Prince Armory https://www.princearmory.com Custom Creations Thu, 04 Apr 2019 13:55:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://www.princearmory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/P.pngPrince Armoryhttps://www.princearmory.com 32 32 Getting Started Leather Armor Tipshttps://www.princearmory.com/getting-started-leather-armor-tips/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 07:06:37 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9481 Video Script: Hello again, welcome back, and thank you for joining me. In this video, I want to cover some of the basics that might help a beginner to get started with crafting leather. In the last video I demonstrated how to craft a fantasy leather helmet from start to finish and while I wanted it to be beginner friendly, ...

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Video Script:

Hello again, welcome back, and thank you for joining me.

In this video, I want to cover some of the basics that might help a beginner to get started with crafting leather.

In the last video I demonstrated how to craft a fantasy leather helmet from start to finish and while I wanted it to be beginner friendly, there were some elements of the process that were not deeply explored.

Most of my tutorials and guides in the foreseeable future will be centered around crafting armor but to do that we need some general leatherworking foundation so anyone interested in this craft can get value out of current and future tutorials and grow their skills as I make more complex and detailed guides.

Now is this the part where I tell you that you have to go out and spend buckets of money on tools?  Well, no. 

Leathercraft does get a bad rap for being expensive in part because, it often does, simply because as you fall in love with the craft, leather tools are addictive, and you’ll probably want to collect them all. 

But I want to emphasize that leathercraft does NOT have to be expensive. If there is interest, what I can do in a future video is demonstrate how you can do leatherworking on a tight budget.

But for now I want to share with you a few essential tools worth the early investment within the context of crafting leather armor. 

So, what is the number one thing you’ll need to start making things from leather? 

Well, its leather. 

To be more specific, the material we’ll be using for armor, and anything we want to tool and shape, that’s called Vegetable tanned leather. Or Veg Tanned for short.

And this is different from the more common garment leather used in things like jackets and is processed in a way that will leave the leather much more firm and able to hold tooling impressions and shape.

The thickness of leather often goes by ounces and for our purposes I would say look for 9 to 10 ounces as a good middle ground or slightly less if you want to reduce weight, or a bit more if you want to partake in recreational combat.

When you buy your first leather, its fine to go for whatever is most affordable.  You’ll normally have to buy larger sections of the hide up front which is often more than you’ll need for whatever first project you’ll be doing but it should last a while and go a long way.  But if you really don’t want a lot of extra leather starting out, kits are probably a good way to go as well.

Now that you have your leather, assuming you have a project in mind, you’ll have to cut out the pieces.  For most of my projects I’ll use the the Craftool Shears to cut the parts, and I’ll use a utility knife, box cutter, or any sharp knife sitting around to divide the leather hide into manageable pieces.  It’s also worth noting that many traditional leather artisans use something called a head knife but I feel like shears are the way to go because you can cut anywhere even if you don’t have a large dedicated cutting surface. 

They are worth the investment but when I started, I did not have shears either, before that I used a utility knife to cut everything on a poly board which is another high priority item.  

You’ll need to get one of these for punching holes as well.  While you can use kitchen cutting blocks, the kind you pick up from a leathercraft supplier will usually have a bit softer plastic that will not be as hard on your tools.

When the parts are cut out, you’ll often need to punch holes into the pieces to allow for assembly and attaching of buckles and other hardware.  The hole punching sets with interchangeable heads are a fairly essential early purchase and should cover any hole size you’ll need for attaching rivets, snaps, screw posts and other hardware.

You’ll also need something firm to back the poly board and for the leather when you go to tool it.  For me, I initially used a cheap anvil from Harbour Freight and shortly after acquired a granite block that is 1 foot squared.  Alternatives for this can be granite cutaways from sink installs which you can usually pick up for free but they are relatively thin and prone to cracking, and machinist blocks which are excellent due to the extra mass, but they are more expensive.

Now we should talk a bit about your hammer.  When I started I picked up a cheap poly mallet and quickly upgraded to a weighted rawhide mallet which made loads of difference.  Over time I grew to prefer mauls but its all to preference.  You can certainly get started with any hammer you may have already but you will wear out your tools very quickly if you do so consistently.

And if you want to get into some of the detailed work you can pick up a swivel knife for making clean lines, it can be the cheapest one, but you may have to hone the blade first. And then one or two basic beveling stamps.  With those things you can do just about any design you want.

The tools I’ve listed so far are the ones I feel will be essential for the vast majority of your projects and can get you very far.  I’ll go into the tools you can use to decorate your projects in much greater detail in future videos, I’m here for the detail after all, that’s what I live for. 

I won’t really talk about hardware and dyes and finishes here because that will vary from project to project.

As for some practical advice, when it comes to motivation and inspiration for getting started, if you’re watching this video and made it this far you probably already have that seed planted.  The best advice is always just to start.  If you’ve watched a dozen How To tutorials already haven’t started yet but want to, just start!  Even if you don’t have the most basic tools yet, just go for it.  Join a leatherworking forum or facebook group, or visit a leather craft store and they will help you pick out leather, tools, and other materials and give you tons of information.  They have every reason to help you succeed.

There is much more to learn about leather and you’ll see many techniques demonstrated directly as I continue with the series of tutorials and project builds.  If you feel like I left anything important out or there are other things you want to know about let me know in the comments.

Once again I want to thank Tandy Leather for supporting me in making these initial videos for you all. Given the theme of this video, I feel like it would be appropriate to tell you a true story about how I got started myself.  Everything I’m suggesting here in this video is coming from personal experience.  YouTube wasn’t around back then and leatherworking and armor crafting was this secretive mysterious thing so I feel fortunate to have been introduced to the world of leather crafting back then.  After being a witness to some fantastic leather work by mortal hands, I knew I had to try it. 

