Instructables
I have to give credit to a lot of people for this instructable, particularly Atrophius for his award winning instructable, which was my inspiration. I actually wanted to create a whole set out of sintra like he did, but because I'm out of work at the moment, I decided that cardboard was a more economical decision. Also, I didn't have enough time to make many ancillary pieces such as the leg and arm armor, and helmet. So this current piece will only include the body armor (do), and includes the shoulders (sode) and dangly crotch/ butt covers (kusazuri). Next year though, I'm going all out, and hope to post an even more awesome instructable with a top notch suit.

With that note, I did diverged from Atrophius' armor in many ways. The first is that I really wanted this to have an authentic look, and decided to go with a layered scaled Do instead of a stacked flat version.

I apologize for the lack of pictures for the Do and Sode, but I accidentally deleted them off my camera. I don't know how, or why, but oh well, they are no more.

This suit of armor got me many compliments, and I think it was totally worth the time and effort to make everything look good. Many people couldn't believe it was actually made of cardboard. It turned out sturdier, better looking, and funner than I expected!

 
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I am going to use these instruction but use pickle barrel with fake leather layered over it to make it look more like real leather armor. This is going to be something flashy and durable I can actually wear in combat. Thanks a ton for sharing!
bknepp1 year ago
I used to make this stuff in high school and early college, even got written about in a book for it (though they got details wrong to fit me into a stereotype). I perfected my method and even included waterproofing (wrap each piece in clear packaging tape, makes the cardboard even sturdier as well). I've still got most of my second best suit laying around. I made the chainmail sleeve out of knitted yarn. My advice for the Do, is to make it in the Mogami style (several small plates laced together) it's MUCH easier to sit down in. Although, that seems to be what you went with, mostly, but not quite properly done...hard to describe really, did a quick sketch. Basically, I went with the same method Atrophius used on the sode only had each row made of several plates (the chestplate in the picture is the one I used this method on, would get a better picture, but this suit was ruined in a basement flooding years ago). Anyway, this is really good, I'm guessing this is your first? My first was complete crap compared to this. Didn't get this good until around suit 4.
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Smccln2 years ago
One can make this out of sheet metal for better quality, correct?
stunami (author)  Smccln1 year ago
I'm sure you could. If you do, please post pictures! I'm actually thinking about making a set out of carbon fiber.
Foam-Smith2 years ago
very nice work. I will have to look at this and make a foam armor version since I deal with LARP weapons. If you wondering how to make a good ninja or samurai sword out of foam, look me up on here (Foam-Smith) I am putting up lots of videos on making foam weapons since I have done it for 12 years. I have a zangetsu and a star wars light saber instructable. O do u also have any other nice instructables like this. I like this 1 and it is very nice
Cheezpaper4 years ago
Nice instructable, but why is this in the ninja guide? Lol Ninjas and Samurai were enemies.. But I ain't blamin this on you, it's Instructables' fault.
Depends on the time period you are speaking of. Before ninjitsu was formalized a Ninja was little more than a Samurai in disguise. (And they never wore the hooded pajamas. That was an invention of Japanese dramas.

The "Ninja" costume that you see in movies is actually the uniform of a stageehand from traditional Japanese theater. The black costumes were a cue for the audience to ignore their presence. Often tthe costumes helped them blend into a ddark backgrouns so that props like stormclouds looked to move on their own. The association of this costume with Ninja comes from a play where the main character was to be assasinated. The director had one of his actors dress up like a stagehand so the audience would ignore him until the last minute. For its time this was an incredible mindfrak. It caused a lot of hype and even some controversy among the theater crowd.

But it proved so popular that it was emulated by other theater directors and suddenly dramas had assasins written into them left and rright just so this technique could be used. In Japanese popular culture this became the iconic ninja.

Actual ninja looked like they were little more than peasants and laborers. People the nobles would not give a second glance to, much less expect to pull out a large dagger or shortsword.

If they were to perform a mission under the cover of darkness, then sometimes a hood would be worn and they would have clothes dyed in dark blues, greens and rusts. Simply because truly black clothing would stand out more at night

Hope you find this information valuable.
Katanaman3 years ago
Wow that's not bad for cardboard, although so far the closest I have seen is the Samurai armour by Atrophius.... But if I may add some constructive criticism? You are wearing the Katana wrong, the blade edge always faces up so when you draw the sword you immediately are in a position to strike from the moment it leaves the Saya (scabbard).... Samurai always wore 2 swords, The Katana and the Wakizashi and is called daisho, literally meaning big-little (dai = big sho = little).
Sorry I ramble a bit somethimes, thanks for your instructable
stunami (author)  Katanaman3 years ago
Although posters for Last Samurai would lead you to believe that the blade edge should be pointing up, every antique picture of samurai I have found has shown it down. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Samurai.jpg


