Cosplay: Making Blades (with the Sword of Altaïr )

Hello, Sunday!

So, I’ve had a lot of people ask me on how to make blades, specifically swords, spear heads, etc. for costume and cosplay purposes. One of the easiest ways to do so, is to simply make them out of wood, as discussed in my Deadpool Swords Buildlog.

However, for all its strength and ease of access, wood isn’t a great material to use. It’s weak in thin sections, heavy, has grains to take into account, and most of all, necessitates usage of power tools. It’s still possible to use a hand file and try to sand an edge, but if you’ve got to do 4 edges on a diamond cross-section sword, you’ll be emptying your tank of patience and energy, not to mention carpal tunnel for the sake of cosplay. Furthermore, some cons discourage usage of wood, due to its hardness and weight, so it’s a safer alternative to go with foams and plastics.

My preferred method to blade making is the sandwich method, which took some trial and error for me to perfect. The concept is simple enough, 3 or so layers of thin plastic, with the middle layer made hollow to embed steel wire into for strength. With the tests I conducted using PVC Foamboard (Sunboard), I found that even 3 layers of 3mm(actually 2.7mm) sunboard bonded using epoxy were very floppy, and broken easily. However, the sandwich method gives it strength and stiffness without compromising on cost or ease of construction.

Here are a few pictures of some of the blades I made using this method-

To illustrate how it works, it’s time for a MS Paint diagram!

Sandwich Blades.png

The blade blank is about 35% through the sword construction process, and when the filing and sanding is finished you have the final blade’s shape.

As you can see, you basically sandwich several layers of plastic with a bit of wire in the middle, and then grind it down with a file to produce the sword shape. It’s easier than you’d think, here’s how it’s made.

You’ll need-

  • Sunboard(3 & 5mm depending on your blade’s size and thickness)
  • GI Wire(3 or 5mm depending on your center layer’s thickness)
  • Epoxy (more is better than less)
  • Paints, Primer, clear coat, etc.
  • Any sword specific detailing

Tools

  • Steel or wooden ruler, 60cm or 100cm
  • utility knife
  • Square or half round Bastard file
  • Sandpaper(80, 220, and 400 grit)
  • Clamps or weights
  • Masking tape

Procedure

You start by measuring out the dimensions of your sword. I’ll be describing how I made Altair’s sword.

mr883015

The blade is approximately 70cm long, and including the handle it becomes 82cm

So my sword is 82 cm long from tip to pommel, 3 cm wide, and about 1 cm thick. I started by cutting out the top and bottom sunboard strips, 82 cm x 3 cm. Use the ruler and run the utility knife along it multiple times to make sure that the cut comes out as straight as possible. The more care you take here, the cleaner and more accurate your final blade will be.

Next, I cut out two strips for the middle of the blade. Considering that the GI wire goes in the center of the blade, we’ll only need narrow strips, hence I cut two 82 cm x 1 cm strips. I then cut 4 lengths of 3mm GI wire 75 cm long, and straightened them by hand until I could roll them on the floor. The GI wire must run from the end of the handle upto a few centimeters from the tip for the blade to be strong, but the tip itself must be solid sunboard so that it can be tapered without showing the wires. I just used another piece of 5 cm x 1 cm sunboard when sandwiching the blade.

NOTE- I discovered this the hard way, but you must ensure that the GI wire is thinner than the foamboard you’re using, else it can cause the blade to bulge. If you still need the strength, you can clamp the blade blank between 2 stiff planks as the epoxy is curing to compress the foam.

Once you have the strips of sunboard and the wires cut out and straight, begin preparing to epoxy the blade. Measure the width of the 4 wires, and mark two lines on the bottom wide strip of sunboard. These will help you to align the side strips so that the wires have enough space to sit inside the blade.

Now begin the process of epoxying the 82x1cm side strips onto the 82x3cm base strip. Do this step outside, it gets messy. Take a little sandpaper and scuff up the surface of the sunboard a little. Mix a generous amount of epoxy, and apply it outside the two lines you marked on the base strip earlier, and onto the middle section only at the tip and pommel of the sword. Then take the 1cm wide strips, and press them into the epoxy. Work quickly, the epoxy will set soon, and it pays to have everything properly arranged so that you can quickly work without having to search for anything. Be generous with the epoxy, but use an ice cream stick to scrape any excessive oozing away. Better more than less, or your blade will delaminate. You can use masking tape to keep your strips aligned as they’re being clamped.