I then found a Tandy Leather and the staff there were incredibly helpful and helped demystify the craft even further.  At their recommendation, I brought home some of the same tools I’m recommending in this video and began my journey on the floor of my apartment with a granite block in my lap.

And it wasn’t long before I became part of a group doing renaissance festivals where I was able to hone my skills.

Since then I’ve grown a business where I’ve been able to make a living making fantasy custom suits of leather armor.   I hope with the videos I will be producing it will sever to inspire and inform so that you too can follow your passion and create something amazing.

Thank you for the support you all have shown for this channel so far. All the likes, comments, subs, and shares are helping to give this channel a great start.

For my next video I am planning on doing another tutorial, most likely something in the same theme as the fantasy helmet, but I have some other videos also in the works that I may finish first.  I also have some project feature and build videos coming as well.  I plan on making the next pattern free for a limited time again for subscribers so be sure you’re subscribed and are getting notifications so you catch it in time!
Thanks again, see you next time!

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Tiger Dragon Project Buildhttps://www.princearmory.com/tiger-dragon-project-build/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 06:19:13 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9475 Part 1

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Part 1

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Fantasy Bracers – Full Video Tutorial + Patternhttps://www.princearmory.com/fantasy-bracers-full-video-tutorial-pattern/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 05:44:13 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9468 Pattern available at the Prince Armory Academy Transcript From Video: Intro Hello again, and thanks for joining me.  This video is a complete tutorial on how to craft these Fantasy Leather Bracers where I’ll demonstrate every step of the crafting process and share many additional tips along the way. Be sure watch until the end to find out how to ...

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Pattern available at the Prince Armory Academy

Transcript From Video:

Intro

Hello again, and thanks for joining me. 

This video is a complete tutorial on how to craft these Fantasy Leather Bracers where

I’ll demonstrate every step of the crafting process and share many additional tips along the way.

Be sure watch until the end to find out how to get the pattern as well as additional information.

I will provide chapter markers in the description if you wish to skip ahead at certain parts.  I will of course try to keep the video concise, but I also want to ensure that anyone attempting this project gets adequate educational value, so there may be parts where I repeat information that may be present in previous tutorials.  But I will also try to use each tutorial as a way to teach new techniques as well so if you are using this tutorial to learn be careful about which parts you skip.

Thank You!

Once again thanks for checking out this tutorial.  If you end up finding the content interesting or useful, its actually very easy to give back.  If you like, comment, share, and subscribe; any of those things will help boost the signal which helps me and and might help others wanting to learn the craft to find this video as well.  I really appreciate all the support you all have shown so far.  We’re already up to over 6500 at the time of recording this.  Thanks again!

Getting Started

Alright, let’s get the tutorial started.  Bracers are an accessory item that are worn on the wrists and are a great project for beginners.

Cutting & Tracing Patterns

The bracers I’ll be making here will be a one size fits most but if you are following along with the patterns, consult the provided document for fit and sizing tips.  I’ve printed the patterns out onto normal computer printer paper.

Once you have the patterns cut out you will carefully trace around the edges of each pattern with a fine point marker.  You can use a pen but beware of ink smudges. As I transfer the patterns to the leather I am also using a ballpoint pen to indicate the centers of the holes that will be punched out later.  You can do this same method or mark the entire hole.

One thing I wanted to point out this time is that the dashed line on the patterns indicates the secondary style.  The base design is the same for both styles but one style is sharp and angular, and one style is more rounded.  Why you would choose one over the other is completely down to preference. 

Cutting

Now we get to the cutting process.  I normally make several rough cuts to separate the project into more manageable pieces.  You’re free to use any sort of cutting tool you prefer but my go to tool for cutting leather is usually my leather shears. 

For this project I’m using a heavier weight of leather compared to the helmet tutorial.  It is about 12 ounces and takes relatively more effort to cut.  You can choose different weights of leather depending on what you’re wanting to do.

When using shears there are a few things to keep in mind.  One, you need to be mindful of the angle of your cut.  Try to maintain a consistent and perpendicular cut at all times. 

Second, is cut uniformity. As you are cutting, try to keep the cut seated into the blades of the shears so when you reset the cutting stroke you avoid choppy and jagged cuts.  When you finish your cut, and you look at the edges, can you tell the cut was made with multiple chopping motions? Or does it look like one smooth cut from start to finish? 

And third, if you’re new to leather working, don’t expect this to be easy. Be ready for sore fingers and muscles until you build your hand strength.

From the previous tutorial someone asked if they should cut on the inside or outside of the line.  I generally cut along the inside of the line to stay true to the pattern.  When you trace the pattern, you are in effect tracing on the outside of the pattern, so cutting on the inside of the line compensates for this  and trues up the design line.  However there are many instances where I will favor a clean cut over staying 100% true to the line, such as if my cutting line starts to drift, I may try to correct the line, but not abruptly because this type of correction is very easy for the eye to pick up as a flaw.

Transfering Designs

Now that the pieces are separated, I like to transfer the designs at this stage.  It’s up to you if you want to go with the designs as I have presented here or to come up with something different for your own project. Since the patterns I am providing are meant to be printed on normal printer paper, we will simply trace over the lines with a ballpoint pen.  However, it is worth noting that within the realm of leatherworking there are actually many other ways to transfer patterns and I’m sure I’ll cover some of that in more advanced tutorials in the future. 

To make the tracing process a little easier I will spray the surface of the leather with a fine mist of water.  Adding moisture relaxes the fibers enough to take an impression, but don’t get it too wet or your pattern will just get soaked.  Give the water just a minute or so to absorb into the leather a bit. 

When I’m happy with the consistency I’ll overlay the pattern to the piece and trace the design lines accordingly. To enhance the consistency of my lines, I am only tracing the barbed designs and I will be using a winged divider to indicate a clean and consistent border line.  You are certainly free to simply trace using the pattern as well.   Or you are also free to omit the designs entirely or change it according to your preferences.

