As with most contact-sporting equipment, our shields take a beating. Here are the best ways to ensure your shield lasts long and looks great:
Do not leave your shield stationary in direct sunlight, or exposed in a hot car.
- While PlastiDip doesn’t necessarily melt, exposure to high temperatures over an extended period of time may cause damage as foam warps at different rates and temperatures, and your shield is made or multiple types of foam and glue. Foam flexing damages the outter plasti-dip layer by making the foam less durable and stressing the dip. To avoid this, simply cover your shield if it is in a car, and leave your shield in shade when not in use.
Don’t leave your shield out in the rain or snow.
- Much like sunlight, rain is mostly not a problem for our shields, however too much water might soak the shield foam near the strapping where it is exposed and warp your shield shape. This is especially important if your shield has any leather details on the edge or strapping. Remember to always take your shield off of the field when finished with fighting.
- Snow can be an issue for all shields, plasti dipped or no, due to water expanding when it freezes. Do not leave your shield outside repeatedly to freeze and unfreeze. This stretches the foam and thus the dip, and decreases the longevity of your shield. Store your shield in a cool, dry, place.
Repair any minor surface damage soon after it happens.
- Surface damage comes from sharp objects, such as armor, that could stab into the edge foam or lift an edge on the sculpture. While this is rare, sometimes pieces do need repaired. To repair any lifted edges use either E6000 glue, or clear Shoe Goo. Both of these adhesives are available at department stores, and many art supply stores. They both dry clear and go on thick. Allow either to dry for at least 12 hours.
(We seal all of our edges with a combination of both of these products and in general your shield should last through combat for at least a few fight seasons before damage occurs. However, if it does occur, luckily it is a quick fix.)
Repairing larger surface damage:
- In the rare event that a sculpture looses a part or a rivet pops off we recommend sealing the area with glue (as detailed above) and then finishing the area by painting on some grime and blood. Just like in real battle, our shields will gain more battle damage over time. Generally this is a slow break-down in the foam around the edge which can cause the paint to look a little cracked. However, if something does come off or get damaged more severely, glue and paint will solve the problem. You can paint battle damage with acrylic browns, reds, and blacks with a wet sponge. Then wipe the area off with a damp paper towel. This should leave paint in the cracks of the damaged area and cover exposed foam (if any). Repeat as needed until you like the result. The shield is sealed with roof sealant so feel free to try a few times and wipe it off until you get it perfect. You can seal the area with a simple acrylic sealant, although we recommend using silicon based roof sealant (Through the Roof).
Structural Damage Repair Guarantee:
We guarantee the structural integrity of your shield for the first year after your purchase. This means that the main sculpted elements, the strapping, and the sheets of foam that form your shield blank, are guaranteed to last in combat for the first year. Moreover, if structural damage does occur from intended use, we will fix your shield for free. If that damage is too extensive we will work to replace your shield.