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IRPA Shield Design

This is the recommended shield design of the IRPA

This design is recommended to allow IRPA units to blend together as a single legion at events where we are trying to field large numbers of miles.  We cannot and will not require that your units shield conform to these standards and image, we do recommend this design, size, and shape for IRPA Scutums.


Description: The ISPA Scutum is a curved rectangle with rounded corners in imitation of the archaeology related to the Vindonissa and Doncaster scutum cover finds. The scutum is edged in bronze, brass or leather (rawhide or vegetable tanned). The Boss shape varies.  The back has reinforcing strips and a hardwood handgrip.

Dimensions: Approximately 44” - 48” in height; 24” to 28” in width. The lateral curve is 6” to 9” in depth. The corner curves are the same as the base of a 1 gallon paint can or a #10 food can.

Materials and Techniques: Historic materials and construction techniques are strongly encouraged.
- Made with layered strips of ash glued together to form a sort of plywood.
- Scutums made from 3 layers of 1/8” plywood.
- Scutums made with 2 layers of 3/16's Luan Plywood
- Covered on both sides with cloth, either linen, cotton, or wool. The front may be covered with either a layer of leather or both a layer of leather and a sublayer of cloth, or at least a layer of cloth. Preferred leather is goatskin either tanned or rawhide. Two to three hides may be sewn together to create a large enough cover. The front layer should overlap the edge and onto the back approximately three inches.
- Horsehide glue is preferable but can be difficult to find and difficult to use. You may substitute exterior grade wood glue.
- Reinforcing strips on the back side may be affixed on top of the cloth backing or underneath, glued and riveted. If it is on top it should be made of either ash or oak. Reinforcing strips are 1” - 1.25” in width and 1/8” to 1/4” inch thick. The reinforcing strips are set approximately 4-6” inside each edge with two vertical strips set in the middle, one above the hand grip and one below.
- Reinforcing strip alternate. It has been suggested that reinforcing strips of iron may have been used. They should be 1” - 1.25” in width and be 18g-16g in thickness. They should also be hammered to look as if they were forged. Affix with rivets.
- The hand grip should be made of either ash or oak and be shaped to span the inside curve of the scutum. The hand hold should be shaped to fit the hand and may be wrapped in twine, waxed linen or leather or coated with pitch to make the handhold more secure. The inside of the boss may be lined with sheep skin with the wool on or a pad of felted wool or a pad of leather.
- Scutum edging may be either brass or bronze riveted in place or leather (rawhide or tanned) glued and sewn in place. The most common scutum edging was likely leather sewn in place with waxed linen thread.
- Rivets: Handmade rivets are preferred. Modern riveting materials: bronze boat nails or copper brads or brass brads or brass escutcheon pins as edging rivets. Domed head cut nails or copper roof nails or steel roof nails or copper belt rivets for umbo and reinforcing strips. Use square burrs (washers) of steel, bronze, brass or copper.

Coloration: Historic paint formulas and brushes are encouraged. See: Making Roman Paint. Color chits provided display the preferred colors . The background color is dark red; the wings are yellow with a darker yellow as feather shading with additional fine line feathering details in brown; the lightning bolts ,and the tabula are dark yellow. All elements are outlined in a thin black line.  The backside of the scutum is painted dark red or yellow.

Boss or Umbo: One piece of iron, brass or bronze of a sturdy gauge. Thickness ranges: Steel: 16g - 14g; Bronze or Brass: .030 - .060. The rectangular base is 10”W x 11”H. The dome is 6” to 7” across and 2” to 4” deep. It is held in place with 4 to 16 rivets. Two rivets should affix the umbo through the hand grip and two through the vertical reinforcing strip.


More pictures coming soon

IRPA-N America * Imperial Roman Provisional Army * Legions of North America, United!