Introduction: How to Build Leg Armor Using Recycled Cans or Sheet Metal
This is the finished Product I had to put light artificially so you could see the textures(I painted it Black ) , this is a full metal leg armor made out of tin sheet metal and recycles cans , you just need a minimum of tools and pretty much anyone can make this , I will upload the template when I fix my scanner , I used as a reference Guts armor (from Berserk ) picking another design would be easier for starters (this is my second time working with sheet metal) last picture is the photo of the full cosplay !
Step 1: What You Need
I wanted to make this very basic and wanted it to be made with standard tools
this is the list : Scissors , Pliers , screwdriver , pen, marker, drill bit and drill ( not in pic ).
sand paper ,duck tape ,screws ( this is up to you but I would recommend Metric machine screws, Phillips pan head, Stainless steel 18-8, 4mm x 0.7mm ) drill bit must be a bit bigger then the screw you choose also use gloves and eye protection .
Optional : Dremel (for edges ) , Hammer , Brace , spay paint ,puncture tool and silicon gun .
IMPORTANT : you would only need a hammer if you are going to use recycled cans ( this step is at the end as an optional route ).
Step 2: Materials and Screws
I used tin a low gauge sheet metal 11* thickness 0.1196in 3.038mm I used a few cans for the smaller parts
I also used a Phillips pan head, Stainless steel 18-8, 4mm x 0.7mm ( 36 for this build ) .
For the straps I took them form an old book bag and purchased the buckles online I pick these because I dont know how to sew very well and this one is easy to install
Step 3: Template
For me this is was the hardest part , and its not even that hard.I plan on putting these templates online when I fix my scanner,I started at the base , but looking back the best place to start is the knee , and this is because of the articulation at that point ,plus it is easier to adjust for your size at the base or the top ,this Build ,had a lot of parts due to the design , some are practical others or just for show and support .
make each part and cut and adjust accordingly .
1. Put numbers on your Template
2.Make the holes on only one side and adjust to your leg before making the other holes on the other side ,this is so you can get the curve of your leg a lot easier and it makes it look better overall
3. Adjust the knee and make sure you can move test fit it !
Step 4: Put Together Your Template
I divided it in 3 parts because of the size
Calf /Knee / Thigh
The Knee was put together rather fast it had 3 parts
The Calf had 5 parts and the Thigh had 8
I would recommend test-fitting with the screws and not just tape, If you are using cardboard just drill or make the holes with a puncture tool.
Step 5: Draw Your Template on the Sheet Metal and Cut It
Some people prefer not to use marker because of the thick edges , but if you do remember to cut inside the lines I find it better if you tape the template and cut directly. It is important that you drill the holes on one side only , because it is better to mark the hole after you pre fit the armor (the design changes slightly when you make it in sheet metal and when you are adjusting its better to test fist .Always wear protection the curve parts tend to have a sharp edge, sand it down or use a Dremel. For the bending use an edge ( I used the wall and my desk ) Pretty easy if you pick a thin sheet metal .
Step 6: Time to Drill !
This piece I made for the tutorial .Mark each hole , and drill on a hard surface , because if you don't you get a bad edge and need to sand it down.
Step 7: Knee
I screwed and put the knee together ( this part is not obligatory ) ,I wanted to give it a better looking finish so I used car filler and molded it to its intended shape , please note this will require at least 30 min of sanding , and before you do so let it dry at least 2 hours,mark with a marker and sand in the same direction , the more you sand the better ,You can spay paint directly on it and it will blend.
Step 8: Putting the Calf Together
After you assemble the knee , and drill all the holes ,start from from the bottom up because these parts overlap each other I made these straps by sewing a bit and then wrapping it with duck tape to make it stronger.
Step 9: Now Knee With Calf
Same as before fasten all the parts on one side then the other.
*Optional I made a strap holder with a small piece of sheet metal , but I would recommend you directly fasten the strap with a screw It is much easier and looks better .
Step 10: Thigh and Knee
Basically the same process over again , if you did a good template it will come together really well , this part has upper thigh strap , 2 straps in total , one that goes around the thigh and another that is for your belt , so it can have more stability .
Step 11: Finish Up
Use a silicon gun and put a bit at the end of each screw so they don't unfasten
Step 12: If You Want to Use Recycled Materials
If you want to use recycled cans here are some tips
1. Use protection.
2. Clean first .
3. Pick cans with smooth surfaces.
4. Pre paint it to see if the paint has the same finish as your other cans .
5. Use paper templates so you can check easy if the can is big enough.
6. only lightly use the hammer at the edges and not on the main surface .
Step 13: Finish Product
This was very fun to do , and easy ,It articulates very well is light and feels stable .Sorry for the lack of quality pics taking pictures with one hand is hard on a cell phone, I will upload the templates when I fix my scanner so you guys can make your own , If you like this build tell me so I can put the other parts up too .any questions or suggestions please ask !