Casing & Carving

And now we come to one of my favorite parts which is carving.  I’m using my favorite knife which has a straight ceramic blade.  It’s not the sharpest one I own but I think I prefer this due to the smooth thick cuts it makes and of course ceramic blades are great with keeping their edge as well.  You do have to still strop ceramic blades regularly to keep them gliding through the leather. 

Before you can do the carving you need to case the leather.  The method I am demonstrating here is to simply spray the pieces down with a fine mist and let them sit for a few minutes to let the moisture absorb deeper into the fibers of the leather.  There are more complex techniques we could use to case the leather but this method is quick and simple and serves our purposes just fine.

I usually go for medium to heavy pressure when making my cuts.  It’s actually worth noting that given the thickness of this leather I actually could have gone much deeper with the cuts for a more pronounced edge border.   Using a swivel knife for your decorative cuts is just something else that takes a little practice.  Its one of those things that can seem intimidating at first, and also cramps your hands at first but in time it becomes second nature.  If you follow along with each of these tutorial projects, there’s a great chance that by the time you reach your 3rd project you’ll have a solid grasp of it.

Here’s a quick bonus tip: This piece has some long straight borders and since I want to carve the edges with the swivel knife, I’m locking the direction of the blade in my grip and using the ring finger on my right hand as a firm guide and pulling    As long as pieces are cut straight to begin with, you can get fast consistent straight lines on your borders as well.  This isn’t the only way but it’s how I would normally do it and I can introduce more techniques as we go into future tutorials and guides.

Edge Beveling

The next step is beveling the edges.  While this step is also optional, I do recommend you bevel your pieces.  The tool I’m using is called an edge beveler and is a number 2 Craftool pro classic from Tandy.  I will use it along the top and bottom perimeters of each piece.  This will give the edge profile a more rounded radius which will be easier to slick later and serves to give a more finished and professional appearance.  Also, if you have any markings along your edges left behind from tracing this will clean that up.

Other than using a sharp beveler, one trick to making this process clean and easy is beveling while the leather is lightly damp.  Since I previous cased the leather for carving the decorative border cuts, the moisture content is just right.  If it was too wet sometimes the leather is too soggy to let the blade get a proper bite and you just end up with wrinkled gouges.  You can also do this while the leather is completely dry as well but since I am doing this while it is damp, the beveler can help to get the burnishing process started by compressing the fibers while making the cuts.

Another thing to keep in mind is the consistency of the leather will have an impact on the ease and quality of your beveling.  Some parts of the hide are more spongey and wrinkly and do not bevel as easily, and lower quality hides with scraggly flesh sides can also be rather tedious to trim. 

Burnishing Tips for SLICK edges! / Thanks to Tandy

In the next section I’m going to share with you some really great tips on getting very clean smooth burnished edges very quickly and easily, -without- a motorized tool.  But first, allow me to take a moment to thank Tandy Leather for supporting these first tutorial videos.  Without their support it would have taken much longer for me to produce these for you.  Our interests are aligned in getting new people into the craft of leather crafting and making leather armor is just one of many flavors in this awesome craft. And Tandy has always been the place I would point people to for getting started and where I got started myself.  As I mentioned in the getting started video if you go into a leather craft store, they have every reason to help you succeed. They will give you suggestions on the tools and leather you need.  And if you can’t make it to a store, I’ll list most of the tools used in this tutorial in the description and you can use my affiliate link below to get the things you need for this project delivered to your door.

There are many ways to achieve slick edges.  I’m going to demonstrate how I do it for a many of my own projects.  This will get you most of the way to perfect edges with about a quarter of the effort.  You can indeed get very nice edges using just water and hand tools. 

The tool I’m using here is a typical wood slicker.  Mine happens to be a made from a more dense cocobolo wood but in function is the same as any you can get off the shelf.  There are many varieties of these burnishers, but the common factor is they all have various sized notches that roughly fit varying thicknesses of leather so you can use pressure and friction to burnish a rounded profile into the edges of your leather pieces.

What is happening when you burnish in this way is you are compacting the fibers along the edge.  Its worth noting that typically burnishing means something a little bit different and it has to do with the key word being burn, so you’re using the heat from friction to solidify the edge fibers. but we can go into more specifics on that and more advanced edge finishing options another time.

A little finesse makes the difference between this process being easy and simply not work. Getting the right consistency of moisture is important.  If it is too dry, the fibers will not compress easily, and if its too wet, the leather fibers will be too relaxed to hold the shape.  This concept is something that becomes obvious and a little more intuitive with a little hands on practice.
I’m using a mist bottle to slightly saturate the edges, then I will set the edge of the leather into the best fitting groove of slicking tool and rub back and forth with a firm pressure. 

As you can see here, the edges are now very smooth.  As to why you would want to do this process I’ll give you two good reasons.  For one, it just makes for a nicer looking end product.  And two, it makes wearable or handled items more comfortable to wear and use. 

Now here’s the one small catch to this process: Although you can use water to achieve the result, to make it last you need to seal it.  For most armor projects you’ll be doing this anyway so it’s a non issue.  The sealant will help the fibers stay put in their compressed state even through wear.  I often will do one final slicking pass as the sealant is applied and starting to dry just for good measure.

Punching Holes

For the next stage I will be making the holes needed for assembly.  I’m using an interchangeable head hole punch to make the holes where the rivets will go.  Mine is a shinier version compared to the cheaper one you can get but its basically the same thing.  I’m also using a smaller poly board as backing to preserve the tip of the hole punch.  There’s not much to it, but I will add that I am using my heavier maul to make the process quicker. 

Just as quick tip, you might notice how on some pieces the hole punch head will get stuck into the leather.  This can be avoided to a large extent by polishing and stroping the head of the tube occasionally.  If you do that the punch will normally pop right back out without grabbing the leather at all. 

