Intro: How to Make Build a Gondorian Suit of Armour From Authentic Materials (well, Almost)
WARNING: I have pictures of a sword in this instructable. You are not allowed to own a replica sword unless you are 18 (in the UK at least) DO NOT leave the house with a sword because it is illegal and could get you arrested. All the pictures/videos are taken inside my home or back yard. I do not advise you equipping a sword unless it is made of plastic because you and others could get hurt. Once again, unless you are 100% sure you must equip it, and are fully capable of doing so, then don't do it.
I am writing the above warnings because i want you to be safe and enjoy this armour as much as i do. In perfect safety and without any injury to you or others.
Phew, now that all the warnings are out of the way, lets begin.
Hi everyone. Once again I'm posting an awesome instructable of something I came up with 1.5 - 2 years ago, and just did not get a chance to show everyone because of other projects i was working on (yes you will get to see those as well at a later date, that includes the helmet that i am working on that goes with this set, unfortunately the helmet is not made of steel)
Here is something i finally got to put on instructables. Check it out, its how to cheaply build a boat. HERE is the link.
This armour was made with very little tools. At the time i was just beginning to enter the world of craftsmanship and was pretty much learning as i went. All i just had a drill, a hacksaw and a small workbench, and stuff like pliers and shears and screwdrivers, nothing fancy. This entire armour was made in my room. The chainmaille was also produced inside a hotel room and in an airplane due to the fact that it needed to be done a bit faster than expected due an event (Exams) that would cause a huge 3 month break in the production of this armour
All of this is real metal, it's not plastic or cardboard. The chainmaille is copper however (find out why in the following pages) The armor weighs 20-25kg with the shield and does provide a certain degree of protection from various weapons, ranged and melee.
Im a huge (i mean seriously huge) fan of Lord of the Rings, so because of that i just had to make one of these. I began making the chainmaille for this armour in mid spring early summer of 2010 and stopped because of various more important things that needed my attention. I began making chainmaille again during February, and went all out completing the Hauberk in a month (poor fingers)
However, before that i began work in January 2011 on the plate armour which took about a month to a month and a half. I know what your thinking "wow dude, this takes so long". Well, i had do do a lot of inventing when i made this, like figuring out how to make leg plates that look authentic, and are also possible to wear and use on a daily basis (sitting down, walking, moving your arm in the shoulder pieces etc etc)
At the time i did not think of taking that many pictures of step by steps (tho i do have some) so i ended up taking pictures of each individual piece of armour as it looks like today. I hope this instructable gives you a good insight on how this armour was made.
Before going any further i would like to mention this. As armour fits different people differently and must be tailor made, i will not give exact values to anything and will usually say things such as "Make this as long as your arm, or as wide as your chest" because everyone is different in size and shape and the armour you see here may not fit the person reading this text.
Fun things to use this for:
- Before i go into any of the below opinions on this armour, the most important asset of this armour is its ability to feed your eyes. It is the most awesome source of eye candy i own, and i sometimes just sit staring at it. It a stunning thing to have in your house, especially if its an older house that fits the medieval theme. I strongly advise getting a stand for it once its done so that you can put it in your living room, or stick it in front of the door as a coat hanger or as a puppet to scare people on halloween :)
- Its great for any costume party because of its unique use of materials (you don't usually see a guy in metal when you go to a costume party)
- If you do fencing, you could as a joke or just for fun, wear this on you (as well as the fencing helmet) I have done it, and when you get poked by the fencing sword, you feel absolutely nothing (unless you get poked in a chainmaille ring, unlikely tho because of all the plate on you :)) However, you probably wont be able to do all the agile things a normal fencer does due to the added weight and restriction in movement.
- If you are working in a chemistry lab, and feel like doing a more dangerous experiment in school, the shield offers protection from pretty much anything a chemistry lab can throw at you. (tho i do advise using a blast shield if you have that available, use this only if you don't have anything else)
- If you are looking for a job in a place that requires you to have some workshop skills, this could be a great asset to your portfolio.
- And finally. don't do this because of the above reasons. Do it because its fun and you enjoy it.
This can vary from country to country and what i am giving you here is what it cost me at the time. Prices may have changed since then however. Tho, i doubt it would differ very much.
