Chinese Scalemaille or Mountain Armor, or simply called "classic" by some was worn by generals at parades and events. often highly decorated with jewels and other shiny bits. But, we are not really here for the history lesson. we want to know how to make it right? Right!
Well Items made from this type of scalemaille only exist in painting and statues so it hard to know just how it was made originally. A few persons balive it a single riveted plate on leather with under hooks that connect to other plates. Me i like this apporch. ring to scale connection on triangular scales.
All Right Lets get to it.
Step 1: Tools
For this recreation you are going to need scales. You can make your own or get them from here
You will also need 18swg 5/32 rings to connect them with. if you want a looser connection 18swg 3/16 may be substituted.
Pliers: any good working pliers with a resonably medium sized ends should work just fine. I will be using Modified Knipex 20-160.
A Hemisphere of glass or other heat resistant material (Acrylic is a good sub)
A Hot plate.
Water and a pan or glass to bring water to an almost boil.
A towel! never forget your towel!
Step 2: Shaping the Scales
Since i am using plastic scales shaping them is easy and fast.
Fill your water pan with about 2 inches of water and bring it to about 98c on the hotplate. this dose not have to be perfect lower temp is just a slightly longer hold time.
Next hold one of the scales lightly by one of the hole locations and dip it into the water.
hold it there for around 3-5 sec to soften the plastic.
Next quickly remove it from the water and place it on the hemisphere and push down on it sides and center to shape in the curve into it. give it a few seconds to solidify and remove it from the hemisphere.
You'll need to do this with every scale.
Step 3: Weaving It Together
OKay now that you have the scales curved we can assemble them now.
First connect 3-4 scales in a chain, making sure that the pined side of the triangle is down. this down position is a constant as the scales never change orientation.
Next connect the second row inset by one connection so you have what looks like a upside-down pyramid starter. It is easier to assemble if you connect the scales by two rings first, then go back and add the third ring like shown in the images above.
Now you need to make a sheet of the inverted so, make a pyramid shape with only two rows.
Now stack the shorter row on top of the longer row of the first pice as shown. Then flip it over
Next Weave in a scale over ware you can see rings. no rings will be viable from the frunt side when you are done.
this scale should hold itself in place long enough to connect with rings later. next add it another next to it to cover the other rings. then flip back over.
Now add a scale to the out side aligned with the floating scale you added in the prior step. connect these with a single ring. then connect the floater to the opposing floater the same way. and add a new scale to the further side. and connect it again with the single ring.
Next add a scale to the bottom side over the lowest tips and under the highest tip. and connect it corners to the scales present. this will lock in the floaters once and for all. continue this all the way down your project. once the two ring connections are made. add in the third rings ware needed.
That's it! Continue adding scales in this manor until you have enough sheet for your project.