Border Tooling/Beveling

The next step is to case the leather again.  This time I’m giving it a heavier saturation using a container with water and a high density sponge that I cut in half.  I’ll then let it sit for a bit, how long depends on how saturated you get it, how absorptive the leather is, and how fast it dries.  You normally wait until the lighter surface color starts returning which means the outsides of the leather is firm while the insides are still damp and ready to hold a tooling impression.

(A Few Moments Later)

Now I’m ready to being the tooling.  For this project I’m keeping the design scheme somewhat consistent with the previous helmet project and using a  Craftool b206 beveler again for the border tooling.  I am tooling to a light to medium depth in this case.  You do not have to go with a beveled design like this.  I chose it specifically to have a more neutral clean look but you could easily experiment with some scrap and come up with something more exciting to use in your project if you wish.

When you’re tooling a line like this, or tooling an area like a background, or anything else requiring numerous repetitive strikes there are a couple of techniques you can try.  The technique I often use is to hold the tool into the cut line and apply a mostly downward pressure and drag the tool to the next position over the leather.  So I will normally keep the tool seated into the line.  Another technique you can use is to hold the tool right at the surface of the leather, and let the tool rebound back up after striking.

I will have to make a dedicated tooling video to explain much further but here’s what’s going on in slow motion.  I’m keeping the tool seated into the line most of the time here and dragging the tool to the next striking position.  You can see how each strike slightly overlaps the previous and I try to keep the force of each strike consistent. 

And here again from another direction.

Depending on how long it takes to tool your pieces, or if you have to step away for a bit, it can help to spray the surface lightly at times.

Bonus Tip! How to fix a mis-strike

If you were wondering from the helmet tutorial how I fixed a mis-strike in the tooling process, let me show you.

So, let’s say you’re tooling your bevels or most any kind of tooling and you lose your rhythm for and strike your tool off the line. With a little work you can hide the crime, and nobody will ever know.  Part of the trick is to wet mold and overly stretch the mistake from the back side.  I’m just using a marker to do this here.  Doing this reduces the detail of all tooling in the stretched area including the mistake.  Just stretch it until the mark is mostly gone.  Then start burnishing it back down from the top side and smooth out the area.

Once your mark is mostly removed you can re tool the correct path and you’re good to go. Leather can be forgiving if you ask nicely.

Shaping

Keeping with the theme of the Fantasy Helmet Tutorial I’ll be giving the center plates a subtle crease as well.  The process again is to first saturate the center of the leather to make it a bit more pliable.  Then fold the pieces in half and carefully strike along both sides of the piece to pronounce the center ridge with a hammer that has smooth convex striking face

Now it’s time to move onto the coloring process.


Intermission

Coloring

For these bracers I decided I would use the green Ecoflow waterstain It’s always a good idea to shake up any liquid products before use as most have solutions that will settle over time but just remember, if you shake it more than twice, (censored) you’re playing with it.

I like to add the dye to a small container that I can easily dip the applicator into.  

I will deviate from the Fantasy Helmet Tutorial slightly so I can demonstrate an alternate coloring technique and show you how to get a solid consistent color instead of the textured effect.
The process here is fairly straight forward.  The main thing is to apply a generous coating to ensure adequate and even absorption into the leather.  I’m using a piece of high density sponge to apply the stain to both sides and then taking a shop towel to wipe away the excess.

Finish

I’ll be using some eco flow satin shene to seal and finish the parts of the bracers again for this project.  Using a piece of the high density sponge, I’ll saturate both sides of the pieces and set them aside to begin drying.  Before the pieces are completely dry however I will normally take the sponge when it is mostly dry and finesse the surface slightly.  Satin shene tends to give a low gloss finish and I will undoubtedly cover other finishes in future tutorials as well. 

As mentioned earlier, just for good measure I’ll enhance the edges a bit more by burnishing while the edges are just a bit tacky and damp from the finish.


Assembly

Since the leather was rather thick I needed to thin it slightly to account for the rivets.  It’s certainly possible to skive the undersides of the holes down but I’m just compressing the leather around the riveted areas with some hammer strikes and averaging out the impressions slightly from there.  This step was aided due to the leather still being slightly damp and pliable from the shene stage. 

Each center plate is different so take be aware of this when assembling.  I picked one of the side panels and am starting from the bottom with the first center plate.  I’m setting the rivets flat here which isn’t my favorite method but it gets the job done.  When the first rivet is set I’ll add the second plate and a long double cap rivet through all three layers and continue to the third plate. 

Unfortunately at this stage my camera’s memory card filled up during the recording so there is a portion of this assembly process I can’t add to the video. When I finished adding all three center plates to one side panel, I repeated the process for the opposite side panel starting at the bottom again.  The assembly of the remaining plates is very much like the helmet assembly if you need additional demonstration.

Eyelets

When the panels are assembled, you’ll need to determine how you want to adjust and hold the bracers on while wearing them.  I’ll probably demonstrate buckles in the next tutorial, so I decided to go with eyelets here.  Eyelets are a quick and simple addition.  All you need is a hole punch, in this case the largest size of the interchangeable tubes in my hole punch works just fine, and a setter.  There are foot press attachments and at least a couple other types of setters so your application process may vary but all there is to it is to support the top of the eyelet so it doesn’t smoosh flat and to curl the bottom of the post out over itself a bit to form a tight friction fit into the hole.

Lacing

When the eyelets are all set you can lace it up however you like.  Criss cross, over under, from the top or bottom, just go with whatever you want.  I’ll show you a couple examples of lacing as well.  Both will be about 45”.  For one bracer I will lace it up with a leather lace that was cut from latigo leather, and the other will be laced with some paracord.  You can us anything sturdy really.  Synthetic options like paracord or shoe laces are easier to lace up and tighten.  And leather lace will make the adjustments hold in place better.  While wearing them you can tuck in the excess.

