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donohueleather

Ren Faire Armor Set - holy cow it's a lot of work

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So I decided after going to the Renaissance fair a few weeks ago and seeing hat was on display by the vendors, I wanted to put an armor set together for the next go around.

 

Talk about stepping squarely outside my experience zone.  I had no idea how much time this project was going to consume. (I think I'm somewhere around 50-60hrs in at this point)

 

Annnywho, I launched into the project straight away following the fair and I have the feeling I'll continually be adding to / tweaking / re-building bits all the way up to the next fair (or other excuse to wear the armor)

 

As for the build,  I didn't have much of a starting point other than some hand sketches, youtube, some google searches and looking at some of the posts here for inspiration and some manner of direction ( I guess that was a pretty decent starting point retrospectively). The patterns I worked out on the fly with construction paper and cardboard after measuring all my bits. I guess one benefit of all the stuff being "shipped direct" these days is all the extra cardboard laying around..

Originally I envisioned this as a  "simple" (ish) pattern which articulated segments. (I had no idea at the start how much of a pain this would be).

The build is a mix of 12-14oz skirting and 8-10oz veg. The strapping is all 8oz veg.

The tooling patterns were not really planned initially, I just sort of looked at the pieces in progress and decide they needed "something more". After I tooled the edges I again thought "eh, more!" so I went for the gold metallic paint and touched up some of the tooling to give it some "pop".

Not pictured here (due to size limits) are the Sporran inspired belt pouch I made to match the gear and the tassets. (I'll upload additional photos or links for those.)

I plan on adding some "period correct" garments and footwear to the outfit to finish it out, probably including a leather flask at some point.

 

I have to say, I can fully appreciate the massive price tags on full sets of leather armor at the fair. Knowing what I know now, I think their display prices are woefully underpaying their artisans...

Either way, I had a lot of fun building this set, and I very much look forward to the next fair.

 

**(Full Disclaimer - My shop space is also being used as small person play space - it's freaking wreck down here..:wacko: )

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Edited by donohueleather
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The "Sporran" belt pouch.

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Wow! very impressive. You're right...the gold addition really does make it pop.  Kudos!

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Excellent! The breastplate looks great.

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Good on you for persevering! It all looks great!

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Thanks!

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Wow. Sooooo much work!! Nicely done!!!

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Thanks for the feedback! This project just seems to grow and continue to growing. Working on matching drawstring bags, dagger frogs and plan on doing some kind of hooded leather cape (haven't decided on exact design). The plan currently is to have a full set including possibly a wool cloak and leather boots ready by the next Renaissance Faire. But like everything in this craft, the more you do, the more you realize you can do, the more you want to do, and around you go.

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4 hours ago, donohueleather said:

But like everything in this craft, the more you do, the more you realize you can do, the more you want to do, and around you go.

Ain't that the truth!  My uncle told me a long time ago that a hobby doesn't have to be expensive but you can sure make it expensive!!  

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Wow - you did a great job.  I’ve been toying just making a few pieces for a Western steam punk outfit (for yes, the Ren festival lol.) I’m thinking just an arming belt (girdle), one pauldron and bracers, but I’ve only ever made western pistol rigs before and those are comparatively less work - yet still a lot of work. I’m kind of in the research phase since I’m in between houses & all my leather, tools & equipment is in storage. 

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I have never paid any attention to leather armor but yours certainly looks good. I can understand the hours involved. :thumbsup:

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Wow you did an excellent job, nice work.:thumbsup::You_Rock_Emoticon:

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Looks like you need a codpiece,  I bet your little 'uns would laugh at that.  Hey, armor that doesn't protect the important things.... :nono:  but seriously, impressive work.

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On 8/3/2022 at 2:31 AM, toxo said:

true, thought it was not conceived for actual SCA use or anything like that, purely costume.

On 8/4/2022 at 4:02 AM, Brokenolmarine said:

Looks like you need a codpiece,  I bet your little 'uns would laugh at that.  Hey, armor that doesn't protect the important things.... :nono:  but seriously, impressive work.

Thank you! I might work something up just cause!

 

That said, the "project" has grown with more and more stuff being added from the original setup to include a re-worked sword frog, a drinking horn holster/holder, costrel for water or whatever.. a hood, a matched set of short sword sheaths, and some other stuff. then stuff for my friends. One wanted a custom costrel to match her hat I made previously.. That's what I love about this craft, you keep learning, new techniques and processes and you get to the point when some projects are finished where you look at it like "wow.. i made that from a flat piece of leather" 

 

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You are right about always learning.  I was asked to make a pouch to hold epi-pens by my daughter.  :thumbsup:  Then I realized saddle stitching wasn't going to work in this application.  You-tube to the rescue.  Several videos, scrap leather and practice, and... Tahdah...:cheers:  another skill set in the quiver.

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