Materials for this cost me around 100 Euros (thats about 125 US dollars or 80 British Pounds).
However around 50% of the cost was the copper wire, so if you can get that free, this should be very cheap.
Oh and, i work in metric, so if that is inconvenient for some people here are a few guidelines.
10cm is equicavalent to 3.93 inches.
1cm is equivalent to 0.39 inches.
The basic rule with inches is if you have a measurement in centimetres, just divide it by 2.54 and you have the measurement in inches.
Step 1: Safety and Stuff You Should Know.
You are handling a drill, and sheet metal. Both these 2 things are very dangerous if not handled with care. Sheet metal can and will cut you, and drills can poke holes in you as well as others.
- ALWAYS have a first aid kit handy.
- Make sure you wear protective eyewear and thick gloves when handling drill and sheet metal.
- Dont hurry if you don't have to as it increases the chance of a mistake happening and you getting hurt.
- If you don't know how to use any tools, go and ask someone to teach you, or read it up on the interents.
Thanks for reading this, lets begin.
Step 2: Materials That You Will Need.
- Basic tool skills
- Knowing how sheet metal works and reacts to various things (your hand pressing on it etc)
- Knowing a bit about the dynamics of armour (Leg plates and the mechanics involved in how they work, i explain some of it here in the instructable)
- Some painting skills (well, more of a steady hand than anything)
- Some knowledge about clothes (Helps with making the chainmaille hauberk, knowing how sleeves and stuff work etc)
- Mensuration skills
- The ability to withstand a scratch or a poke :)
Materials: (most of these are obtainable from any major hardware store. American ones would be Home Depot, Uk ones include B&Q, Homebase. You do not have to go to the ones listed if you can find cheaper solutions elsewhere)
For the Chainmaille:
- A sharp Knife.
- Solid copper wire 0.5mm-1.5mm thickness (depending on your preference) Get a lot of this, you will need entire spools of wire.
- Steel wire that is thicker than your copper wire by about 0.5mm (you don't need much, just enough for about 50 rings, that would mean about 5 metres of wire)
- Wire cutters
- A threaded rod (The size you get is the size your chainmaille rings will be, i went with a 8mm rod at the time)
- Galvanised steel sheet metal of 0.3-0.75mm thickness (you don't wana any more than 0.75mm unless you have some more advanced tools and/or are very strong) The reason i say galvanised steel is because the pictures you see of me dressed up are from 1.5 years ago. 2 years ago. The pictures taken of the disassembled armour are taken about 3 days ago, and from what i can see nothing has changed. No rust on anything and the paint held up perfectly as well.
- Sheet metal shears (this is what i mean by don't go to thick on the sheet metal)
- A permanent Marker
- White Enamel paint (or car paint, really anything that sticks to metal)
- 2x large Dark Blue Bed sheet (200x170cm or thereabouts, you don't want it square unless you plan on cutting it and sewing the end up yourself)
- A Rubber Hammer
- A work bench (check the image below) I chose this bench because its very small, and fits into my room, but also opens up to allow for a larger surface space, as well as having the potential to clamp in it sheet metal so that i can bend it with ease.
- A drill with drill bits that range from 3mm-8mm (again, depending on preference)
- Many many Pop rivets, with hand riveter. (don't go over 5mm if possible)
- Washers (of whatever size your rivets are)
- silver AND black Duct tape (how could we forget)
- Velcro strips (about 5cm wide or thereabouts)
- Fake leather belts (you can get real leather belts if you like, but they are costly and not worth breaking for something that works just as well)
- Belts made out of thick material
For the Shield:
- Aluminium sheet metal (0.5-1mm thick)
- Some "T" Shaped aluminium bars and some corner brackets.
To make your life easier:
A friend to keep you company while you work, as well as helping you with the more complicated parts that require more arms. I did not have such a friend at the time, so i used the work bench and mirrors and stuff. You can do this alone but a friend would help a lot.
Music and stuff to get you in the mood :)
Many many pictures of various scenes from the movies that involve gondorian soldiers, or pictures of armour from the Weta Workshop or behind the scenes videos from Lord of the Rings.