End / Connect with us

So that’s it!  I really hope you were able to learn something from this. If you’re getting some value from this I hope you’ll consider supporting this series.  That can easily be done by engaging in some way with this video, you can let me know that you liked it in the comments, give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends or in a group you think might appreciate it and if you’re really happy with the content you can even chip in a buck or two to our Patreon and buying this pattern at the Prince Armory Academy website helps a lot as well.  If you need tools and supplies, please also consider using the affiliate link for Tandy or Amazon below

You can also follow Prince Armory on Facebook which is currently our largest platform for a little bit of everything including general updates and pictures of custom work and occasional WIPs and teasers and more.

Our patreon is small but there is a lot of behind the scenes and other content planned for it.

If you make this or other projects from the tutorials, I’d love to see it!  Mention or tag Prince Armory on Twitter to show off your work on this this or other projects and we might feature it in a future video!

And check out Instagram for a cool stream custom projects past and present. 

And of course the Prince Armory website has loads of content including custom ordering information, albums, blogs, and more. 

What’s next?

For the next tutorial I expect I’ll do a pair of shoulder spalders in this Fantasy armor theme, but I still have to finish part two of the Tiger Dragon helmet build, and I have a couple other videos in the pipeline as well.  I will also be working on my custom projects which take most of my time.  The plan though is to pull back the curtain and start doing more project videos and shop vlogs in real time.

Thanks for sticking all the way to the end of the video.  If you’re watching this video as it just came out there’s a pretty good chance you were already subscribed so as a thanks to you being subbed be sure to check the description for how to get the pattern for free.  I’ll do a 3 day giveaway for this one and then I’ll take down the giveaway.  If you’re watching this video after the give away is over be sure to sub and click the notification bell so you can catch the next giveaway!

⚔️ Fantasy Leather Bracers – Full Tutorial ⚔️ 🛡️ How To Make Leather Armor by Prince Armory 🛡️

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Warlord Wedding Armor Use Studyhttps://www.princearmory.com/warlord-wedding-armor-use-study/ Sat, 16 Feb 2019 05:02:43 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9384 This is a great example of how a suit of armor can be used to augment a fantasy and renaissance wedding to great effect. Follow the link to see pics from this beautiful wedding! http://isoalt.com/2018/01/29/enchanted-renaissance-festival-wedding/

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This is a great example of how a suit of armor can be used to augment a fantasy and renaissance wedding to great effect. Follow the link to see pics from this beautiful wedding!

http://isoalt.com/2018/01/29/enchanted-renaissance-festival-wedding/

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Too Cool Not To Sharehttps://www.princearmory.com/too-cool-not-to-share/ Fri, 15 Feb 2019 04:54:26 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9355 Krypton Helmet by Asia Wise on Sketchfab Came across this 3D Model of a helmet that was made a few years back. Really cool to see. The full gallery of the real life version of this set can be found here:

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Krypton Helmet by Asia Wise on Sketchfab

Came across this 3D Model of a helmet that was made a few years back. Really cool to see.

The full gallery of the real life version of this set can be found here:

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Fantasy Helmet – Full Video Tutorialhttps://www.princearmory.com/fantasy-helmet-full-length-tutorial/ Fri, 15 Feb 2019 04:09:10 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9340 Transcript: Hello and welcome to this tutorial. I’m going to be taking you through every step you’ll need to craft this fantasy helmet from leather. I’ll be making this pattern available with two variants. And you can always use the tips and techniques I show you in this video for other leather projects or to help you come up with ...

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Pattern available at https://academy.princearmory.com


Transcript:

Hello and welcome to this tutorial. I’m going to be taking you through every step you’ll need to craft this fantasy helmet from leather.

I’ll be making this pattern available with two variants. And you can always use the tips and techniques I show you in this video for other leather projects or to help you come up with your own design. I want these tutorials to help as many people as possible. So I’ll do my best to cover a lot of the basics throughout the process. But if anything seems too complex in this tutorial, don’t worry. I’ll be making a whole series of general videos covering everything from the basics of leather working all the way to more advanced armor designs.

I would like to start by thanking Tandy Leather for sponsoring this video. Their support has allowed me to invest additional time to create this tutorial along with new designs just for this video. They supplied the materials needed to craft this project. And any tools and leather you will need can readily be attained with a trip to your nearest Tandy. Or you can use my affiliate link below, an even more convenient link. Order anything straight from their website.

Getting started. There will be a separate quick start video for this pattern with additional tips, design, fit options, how to print, and more. So if you’re following along with the patterns, first check that before proceeding. I’ll talk about some of the tools I’m using throughout the video, but I’ll also provide links and product numbers for all of the tools you’ll see in this tutorial. Ready to dive in? Alright. Let’s go.

I printed these patterns on typical 8.5 by 11 printer paper. And it works well enough, but it’s worth noting that you can purchase some heavier weight printer paper or even get some tag board or poster board and use one of those school glue sticks to reinforce the patterns for using your tracing.

Cutting the patterns. When you have the patterns printed, just carefully cut along the line. If you mess up, you can always reprint that page. Also note that one of the patterns is meant to be traced seven times. I may do it with just one print. But if you’re using typical thin printer paper, you might want to print out additional copies of that piece if the pattern starts getting worn. The scissors I’m using here are some lightweight Ginghers, which are my go to for cutting paper and patterns.