You can see now that you’re creating a channel in the middle of the blade for the wire to be placed into. Place a short strip of sunboard on either end of the channel, so that the tip and pommel are solid plastic and epoxy. Weigh and clamp down the bottom and middle layers, then go and play a video game for an hour.

Once the epoxy has cured to handling strength, take the GI wire rods cut and straightened earlier, and mix up a large amount of epoxy. More is always better, as you’ll end up using a lot in this step. Take an ice cream stick and spread epoxy into the center channel, and onto the top of the side strips. After you’ve got an even covering, press your wires into the center channel, and make sure they’re well seated into the epoxy. Cover the wires and sides with more epoxy, then place the top strip onto it, and wrap strips of tape around the blade to keep it aligned. Then clamp or weigh it strongly between two planks, and leave it for 24 hrs. Avoid placing weights or clamps directly on to the foam, as you’ll leave a mark which is difficult to get rid off later.

Once the epoxy has cured, you’ll be left with something resembling this-

Master Sword WIP (1).JPG

This is the blade blank for my TLoZ:TP Master Sword. It’s about 7cm x 80 cm long, not including the 20cm threaded steel rods poking out the top. Here I plan to make the handle by casting it, hence I didn’t extend the sunboard over the handle. I had to use 6mm threaded rods to give it strength, due to the sheer size of the blade

This is the blade blank, a solid billet which can be carved into the sword. Up next, everyone’s favorite step, Sanding and grinding!

*Collective groaning ensues*

Yes yes, but this step is necessary, so have at it and you’ll be done in a day. In the event that you ended up using wire that was too thick, or didn’t clamp properly, then you’ll end up with splits and delamination. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start over, you can fix this by keeping the blade split side up, pouring superglue generously into the cracks, then strongly clamping it down for at least 1/2 hr.

Sword of Altair (1).JPG

Clamp the blank to a table, mark out guidelines to aid your sanding. Note the wood used in the clamps to prevent them from leaving marks. Keep filing evenly down the blade, removing material in passes rather than trying to grind it off all at once. If you don’t have a file, you can stick sandpaper to a strip of wood and use that instead. Keep sanding until you get the desired form, then sight down the blade to ensure that it’s straight and clean. The wire has a certain degree of stiffness, so if the sword is bent it’s an easy affair to straighten it out with your hands.

Sword of Altair (3).JPG

My handle was rather flat, so I added a few strips of sunboard onto it and sanded them round.

Finish sanding by using the finer grits to knock off any imperfections, and prepare to prime the surface.Your finished blade form should look somewhat like this.

sword-of-altair-2

You can see the layer lines in this image, these lines help when filing the edge because you can see if they’re straight or not to check the angle the edge is currently at.

The next step is making the hilt, but that is another a whole new chimichanga, so we’ll leave that for another day.

Sword of Altair (4).JPG

Here is the nearly finished hilt, just needs a little touch up and distressing

The rest is pretty straightforward, nothing to really teach here. Paint the blade with primer, sand with 400 grit, prime, sand, prime, paint with silver acrylic paints or spray paints, distress with diluted black acrylic, and clear coat x2. Painting the blade is the comparatively easy part. To finish, I wrapped the hilt with black rexine and glued it down.

aaand, DONE!

That sums up the entire process of making a sword blade via the sandwich technique, I hope that you found this guide useful and informative. If you do ever use this method, do let me know how it works out for you, along with any pictures 🙂

Thank you for your time, and see you all next week at comic con!

Signing off,

~Adithyaa~

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Cosplay Build Log: Deadpool’s Swords(ninjatō)

Hello Sunday!

So I played the Deadpool game some time back before the movie came out, and I fell in love with it. Deadpool’s character brought back memories of one of my favorite early cartoon series and movies, The Mask, due to their similarity of zany insanity. Judging by the movie’s nuclear bunker-buster of a box office opening, I’d say the rest of the world seems to love the red suited psychopath too.

To that end, I was commissioned to make a pair of deadpool’s swords for a friend. As I’ve just finished and delivered the swords, I decided to upload this build log to detail how I made them, as the technique can be adapted to make most costume and cosplay swords.

This log is for how I made a wooden sword, which are sturdy and stiff, but very time consuming if you do not already possess the power tools for it. There are other processes to make cosplay swords, including my favorite method of sandwiching PVC foamboard, but I’ll detail that in another build log.

