PerniciousDuke

Male Nightingale Armor Skyrim - WIP

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Hello everyone!

Thank you for having me here. I started off by posting a question about weathering leather, but since you guys have actually active members I thought I would maintain a build log here for those interested in following along! :)

My background is mostly in Tandy leather kits (wallets, guitar straps, purses, holsters etc) Years of experience, but all self taught which means I could probably improve A LOT!

I have a (2) hide sides that are 7-9oz veg tanned tooling leather that have been collecting dust for too long, combined with a new found love for cosplaying, have inspired me to build a set of leather armor from a video game.

Here is a link to my original build log from my native land. For leatherworker.net I will focus on the leather crafting aspect and not so much on the costume part.

Here are a couple images of the suit I am trying to make. It is from a video game which means that to create it in the real world there will be sacrifices, but the goal is to get as close as possible.
20181201_171157.jpg.c2a8506fb70f79dce2c7f02c61c2b950.jpg(in game)            Screenshot_20180320-102126.png.4d4546cf7277e274617aa70a034b9c97.png(action figure)




First I took the 3d model from the game and used a program called pepakura to unfold it flat so that I could print it out on paper. Then I taped the paper to a dummy with the wearer's exact dimensions.

20190107_191257.thumb.jpg.4551b675a1e62bad0c8e47dadd33b6b3.jpg

 

 

Before I start cutting out the pieces I wanted to have a game plan for the tooling and dying.
My first concern was how to add that detail. Here is a close up.
Screenshot_20190107-195718_Gallery.jpg.b0fb4edb1fd11e7f497bbd07054f02d1.jpg
It looks like they are just hammered down with something like a pear stamp (is that the correct term?)
But if I were to do that does it pop enough for my liking? So I thought about cutting the detail in and fading out a background tool around them.
Untitled.png.8bd52b419a200f964902dccc0ebf1506.png
Even though less accurate, we are leaning towards #2 just because it would look cooler.

 

Then comes the dye, weathered black. The action figure is pure black and he looks cool. The game model is almost gray (and oddly enough black on the arms). I think we're hoping for something in between.
Here is my color test that I've done. All of the samples have been scuffed on one side with 150grit and the other side with a little 60grit sandpaper.
5c37e7f9bc691_ColorTest1.thumb.jpg.bff3e3c0f543732f25d0a166ad5ac53a.jpg

 

1. Two coats of Antique Gel - Smoke
2. One coat of regular black dye
3. One coat of Antique Gel - Smoke
4. thin coat of regular black dye (making sure not to dye crevices), then one coat antique gel - smoke.
5. one coat Satin Sheen, then two coats regular black dye
6. one coat brown dye, then one coat antique gel - smoke


I'm curious to hear what you all think and looking forward to showing more progress down the line. (first showing scheduled for April)

Cheers!
-PD

 

Edited by PerniciousDuke

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Ah, the puzzle becomes clearer now!
First thing that comes to my mind is the decorative designs on the armor -- it seems to me that to get that same effect on actual leather, they would not be tooled on the surface, either with a pear shader tool or with a beveller tool. 
I think that modeling those lines from behind in an embossing effect, perhaps even wet-forming them over some kind of rigid mold, is the way to get those deep ridges.
As for the black (which is your original question) -- hopefully some color and finish experts (not me!) can help you out here. 

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2 minutes ago, DJole said:

Ah, the puzzle becomes clearer now!
First thing that comes to my mind is the decorative designs on the armor -- it seems to me that to get that same effect on actual leather, they would not be tooled on the surface, either with a pear shader tool or with a beveller tool. 
I think that modeling those lines from behind in an embossing effect, perhaps even wet-forming them over some kind of rigid mold, is the way to get those deep ridges.
As for the black (which is your original question) -- hopefully some color and finish experts (not me!) can help you out here. 

I like the insight there. Yes, that does seem to make sense. Though I don't think I'm set up to create a rigid mold for wet-forming. I will look into the process more to see if time and money will allow. I believe the result would look more professional. Thank you.

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Its doesn't have to be wood.  You can make a rigid mold from scrap leather.  Build up layers with glue in the basic shape, then carve/shape them.  It just has to not fall apart if it gets damp/wet and not compress much.

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You could wet form the ridges in a thin leather & then attach the shaped piece to a thicker leather to make it thicker & longer lasting.

 

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Thank you for the suggestions. I've looked into wet forming more and I don't believe I would have the time or resources.

It would look more accurate, but I believe cutting and tooling those lines will still look cool. And looking cool is the ultimate goal. :)

Not wasted though. I probably will take the time to form the six straps at the top. The mold will be simple and only needs one. Thanks everyone! 

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Keep the build-in-progress reports coming--  you never know when somebody else will want to do the same thing and find your experiences valuable. 
Let's see the coolness happen, step by step!

 

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Roger that. I just wish it had bigger file sharing capacity. A single picture from my phone camera exceeds the size capacity. :(

 

Today I've been cutting out my pieces. Normally I like to use leather scissors, on such thick and large pieces I went with a regular box cutter and I've been having good luck. Only halfway through and I'm at 3 knife changes. 

20190112_123240-800x389.jpg.92df9b4b5dba44bacd134dcd0597252c.jpg20190112_160729-800x389.jpg.acfb21be2d6d4fc8f7cc9531c82e9e25.jpg

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I've managed to cut all the armor pieces!(minus a couple accents)

20190115_202059-800x389.jpg.d429d5c801d587b69c43b257d005550b.jpg

 

Next up, I will take a small piece (one hand guard), pattern it, stamp it, form it, dye it and finally weather it. This will give me a chance to try different things before ruining any of the larger pieces. 

