Hey everyone. Goose here.
Been experimenting with Scales and my trials and tribulations have prompted me to finally get on the forums and seek advice/guidance and ask questions.
My ultimate goal is to make myself some armor for Ren Fest. I'm a female and I was debating on how to go about it. I don't have a bikini body so that is out. Besides, armor should be armor, not swim wear. Ultimately I decided to run with an item shaped rather like a long sleeveless Tabard. Probably utilizing lacing under the arms to close it and help maintain a more fitted look without making me pull my hair out. The primary body would be made of a standard chainmail weave. Potentially just Euro 4-1 or maybe Oriental 4-1 though the euro may be more appropriate.
Now where the scales come in. I would like to do scale tassets and gauntlets for sure. Then either scale pauldrons and a scale coif or scale coif/hood hybrid.
Now for the important bits. I have been working on how to do the 'gauntlets'. I don't have any sewing or leatherworking knowledge so I am working almost strickly from a scalemail/chainmail point of view. These are my prototypes thus far.
The first set is of my initial attempt. TRL large scales using 16G 5/16. The wrist portion has some Euro 4 in 1 that extends out and the lacing continues down to tie there. Didn't like how it looked and without the lacing over the palm it didn't stay well.
The set is basically the same chunk of scale except I made it a row wider and I took the 16G 5/16 rings and continued horizontally with Euro 4 in 1 over the palm like I did on the wrist. My hands aren't very big and it wasn't all that comfortable on my palm. Hard to tell but I left part of the palm open and laced it closed, wove it under the scale over the back of the hand and laced over the wrist as well.
Another issue was keeping the scales in position. They wanted to move a lot and the top scale especially didn't want to stay flat. Even adding some micro rings there didn't help much.
I also didn't like how it scrunched the scales together and made them fall differently. Looks weird.
Spent way too much time trying to make this work. Used 18g 3/16 to try and weave the scales into Euro 4 in 1 at a two to one ratio. Worked but at the same time it didn't. The scales stuck up because the small scales pushed the tops of the scales down. It was more comfortable but because the scales were already sticking up it was even worse when upside down.
So I took my previous failures and tried something that was as big a pain as I thought it would be. BUT it worked brilliantly. Used the 18g 3/16 to make a strip of Euro 4 in 1 and then used 18g 3/16 to attach the top edge scales at strategic points. The scales sit far better than the other versions and are not as scrunched together. You wouldn't think it would be stable but I am surprised at how good it feels and how well it works.
I went with the lacing on these designs because it seemed more authentic than using stretchy rings and more efficient than multiple clasps. Using a shoelace for now but plan on buying leather lacing for it.
I plan on making the glove longer and continuing to tweak if I can come up with anything. Was wondering if anyone had any ideas or suggestions for it.
Also wondering if anyone has any suggestions for the other pieces. Specifically the tabard and the coif/hood. I'm not sure what weave works best for large pieces. I also can't find much of anything on how to do a scale hood/coif. I was thinking maybe doing an expanding circle with scales? Does anyone have experience with that?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated :-)