Materials Required

  • 12mm plywood, slightly larger than your sword blade
  • 1in CPVC pipe 20cm
  • Primer(I use black Gesso)
  • Acrylic paints
  • white m-seal
  • Epoxy/hot glue

Tools Required

  • Wood Files (Rasp & Bastard files)
  • Hand saw
  • Angle grinder with 80 grit sanding wheel(optional, a major time saver)
  • Sandpaper 80-200
  • Ruler and marker

Process

So I started off with a long strip of 12mm plywood approx 1m by 4cm, which was scrap left over from a previous project. I had it cut on a table saw so because hand cutting such a narrow piece is arduous, but a wood store may help you with the cutting when you’re buying your wood.

Deadpool Swords v1 WIP (0).JPG

I used a chalk pencil & marker, they’re both cheap and highlight well. Notice the black line on the edge of the blade, and the white line above. Those are the boundaries to sand within.

Once I got my sword blank, I started measuring out the dimensions. I marked 15cm for the handle at one end, and marked the slanted tip at the other. I then drew a white line running the length of the sword 1cm from the edge, on both sides, and a black line on the edge. This will be our guide to sand a neat straight blade edge. Sand strictly between these two lines removing most of the material with either an angle grinder or a rasp. Its better to apply light pressure and go at a uniform speed from one end to another, checking your work as you go. Remove a little less material while grinding is easier to fix than to remove too much.

Deadpool Swords v1 WIP (1)

One metric ton of sanding later…

After sanding the edge, use a bastard file to sand down any imperfections and make sure that you’ve got a nice, straight, and sharp edge. Look at the blade edge from one end of the sword to ensure its straight. M-seal, an epoxy plumber putty, is ideal for filling voids in the plywood, especially the M-seal White version. After this comes every maker’s favorite part, sanding!

Start with 80 grit and sand down the entire blade, both the flats, spine, and the edge until all the bumps and imperfections are gone. Then move to ~200 grit and once again sand the entire blade down. Be careful not to round the blade’s edge or where the edge meets the flat of the blade, we want crisp boundaries. The rule of thumb with sanding is that the more you sand the better the end surface will look.

Next, we take our 1in CPVC pipe, and cut it to length. My handles are approximately 15cm long, so cut the pipe to that length and file the ends to make them flat and smooth. To fit the blade into the handle, simply use a hand saw to narrow the handle area of the blade by 1 cm,and slightly round the edges with sandpaper. This narrower part of the blade which fits into the handle is called the “tang”, in sword glossary. Keep checking the fit, you want the pipe to be tightly fit around the tang, but not so tight that you may damage the tang by forcing it on.

Deadpool Swords v1 WIP (3)

The two swords, after sanding with the handles inserted.

Next, mix a medium-sized batch of epoxy, like Araldite, and use a ice cream stick to fill as much of the handle’s hollow interior as you can. You can put the epoxy on the tang before inserting it, but if you’ve got a good tight fit then the epoxy will just get scraped off the tang. Alternatively, you can use tape to cover the lower end of the handle, fill it a third full of epoxy, then insert the handle in. Alternatively, you could use hot glue,  as I did, but it has inferior strength as compared to epoxy. You really don’t want a sword flying off the handle when you swing it about.

To cover the ends of the pipe where the interior is visible, I find that M-seal works well.. Generously mix a batch and knead it into the openings with extra, and then sand it smooth.

Phew, we’re 75% done now, as we’ve just finished the structure!

As I’ve said earlier, paint is the second most important thing to a prop. A roughly constructed prop can have its value raised by a great paint job.

I started by using this stuff called Gesso as a primer over the entire surface of the sword. Gesso is available in many variants, but the stuff I used is called Mont Marte Black Gesso Universal Primer. Its pretty handy stuff, as it dries even in thick layers, and provides a really nice grip texture to the surface. I applied around 4-5 layers of gesso, with intermediate light sanding to knock down any imperfections and reduce the wood grain’s visibility.

Deadpool Swords v1 WIP (4)

Several layers of gesso later…

Next, I used paper masking tape and covered up the flats of the blade and in rings on the handle, before using silver acrylic powder and binder to paint the edge. Its possible to just freehand the edge’s paint, but using tape saves you a lot of effort, although the tape is valid for only one use.

Deadpool Swords v1 WIP (6)

Much Shiny, such pretty

Now we have a nice shiny completed sword! It looks very pretty and clean, but its a bit too drab, I mean, this is DEADPOOL we’re talking about.