You will also need general workshop tools such as pliers, screwdrivers and other such stuff (This depends a lot on how you work)
Also, a calculator if you are not used to the metric system and want to convert values to imperial. I will try to convert as many as possible myself.
Undergarments (I strongly recommend getting these)
- Ski underwear, so long pants and long sleeved shirts that stick to your body (No not lycra, cotton) It MUST be black if you want it to look cool. Also get long thick black socks.
Step 3: The Chainmaille
This is very easy to do, but takes a very long time and if you don't like getting calluses on your fingers you should wear gloves or something that protects your fingers. (oh and for those that do get calluses, DO NOT pick them)
Taking the insulation off
Begin by taking your wire, which i suspect will be insulated (mine was). Now, this is very fun. Tie your wire so that is spans across the room at about shoulder level and is constantly taut.
This could be dangerous if you are clumsy or have objects lying on the floor, so wear gloves and googles.
After you tied your wire take the knife and hold it like your gone zip line down the wire with the blade facing AWAY from you. Hold the knife at around 30* to the wire else it may cut into the copper and your gone stop suddenly while your moving and that will be very annoying. After you made your initial cut into the insulation, keep the knife at the angle you best prefer and walk down the wire while keeping pressure on it. This will remove the top half of insulation from your wire. Once you are done, you just pull the second half of insulation off the wire, as it should slide off with ease.
Here is a video on how to do it.
Now that you have your wire, stick the threaded rod inside your drill and turn the drill to the appropriate setting (clockwise or counter clockwise depending on the direction you put your rod in) Do a few loops around the rod with your wire, you should be making something that looks like a spring tightly coiled on the rod. The wire should follow the groove in the threaded rod. Now, hold the wire taut perpendicular to the rod, and SLOWLY start spinning the drill. Your wire should tightly (It HAS to be tight so that all your rings are equal) coil around the rod until either you are out of wire, or you run out of rod. If either happens, cut off the excess wire and unspool your spring.
To do this, hold the bottom of the spring (the part near the drill chuck) And wind your drill in the opposite direction. If the spring is having difficulties coming off try to force it, but not too much else you risk enlarging the rings. If it still doesn't come off, use olive oil or soap to loosen the spring (Olive oil because synthetic oil stinks and is messy)
Once that is done, cut down the middle of the top of the spring with wire cutters to get hundreds of rings (hundreds depending on the size of the spring)
Below are pictures of rings and how they should end up once they are cut.
Also below is a picture of the spool of wire you should end up with after you have spooled it on the threaded rod.
Step 4: Weaving the Maille.
Small warning: Because this takes so long, and copper is slightly reactive, it will tarnish ("Rust") because of the grease in your hands and moisture in the air. Don't worry, just keep working, some parts of the hauberk will be darker than others.
A word of advice however. When linking the chains, make sure that when you are making the vest, the chains collapse upon themselves, that means that the pattern must be horizontal. To check hold it in your hand, and if it droops down and all the chains move closer together, thats the direction it should be in when you wear it. Else it will look horrible. (check pictures to see what i mean)
The reason i use copper wire is because it is much easier to make in a short time, and goes easier on your hands, and is also lighter to wear without losing its "Authentic" feel.
Now begin by taking your 4 rings and place them in front of you. Place them in the following pattern: Make a square from these rings.
Now, slightly overlap the bottom rings so that they are on top of the top rings and create a small loop hole between them.
Take a fifth ring and loop it between these 2 holes created. This is called a 4 in 1 pattern, because you have 4 rings, in one ring.
Look at he pictures bellow for reference of overlapping and 4 in 1 things.
Whenever you slide rings into holes make sure they are open, when you are done with a ring, close it. The initial 4 rings must be closed. To close a ring simply move the 2 bits that are apart from each other so that they join. To open a ring, move the closed bits of wire apart so that a large space appears (don't open it too far else you risk fatiguing the metal) (Check the pictures to see what i mean)
Keep making hundreds of these little squares and when you have a bunch, take 2 of these rings and put them side by side so that they are in the same direction (Both ring squares overlap from bottom to top) Now you will have a another loop created between these 2 side by side squares. Simply slip a ring between these and you've got a bigger piece. When you want to link pieces of chainmaille together from top to bottom, just overlap them in the proper order (so if your overlapping is from top to bottom, continue with that pattern) they should slide together without you having to lift them off the table. Then, again, just slip rings through the 2 loops the overlapping creates.
