As you can see from a previous post we have been dressing people up as Roman Legionaries. Just how did we make a full suit of Roman armour from everyday items?
Roman Legionaries wore a standard set of upper body armour called Lorica Segmentata, made in sections built from strips of steel, riveted and laced together.
A trawl of the internet revealed some good ideas about making a Roman soldiers costume for children, but nothing as ambitious as recreating a set of junior Lorica Segmentata from easily obtained items.
We used a number of good published diagrams of the components of Lorica to create a parts list and templates for the strips of armour and cut the sections from stiff corrugated card. The sizes and number of strips in body armour and the shoulder plates were reduced to fit a younger recruit. The whole set of body and shoulder armour was built up in one piece using paper fasteners as rivets. The whole assembly was coated with PVA and then given a burnished steel paint effect.
Now for the shields. Not satisfied with the usual suggestion that a plastic cup could be used as a central boss, we managed to make ours from a section of a plastic bottle mounted on a rectangular sheet of card which gave a more authentic look. A bit of research on historic paint colours and a search of the local DIY ‘match pots’ and our shields were ready for battle.
Following a suggestion from one website we made a helmet from a cut down hard hat, which worked very well after a coat of PVA and the metallic paint effect.
We were so pleased with the end result that we are making a detailed instruction sheet with a pattern, instructions to follow and details of the paints and effects that we used to create our Roman armour which will be available soon.