The answer? A bucket and a half of chicken blood.

Well, not really… That’s a bit too extreme, and won’t actually give the effect we’re looking for, not to mention the ethical issues or the smell. Real blood actually doesn’t look like much like what movies or cartoons depict it. So instead, we’re going with 1 part crimson acrylic paint, and 3-4 parts water. My weapons of choice were my fingers, as you use a brush to get uniform neat strokes, but blood needs to be splattered and dabbed on. Remember to spread a large plastic sheet below your work.

Start by dabbing the edge of the sword, especially the upper parts and the tip, and work downwards. Dipping your fingers in watered paint and then flicking them against your surface is a great way to produce realistic blood splatters. Add as much blood as required, but remember to frequently examine your work and see where you might need to tone down the blood splatters. As with most processes, you’ll save a lot of effort by being careful on the first run rather than trying to fix it up.

That’s it! After all that work, we’ve completed a pair of swords! Overall this took me two weeks to complete, and I’m quite pleased with the results. I try to turn every project into a learning experience, and this was the first in which I bloodied the prop in such a manner, and I certainly learned a lot from it.

Please do let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m always hanging around here. I hope this helps you, and if it does, then do bookmark/follow my blog to see more.

 

Thank you, and have a pleasant week.

Signing off,

Adithyaa~

 

Cosplay Build Log: Ezio’s Chest Plate of Altair Part 2

Hello Sunday!

So, my faithful crafts person, here is the second and final part of my build log for Ezio Auditore(Assassin’s Creed II) Chestplate of Altair. I presume you’ve already read my previous post, but if not, then please do so, it will aid you in improving your techniques.

Cosplay Build Log: Ezio’s Chest Plate of Altair Part 1

Right then, with that aside, let’s start! To any prop or armour, there are two essentials to appearance, and that is shape and surface. Shape is controlled by your carving, thermoforming, and engraving or so on. Surface is controlled by the next step, which is painting, texturing and finishing. Both surface and shape are vital to making a realistic prop, although to an extent one can cover for deficiencies in the other.

To start, I painted my chest plate with 2 coats of black acrylic paint. The surface needs to be plain black, so I didn’t bother with any special effects, and just brushed on two coats of paint. You can give it a very light fine grit sand between paint coats, to smoothen out any rough parts that arise. It would be best if you could apply primer beforehand, but I didn’t have any at the time. I later acquired some Artist’s Gesso from itsybitsy.in, which I’ve found useful to use as a primer, as its thick consistency allows it to easily fill in cracks and blemishes in your piece.

Next I painted the gold trim around each armour panel, and then went back after it dried to touch up any spots I missed. Its important to go slowly when doing freehand work, as you will spend more time fixing an error than you would have if you carefully worked the first time around. After painting has been completed to your satisfaction, you can seal & protect your paint surface with a spray can of clear coat. Using matt clear coat will typically look better than gloss for making realistic metal surfaces, unless you’re going for that particular look. I used 2 coats high gloss because the chest plate is glossy to look at, and the black reflects the light well. Remember that when using spray cans, don’t just swing the can back and forth over the pieces randomly, move from left to right, top to bottom as if you were reading, one line at a time, while holding the can at least 10cm away from the piece. Practice doing the robot, or just look at YouTube tutorials for proper spray can usage. Give the plates two days of rest to completely dry tack free.

Chestplate of Altair (5).JPG

(All the individual plates stored after the paint dried)

Now you can begin fitting your panels together. My chest plate had multiple segments for a single part, so I had made each panel separately. Start by aligning the panels, making sure they overlap correctly and then use CA glue or hot glue to hold them together. It really helps to use a little 80 grit sandpaper to remove the paint on the areas where the pieces contact each other, as this will promote adhesion. Hot glue is great for glopping over the back of each panel to reinforce each segment, whereas CA glue will form permanent bonds in small contact areas. You must know when to use which glue.

After assembling the panels, I then measured and cut my nylon straps to fit around my chest. It’s generally better to measure how much is required, and then add a few inches to each side. It can always be trimmed down, but it is a pain if your straps are too short. Make sure your straps properly align and have sufficient overlap. Now would be a good time to stitch the Velcro onto the ends of the straps, and double check that the straps properly fit onto you and can be adjusted.