Keep doing this until you have a vest. Just stick together large pieces and make a sort of a giant loop you can slide over your head, then add arm holes and close it with smaller patches so that you have shoulder straps. You will eventually get to what you see in the pictures below.
When you want to add arm pieces it gets a tad tricky because you want the maille to close around your arm, which means you will have to link the body to the arm at a 90* angle. This is called a 90* suture. Google it if you have doubts.
What you do is line the 2 rings together and you will have one side with loops, and the other side with simple rings sticking out of the vest. What you do is simply have 2 loops connected to each one ring on the shoulder. This means you slip one ring into the loop created by overlapping rings, then close it inside the single ring on the vest. You do this again with the next loop but you close it in the SAME ring. Only once you moved to the third loop do you begin a new ring. This of course may vary and sometimes you will be required to use 2 rings instead of only one (this means that you have one loop per ring in sections)
Take huge care when putting this on as the wire may scratch your skin. That is why i recommend wearing ski undergarments and not wearing it on naked skin.
Once you are finished with your chainmaille hauberk, i congratulate you for your perseverance. All you need to do is line the section that is the head hole (Where your head goes into the hauberk, like the hole you stick your head thru in a T-Shirt) with Steel rings. You NEED to do this else the weight off the chainmaille will tear the neck section apart, so you need steel rings to reinforce this area. Check the images to see what i mean.
Step 5: Making the Plate Armour, the Chest Piece and Back Piece
WARNING: Sharp corners from sheet metal can and will cut your fingers, so either handle with care, or wear gloves
This is where it gets complicated and your skills with tools will be tested.
Armour is complicated stuff, and will only usually fit one type of person (As in, people with similar height and build). Because there are no measurements i can give you, because i don't know your height or build, i will explain how to build it on yourself by using your body as a mannequin.
So, we must make this armour to fit you. I will try to explain the crazy method that i used to make it fit me. A lot of this is guess work.
Begin by drawing out a piece that spans from shoulder to shoulder and chin to belt line.. Now cut that piece approximately 5-10 cm (3.9-1.96 inches) larger in each direction to account for error. Mark the bit near your neck as the Top.
Now that you have a top, bend the edges of the sheet metal 90* towards you. Bend about 15-20cm (5.9-7.9 inches) of sheet metal. You now have something that looks like a shield. Now, get a friend to mark approximately where your shoulders are on the sheet metal while you hold it up against you.
Carefully cut out shoulder holes in the section that your friend marked. Begin by cutting a little and then checking it against you, and then cut a little more, then check some more. So on so forth. Do not cut all the way until you are done. Leave a bit of space for the next step.
This is where you need a wooden bench. Take your sheet metal, and bend it exactly half way, going from top to bottom (meaning that the creace created by the bend is from top to bottom) about 15-25 degrees (Check the image out) Now, take your newly formed sheet metal and slowly move it up and down the edge of the bench holding it in the same direction to slightly rounden out the left and right side of the bend, as well as making the bend line less visible. Try to make it "curve" around your body as much as possible (check image)
This next part may take a few tries.
Now that you have a sort of a potato chip, take that and draw a dot on the bend line where you think heart level is (so the dot should be on the same plane as your heart, but not exactly on the heart) This is the "Middle" of your next bend.
Draw a line from the dot you just drew to the middle of each shoulder. Now create a 10-15 degree bend on that line. Now you have a triangle formed above the dot to your neck. Flatten it out, but not completely with the hammer (Leave a bit of a curve in it)
It should now look more like a torso than a sheet of metal.
To add some function to it, add a "V" taper to the bottom of the Front plate so that the leg plates can slip underneath nicely and move when you sit down. Do this with shears, then add silver duct tape (Check the photos for reference)
Now curve the top backwards about 10cm using the same technique to produce shoulder straps that attach to the back plate. Ask a friend to mark where he/she thinks your neck will stick out from out of the top bend you just made. Cut this hole out with shears in the shape of a "V" neck. (not to profound, check images)
Finish of the arm holes by making sure the metal covers enough of your chest that none of it is visible, but that you are also able to have mobility of your arm inside the chest piece.
