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Ben Bouchard




Location: Bar Harbor, ME
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue 20 Dec, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Modern armor! A "just for fun" project.         Reply with quote

Just to give myself something new and interesting to work on, I've decided to to have some fun and try making myself a modular stab/cut/impact resistant articulated cuirass. As an initial version I'll be making the plates out of fiberglass, though if it turns out well I might try laminated kevlar down the road. An outer covering will be made out of two kinds of SuperFabric--one designed for lamination that will go over the plates to provide greater wear/abrasion resistance, and another with extra-high cut/slash/puncture resistance to go in between the plates. I did up a cardboard mockup and I have full range of motion while maintaining excellent coverage.

Comments or suggestions welcome. This is a light-hearted project in good fun, but I'd like it to be as effective as possible.

A head-on shot. The lip on the lower plate is a stop-rib to prevent points from sliding upward towards the face.

Showing articulation when rotating the body:
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like an interesting project. I have been thinking about the advantages of modern materials for use in armour lately. Although for swords modern materials still lose to "plain old" carbon steel, I think that modern composites would work really well for a modern version of medieval armour.

Will you laminate around a core? Or just layers of fibreglass?

Do you feel fibreglass is strong enough? What kind of resin do you use? What kind of fibre is this SuperFabric?

Will you also add some kind of shoulder protection?
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Ben Bouchard




Location: Bar Harbor, ME
Joined: 17 Sep 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll be using the cardboard mockup as a template in cardstock, which I'll mist with water to form into perfect shape then coat with resin to stiffen it. Then I'll build up layers of E glass off of it, with a SuperFabric outer layer. ]Superfabric is an abrasion, puncture, and slash resistant material made from a variety of fabrics with a printed hard epoxy micro-plate pattern: http://superfabric.com/

I'll be using WestSystem epoxy, and if the initial build in fiberglass turns out well (I'll also be making a couple of test plates to push to the breaking point) then I'll give it a go in laminated corrections-grade kevlar.

"We are all imprisoned by the dictionary. We choose out of that vast, paper-walled prison our convicts, the little black printed words, when in truth we need fresh sounds to utter, new enfranchised noises which would produce a new effect."
Mervyn Peake
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe put some foam (I'm not a fan of the stuff, but it's modern) in it to offer some padding?
This could be quite interesting. I don't know why the military and police (especially police) don't look back occasionally in order to move forward with their personal protection tech!
Wasn't there some Canadian guy who developed "bear armour" with a similar premise in mind?

Military = Mobility.
Police = Staying power.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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