 

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Very cool! I prefer daidric. No hope for me doing it though.

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That one is pretty cool @ScoobyNewbie

A product that would be better for the Daedric armor would be Worbala. Pretty neat stuff I'd like to try one day.

 

 

Update

 

This post was meant for my costume forum, but I might as well share with you guys too. Again, self taught, if you have any suggestions please feel free to share. 

"

First run went really well!

For those of you that dont know, I like to really write out what I do. The reason is because I'm likely to forget so having something to look back on is really helpful for me. But, if someone else gets use from it then that is great too. :)


Starting with the wrist guards:

After cutting out the shape I used 150 grit sand paper to get flatter, smoother edges.
20190116_162202.jpg 

Used a leather edge beveler to knock of the edge. Then finished with a 220 grit to really round it out.
20190116_162250.jpg 

Used a pencil to draw a pattern onto leather tracing paper (it's like really thick wax paper)
20190116_163443.jpg 

Then I used a paper towel, or sponge, to slowly wet the leather, starting with the backside and letting it seep through.
20190116_163642.jpg 

With the leather wet and pliable set on a hard surface such as marble, I used a leather stylus to transfer the pattern by imprinting it in the leather.
20190116_164106.jpg 20190116_164823.jpg 

Next I cut along the lines at a 90 degree angle using a swivel knife. Named because the base can swivel independently from the finger hold at the top, allowing for smooth curved cuts. Be aware of how deep you cut as well. I generally cut half as deep as the leather is.
20190116_165155.jpg 20190116_165426.jpg 

Leather is abrasive and dulls knives quickly. Leather also needs to be cut cleaning, if the blade snags it will be obvious once dyed. In between cuts I sharpen my blade using the rough side of a dry piece of leather. A buffing compound called rouge is added to give the sharpened edge a better finish.
20190116_165208.jpg 

Next I use a bevel stamp to push down one side of the cut, giving the leather that real 3d effect. :)
20190116_165649.jpg 20190116_170815.jpg 

Next I use a background stamp (Tandy #E294-04) to hide my terrible bevel stamping abilities. :)
20190116_165551.jpg 20190116_165714.jpg20190116_171417.jpg 

I think it looks pretty cool. I took that wet leather and held it over my roommate's wrist. Holding that shape as best I could I took it to my heat gun and got it to dry in the proper shape.
20190116_172752.jpg 

To achieve my desired color I apllied two coats of Eco-Flo Black Oil Dye with a paper towel, making sure to not press into the pits.
20190116_185802.jpg 

Next I apllied one coat of Eco-Flo Black Smoke Hi-Lite Stain using a paper towel making sure to get all the crevices this time. I wiped excess off with a paper towel and used a heat gun to dry.
20190116_190456.jpg 

I took 220 grit sandpaper and made random scuff marks.
20190116_191451.jpg 

Then I applied one coat of Eco-Flo Satin Shene to seal and protect the leather. Doing so also got rid of all the visible scuffing. Oh well.
20190116_192157.jpg

"

 

 

Question: what would you guys recommend for adhering the leather together? 

Many of the pieces get stacked like fish scales, but I don't want any visible stitches, rivets or snaps. Are there invisible ways to do those things? Or is gluing my only option? I've only ever used Tandy Leather Weld. I'm just worried that with all the body movements the pieces will become unglued. 

Edited by PerniciousDuke

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Looks pretty nice so far.  Generally, I wouldn't use a hot heat gun to dry the leather, just shape it and let it set overnight.  Adding an oil like neaatsfoot after all the dying, tooling, shaping etc. helps to renourish the leather, and also tends to make the black dye or whatever color you used a lot richer.  Then I like to finish with Aussie and buff.  Put an acrylic seal on that if you like.

@immiketoo did some historical armor, might be worth looking at how he put it together.  Glue will probably come undone, and at the worst possible moment.  Black stitching would be pretty hidden on black leather.

Not sure why you would need 3 blade changes to cut your leather?  I have been using 1 razor blade for 2 years, just give it a strop and keep going.

Like seeing all the progress pics and explanations!

YinTx

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Howdy,,,

i am pretty sure there are different softness levels to the leather as well as different thickness, main shields would be stuff like skirting leathers, the secondary and full wraps stuff like a softer hand thick bison, the hood a combo also, 

 

cool project, really like the concept, maybe the way things are going in this country it will serve a utilitarian purpose for defense rather than just cosplay

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4 hours ago, YinTx said:

Generally, I wouldn't use a hot heat gun to dry the leather, just shape it and let it set overnight.

Usually I would dry overnight as well, but for the test piece I wanted to knock it out in one day. It worked so well that I may actually do it for the rest. My heat gun has 21 settings, so I can really dial it in without damaging the material. 

 

I like Mink oil and planned to coat the whole thing once I'm done. Thanks for the lead on previous project. (Blade changes were because the only large enough cutting surface I had was the back side of my marble slab. Yikes!)

I may end up going the stitching route for strength. I recently learned of a tool that cuts a u-shaped groove in leather to help hide the thread. 

 

18 minutes ago, Kulafarmer said:

it will serve a utilitarian purpose for defense rather than just cosplay

Haha, yeah that was the goal. If I'm going through the effort it might as well be functional. 

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