You now have the front piece, do the same to the back piece. The back piece will not have such profound bends, they will be much much less visible (check images)
Now cut holes in the side flaps that you made at the start so that you can put belts in to be able to wear the armour. To do this, daw out your line where you want the slit to be, and use your 8mm drill bit to make many many holes close to one another which will eventually result in a slit. Finish it off with the shears and add the fabric belts.
Do the same to the shoulder straps (check images) however, here you must use the fake leather belts, and the slits should be smaller. Make sure your belts are slightly rigid.
Congratulations, you are done with your torso piece.
Step 6: Pauldrons.
This part, and the next are a tad tricky. I discovered a way of intelligently making the Pauldrons (and the leg protectors) bend when you flex your arm or walk. This is great because it allows you some movement in your arm as well as letting you sit down. And trust me, when you are wearing armour, sitting is awesome.
Here is a quick video to show you how it should move.
I did not manage to get a round Pauldron at the time, do it turned out a bit square. However, you can try this method that i am about to post if you like, as well as the original way that i used (i just didn't curve the metal, the rest is exactly the same)
Cut some more sheet metal that is approximately the length and width of your bicep. You will trim this down greatly depending on what you want the Pauldron to look like. Now, curve it around the table by rolling the sheet metal in the direction that you would like it curve on the edge of the table. Once you are happy with how it curves (Don't do it too much, as in, don't curve it more than 180 degrees, check image out) Put it on your shoulder and see if it fits. If it does, measure from one end around 10 centimetres, and then around 5-8cm inwards as well. Cut with the shears along the inward measurement, then bend the flap you just created inward. You should bend it inward around 90degrees (Not exactly 90 tho, a bit less, check image numbered 1) . This will be the beginning of the mobile plate part.
Once you are happy with how the plate armour looks like on your shoulder, go cut yourself some strips of metal, approximately 10cm in width, and the length of your Pauldrons width (if that doesn't make sense, just think that they should be strips that are as long, as the width of your Pauldrons, and 10cm or 3.9 inches wide) Make about 6-10 of them, depending on how you want your Pauldrons to look like. Curve these strips on the bench so that they have the same curvature as your pauldons.
Now go get some of those leather belts and cut strips about 50cm long strips. Get like 4-5 strips (so that you have a spare, you only need 4)
Lay out your shoulders flat on a table and carefully lay out the strips you cut so that they overlap (the top one overlaps the bottom one) Mark on your strips where you would like to have the holes for the rivets that go into the belt, and then do so as well on the belt. Drill your holes in the belts and metal (Size is whatever your rivet size is, i used 5mm). Now align the belt holes with the metal holes and rivet the belt to the strips, also, when you are riveting, rivet from the metal size, and add a washer to the belt side, because otherwise the rivets will come out over time as the belt flexes. You MUST have 2 leather belts per shoulder piece. That means 2 belt strips on either side of you metal strips.
Trim the metal strips so that they get smaller as they move down your arm. Add a slight curve to the corners. DO NOT leave pointy corners, always curve corners off by cutting them off with shears.
Now, the final step is to cut some slits in the top part of your Pauldrons so that they can be attached to the main body of the armour. Cut strips that will fit you LEATHER belts.
Now that that is done, you will have your metal strips like a scale armour hanging down your arm. This is good, but you want it to stay with your arm as you move it as well. Here is what you do:
Take some of those velcro strips, and tape with duct tape, 2 of them, one on the top and one of the bottom of your metal strip section that rests on your arm. Now you are able to tie the Pauldron to you arm and move the shoulder piece. Try it out.
Congratulations, the second part of your armour is done.
Step 7: Leg Protection.
This is probably the hardest part in the entire armour. Thankfully, it is also the second last.
