Odd that I should happen to choose to wander by this list today to see
the asking of low-budget Japanese armor.
Be sure to check this group's link list at:
As others are pointed out the helm and gauntlet are the harder parts.
I do not use self made for those put trust to skilled artisans. Notes
no those immediately below followed by the rest of the kit:
On the helm:
I am still wearing an early Konrad helm even though its Normanish. A
kabuto can be self made and there are patterns out there. However,
check that the pattern you are using is intended for SCA use. There
are many "ceremonial" designs that do not meet SCA standards. Most
notable is the presence of those curved bits on the sides near the
temples and large crests... those we Marshalls often disallow due to
the possible damaging of the opponents rattan weapon... which in turn
puts you and others at risk.
On the gauntlets:
There is no proper Japanese gauntlet that I have found/seen that keeps
up to the SCA-impact sport. You will likely need to get some "western"
ones. You can however extend your shirt/arm covering to cover them up.
There are indeed many patterns out there including those under this
group's link list (see above).
The larger number of plates/scales reflect a richer/higher samurai.
There are some examples of Ashigaru "grunts" wearing large plate armor.
I also made up my own, known to the pleasure or horror of
Ealdormereans. Given that it is based on large broad plates it is
fairly simple to make. Only the shoulder tops have 2-way curves. Most
is just mono curves to go around my body.
Many real samurai armor have zero coverage on the spine. Some had it
as an added piece. Some nickname it a "coward's plate." I had the
misfortune in the mid-90s to fall off a roof. My almost full height
single rear plate is what I call a "built in spinal board". You rarely
will get there but I do suggest if the pattern you use is missing
spinal coverage you add it in somehow.
You have a few choices here. There are examples of mail covering for
the arms and of course those famous sideboards. Once again the cutting
nature of the katana led to armor being poor for SCA-impact sport. You
will need non-japanese elbow protection.
Some wear european standard-SCA elbows but a kimono over top.
I did something else wierd for my own armor and used a closing
hardshell forearm (which has some precedence) and added one tiny and
one large plate that articulates to cover the back side of the elbow.
My upper arms have earned some reputation (good&bad) as among the
largest wings ever seen in Ealdormere. There is indeed precedence for
them being that big. The size is such that they are my upper arm
coverage reaching almost all the way to aforementioned elbow plate
when my arm is extended.
Well once again we find that the Japanese cutting weapon style doesnt
match to well to the smack and impact of SCA fighting. Some wear
European standard SCA legs&knees covered by baggy pants.
There is common on the samuri shin protection but the knee protection
is flexible, thus not upto SCA standard.
Only rarely is there a picture showing these shin guards coming up
high enough to offer hard protection to the knee. This is the style I
adapted with the greaves extending up the side of my knee. Hidden
under pants is articulated U shaped pieces that complete the knee
coverage no matter how I move. This leading to an uncommon "ankle up"
rather than "thigh down" knee armor.
For the thighs we also run into the samurai and SCA not working
together. There are even references to samurai taking off their thigh
guards because they are so cumbersome.
Thus for thighs I recommend you wear something that gets covered. As I
was working with plastic this is a series of 4" wide strips cut to
different lengths, crudely laced together and covered by the same
baggy pants that cover the knee articulations.
I probably have my patterns for some of these around someplace on my
hard drive. If you want them email me directly at b1laxson@...
The biggest expense for your armor is going to be the choice of
material. First of all the helmet requires metal as per our Marshall's
handbook. The rest can be something else.
For the "sam-like green" I used 3/16" ABS plastic obtained in a 4'x8'
sheet from PlasticWorld near Steeles&Dufferin. I am actually thinking
of trying 1/8" (2/16) the next time. Cost of the plastic was around
$350 - $400 IIRC. This sheet provided enough for torso, legs and arms.
Switching to 1/8" would also reduce the cost.
Some patterns you will find on the web use a much lower cost of
plastic barrels. Quite suitable for starter armor.
A standard CDN Tire heat gun is sufficient to heat up the plastic,
provided you also learn to apply water to the outer layers when the
heated area gets to 'melt' before the heat goes through. By cooling
off the outside the heat already placed on the inside has time to
migrate deeper into the plastic. Alternating heat and water you can
make plastic of even 3/16" bendable. While holding it in shape dose it
in a tub of water.
The only real restraint I found is that compound/saddle curves...
curves that bend in two different directions like a bowl... where very
hard to do. Also the longer pieces, like the 12"+ front torso plate,
where hard to heat the whole bend line at once.
It should be added that large curve plates are very good at
deflection. At Trillium Baron Cynred commented that my armor was "very
skippy". He repeatedly told me not to take his spear thrusts as it was
sliding off... which really is what armor is supposed to cause happen.
Brian Goodheart the Green
Green, not just for Europeans
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Kathy Dickson <akabara17@...> wrote:
> In need of Japanese-style armor.Constraints: College student
> Express yourself with gadgets on Windows Live Spaces
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]