- The helmet was the key part of the military gear of the Roman army and evolved over the centuries. There are four main classifications of the Roman helmet: Montefortino, Coolus, Imperial Gallic and Imperial Italic. In each case, there is a bowl that fits over the head, and cheek pieces that come down to the chin. A crest, the brushy top part, may or may not be included, depending on the rank and era of the solider being portrayed. A brim is another possible addition that depends on era and style of helmet.
- Early Roman helmets were made of brass and formed over a dome. Helmets of the Imperial era were of hammered iron, and many examples still show the tool marks. Holders for the crests were placed on top and ranged from simple sockets to complex fittings. The crest itself may have been made from horsehair or feathers, depending on the customs and beliefs of each unit.
- Your Roman helmet style should be determined by how important it is to you to be historically accurate and the time period you wish to emulate. Beyond that, consider your budget, access to resources and crafting skill. Very good representations of Roman helmets can be made from paper or aluminum foil, especially if you start with a wire frame. If you have access to a metal shop or metalworking tools, you can shape a close-fitting bowl to create the basic shape of your helmet. You should also make or obtain a shield from the same era. The shield and helmet worked together to make Rome the military power that it was.