This took me a tremendous amount of time to figure out because of the complications i had with sitting down. However i got it done eventually and it works pretty well. The way it works (If you look at the video) is that each identical in width strip overlaps the one above it. This means they can slide (because of the leather belts) over one another and flex and bend, unlike normal uncut sheet metal. This allows you to move (run) and sit down, as well as do basic lunges and things required during sword combat (Not saying your gona so sword fighting but its cool to know you could) The shoulder pads work in the same way, but the function of this overlapping is more aesthetic than functional.
Here is a video to help show you how it should move.
What you have to do is first cur a bunch of metal strips like 20. They should be 15-20 cm (5.9-7.9 inches) wide and about as long as the distance of your hips, make that the distance of your hips plus 10cm (3.9 inches)
Now take about 10 strips and hold them so that they are all one big block. DO NOT let this block slip out of you hands or move in any sort of way if possible along the width of the strips.
Take your block of strips and curve them around the bench so that they curve about 45* somewhere there (check the image numbered 2.)
Remember which strips were higher up because those strips will curve less than the ones that were touching the table.
Now, spread your strips so that the bottom ones overlap the top ones, and make sure that the one on the top of the block is at the bottom of your spread of overlapping strips.
This next step is difficult to explain, so i will do my best, but use the photos as reference as much as possible.
Get some leather belts and line them so that they are a tad longer than your spread of strips. Do the same as you did with the Pauldron strips by measuring out where you want the holes to be, and lining them up with the belts. If you split your strips in 3 sections horizontally, the leather belts should attach to the metal on the border between thirds (again check the images if you don't know what that means) Rivet the belts in using washers on the belt side.
Now carefully draw a curve that starts at the top of the leg protector but about a few centimeters inwards, and ends in a tip at the bottom (Use image 3 for reference) Cut along the line that you drew.
Now, get a belt that fits you personally, and insert it in the upper most loops of the leg protector (Use image for reference) so that you can tie these to your waist.
Repeat all of the above so that the other leg protector is a mirror image (horizontally, use image for reference (image 5)) of the one you just made. The strips should be the same length and width, and should be cut in exactly the same way and should overlap the same amount, otherwise they will have different lengths and it will look strange on you..
Congratulations. You are almost done with the plate armour.
Step 8: Vambraces.
Just cut strips of metal about 20-30 cm wide, and as long as your forearm. Curve them around the table and then shape them in to a sort of a diamond shape, with the tip that points towards your hand being smaller than the one that points to your elbow.
Drill a small hole in the tip towards the elbow and insert a steel ring that you used for the neck reinforcement in the chainmaille. This steel ring must remain open so that you can loop it into one of your chainmaille rings so that the vambraces stay on your arm, else they will just slide off the chainmaille (I am assuming here your chainmaille hauberk has long sleeves. It looks way cooler with long sleeves)
Atatch 2 strips of velcro to your vambraces so that you can tie them to your arms.
If you are reading this scroll down:
CONGRATULATIONS BRO/SIS YOU FINISHED THE ARMOUR AND DESERVE A FREAKING MEDAL OF HONOR (As well as a huge rest and cookies)
Step 9: Painting.
Your gona need enamel white paint for this step. You can engrave the armor if you have the devices to do so or if you have access to strong acids to acid etch it. However, if none of that is available, paint works fine as well. To be honest, Paint looks the best, but would look even better with etched designs into the armor.
Ok, check this image out. http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Human/Gondor/white_tree_leaf_so.jpg
Its what i used, you can pic something different if you like your choice. Anyways, i can not help you much here if you can't paint.
Use white enamel (or car) paint. But before that, draw the outline of your tree on your CHEST PLATE. After that is done, just paint within the outline you drew.
If you make a mistake, dont worry, this paint dries in about 24 hours so you can wipe whatever mistake you made (if minor) with cotton swabs (if major) with a towel. But don't hope to use that towel again for cleaning yourself. This stuff comes off metal, but not off clothes.
Pauldrons and leg guards.
Check this out. http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Human/Gondor/Armor.htm
Use that link as reference for Pauldrons and leg guards, and chest as well. Its a very good link. Just make sure that the tree style you use is the same on every piece of armour.
I didn't do this because, well, i didn't think about it at the time, but ill do it soon.
Get a smaller tree, a different model, but similar to the one on your chest, and paint it on to the vambraces. Just Google Aragorn Vambraces, if you don't know what i mean.
