For this Halloween I wanted to dress up as one of my favorite characters from How to Train your Dragon Hiccup Haddock! In order to do the outfit right I tried as best I could to make it as authentic as possible, which means using real steel, straps buckles and primarily hand tools. I succeeded in this aspect with only using a couple things that were unrealistic like a bit of foam for padding. Its a lot of hard work but I hope you enjoy!
Step 1: Materials
A Dremel will come in handy with cutting the sheet metal (Reinforced metal cutting wheels are best)
A Ball Pein Hammer
A Cast Steel Wok
Scissors (Used for cutting material)
Metal snips (Used for cutting sheet metal if you don't have a Dremel)
Leather hole punch
Soldering iron or Woodburning tool
System Three epoxy (Used for attaching Pleather to steel)
Loctite Super Glue (Used for attaching things to pleather, foam and steal)
2ft x 3ft 22-Gauge weldable sheet metal (3 sheets should do depending on your size thinner gauge will work too)
Pleather (Purchased from Joanns (try to match color as best you can))
Eyelets (Used for tying pieces together for wearing)
Rivets (Asthetically pleasing and accurate)
Sewing needle and thread (For sewing, naturally)
Paint and Paintbrushes
Foam (Used for padding)
Buckles and straps (For wearing)
Marble block (used for rivets and eyelets)
Step 2: Shaping/Cutting the Metal for the Breastplate
These will be the basic steps, its best if you look through the photos during each step.
- To start everything off you should take the sheet metal and see if it will cover you chest. If you take a loose fitting shirt and put it over the metal so you can trace out a rough design to cut out before you start shaping the metal.
- With the rough design drawn out start hammering the material softly in places that will need to have the most curve. (Do not cut out the design yet!) Doing this will give you an idea of how difficult it will be to shape the material, remember this is a large piece and we are not using heat to help shape it.
- Its best to work your way from the center of the piece outward but as you do so it will get much more difficult because the material is not stretching or contracting merely being warped.
- Once you reach the neck and the armpit areas it will be impossible to actually bend it properly so you must cut out the rough design in order to continue proper shaping.
- One of the photos will show the primary places to aim your hits in order to get the proper shape (results may vary based on your body structure, Male/Female, child,adult)
- For the "strap" areas that are going to go around your ribs and shoulders you should hit in a rectangular pattern from the center of the chest are out.
- For the actual chest area a square or oval pattern of hitting is optimal for shaping to your body.
- Make sure that you consistently check to see how your armor is fitting and slice off small amounts around the neck and arm area in order to make it easier to shape/fit you better.
- Simply beat, test, cut and repeat until the shape is to your liking and make sure to use the wok to help with curves and the fitting of the neck area and under the throat.
Step 3: Cutting/Shaping 1st Bracer
The Bracers are the easiest part of this project. First start off with your design, get a sheet of paper and lay it over your arm to figure out the limitations of design so you will have comfortable movement. You can see in the pictures that I did this with two sheets of paper and later drew out hiccups design onto a separate sheet of paper based off the size and format of these designs. Leave some material on when you cut in case you need some modifications. As for shaping its as simple as slowly and carefully bending form the middle out. Whilst bending make sure to slide it on to see how it feels and change the shape as needed.
My problems were the sharp edges and constantly having to change the shape in order to fit me better and allow movement while retaining the look of Hiccups design. To fix it I kept cutting where the crook of the arm was and grinding out the sharp edges until it was comfortable. It takes a while to do but in order to make it comfortable that's what matters.
Step 4: Cutting/Shaping 2nd Bracer
2nd bracer is pretty straight forward, for some surprising reason my other arm required a different type of design. So make sure your design is accurate before drawing, cutting, bending, cutting again and dulling for your comfort.
Step 5: Both Bracers
Step 6: Putting Pleather on Bracers
Putting the pleather on is as simple as wrapping some pleather around and copying the design a half in larger around, cutting it out and slathering system three epoxy all across the outside of the bracer and using paper clips and super glue to hold the pleather in place. The second piece (the little flaps protecting the back of hiccups hands) is as easy as cutting out an arc and gluing it onto the inside of bracers.
Make sure to measure twice before cutting and or gluing and try it on for reference to see how you like it
Step 7: Cutting/Shaping 1st Shoulder Plate
Photo intensive step
- To start out, make some initial measurements of your right arm by measuring the width of your arm you want to cover (may be wider than your arm) I chose about two thirds of a foot and measure your entire shoulder to elbow, this will give the initial shape of your plate.
- Go ahead and take a 1 by 2 foot sheet of metal and cut it in half.
- Put the squarish sheet of metal into the wok and start hitting an oval pattern from the inside out (Look at photos)
- Continue doing so, wrinkles are ok because we are going for a simple yet slightly dramatic shape.