Transferring the patterns. The first thing to do is to transfer your patterns to the leather. The hide that I am using is a high quality veg-tan leather that is about nine ounces thick. I positioned the pieces of this project at the upper back of the hide. If you’re just getting started, don’t worry too much about this. Just build the leather and go with what feels more firm. Every hide will be different, so try to avoid any gauges, blemishes, or spongy areas. I’m using a red fine point sharpie to trace the outlines. It’s good to use a fine point so you’re forced to follow tight lines with your cuts. Though you can use just about anything that won’t smear on the leather. I do trace an ink on the front and I don’t worry about the lines left behind from cutting because I bevel the edges at a later stage. I would like to advise that you do take your time at this stage and get good clean lines to follow.

Separating the leather. Once the patterns are transferred to the leather, I like to separate the pieces into manageable chunks before cutting. Here I’m using an Al Stohlman knife for these cuts. Although I don’t know if this particular item is sold anymore. But there are many options. I have also often used a standard box cutter or utility knife.

Cutting the leather. With these smaller sections, you can now more easily start the cutting process. My default method for cutting leather of mid to heavy thickness is leather shears. The shears I’m using here are a craft tool brand from Tandy. And these have been my go to for years. Now you do need sheers if you’re going to use any kind of scissors to cut this. Leather shears have a flat serrated edge on the lower blade that enables cutting into thick leather. It does require some hand strength and practice, so your mileage may vary. If you don’t have leather shears, there are kind of other ways to cut the leather. I’ll have to go over that in another video. I can give you a couple tips in the meanwhile though. If you are using a utility knife or box cutter, make sure you polish or strop your blade even if it’s a brand new one. Then it should glide much better through the leather. And of course, just take your time and be careful. Also, if you’re trying to cut with shears and it seems difficult, you can also wet the leather to make it easier.

Transferring the designs. For my design for this helmet, you’ll need to transfer those lines now. If you want to make the design a little bit easier, you can omit this step and go with no trim or just a simple border. Start by dampening the leather slightly. Just a light mist along the edge should be fine. Give it just a bit to soak in so the pattern doesn’t get saturated with tracing. I’m using a fine ball point pen with no ink to trace over the lines. On some of the parts, I’m also just tracing the main protrusions. Like those little carves of the design. And then I’m gonna use a wing divider ensure a consistent band along the edge. And you may also seem to use dots to indicate the line instead of drawing over it. I’m also simply pressing a dot in the center of the pattern holes. But it will probably be easier in the long run if you trace out the entire hole or use a hole punch to gently transfer the hole marks through the pattern to the leather.

On the face place piece to save a little time, I just flipped one side over and reused it to transfer the pattern onto the other side.

Prep for carving and tooling. We’re almost ready to tool the border trim. In order to do that, we have to wet the leather. The moisture is what makes the leather fibers malleable. So the amount of saturation is important in the results of carving and tooling. And there a number of ways to do it. I normally go for a fast emersion with the leather, but it’s easy to get the leather too wet. So I’m demonstrating a method that is a little bit easier to control. I’m using a high density sponge to saturate the surface of the leather. Basically to the point to where the water pools on the surface and then moving on to the next piece to do the same. After I’ve given the pieces a few minutes to soak up the moisture, I’ll come back with a sponge and do a quick pass again to help normalize the surface moisture.

Carving the leather. There are many methods you could use to decorate the project. For this demonstration, I’m using a swivel knife with a ceramic blade to make cuts into the leather. You don’t have to use a ceramic blade. It’s really to preference. The main thing is to always have a sharp blade that is strop. If you are unfamiliar with using a swivel knife, I highly recommend trying it out. Being able to put deep, smooth, and crisp lines into leather opens up a whole new arena of design and decoration options in leather. It may take some time to become proficient, but it’s worth it. A project like this with a lot of repetitions on the design lines is a great place to get that practice. So try out your techniques on some scrap before committing. As you work with the pieces, you’ll have to refresh the moisture from time to time. I usually try to spray any pieces that look like they’re getting too dry so they’re an ideal moisture level whenever I get to them.

Edge beveling. Now we’ll talk about beveling the edges. This step is optional, but it is highly recommended. I bevel nearly every edge front and back of every piece and this does a few things. One, it makes the end result look cleaner and more professional. Two, it is necessary for getting a smooth burnished edge [inaudible 00:13:42]. And three, it makes the leather more comfortable to use and wear. There are a few instances where you wouldn’t want to bevel the edge, but those don’t really apply here. Here I’m using a number two Craftool pro edge beveler. And I’ve gone through buckets of edge bevelers over the years and these are my current favorites. They’re comfortable in the hand and they just glide through. They really seem to keep their edges well. One tip I have for making this process smoother is to bevel when your leather is just a little bit damp. You can do it dry and it’s fine. But if it’s a little damp, the beveling process also firms up the edge fibers so it’s easier to burnish later. But don’t bevel when it’s too wet or it’ll just dig in and cause problems.

Punching holes. We’re now ready to punch the holes for the piece. There are a few ways to go about this. First, you can use a hole punch, use a certainly common option and readily available. Just be sure to preserve your tip and don’t drive it through the working surface. Here’ I’m showing you how you can use some scrap leather to avoid damaging the tip. And here I’m using a polyboard. And here I’m using a rubber mat. What I’ll be using for most of the holes is this rubbery hole punch. I think this one is a CS Osborne. This is my go to as long as it can reach. There are also times where you’ll have to drill a hole.

Note that I am waiting to punch the holes on the side plate so it’ll attach the face plate. And I recommend you also wait so you can test the fit and see if you’re happy with the position. You can easily change it by modifying these holes.

Now we get to the part where things get really creative. For this tutorial, I’m sticking with a very basic border tool and to accent the design lines. I’m using a general cross hatch beveling tool here. It’s a Craftool B205. But this is a great spot to just play with some alternatives too. Grab some scrap and just do some tests. And try out any tool that you think would go great along the border. Or even feel free to skip this step and stick to clean lines.

