From the Fury of the Norsemen, O Lord Save Us! (New Year's Eve Part 1)

New Year's Eve 2007 was the latest in what has become a Martinson tradition: a themed costume party. The theme this year? Vikings! As always, this party involved a great deal of creative work beforehand in making the costumes, props, fireworks show, and all the rest of what our guests have come to expect out of a not-so-typical New Year's Eve. I can't publicly thank everyone responsible for these preparations, but you know who you are, and I know what you did. Thank you all. This post (and the ones to follow), however, is more for the benefit of those who weren't at the party, but are interested in some of the projects completed for it. First, my viking shield:

This is probably the only costume item that bears any similarity at all to actual viking kit, or at least measures up to a reasonable re-enactor's standard. Yes, it is plywood (11/32") rather than joined planks, and the fanciful dragon motif (taken from a shield on display at the Norway pavilion in EPCOT center) was probably never seen in actual dark age combat, but other than that, it's not bad. The plywood blank I cut out with a jigsaw. The steel boss was made by an armourer named Mad Matt (it's the "satin-finished" round boss available on his site)—a solid, economical choice I'm very happy with. I also applied an edge-banding of 3" wide rawhide strips (soak a large rawhide dogbone till it unravels, apply when moist and flexible) nailed over the edge with blued carpet tacks. The grip in the back picture is just a bit of hardware-store mild steel bar, drilled and riveted through to the boss.

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