Now I attached my straps to my armour with blind rivets, but you can just as easily do so with just epoxy if you don’t want anything visible from the outer side of the armour. 2 part Epoxy is reasonably easy to use and can be purchased from any hardware store. To attach my straps, I started by poking a hole in the middle of the fibers with a needle, and widening the hole in the fibers until the rivet could fit through. I inserted the rivet through the hole in the plate, placed the strap onto the rivet, and then placed a washer over it. While holding everything in alignment, use the rivet tool to draw the rivet and strongly fasten the panel, strap and washer together. It helps to either use a clip to hold the pieces in alignment, or have a friend help. After fixing the structural rivets holding the straps to the armour, I went in with a hot glue gun to further secure the straps and prevent them moving around. Frequently checking how the armour fits and sits is important, some straps may need to be redone to fit better. Next I put in the decorative rivets, which weren’t holding any straps and were just there for looks. My finishing touches were to trim the straps to the right length, and paint the faces of the rivets gold to suit the armour. Putting dabs of PVA glue like fevicol can help prevent any threads from coming undone.

(Attaching the straps to the plates)

(All straps attached, you can see that there is a pair of straps going over my shoulders, and pair of straps going under my armpits. This very firmly secures the plates to my body, but still allows movement. Notice the string in the lower left of the first picture, this is tied behind my back to prevent the front plates’ lower edges from moving too much)

After attaching all the straps, you are done! Strap the armour on, and have a friend photograph you from several angles, making sure that it fits well, looks good, and is comfortable to wear. Remember, Comic con is crowded, and generally swelteringly hot. Adjust the straps to ensure they fit well, don’t cut off circulation or scratch you in uncomfortable places, and generally align well with you. Move around in your armour, maybe go for a short jog, to see how the armour rides on your body. It may help to add additional straps or discreet strings to help support your armour. I had to add a small string to the lowest part of my front chest plate to hold it balanced on my torso, else it would flop forward.

 

That is about it for my cosplay build log for my Armour of Altair chest plate. I’m a slow worker, and I’m still striving to counter my shaky hands and improve the quality and detail of my props. I hope that this build log/tutorial helps you in making and improving your own costume, and feel free to email or message me if you have any queries.

That’s all I’ve got to say, I really hope that this will benefit as many people as possible, and help you all to improve your costumes. Let’s make India a star onto the world cosplay map!

Until later,

Signing off.

~Adithyaa

Cosplay Build Log: Ezio’s Chest Plate of Altair Part 1

Hello Sunday!

Here’s my first cosplay build log, as my documentation has been pretty lacking up until the last few months. I tend to be extremely focused when I’m working on making my projects, so I continually forget to document up to days’ worth of progress. When I do remember, I’ve already breezed through several steps, and haven’t taken enough photographs. It can be quite tedious to have to crunch through a large build log without photographs, but I’m working harder to better document and photograph my work in future. I’ve written quite a lot for this tutorial, so I’ve split it into two sections so that its easier to digest. I will upload the next section next week, so stay tuned.

Armor-altair-ac2

 

(This handsome dude’s Chestplate is what this build log is about)

This is a tutorial/build log on how to make armour, specifically Ezio’s chest plate of Altair. This can be easily applied to making any other piece of armour, from chest plates to cuirassesJ. It would be best if you can breeze through the article before beginning work on your armour, so you can properly plan it out.

Disclaimer: This particular build log involves working with sharp tools & heat, so exercise common sense when utilizing them. It isn’t my fault if you manage to set your hair/yourself/your cat on fire.

 

Materials Required-

  • PVC Foam board(3mm works well, 5mm for stronger parts)
  • Chart paper
  • Superglue/hot glue
  • Nylon/leather straps
  • Velcro
  • Blind rivets & washers(optional)
  • Primer & Paints

 

Tools Required-

  • Box cutters
  • Cutting mat(useful, but not essential)
  • Heat gun(or your mother’s stove in her absence :3)
  • Sand paper(80,100,220)
  • Drill

 

Procedure-

“We must do research!” –Jackie’s Uncle

Well said Uncle, so grab a cup of beverage and acquire as many decent reference pictures as possible. I personally prefer in game screenshots, official art and concept art, but some like to use fan art as well.

Once sufficient reference is gathered, begin making patterns. Start by drawing out the outline of the selected armour component onto chart paper, and redraw and refine the drawing until it looks exactly like the armour piece, and make sure it is to scale with your body. After that, cut it out and pin or tape it against your body to ensure that the sizing is correct. Don’t be afraid to scrap the pattern and make a new one if you aren’t satisfied with it, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief in the long run.

