Once again this is a miniature Marvel build that was requested a lot. After a lot of thought on how I would achieve building a mini Wakanda shield, this is what I came up with…
Mini Wakanda shield
I wanted to make this build quite detailed in the pattern on the face of the shield, a tricky one as its only 75mm across the longest points. Because I like my builds to be easy to replicate, any sort of engraving process was a non starter, so I decided on metal etching. I had done this once before with my mini Stormbreaker build, but this time a deeper and more controlled etch was required, so I went for a salt bath etch.
Small salt bath etching
The setup is pretty simple. Print off the templates, stick them to the steel, cut out the parts to etch away. In preliminary tests I found a power source that gives between 5 and 12V at around 2 amps to give a consistent result. Mobile phone chargers and laptop chargers can dish out the required current so that’s what I used and went for, 5v @ 2 amp. Although I’m sure a bench power supply may give better results I didn’t have one. I also found the results were better if the surface of the steel was smooth and clean before etching, hence the gloves in the video.
Keeping any deposits of etched metal off the Wakanda shield during etching also seemed to help with the final detail level, as did regular checks. The bath was just an old take away container filled with lots of salt and warm water. The negative electrode was clipped onto a large sacrificial steel nail, and the positive to the work.
I etched two shields in the end, one was etched about 0.5 to 0.3 mms in depth into 1mm mild steel, and the second was a deeper 0.5 to 1 mm etch into 2 mm steel. I couldn’t decide which I liked more. You decide. Maybe somewhere in between is the sweet spot.
Coloring the Wakanda shield
Once again I went for gun blue, 3 coats as per instruction gave the final clean look I was looking for and they looked absolutely great. In fact they looked a whole lot better than in the final video as I made the fatal mistake of leaving them somewhere damp for a few days before coating them with a matt clear varnish. This meant that off camera I had to cover some rusty stains that started to bleed through with black acrylic paint as time constraints meant I hadn’t got time to strip them back to bare metal again.
Wakanda shield template
My mini Wakanda shield is 75mm when the two parts are assembled from front to back, scale the images up or down to suit your needs.
The above project is aimed at adults for education and entertainment purposes only, not to replicate. Anyone doing so takes full responsibility for their own actions.