There is no correct direction to point the edge when wearing a katana. It all comes down to personal preference. Katana wear traditionally worn with the scabbard either loose in the Obi or hanging by a chain or cord. When drawing the blade for a draw cut, the scabbard could be rotated to the wearer's preference for which form of draw cut he would like to make. Which makes perfect sense. If you positioned you scabbard so that the only way you could draw it was in an overhead fashion, you would be faced with a lot of horizontal or rising strikes that you could not defend against with your draw.
The photo in your link does show the Samurai with the blade edge (Hamon) facing down, traditionally that shows a passive stance as the Samurai is posing for a photographer, so he faces the Hamon down to show his intention, also if the Samurai had his Katana on the right of his body with the Hamon down and the Tsuka toward his rear would also show intention of peace, otherwise the Hamon up is a "battle ready" stance.... When you display a Katana you would have the Tsuka (handle) facing to the left and Hamon up to show the true intention of the owner, and it is considered bad manners to draw a sword in the prescence of company...
I apologise if I seem argumentative, I do not wish you grief, I only want to share information from what I have learned from over 25 years of study in both Daito Ryu Aiki-jujutsu (Samurai training) an Iaido (swordsmanship).
Peace to you friend.
Neovenetar4 years ago
Is that a real live blade katana??? or is it an iaito sword? or really good prop?
stunami (author)  Neovenetar4 years ago
It's a cheap sword I bought at a tourist place in Shikoku. It does the job of a prop, and looking good on my dresser, but not anything else.
what, so it's metal?
stunami (author)  Neovenetar3 years ago
Although posters for Last Samurai would lead you to believe that the blade edge should be pointing up, every antique picture of samurai I have found has shown it down. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Samurai.jpg


I think that's either a tachi (predecessor to the katana) or he is holding it in his hand.
Pizzapie5003 years ago
I'm not sure but I think it's called a jinbei not a zinbei. Because on google they had nothing for zinbei then the closest they had was jinbei and it looks like that
stunami (author)  Pizzapie5003 years ago
You are correct.
Pizzapie5003 years ago
OOOH I MADE IT! IT LOOKS AWESOME! I combined your ible with Atrophius's one so it now looks like this:
Samurai.JPG
stunami (author)  Pizzapie5003 years ago
Wow! That's super sweet! Great job!
2moomoo113 years ago
you did good on this i make it and it looks greats but lacing was hard
stunami (author) 4 years ago
I wanted to make a plastic version this year, but it seems like I will be in Japan during Halloween. I will try to make one this Winter though.
Rowen274 years ago
great instructable, I would love to see the pattern for the helmet even if you didn't finish it.  it would make a great addition to this instructable, or even give it an instructable of its own.
stunami (author)  Rowen274 years ago
I used the pattern of the 8 plate helmet from one of the sites. I have the pieces somewhere in a box. I moved recently and would have to dig it out to take a picture.

Btw, sorry for the late reply.
Can you tell me the dimensions of your katana I'm going to be forging one and i want to know the thickness of a real katana. I mostly wanna know the with not so much the height.
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Most Katanas have about 1/8th inch thickness and are about 1 inch wide.
Well I actually found a chart on the net of variously sized katana's, looks like mine's a little skinny, but that will improve cutting ,it'll just take away some of the strength.

V Here's my katana it's quite a bit shinier now it's just an oldish picture !
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Player 14 years ago
very nice tut, but the thing is, samurais dont wear ninja mask, only ninjas do... to make your tut even better, u should create a way to make a samurai helmet, instead of wearing a ninja mask... ninjas and samurais are not the same... i hope you dont find this critizism offending, i dont mean to offend you, just adding knowledge to your brain... i call it friendly critizing or learning by critizism. k bye
stunami (author)  Player 14 years ago
I didn't have the time to make a helmet, although I had the pattern already cut. And yeah, I know the difference between samurais and ninja. It was actually annoying being called ninja all night long. But thanks for the heads up anyways.
to be honest...even if you had finished the full suit (helmet and legs etc...) you probably still would have gotten a lot of "hey look a ninja"....some people don't take the time to care about things like accuracy
I can attest to that. . . .every time i've included one of my katana in a costume regardless of whatever else i was wearing i've gotten "ninja" yelped at me more often than any other guess. Even when i went as Vicious from coyboy beebop . . .a suit + katana still makes a ninja apparently!
flubs Kaelessin4 years ago
 try wearing a sign that says ''not a ninja plus a katana.. see wat happens
lol jacki chuns uniform on the left. (guy from dragonball)
manzi4 years ago
looks like 3 kingdoms plate armor.. toss in a helmet and a spear and you'll be guan yu.
DainiusGB4 years ago
 I made one of these for a history project, although the only color of spray paint i had at the time was red so it came out looking like a freaking fire truck. Although for me the hardest part was getting into the chest piece. It took me a really long time to string up all the pieces. 
stunami (author)  DainiusGB4 years ago
Lacing up everything was the most time consuming by far. I usually did the lacing while watching tv.
SNiPERSeyes4 years ago
if only you could some how incorporate duct tape this would be the most amazing thing ever
stunami (author)  SNiPERSeyes4 years ago
I could have done some duct tape trim around the edges. That would be an easy way to add a silver touch to it.
Kaiven4 years ago
Freaking awesome! I love Samurais and cardboard! :D
5*!