Paint the entire shield face. Put a different tree on it, preferably with the crown of Numenor on it, or some sort of helmet form Gondor.
Step 10: The Cape and "skirt"
Get those bed sheets i told you to get. Use one as a cape. Simply tie it around your neck to that the long side of the bed sheet slides down your back. The cape should drape all the way to the ground.
For the skirt. Duct tape it round your waist with the short side (or long side if you are tall) dangling down your leg. The skirt should drape all the way down to your toes as well.
Step 11: The Shield.
The shield is real cool. The reason i like it so much is because it matches the armour and also is pretty useful in other aspects of life.
I use it to test various things i build at home. And i also use it as a blast shield when i do various chemistry experiments (I prop up some plexi-glass up on the top and peek through that) The marks you may or may not see on the other side of the shield are me firing bows and arrows into because i had no other target at the firing range.
Take 2 (or 3 or four or 5) sheets of aluminium sheet metal. I assume its a rectangular piece you have. If yes, the long side should face upwards (Or downwards). Take those "T" bars you got and rivet each end to a corner bracket. THe bracket you have is probably 90* bent, bend it a further 45* if not more.
You should now have 2 T bars attached to corner brackets.
Rivet end of your T bars to the sheet metal (one bar near the top, and one near the bottom, check image, of the shield) , this will require you to flex the metal (Hence the aluminium) So that it curves nicely. Depending on the length of you "T" bar, it will curve more or less. The final curve should make the shield a bit wider than yourself. Use a friend if you need help with this.
Take a piece of STEEL sheet metal that is the same size as your aluminium ones, and rivet it over the face of the shield you just made.This will make the shield MUCH stronger and resistant to impact, as well as making it look the same as your armour.
Paint the shield as you did the chest plate. However this time use a different tree.
As you may see on my shield. Ive shot it with various VERY powerful things, and it held up. I will create an instructable on how to create on of those very powerful items in the future.
DO NOT shoot yourself with anything. You could break your arm or worse. If you really wana destroy your shield, make sure nobody is behind it when you shoot it. And even then i do NOT recommend shooting it, because whatever hits it may ricochet of it.
I REPEAT, I AM NOT HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY STUPID ACTION THAT RESULTS OF READING ANYTHING ABOVE OR ON ANY OTHER PAGE HERE. THIS IS NOT A TOY AND SHOULD ONLY BE DONE BY RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.
Step 12: Duct Taping!
Ok guys, safety here. You have to do this or else you will cut yourself badly while wearing it.
Use Silver duct tape to tape every edge of sheet metal on the Plate armour. Add extra duct tape in the arm pit region and the neck region.
Use black duct tape to tape a nice looking rim around your shield to cover up the rivets and cuts.
Step 13: How to Put the Stuff On! READ THIS!!!
THIS IS IMPORTANT< READ IT>
There is a very specific way of putting this on and you NEED help when doing it. Fistly put your undergarments on.
Now, tie the Skirt bed sheet around your waist. Then put the chianmaille on.
Now put the leg protectors on, followed by the chest plate.
Finally, add the shoulder guards (with the help of a buddy, since you are a bit immobilised now) and then the VAmbraces.
Now, as a finishing touch, add the cape, and you are now a gondorian soldier.
Now everything you are wearing (including the shield) will amount to about 20-25kg of weight.
DO NOT put this on if you have back problems.
Step 14: Conclusion.
If you are reading this page, it means either you read the entire instructable first to check it out, or you are very awesome and built the armour yourself.
To end this instructable i will give you a few tips.
Wear this only at very special occasion (Lord of the rings fan meetings stuff like that)
I say this because it is very exhausting to wear.
Make a stand for it and put it in your room or in your living room. How often do you get to have a gondorian suit of armour. A legit suit of armour costs in the Thousands of Euro, and this is a movie replica so its worth even more.
If you want to sell it do so, but i wouldn't do it, it just looks far to cool.
Anyways, have an awesome day, and good luck building this.
The next big project i will be posting here is an ethanol gun (But not any ethanol gun) that sounds like a rifle, and shoots through sheet metal (Depending on the projectile).