Ulfheðinn – Making a shield


Making a Viking Shield

There is a very good guide to making shields written by the Konungr of the Vikings Roger Barry.

The Vikings Society Guide to Shield Making

N.B. A light shield is a better shield.

Painting the shield

Don’t paint your shield if you don’t intend joining

Shield Colours
The Ulfheðinn colours are Red and Yellow. Authentic paints would of course be preferable but in practice standard matt decorating emulsion is ok. The colours to look for are Postbox red and Sun yellow slightly paler yellows are ok. The finish should be matt, as such avoid gloss paints and do not varnish the shield with a gloss varnish.

There are two patterns that are acceptable for an Ulfheðinn shield no other patterns or interpretation of patterns are acceptable. These are :

Four Quarters
Alternating red and yellow.

Ulfhedinn-Shield-WolvesFour Quarters with Wolf Heads. As above but with the Ulfheðinn wolf heads facing outwards from the boss.

Do not paint the runes you see on some older shields as they are incorrect. The quarters boss and rim should not be outlined in black or any other colour.

The shield rim should then be covered in undyed white or off white rawhide or undyed leather. Dyed Black or dark brown leather rims are not acceptable. The rawhide should be attached with black carpet tacks (may need shortening before hammering in)

Shields will have to pass a check before being seen in public.

Historic Shields

If you are interested in how historic shields were made

There is a good article with historic examples below