Character concepts 4 – armor again

Did some more concepts. looking again at a lot of real life designs, these have elements influenced by a variety of asian and middle-eastern pieces from cultures like the Mughals. It’s difficult to come up with original designs that are practical, because most of the practical designs people came up with in the past were already made. Generally if you can think of a ‘unique’ design there is often a reason it wasn’t used historically. A major issue with a lot of fantasy armors is they are often impractical on or off the battlefield, sometimes both. Designing a bulky suit of armor to provide ultimate protection might work for its intended purpose but would be extremely heavy, hindering its user in combat. Not to mention something oft forgotten – you end up wearing a suit of armor out of battle much more than in battle. I doubt anyone would want to wear an extra 60-100lbs (or theoretically more in the case of many fantasy designs) any more than they had to especially when marching on foot, sitting down for dinner, etc. People in real life sure didn’t.

People tended to wear what they could get away with and what they could afford. Armor was expensive and difficult to manufacture, especially large plates of metal. European knights were often wealthy and could afford plate armor, the lower status footsoldiers and such as far as I know generally wore cheaper materials. Mail and lamellar was cheaper and easier to make than plate armor or more people would have used it. I’ve heard that some cannibalized common tools like scythes into helmets and such in emergencies which wouldn’t surprise me. Thick fabric is also much better at protection than many people think. If something was useless in real life it quickly died out, but even a crummy helmet is better than none at all.

Feudalistic societies don’t really exist in the current Motherland setting and the economics of resin production and crafting is different than that of metal (easier to create large sheets), but the general principle of cost and practicality is still very applicable. People are still people even in alien lizard land.

Character concepts 3 – armor

(click to view larger)

some armor design concepts. on the whole metal is rarely used in Motherland due to a variety of factors, but the majority of regions have access to substitute materials. these alien ‘resin’ compounds are mass-produced from several species of wildlife and have no true real world analogue, though most have properties somewhere in the realm of rubber, chitin, ceramic, and polymer. among a myriad of other uses, they are used to make armor and weapons. it’s a big goal of mine to have some crazy setting weirdness and still try to make designs that make sense. I’m heavily basing armor and weapon designs off of real life ones since they actually work instead of hypothetically work.

pretty much all of the armor shown here would be ‘elite’ models that would be very expensive to create and own. common soldiers and guards would make do with much less. chainmail doesn’t really exist per se due to the tensile properties of resin, the city guards in ch 1 were using scaled or spined hauberks which is much cheaper than plate armor but still fairly effective. many of the (wealthier) renes shown were using plate armor which was inspired by the designs of real life armenian cataphracts, the manicas in particular. i just think they look cool.

The smell of resin

“Rrrgh… …great.”
“Messed up. Didn’t get it straight.”
“It happens. Just try again. It’s not a big deal.”

It was a big deal. Rokur was just being nice. We were on a pretty tight schedule. The client was coming in less than a week to pick it up.

“How can someone be so big and have such skinny arms? Is he a dusa?”
Hehhh… heh.”
“I can’t even seam it. Look how much space there is.”
“Lemme take a look at it. …can barely read these measurements. Heh. Too bad they’re mine. Twenty-eight four?”
“Yeah. …Hopefully.”
“Heh. And his bicep is a fourteen… oddly shaped guy. Yeah, this happens sometimes where the pauldron has too much overlap to move properly and it won’t give you enough room to meld it. This is my fault, we shoulda sp- er.. cut a half or so off these. We’re gonna have to recast both. mm.”

It really wasn’t his fault. I didn’t catch it either.

“Ugh. Do we- hh- need to recast the entire s-”
“Nah. No. I think we can keep the rest. Just melt the two halves and cut the template down that much.”

I went ahead and melted down the two plates into the blend. Was still pretty pissed but I was also glad we didn’t have to redo even more work. Powdered up the mold and poured the hot onto the template. Made extra sure to cut down the excess this time. It doesn’t take that long but there’s so many pieces on the entire pauldron assembly that it adds up under a deadline.


Needed to hurry. Don’t get sloppy though. Made sure to paint the trim the exact blue he wanted (the highs are usually picky about that sort of thing) before gluing and seaming. You need to paint before you glue or else you can’t get between the seams and it looks bad. Handed it off to Doa so she could paint and cut in the coat of arms. I can do basic designs in a pinch but animals and stuff give me trouble. She was way better at it than Rokur or I were. Sat in her corner, working silently and diligently as always. I’m glad he was with her, it’s always nice to see a couple compliment each other so well, especially with their work. My wife’s talents aren’t really in the workshop but she cooks well, so can I really complain? Anyway.

The sun sets as we (finally) connect the pauldrons and barely finish the whole manica. I try both on to see if the articulation works well. We’re good to go thankfully even if it’s way bigger than my size. Was going to pull my ridge out if we had to redo it again.
Rokur is mostly done with the main cuirass. He finishes another layer on the haidate and calls it a night. I still love the smell of the newly hardened resin even after these years. Probably an acquired taste.

“Geez. Finally.”
“Hehh. Well. Glad that’s out of the way. …Wait.”
“Are you sure that was supposed to be a fourteen?”
Kidding. Kidding. Sorry. Everything’s good. ”
“…Geez… almost hadda heart attack…”
“Hehh. .. Come by for dinner? Just eggs but we need to make them so you can show up aft-”
“-Ah- sorry, Iona is waiting for me.”
“-Actually. Why don’t you come over to us? I know she’s made enough. Stew’s ready too. She’ll be glad to have you.”
“Oh. We would love to. Thank you.”
“See you there.”
“I’ll lock up and get my coat.”

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