Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Final Thoughts on the Armor... For Now

Well, we made it home safely yesterday after a great weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival. The armor held up quite well, although I should admit that I only wore it on Saturday. On Sunday, I wore the same costume that I did at the Minnesota festival -- that is to say, I wore my old costume with the chainmail shirt added.

It was cold on both days -- not just "cold for Texas", but unseasonably cold due to the whole polar vortex thing, and as you saw from the photos, I was wearing my heavy cape to keep warm. It also kept out the wind and rain quite nicely.

But the reason I didn't wear the armor on Sunday was simply that it is a bit restrictive to my movement. Given that this is the first suit of armor I have ever fabricated, I suppose it's no surprise that such imperfections might become apparent only upon first wearing it. So I don't feel bad about having made an imperfect costume... I simply chose not to wear it on Sunday, so that I could enjoy freedom of movement for a day.

Other than that, I don't have anything really critical to say of the armor. It fits as I designed it to, although it could use some improvements. The paint is as good as I could get it in the time I had, but again it could use some improvements. It held up quite well to the rigors of travel, including being inspected twice by the TSA. I blame the chainmail for that (16 pounds of steel sitting in the bottom of a suitcase), but whatever the cause, it survived being stuffed into a suitcase, then shifted around, pulled out, worn for a day, stuffed back into a suitcase, shifted around for inspection again, and finally removed upon our arrival home. It popped two rivets, one during each trip, which is better than I expected. I had brought my paints and riveting tools with me, plus enough rivets to re-do the entire suit if needed, and I only needed the two rivets. The paint also survived quite nicely, only needing some minor touch-up after travel.

I intend to post a few more pics, close-up to show the various finished pieces, later this week. Other than that, I am starting to turn my mind toward the next Balfrith story, writing down some ideas I've had rattling around in my head for a while. More to come on that later, too.