Shaping the leather. Now we’ll do a bit of basic wet molding on the leather. There’s a lot of mistakes surrounding this technique, but it’s not scary. I’ll be showing a simple folding technique and doing a little hand shaping to give a little extra dimension to the pieces. This process is also optional. In the second variant, there’s little to no shaping and you may prefer a smoother look. When doing this fold method, the leather needs to be moderately damp especially along the fold. All there is to it is to fold the piece in half and then carefully hammer with a medium firmness on both sides of the ridge to compress the leather along the fold. The hammer face needs to be convex and polished to avoid hammer marks in your leather. When you unfold the pieces, there should be a subtle ridge left behind. From there, bend and form the pieces by hand slightly to bring them closer to the final shape. Something to keep in mind is that this process, as I’ve demonstrated here, will effectively shrink the helmet dimensions slightly. So this will, in fact, make the helmet fit a little bit tighter.

Coloring the leather. For this project, I’m using red Eco-Flow Waterstain. I’ll be describing the methods I use to achieve the end results you’ve seen already. I knew I wouldn’t be doing a lot of tooling and other details. So I wanted to get some texture in the coloring. This is just one of many possible techniques. I encourage you to adjust the coloring process to your preferences. The first thing I did was to apply a generous coating in medium sized circles with a large wool dauber and leaving a lot of excess behind. Normally, this is the opposite of what you would do, but bear with me. I’m doing this so that there is a broad base texture.

The next stage of the process is to add a finer texture after the first layer is dried completely. To achieve this, I simply grabbed a napkin, wadded it up in an [inaudible 00:29:52] way, and used it to apply a thick randomized texture. And here again, let it dry completely.

The final stage of this coloring process is to apply the black trim. I’m using some black Fiebing’s Pro Dye for this as it will easily dominate any previous color. I’m using a small wool dauber to get a clean consistent border on the side an back edge. And filling in the rest with an angled brush. When you’re finished with the coloring process, let everything dry and give everything a quick buff using something like a cotton rag to remove any excess pigment.

Surface finish. Now that your color work is done, you’ll normally want to seal the leather with a finish. The topic of leather finish is pretty deep so I’m gonna keep it simple and just talk about what I did for this project. I’ll save the rest for more specific videos later. I’m using Tandy satin shene for both variants of this project. For this primary variant, I’m coating both the sides front and back. I’m using a piece of high density sponge to apply the finish. The method I’m using here is to apply generous wet coating to all the pieces. And then while they’re still a bit damp, we’ll take the sponge. We’ll make sure it’s mostly depleted of the finish. And then I’ll use that slightly damp sponge to even out the finish. The second pass will give a cleaner look. If you prefer a more rugged look, you can stop at the first pass and scuff the finish when it is dry and using something like a Scotch-Brite Pad.

Assembly. This is where things will finally start coming together. Figuratively and literally, I guess. I’m using your basic every day double capped rivets for this helmet.the recurring theme here is of course there are many possible methods. This is just one. I’ll be using medium and long versions of the gun metal rivets. Pick a helmet side and start with the front panel. The first and last rivets on each side will only go through two layers of leather. So you’ll use a medium length for that. And long for everything else.

The method I’ll be using is the down and dirty get it done approach of hammering it flat. Normally I would use a setter and a [inaudible 00:37:02] or a dedicated rivet foot press. But I understand the overwhelming majority of people wanting to try this will not have those things. Anyone with a hammer and a hard surface can use this method. And as long as you get a good flush set, it will really never come apart. Line up the first rivets and hammer them straight down. If you do have a problem with the rivets setting properly, it is normally the angle of your strike. Hit straight down with a solid blow and it should be fine. If any rivets skew or set crooked, go ahead and pull them out with pliers or diagonal cutters. If they do set wrong, it’s usually pretty easy to get them off. Continue with the next seven layers in the same way.

Take notice the last two bottom layers are slightly different from each other.

When you’re finished assembling one side, grab the other side piece and begin the process again from the front. It will be slightly more challenging due to restricted space for hammering. And if you go layer by layer, you should have just enough room to get it done.

And there it is. The helmet core is complete. Now the only thing left is to attach the face plate.

Attaching the face plate. As mentioned previously, I withheld punching the holes of the side plates. This was so I could align it to my preferences. After settling on the final location, I mark the spot accordingly, which incidentally was virtually the same as the marks on the pattern. But it’s always good to check. For the bottom hole, I was able to use the rotary hand punch. For the top hole, I had to use a drill. After double checking the final fit, I placed a Chicago screw at each top point to make a pivot for the face plate. You can also use rivets here, but I prefer Chicago screws for any moving or low bearing parts.

For the bottom holes, I’ll be using snaps. This is to allow the snaps to be undone to raise the face plate. And then to snap together to hold the face plate [inaudible 00:41:09] lower. To prep the leather for snaps, I normally flatten the spot a little bit. I’m using the smaller line 20 snaps for this so it helps to thin the leather a bit in this way. To set the snaps, I’m using a basic [inaudible 00:41:23] and a typical line 20 setter. I realize setting snaps is a tricky thing for a lot of newbies. But with a little bit of practice, you’ll get it. The main thing is just take your time. Make sure you have enough post length on the inside, but not too much either. If it’s too long, it’s easy to just bend the post over. If it’s too short, you want to get the post to grab the mating piece before it starts to curl. Just give it some general taps to get it started and then dry that down enough so that it is firmly set. The inside of your snaps should look like this when it’s set.

And there it is. It’s all done. It does take a considerable amount of time to produce these videos. And I really want to improve the quality and quantity of the content I’m putting out. If you feel like you gained some knowledge from this or were entertained by watching, I hope you’ll consider supporting me in this journey. The easiest way to do that is to like, comment, subscribe, and share my content. That way our algorithm overlords will flag this as relevant and interesting content and boost the signal. If you made it this far into the video, thank you so much for coming along with me on this. If you like this project and want to craft this helmet, I will be making this pattern available for purchase. But for a limited time, I’m going to be giving this pattern away for free to anyone subbing to my channel. So check the description for details on that.

