Plastic for Armor

Scott White swhite at
Mon Oct 14 10:07:08 PDT 1996

I've been making plastic armor from ABS for a while & even tried making
36-piece plastic finger gauntlets this weekend. (They came out looking like
big, ridiculous Darth Vader hands and the plastic is just plain too thick to
do really well-tuned fingers, but it was a fun project and will probably
translate easily into mittens.) 

However, I learned a couple cool things this weekend. First, I had been
shaping my pieces in an oven, which, like Jovian said, is cool for big
things but tuning them using the oven can be a real bear. So I got a $20
heat gun and boy it works like a charm! It enabled me to shape & reshape all
those small finger articulations with very little headache, plus it allowed
me to make some much-needed adjustments on my other finished armor. A great
tool for your arsenal!

Second, a belt sander works best for rounding the edges of the plastic
(DON'T skip this step or your armor will cut you to shreds!). However, I
don't own one and spent a long time struggling to find a low-cost
alternative. This weekend I happened upon it -- get a 2 1/2" barrel sander
bit for your drill motor. Rough in the edges with that, Then spend a minute
or two polishing w. fine sandpaper and it'll make those edges glassy smooth.

By the way, folks, I AM going to cover the overly-shiny, overtly plastic
stuff as soon as I get my designs tuned. It's not really that noticable on
my vambraces & gorget, but I agree that the pauldrons do look sorta
'spacey.' At any rate, let's please NOT resurrect the silly & ugly
steel/plastic debate recently banged out in, OK?

If you attend Bryn Gwlad fighter practices, look me up & I'll be happy to
talk plastic with ya.

<swhite at>

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