword. The design was inspired by his Chinese astrological sign, a golden pig. In this shot, I have not finished the triskle pattern on the "bronze" boss. The sword is zebra wood with mahogany hilt and poplar pommel. It is longer than the other weapons (16 inches) , as per his request. I used the zebra wood, as it reminded me of a damask steel blade.

Battle tackle for a young prince, far across the whale road. His name is in runes, on the shield.


  1. Thanks guys. Dog, your princlings war board and sword should arrive in a week or so. Start thinking about greaves!

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