(Black KG Cardboard used for making the patterns 1:1 scale)

Once all your pattern pieces are satisfactorily finished, take your PVC foam board (colloquially referred to as “sunboard”), and place your patterns out onto it. Leaving a small cutting margin around each chart paper pattern, trace them out. For making symmetrical pieces, one can simply flip the pattern over and trace the reverse. Make sure to write each panel’s name onto the sunboard, or you might get them mixed up later on.

A note about armour materials- The material you choose for your armour really depends on what is available, what you’re making and what you feel comfortable with working with. Some skilled individuals can work wonders with even cardboard, while EVA foam is a mainstay for many others. I like working with sunboard because it has a good combination of hardness & softness, and is able to permanently hold its shape without wrinkling or distending like EVA. It can also be sanded much easier. Downsides of sunboard is that it can be scratched or broken if you treat it roughly, and that it cannot be bent or stretched too much. It is also pretty inflexible, so consider where you use it.

With all plates traced out onto your SB(sunboard), begin cutting it out using the box cutter. Make sure to keep a cutting mat or scrap wood plank below. 3mm sunboard doesn’t cut too easily on a single stroke if working with curved sections, so what I like to do for curved cuts is to extend the blade by about 2cm, hold it firmly with my right hand, and apply pressure to the back of the blade with my left thumb. I guide the blade along the pattern’s line away from me with my right hand. I find that this gives me much more control than trying to hold the cutter like a pencil or a knife. It also helps to cut a few mm outside the drawn line, so that you can later shave off the excess from the panel rather than risk cutting into the panel and ruining it.

(Some panel sections cut out & sanded)

Once you’ve cut out your panels, sand the edges smooth with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. The panels are now ready for heating and bending.

I personally use my Black & Decker 2KW heat gun, nicknamed Julius Root for the volumes of hot air it blows out, for heating my plastics, but earlier I was forced to use my mother’s kitchen stove(Don’t tell her that! J) Since the armour in this case was fitting to my body’s contours, I decided to thermoform the panels directly onto my body. This is obviously very hazardous, so take a pinch of salt and common sense while working with high heat.

I first memorized how each panel was placed and shaped, and then I covered my torso in a insulating but fitting hoodie. I wore gloves, and held each piece over the hot air blast from the gun until it became soft and pliable, then I pressed it over my body with a towel and held it there until it sufficiently cooled. The hotter it is, the more flexible it is, and any corrections to be made can be easily done by heating the part and bending it with your hands.

REMEMBER, holding hot pieces of plastic onto yourself is a pretty terrible idea, but is somewhat safe as long as you follow standard safety rules, keep cold water nearby, insulate yourself, and preferably have someone assist you in doing so. Again, I don’t need to repeat the need to use common sense or brains while doing this.

If you are using a stove, hold the pieces high over the flame, and turn the flame to a medium or low setting. MAKE SURE the plastic at no point darkens, burns or catches fire. PVC, PolyVinyChloride is a respiratory hazard when burnt, as it can release chlorine fumes. Keep the chimney/fan on, and ensure you have adequate ventilation & airflow through the room.

(All panels Thermoformed and sanded. Left image is the front chest plate, right is the back)

After ensuring that each armour panel is formed to the correct shape & fitting, give it a light sanding all over with 100 grit sand paper. If you want a smoother finish, go higher up to 220 or even 400. The higher you go and the more you sand, the smoother the end result will be. While sanding to smoothen or flatten any area, it can help to give a thin coat of primer to your prop, and then sand so that you can observe the high & low spots of your armour piece. After this, I made the holes for rivets in the chest plate. If you look at the armour’s pictures, there are little gold rivets which dot the surface, and I decided to use blind rivets to function both as the decorative rivets and to hold the plates to the straps.

Foreplanning is key here, have a friend hold the armour against you and figure out how you can get into and out of the armour, and how you will attach the straps so that you can comfortably wear the armour for several hours. Writing notes can really help. After making the holes for the rivets, you can proceed to the next step, Painting.

Whew, take a bow for getting this far down this log without losing your mind. This build log was so long I had to split it in twain, the next part will be uploaded next week at this exact time, so stay tuned. As usual, I’m here if anyone has questions, or just send me an email or FB chat. Thats all for now, so see you next week!

Signing off,

~Adithyaa