Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thigh Armour

The problem I face with armour all the time is "how do you make it look like steel"? One way is to use hot rolled steel. Hot rolled is steel which is quite literally hot off the dipping in acid and then cleaning up with the polishing rollers. The mill scale is driven into the steel, and like the grain in wood, the surface colour is irregular and sometimes spotty. Oh, its nice and smooth all right, but unlike cold rolled steel, the hot rolled stuff seems more "blacksmithy" and more "real" than the stuff I usually use for armour making. Though I recognize that the look may not be for everyone.
I made these yesterday for Daniel, and if he doesn't like them, thats okay, I certainly do! I will use them in my "black knight" armour and re-make them in shiny stuff. Above you can see how the rich colour goes in waves from the top to the bottom. There is even some jaguar spotting across the left cuisse. Nobody would confuse these for plastic! And the colour does not crack off like paint would...these will soak up hundreds of blows from swords in the coming years. The surface finish is "from the anvil" and there are two layers of clear, high gloss lacquer on them. Easy to fix a scratch on the surface....just wipe down with a rag made wet with lacquer thinner, and the scratches all melt together and five minutes later, it dries and looks like new.

The inside shows off the rolled edges. Not too bad. The leather straps are just laced on...the buckles at the top should be under his tunic, up at the side. They should go through his arming belt just abaft of the point of his hip. With the tunic protecting them, they should not get driven into his skin. If his tunic won't protect them, then he will have to re-jig the suspension....easy to do even in a dorm. For instance, he could replace the side straps with shoe laces...thats what I did for years with mine...grin!
The cuisse is tightened against his thigh with a leather strap which is laced on. The laces are tough, easy to replace as needed, and dont' have buckles to bother the horse or to scar the saddle. Laces down there are better...they don't get mangled by heavy blows, or hook against each other when you are running. And if Daniel wants an extra piece in back, it is easy to add one with either a steel or a leather hinge.
There you go Dan, all ready for you to add your knee cops.

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