Scale Body Armor

Scale Armor

Scale armor is my specialty and personal favorite. I have been wearing some version of it almost constantly for over 20 years. Early on I simply made it from un-hardened, 10 to 12 ounce vegetable tan leather. It was fairly heavy, but moved and breathed okay, and handled an impact from rattan reasonably well. But over time, as happens quite frequently to all of us, the weight became a factor. So a few years ago I started experimenting with hardened leather. I tried the water method, but was not happy with the results. Then I began using the mix of carnabua and bees wax that I use today. What a difference! My first suit of hardened scale weighed only 17 pounds! And at least 3 pounds of that was from the rivets! Carnauba wax has a melting point of 180 degrees so none of my armor will soften due to sunlight. In fact, if it is hot enough to make the armor soft, the last thing you will be worried about is your armor. :-)

The scales of the suits are made with 7-8 ounce vegetable tan leather hardened in my mix of carnauba and bees wax. They are sewn onto the canvas undercoat using size 277 2 ply nylon thread. I back stitch very several scales to lock it down so that if the thread ever does give out the whole row will not unravel.

The canvas coat is made from 15 ounce canvas with double stitched seams. The shoulder are further reinforced with leather, which can also be used to attach pauldrons.

This armor fulfills SCA kidney and short rib protection requirements.

Cost is based on scale count needed to complete the suit the base of 500 to 800 scales is considered the medium size and costs $400.00, suit of more or less are adjusted up or down accordingly. I can give you an estimate once I have your measurements. Colors available red, blue, green, black, and natural brown.




Currently I have 2 scale shapes available. Dragone scale, which is shaped much like a heater shield. And fish scale which is round at the bottom. See examples below. There is no price difference for those shapes.

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