Monday, September 22, 2014

Armor Fabrication Progress

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am working on a new costume armor for the Renaissance Festival. The Geekwif and I annually go to both the Minnesota and Texas (Houston) festivals - Minnesota because we live relatively nearby, and Texas because we have good friends in the area who are also festival goers. So, after posting all those pictures in the last blog entry on the topic, I thought I'd give a quick update on my progress.

First, the second pauldron is done, so I now have protection for both shoulders. This was an easy one to get done, as the shapes are pretty simple to cut out, and forming the second set of pieces was literally as simple as using the first set as a mold. Just warm up a piece in the oven, then take it out and lay it inside the matching piece that is already formed. The new one will quickly and easily take the shape of the "mold".

Second, I have started cutting out the remaining hip pieces, which are total nine overlapping strips on each side. I've got one hip done, and three strips cut out for the other hip. So I've got six more to go, and then I'll heat and shape them all at once to make sure they fit together nicely.

Third, I've fabricated the second knee piece, which is to say that I curved the pieces I already had cut out, and glued them together along the middle seam. This is actually the most difficult piece I've had to do, because of the off curvature of the pieces and the fact that I had to cut them, shape them, and then glue them together perfectly along that seam. And then there is a second set of pieces, similarly glued together on a seam, that connect to the knee piece and act as a sort of bridge between the greave and the knee. It's hard to explain, but I'll be sure to post pictures when I have the pieces ready for final assembly.

At this point, I just have to finish up the pieces in process as described above, and then I have a couple of very minor pieces that still need to be cut and formed. One is a neck protector that will attach to the breastplate. The other is a protective flap that connects to the bottom of the greave and gives some extra armor over the foot and ankle.

Of course when I say I just have to do the above steps, I'm really only talking about the initial fabrication. Next steps are to add some decorations around the borders, then sand everything nice and smooth to make it ready for paint. Paint being the final step, I have already read that it can easily take as much time as all the preceding fabrication. I guess we'll find out if that is true. More pics will follow as I get into this final phase.

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