Top: some sketches of potential additional Shén shield variants.
Bottom: some metal blanks cut from bits of scrap metal found in a drawer.
Last week, or rather, the week before, I sent off twenty shields to be molded and cast. Of those, four were variant Shén shields and one was a Vrayáni slinger's shield. The rest were generic fantasy shields. The sculptor charged me - IIRC - some $40US each for those shields; not much it seems, until work out that the total is $800US! Still not as bad as the Yán Koryáni head-swaps which were only £10 each; that total came closer to £800!
Anyway, while compiling the information about the various Shén mercenary units in my last post I was again faced with a rather large number of units. My initial intent was that the four variant shields - plus the existing design - should be sufficient to use for any Shén unit or warrior one might want. Typing out that information I began to think there might be a need for some more variants. Or if not a need exactly, maybe a "preference". Also I realized that there were additional weapons that are not accounted for: a mace, a battle axe and a short one-handed pole axe.
But I don't have the wherewithal to pay for more variants so my thinking is to try an make them myself.
I started with some sketches - see the top picture above. It should be noted that there is a canon shield design that was not part of the initial commission. That is a sort of hooked shield which otherwise is triangular in shape. At the time I think it was thought the shape might be too hard to make. The other day, however, I stumbled upon the curved metal bit shown in the second picture. It's used in picture framing to hold the picture in place within the frame. A bit from the back of an old Dell computer supplied some metal as well. :-)
As far as weapons go, my thinking is either to do it completely from scratch or make use of the existing weapons to use as blanks. The Ahoggyá mace, for example. I did a bit of cutting and drilling today. Tomorrow I'm going to try my hand with the greenstuff. Not that I've actually done this before or anything like that. :-)
But what's this about Shén preferring pink? Actually a tiny bit misleading, but catchy I thought. While doing my research I happened to glance at the painting guide in the back of the Shén army book. I hadn't really given it much of a look over before as I have always been more interested in the mercenary units and they are all listed in the army book for the nation they serve. Looking at the list I quickly noticed that some of the armour, kilt or trim colours were listed as "pink". Also some of the shields have pink on them. I like it! The Prussian army of the 1700's had several units with pink trousers and vests, as did the Hessians. They make for a very nice looking unit, especially with the dark blue uniform coats. The Shén, with their gleaming black scales, could look quite nice in pink!