15 December, 2016

LARP Scale Armour

Here's a little project I've been working on over the last day or two.

I've got some LARP armour I've been building from scratch. It started as an iteration of my long term Iron Man cosplay, but starting heading away from that template, so it became something quite different. A chestplate, and separate abdomen piece. I decided that I needed some arm and leg protection, something flexible...so I went with scales.

A bit of research shows that there are numerous ways that armour scales can be connected to one another as lamellar armour, so there's no "wrong" way to do it... especially when this particular armour is designed as a fantasy project. There are three key things that need to be taken into account. First, it needs to be flexible; allowing for good freedom of movement for fighting and running. Second, it needs to be sturdy; not necessarily capable of protecting from full thrusts and strikes from potentially lethal metal weapons, but capable of taking regular hits from foam weapons, trips, and tumbles. Third, it needs to look the part; a player could easily get the flexibility and sturdiness from sporting pads, but such equipment doesn't suit the medieval/fantasy oeuvre. That's why I'm going with scales.

I don't have the facilities to make metal plates (yet), and this is a project designed so that anyone could duplicate it. It's not hard to do, it's just time consuming. 

Step 1.
We go through a lot of soft drink bottles in our house. They fill the recycling bin each fortnight, and I've been trying to think of a good use for them. I figured the curves of the bottle would make a good curvature for armour scales. I drew up a badic shape on paper, folded it in half, and cut it out this way to eneure I had a symmetrical scale for the armour. This was traced  onto a cleaned bottle at two points.  Once at the flat cylindrical curve, and once at the weird curved section at the bottom to give a complex "saddle"-curve to some of the scales. 

Step 2.
To make things easier, I made a pair of templates, one for each section of curvature. Then I traced it on as many bottles as I could...maybe a dozen in all. So at six scales of one type and seven of the other per bottle, that gave me over 150 scales.

Step 3.

The last step after cutting out the scales is to clean off the marker pen ink that had been used as a cutting guideline for the scissors.

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