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Shields are the large flat things carried into combat for protection (but we can assume you already knew that much!!).

Shields in the SCA are normally made of ply wood (although, because SCA people are silly, a piece of wood you are about to turn into a shield is referred to as a 'shield blank'). They should be heavy enough to absorb the impact of most blows from weapons. Some people believe the shield should be as heavy as you can handle so it has more resistance to your opponents' blows, although some may find this less maneuverable. Others say it should be as light as you can get away with, although this means your shield can be more easily moved by your opponent, and that it will break more quickly. For safety reasons, all shields are required to be edged with hose (heater hose, plastic hose, garden hose... just not your pantyhose).

There are various types of shields you can make:

A shield is a good place to show off your device. You can eihter paint it directly onto the shield, or cover the shield in canvas and then paint it (this has the advantage of protecting your wood, but it'll weigh down your shield a lot). Another idea is that you can make a slip that goes over your shield (think of your ironing board cover. That sort of thing.) You can paint your device, your households device, your barony's device, or whoever your fighting for.