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Wow! Looks great! I'm shocked at how similar the fabric is and everything. I'm kind of jealous of your gun haha... That's the one thing I didn't get to :P
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner... A1&2: The shoulders via a semi complicated strap system to insure that they stay in the right position (regardless of the wearers movement, jumping, running etc.) and so you can separate the front and back armour pieces. I've attached a picture so you can see. A3: Front armour have three horizontal metal pieces and and additional two separate pieces, one per each side of the chest. The back only has three horizontal pieces. God luck with your armour!
Aluminium should work just fine. My supplier worked with steel, so I had a bit of a discount. Cost wise, it's a bit hard for me to estimate as I had to buy a lot of the tooling to be able to even attempt making this... sewing machine cost me a leg for example. But I'd estimate around $500 for fabrics, hardware, and the steel.
I thought so!
I would say yes. Take the following hip-mounted design in my link below. You'd simply swap the parts made for the larger axe for the parts made for the hatchet. https://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-Release-Hatchet-Holster/
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