Introduction: Futuristic Plate Armour (Larp)

About: Wow! Such science! Very lab! So research! Many awesome!

This armour is intended for futuristic campaigns, best suited to heavy armour character builds. To give you an idea, so far I've employed it for a Warhammer 40k TechPriest and for a post-apoc Templar warrior.

The look is inspired by tank tracks, and that's exactly the idea I wanted to convey - you're looking to a character that would literally run over and crush every obstacle in his path.

This 'ible is doable even to novices builder: as opposed to a eva foam armour, you don't need particular expertise or materials to create this armour. Simply some leather, foam and basic tools will do. And I assure you, it will also endure many battles.

Step 1: Materials

Shopping list:

  • Foam: Here the foam is used only to give thickness to the single plate. Buy cheap, the quality is not really relevant. At least 1 mq.
  • Tubolar rivets: At least 200 of them.
  • Washer: Take a size that will fit the rivet, also 200 of them.

  • Straps: width 5 cm, at least 15 meters.
  • Buckles: a lot of them.

Step 2: Basic Design

As you've guessed, all the build is based on a single repeated pattern. In the image all the distances are in cm.

My advice is to first experiment with paper: cut some pieces a try to glue them to see if it works for you.

If you want to follow my design, give attention in particular to the length of the pattern. I place 4 pieces around my chest and my hips. If you have a slim body build you should consider to decrease the pattern size.

Step 3: Cut

Cut a long strip of 26 cm (or whatever length is your pattern) from both leather and foam. Applying the pattern, cut all the pieces. With a drill make all the marked holes.

In my build I use 26 of this pieces. Carry on with the cutting!

Prepare the straps. I made the holes using and old welder, as the heat will plasticize the hole. You can also use a simple candle.

Step 4: Assemble

Put the leather in front, then the foam, and lastly the straps. Secure every hole with a rivet and a washer.

To close the rivet, you can either use a flat pliers or an hammer. In my experience, the hammering yielded more uniform and robust results. Always put some scrap leather over the rivet when you close it, as it will prevent any scratches.

You'll have to prepare:

  • 2 strip with 5 pieces
  • 4 strip with 4 pieces
  • 2 strip with 2 pieces

Step 5: Paint

I firmly believe that any armour, either for LARPing or simply cosplaying, should appear worn. You wouldn't believe a warrior with an armour in pristine condition.

Take a grey acrylic colour, and apply some strokes with the dry brush technique. Use different angles, and paint as if your brush were a sword. Imagine how would you most likely impact on the armour, and the shape of the scratch it would most likely leave.

Step 6: Assemble the Lower Part

Prepare four suspender using four female buckles.

Now take two strips with 5 pieces and two strips with 4 pieces, ~2mt of strap and put everything on a table.

Push the straps trough the highest pieces, leaving a suspender between each of them.

Bravo! You've completed the lower part. Try it as skirt.

Step 7: Assemble the Upper Part

Same job for the upper part, here you have to just add a circular piece for the gorget (the two pieces are united on top with a piece of velcro)

Step 8: Assemble the Spaulders

For the spaulders, I've used the same pattern again, just this time without space between the pieces.

They are kept in place with a small buckle (the male is near the gorget)

Step 9: Go and Win

Here is the final composition!

Hope it will help you in your future battles ;)