I'm a scale mail newbie working on a cosplay project, and I could use some help! I've attached some screenshots of what I'm making. I'll be making a few adjustments to make it easier: the neckhole will end below the neck instead of going up on the neck like a collar, and I'm omitting the ridge-thing on the back and the leather bands down on the arms. I'm also thinking I'll have to have it open in the back and zip or lace closed in order to make it relatively form-fitting and still able to put on.
I've got all my scales and rings (shiny copper anodized aluminum large scales and 16g 5/16" aluminum rings) and have started working on this (so far, just the bottom sections that hang down and don't require any complicated patterning), but I'm running into a few questions that I haven't been able to find answers to from searching the internet and this forum. Here are my questions so far:
1) From the pictures I've seen, it looks like people usually include chain mail sections under the armpits for mobility, instead of just using scales. My scale shirt is for cosplay purposes, so appearance is much more important than functionality. I could live without being able to lift my arms over my head, but I do want to be able to move. Is it necessary to include chain mail sections? If so, how do I decide how big to make them? Will I be totally unable to move my arms if I don't do this? Are there other ways of accommodating for movement?
2) I haven't been able to find any patterns for scale shirts, and what little information and examples I have been able to find are scale shirts for men. I imagine I'll have to make some significant adjustments to fit my proportions (40-30-40), since I want it to be fairly form-fitting, but I'm not sure how to go about this. If anyone has any resources that might help, especially regarding where and how many contractions to include, I'd appreciate it!
3) I'm planning on making a leather trim around the neckline and the shoulders (as pictured), but I wasn't planning on lining the rest of it. Is that OK, or does scale armor need to be lined to sit properly?
I have been using this tutorial (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnx0aGVoYXBweWJhcmJhcmlhbmhvcmRlbGFuZHN8Z3g6MmJiMjM3ODk1ODIxZmFlMA), which is SUPER helpful, but it doesn't answer my more complicated patterning questions. Any advice, references, tutorials, etc. for a project like this would be very much appreciated! Thanks!