Bracer and cuffs

Time taken: 6 hours.
Materials: 3mm black cover strap leather, 1.2mm brown leather, 3 antique brass buckles, 810 cap 8mm shank antique brass rivets, leftover grey-dyed muslin from the waist wrap, blackboard chalk, 8mm camping mat foam, hot glue, contact glue, acrylic paints (gold, iridescent gold, burnt umber, bronze, mars black), satin varnish, small piece wonderflex.
Tools: Craft knife, scissors, glue gun, hole punch, rivet setter and anvil, dremel, paintbrushes.
Techniques: Leatherwork, fabrication, painting.
Difficulty level: Moderate, nothing too hard here but fiddly.

In the game, Saarebas wear large brass cuffs with chains hanging from them.  And Ketojan also wears a single bracer – I don’t know why or what happened to the other one, but I had to make them.  I used this photo as a reference:

front view 2

The first step was cutting out a large square of 3mm cover leather, which is soft but stiff enough for making bracers, and taper it to the right shape to wrap around my forearm.  I decided my bracer would be buckled so I cut the leather for making the buckles, straps, and keepers from brown 1.2mm stuff I had left over from the Cullen project.  You can see in the photo that Ketojan’s bracer seems to be covered with the same fabric as his waist sash, so I cut a rough square of this, and some long pieces to make the zig-zag trim around the top and bottom.

br1

I attached the buckles  first, and took the opportunity to use the rivets to hold the fabric covering in place as well.  I wanted to make the zigzag braid look as natural as possible, so I did it a small piece at a time, riveting the supporting strap in place as I went.

br2

The two braided straps also act as the buckle straps for top and bottom.  Once the braiding was done it was a matter of riveting the ends, cutting to length, punching holes for the buckles, and trimming the fabric around the edges to make it look nice and frayed.

br4

But of course that looks far too new, so it was in with the sandpaper to scuff it all up, and the same cheesegrater-and-chalk method I used to weather the other leather bits, and voila!  Another skoady-looking piece of armour to add to the slowly growing pile.

breastplate023
breastplate024

Then it was time to move on to the cuffs.  They both look to be the same size in the picture, but I realised that one would have to go over the bracer and the other straight around my wrist, so they’d need different sized holes in the middle.  To make them big and thick enough without being mega heavy, I used camping mat foam.  For each bracer I cut 6 circles:

c1Normally you’d simply glue these together, but I was planning to add a lighting effect in the hands, so I needed the cuffs to be able to carry a battery.  To do this, I cut sections out of the pieces that would be in the middle of the sandwich, big enough to hold the battery and it’s leads.

c2Then I glued them all together using contact glue, and left them overnight with something heavy on top to make sure they were well pressed.

c4You can see in that picture that the edges are quite jaggedy, so I attacked them with a dremel, using the same head and speed that I used to sand the chains, and leaving them nice and smooth.

c5 c6They then got one coat of gesso and two of gold, followed by two of precious gold, and finally the weathering washes of burnt umber, mars black, and this time also a little bronze to keep the iridescence about them.  I glued the various bits of chain on with hot glue, and made a small hasp-like loop with a piece of Wonderflex on one of them.

c7 c8You can see the battery holes in that last picture.

With the finishing of these, the costume is now complete.  However, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m still going making the light effect.  I’ll post a tutorial for this when it’s done.

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