Made to look like the ones seen on the big screen, these vambraces or bracers prove to be tough and durable.(Though I haven't actually tried them against a sword)
These are instructions for some leather vambraces that me and my brother Luke made. This is a replica of the armor that Aragorn took from Boromir after the battle of Amon Hen. We used a high-tec computer program to get the angles and curves just right.
Me and my brothers are Tolkien fans who made this for a costume to be worn to the premier of The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey.
I used single shoulders(7-9 oz) which have a desired thickness and the ability to be tooled. Once finished, they are a true piece of protection. Quite stiff actually. Though it is IMPORTANT TO NOTE: THEY WERE DESIGNED TO BE WORN OVER PADS. Sean Bean wore them over a long sleeve shirt,chain mail AND vambrace pads!!! So if you don't have pads or make pads, they will be HUGE. Especially if the wearer has skinny arms.
Attached to my instructable is a PDF download of the pattern that we made.
Step 1: Top Piece
So the basic structure of the vambrace is two pieces. There is a top piece and a bottom piece. The top piece is diamond-shaped and has the white tree with the feathers of sea birds and five stars above it.
After the leather has been cut out, you wet the leather and wait for it to return to its original color. I use a spray bottle. It is still moist, but not dry(wet leather is very sensitive). When this is finished, you can trace the pattern on with the Stylus. After the pattern has been marked onto the leather by the Stylus, you may commence tooling.
The top piece can be tooled with a Swivel Knife around the stars, feathers and the semicircle above the tree. The Feathers are to be beveled around their edges with the Beveler, then shaded inside with the Pear Shader. The stars are to be beveled.( Since the stars are small, I had to use two sizes of bevelers).When the stars are tooled, you want to make sure that you are delicate with them, and tool lightly.
The tree and the small blossoms on the tree branches are to be imprinted, but not swivel cut. The tree can be imprinted with a Pear Shader and Beveler. The Blossoms can be imprinted with the stylus.
The closest line parallel to the edge is to be marked with a Swivel Knife. The line parallel to that one is to be marked with an Adjustable Groover. That is the line on which the top piece is to be sewn onto the bottom piece. After it has been tooled, the top piece must be formed. It is best to form it along with the bottom piece when it gets finished. For the top piece, I used Tandy Leather Factory’s Bison Brown leather die. The tree and the blossoms are to be painted silver.
Step 2: Bottom Piece
The bottom piece of the vambrace shows the shape of the top piece and has four strips on which the straps are to be sewn.
The bottom piece has very little to do on it. The line on the inside is only marked by a stencil. The small vine insignias at the bottom of the vambrace are to be swivel cut or imprinted. After the piece is tooled, it should be soaked and formed. For the bottom, I used the Tandy Leather Factory’s Dark Cocoa Brown leather die. The small vine insignias are painted silver like the tree.
Step 3: Putting the Pieces Together
After you tool both pieces, you want to soak the vambraces in warm water and then form them to your arm, and when they have dried,you then die them
Once both pieces have been completed, they can be stitched together. The straps on which the buckles are attached to are ¾ inch.The straps on the top of the vambrace need to be stitched through both layers of leather. The ones on the bottom do not. The straps can be made as long as you need them, but remember to get a taper on the end.
(Caution: wearing these will give you the urge of running with pointy objects)