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Video – Sketching the upcoming helmet pattern.https://www.princearmory.com/video-sketching-the-upcoming-helmet-pattern/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 08:36:27 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=9282 Transcript: In this video I’m gonna be sketching and talking about a leather helmet pattern I hope to make available in the next couple of weeks. I just wanted to drop a little intro here to let you know that there’s gonna be a little background noise. I’m not sure if it’s a river dancing conga line or the roofers ...

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Transcript:

In this video I’m gonna be sketching and talking about a leather helmet pattern I hope to make available in the next couple of weeks. I just wanted to drop a little intro here to let you know that there’s gonna be a little background noise. I’m not sure if it’s a river dancing conga line or the roofers doing some repair. Sounds about the same either way. You’ve been warned.

Hey everybody, so I’m going to do a quick sketch here to work out a design for the next pattern. I’ve gone through a few ideas and I want to come up with something that’s going to be approachable, maybe not as elaborate, definitely not as elaborate as some of my custom stuff. ‘Cause I don’t want it to put people off. I just want it to appeal to a pretty broad audience and still be interesting. Now there’s a number of different ways I can do this and I’m not really gonna overthink it either, ’cause there’s always the next pattern and the next one and the next one if this does well. So what I’m thinking is probably a fantasy helmet and what I’ve got in mind is something that the majority of people with a quick trip to Tandy or your local leather supplier can just pick up the materials and make it without a whole lot of skill required. The tutorial will provide everything they’ll need to just make it. And what I have in mind, let’s say this is the helmet, general outline. I would have one panel over here. And some divided sections. Make it even. And that way for assembly you would have, layer here, layer here. You would have these easy to make little panels, little sections. And you could rivet ’em, so this would be on top and these would fit underneath. This one would overlap that one and so one. And as far as making it a little bit more interesting, I could probably have it to where, I mean there’s no reason I couldn’t have it to where the pattern had several conversions. So one version could have maybe a more spiky sort of design if they want to cut it out like that. I can design some sort of face plate. We could either do like a mask style that would sit underneath here. You could have a couple snaps or just say like a full face plate that kind of comes up here. And of course there’s any number of things that can be done to embellish it. We’ll probably keep it basic for this first one. But the tooling, we can do something interesting, little bit interesting. But as with all things there’s a million ways to go about doing something like this. In the future I can do five and six part helmet or patterns which is, you can either have it to where, a section here, section here and a section here. And this one will be a five-part and then here too you can easily add a faceplate, that will change the shape of the eyes. You can add a trim piece. The difference between the five and six-piece core is a six-piece has just one more section and it’s split right in the middle and this one gonna be at like a crest or something that you’re gonna embellish the top of the helmet with. If you’ve seen my other helmets, I’m sure you’ve seen some crazy stuff that goes out all over the place. But it usually starts with some sort of basic helmet core. There’s a thousand different ways to do it, there’s several different types that I kind of default to. They’re a little bit different each time. But, that’s the gist of it. Now in the future, we can look at doing all sorts of stuff. I’ll be taking requests. But I’m pretty sure something like a set of shoulders would be good and we can do something with a little bit of shape on them. Maybe a little bit of a lip here. And I think that would be a pretty popular sort of design as long as I can make it approachable and easy enough to make. Which I think I can. As far as affixing it, probably have some sort of across the chest strap buckle here. Probably go with a smaller buckle than this, but you could do a larger buckle. And a design like this would be a great starting point for anybody wanting to start making some sort of an armor costume for themselves or something to role play in. And then it’s really not too hard from here to fill the space with some sort of interesting detail throughout. I can come up with maybe a few designs that people could just test out see see which one they like, apply it to their own whatever they’re making.

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for watching. I’m just now getting started with creating video content. I’ve definitely got a long way to go. I don’t even have my intro or outro and I’m just now learning video editing and I still gotta figure out my camera settings and lighting set up, the angles that I want to film, just all these little things that I hope will improve as I go along. ‘Cause I really do want the production value of the video content that I’m putting out to reflect the same level of care and attention to detail that I put into my other art. So I hope that you will consider joining me on this journey and I will definitely be receptive to any and all feedback, good or bad, just let me know in the comments below. And if you find any value in this videos or the future videos it will help me out if you drop a like or subscribe or share and that will go a long way to helping this platform grow and help me create more content going forward.

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Gallery – Eldritch Armorhttps://www.princearmory.com/gallery-eldritch-armor/ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 02:22:32 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=8994 The post Gallery – Eldritch Armor appeared first on Prince Armory.

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This one is called the Eldritch Armor and is a full suit of leather fantasy armor designed with Lovecraft lore in mind.  This custom suit is a completely original design and crafted from predominantly 10oz Leather with the addition of painted glass eyes.  From head to toe the components included are the helmet, pauldrons, cuirass & faulds, articulated arms (vambrace, rerebrace, elbow/couter), gauntlets, articulated legs (cuisses, knees, greaves), and sabatons. 

See how this was made and behind the scenes with large work in progress gallery of this project head on over to our Patreon page http://www.patreon.com/princearmory.  Or if you want to see more armor projects just click the gallery link or browse the site.

 

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Prince Armory Teaser Videohttps://www.princearmory.com/prince-armory-teaser-video/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 07:14:09 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=8929 Just a quick vid to serve as a preview of future video content. Many plans are in motion, be sure to keep up with our social media networks.

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Just a quick vid to serve as a preview of future video content. Many plans are in motion, be sure to keep up with our social media networks.

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Blue Dragon Armorhttps://www.princearmory.com/blue-dragon-armor/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 07:13:23 +0000 https://www.princearmory.com/?p=8922 The post Blue Dragon Armor appeared first on Prince Armory.

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