- Hit along the outside edges harder than the inside to get better curvature
- Continue with the oval pattern and spiral inwards hitting softer and softer but more times (see the photo)
- Shape until you are ok with how it looks or looks similar to the ones in the image
- Look at your material from the side and try to draw a line straight up
- Do the same while looking from the top, bottom and other side
- This will give you a cut out shape similar to a long turtles shell
- (look at pictures for reference)
- Once you have an accurate shape, go ahead and cut it out, it might be difficult because of the wrinkling but if you are tenacious you will be able to do it
- Cutting a line through the top part of the pad may make it easier to shape
- Bravo you now have the makings of a shoulder plate
Step 8: Cutting/Shaping 2nd Shoulder Plate
First I apologize for not having photos
- To make the left shoulder plate it is rather easy you make the same measurements from the front of your shoulder to the back, as for length you dont measure the whole arm you just measure from the top of your shoulder to about two thirds the way down.
- The pattern you will follow is just a parabolic arc
- To start of with the shaping you would actually cut out the measured are that you have adding on a half inch worth of "beef" in case you need it
- Once cut out you will immediately shape it into a curve that fits along the length of your arm. (like a long taco)
- From there you can start working on the curved top hitting first the outside edges going inwards in a semi circle pattern
- You may make a cut from the center of the semi circle before you start shaping if you'd like, this will help you get a nicer rounded shape that will fit over your shoulder better
- Just keep hitting until you get the proper shape
- (Pictures will be included in next few steps)
Step 9: Pleather Wrapping Padding and Straps
Adding the leather look is as simple as laying the pleather down on top of your shoulder plates , tracing the design about an inch offset from the edges of metal, cutting it out and gluing it into place similarly as with the bracers using paper clips to stabilize. For the left arm you will add some different colored pleather for accurate aesthetics
For the shoulder pads you may need some padding to make it more comfortable to wear and make it realistic. I used some 1 inch construction foam that you can get from most art stores and cut out some slices and tried different placements to see what felt best. (you can see in the picture where I placed the padding) Do this for both shoulder pads
For the straps, cut out some rectangular pieces of pleather, loop them through the buckles and sew the ends to themselves (measure around your arm so you know how long and dont forget to account for the seams!)
Step 10: Bracer Covers
- Gonna back track a bit and tell you about the strapping over hiccups bracers that usually hold hiccups knife (on his left arm) and his booklet and compass (on his right)
- The first photo shows the pattern of cuts
- Second and third photo shows measurements
- Fourth shows how the straps work
- You dont even need to do any sewing when you wrap it around your arm and push it through the cuts, you can pull it tightly in between your arm and the bracer and it will stay tight.
Step 11: Finishing the Chest Plate
Ok so this will be a lot, you have been warned
- First off get a large piece of pleather and trace out the shape of the chest plate with the curved modification you will see in the pictures above (picture eleven and the later pictures show this)
- Second take a shirt and trace and cut out the piece for that back that you see in the fourth picture (we will be adjusting it as we go for comfort)
- Third get some rivets and take the pleather off of your chest plate and punch some holes at the ends of the straps you see in picture five and put them there and punch them flat
- Put the second layer of pleather over the first and adjust to where the strap cover the second piece of pleather and punch some holes for more rivets and punch them into place too.
- What I use to punch the rivets is a black of marble on top of a couple layers of pleather so as not to damage the workspace underneath.
- At the top left shoulder where the two pleather pieces reach together punch a hole for some eyelets (this will also help secure the pieces properly. If you can do the same for the right shoulder punch some holes there too
- Go ahead and secure the eyelets into place you can see how it looks in picture 23
- Cut out a strap with a triangular end and punch a hole at the hypotenuse of the triangular end. Place the other end at the top left shoulder and place the triangular end near your sternum and mark where another hole should be punched in the top layer of pleather.should be able to see in the 26th-28th pictures
- Make sure all the eyelets and rivets are punched in properly (dont want anything falling apart)
- Punch some holes into the shoulder area of the back pleather piece for some eyelets too, we will use natural jute to tie the back pleather and chest plate together
- Lastly, on the inside of the chest plate place some velcro right where the chest plate curves around your ribcage, place some more velcro on the corresponding place with the pleather used around your back so that they will attach snugly,
Step 12: Finishing the Arm Plates
To finish of the left arm shoulder pad all you need is to punch a few holes into the material, feed one end of the rivet in and pound it into the other rivet end on the other side.
(optional)- You may take a soldering iron, wood burning tool or micro torch to (carve) an accurate pattern into the material if you'd like
As for the right all that needs to be done is the painting. From the movie Hiccup has something that i believe to be the berk crest on his shoulder, but in the tv show it is a black dragon. I decided to take the best of both worlds and borrow the color from the movie and the design from the tv show to make this design.
First off find the black dragon design online and print it out to the proper size that fits your shoulder pad. Cut out all the black of the design (this includes taking out the white pieces that the tail encloses. You may go ahead and throw away the black part. As for the outline, place it onto your shoulder plate where you want the design and see if you can tape it down (will help a lot). Once you have the design in place place the two white outlines for the tail where they go too. Now paint inside the outline, go ahead and paint on top the the outline too, it will help it stay in place. As you can see from the photo I painted over the tail pieces almost entirely but the design still came out well.
Step 13: Showing the Final Pieces + Little Details
Little details and comments about the final products of this fun Instructable. If you think it all looks good votes are appreciated in contest, hope you have fun Making!!!