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I'm trying to make a Breast Plate Answered

Hey, I'm going to build a piece of FANTASY chest armor. I'm not going for realism or authenticity. Just making "a pile of spikes" that looks cool in my opinion. I'm thinking of making something to the equivalent of a low neck line tank top out of leather / tight weave canvas, and then covering it in steel plates. I'm thinking of dividing the front suit into groups and bands of plate. So I'm going to have a set of bands from the right and left chest, then another section that joins them down the center. A section for the abdomen, a section for each side, and then similar sections for the back. I'm then going to bolt the shoulders onto their respective chest plates. So I've done a crappy sketch on GIMP, Kinda explaining what I'm going to do for the center line of the chest. I think If I do this right It'll allow a lot of flexibility, might even be able to see my chest expand and contract while breathing which I think would be a cool effect. Is there any reason why this wont work? But are there any key factors that I need to take into account when doing this? Parts that need to be more flexible than others?



9 years ago

I've been in the SCA for 25 years, and keeping my armor functional for all that time. What I have learned is that you should do your sketches in full-size, rather than to scale. Paper's a lot cheaper to work in than heavy leather or steel, or some combination. --Hawk

I completely agree. I've been making Costumes for a couple of years now, and I'm a strong believer in the value of a bristol board prototype. These sketches are definitely just concept stuff, to illustrate what I'm thinking of doing. I recently looked at the SCA Wiki page. Looks like fun, but It's a little too intense for me right now.

Nah, it's a good party. You put in what you want to. If you want to fight, often the local group has "rotational" armor, which is armor for folks who are beginning to learn to fight, and don't know if they want to fight at all, much less what they want to wear. If you want to go to an event, and don't have the clothes, there's something called "Gold Key", which is loaner garb. If you're a costumer, you'll probably get a kick out of clothing in the SCA, there's a lot to learn about how clothes were made, historically, available there. It covers a wide range of history (450AD-1650AD), and how accurate they are tends to vary, but I'm sure you can find someone who's an expert in any time period you'd consider making clothing for. --H

hey hawk, It's bryan, Rob's guardsmen. Send me an email at backlashed1818@gmail.com when you get a chance pls. Trying to get together my own set of armor and need some advice and instructions on the breastplate and such.

um sry email is backlash1818@gmail.com no "ed" sry bout that mixed two of my emails together in one

I would suggest studying the roman armor "Lorica segmentata"

Yeah... That's pretty much what I was thinking of doing.... Although I'd want to cover up the front lacing with a third set of Plates.. I wonder if I could effectively do this...

A segmentata takes a bit of work, but there are plans available for it. If you take a look in the http://www.armorarchive.com there are plans available. As far as the center opening, you can easily put the straps on the side, out of the way. It will be easier to do with someone helping you, but my current armor buckles on the sides. I designed it so that if I needed to be extricated from it, they would not have to cut the armor itself. Six buckles, and the breastplate front can be lifted off me. I'm an EMT, so I was thinking with that brain as I designed it. My favorite armorer now uses it as a standard configuration for some of his body armors. --Hawk

From the sounds of things your talking about making what amounts to an inside out Coat of Plates. SO, first off, I'd build your foundation. if you use canvas you'll probably want a couple layers to make sure it can support the weight of the plates. when riveting the plates to the foundation use a nail or something to poke holes in the canvas rather than cutting or punching holes, it's a lot stronger that way. Also, make sure you put washers behind the heads of the rivets so they don't pull through the canvas. For the plates themselves, pattern it all out and build the whole thing with Bristol board and duct tape first. A couple things to keep in mind are that breastplates should end at about belly button height, or at least be articulated through that area to allow for you to bend, also make sure the plates between your arms are narrow enough to allow you to cross your arms across your body without pinching. I'd also recommend using buckles instead of lacing, but that's mostly a matter of convenience. Feel free to PM me with any questions you have, I've been building armour for about 7 years now, so I've got a pretty good knowledge base to help with.

I use roofing nails for the rivets on a brigandine. The broad head means that the stress of the rivet is spread across a larger area. --Hawk

Why don't you mock it up using cardboard and test fit to see what works. You can then take it apart to use as actual patterns for the metalwork. I guess having one of those dressmaker forms would make it easier to start piecing up the parts and modifying/cut as you go. Just use duct tape to hold it together. Good luck.