DIY leather muscle cuirass

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DIY leather muscle cuirass

Post  Oenos [Daedanauts] on Tue May 31, 2011 1:58 am

Armour for the greeks can be pretty expensive. If you aren't going for homebrew linothorax then you might and up forking out £140 for a Norton cuiras or twice than for a bitching leather one, PLUS the leather skirties can cost a load on top of that. Soo...why not have a go at making a slightly lamer, flappier one (with skirties attached) for about £40 (plus tools)!? Those mates who have been holding off Odyssey (or worse, joining the P*rsians!!) because of the expense no longer have an excuse!

You will need:
A grotty piece of leather ("Columbo side", 3.2mm thick, ~10sqft) - £30 from www.leprevo.co.uk (note, you are gambling a bit that the breastplate will fit on the irregular hide - you'd be unlucky for it not to)
Leather dye - £5 from Le Prevo (will do two or three sets).
Clear Resolene - £5 from Le Prevo (will do lots of sets).
Six or so buckles - £1 from Le Prevo
20-odd rivets - £1 from Le Prevo

Tools etc:
Leather punch - £10 from Le Prevo
Riveting tool - £3 from Le Prevo
Stanley knife - £2 from Wilko's
A suit of existing muscle armour for a mould/template borrowed from a mate (Norton works well cos it's bendy, but not the one with a star in the middle) - £0
Big bucket or bath - £0
String - £come on, you're bound to have string.
Two fat pillows (might get grubby) - £0
Edge beveller (optional) - £8
Edge slicker (options) - £3

Method (brief):
- Draw round template suit on back of leather, adding a couple of inches or more extra over the shoulders and round the belly. There may be a bit of shrinkage, but not as much as you might think, so if you have a big belly you might want to make allowances. Cut out. Punch holes at the end of the shoulder bits and sides, one in the middle along the bottom and one either side of it about 10cm from the middle.
- Fill bucket/bath with hot water (not boiling, just kinda hot bath temperature). Put your leather in and leave it for five minutes. It fizzes. It's cool.
- Lay the leather over your mould and, using your string in the holes you've punched, string it up around your pillows. Pull tight. Don't wrap the string over the front of the leather or it will leave marks. Using knuckles and thumbs massage the leather over the musculature (oooooh!) to encourage it to hold that shape. Do this a couple of times while it's drying.
- Leave it for a day or two to dry.
- Cut out straps. I won't go into the details. Use your imagination.
- Cut out skirties (I do seven of them).
- Bevel the edges for tidiness. Not necessary, but will look a bit cooler.
- Dye.
- Run the slicker thingy over the edges. Not much point cos it doesn't make much difference, but you might want to.
- Assemble and rivet.

Finished article:

100_2996 by RedCabbagex, on Flickr

100_2997 by RedCabbagex, on Flickr

If there is interest I'll put up photos of the process for the next one.
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Oenos [Daedanauts]
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Re: DIY leather muscle cuirass

Post  Steve (Aegis Hellas) on Tue May 31, 2011 1:44 pm

Very interesting tutorial indeed. Smile
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Steve (Aegis Hellas)
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