Have just finished making two Roman Cavalry Shields (copied from a design on Trajan's Column). These are about 1.2 metres high to give you an idea of scale. This is a special commission that The Ermine Street Guard was asked to do for English Heritage's Special Events Unit.
I started them at Easter and played around with them in my spare time. The shields are cut from heavy plywood and the designs painted on in matt colours (to replicate ancient paints). The edges are finished with leather. This is cut into strips and glued around. The edge is then drilled all round and the leather is stitched via these holes. The centre bosses have been spun from sheet brass (Romans used bronze). I made the four studs which hold each boss from English 2 pence pieces (which were made of copper until 1992 - so I tend to save the old ones!) I dish the coin, solder a spindle on the back so I can hold it in a lathe and then polish off one side as seen.
This is the best they will ever look as they will be used for battle re-enactments with Roman mounted cavalry and will soon be knocked around.
You can see our Roman cavalrymen, with such shields here (just click on the images you see to enlarge them.)