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Incredible handmade armour

At Edcon Steel, we are continuously surprised and delighted by our customers’ incredible metalworking skills and the sheer diversity of projects they undertake.

That feeling has never been more apparent than seeing David Marsay’s incredible handmade armour.

Winner of the Kincrome impact bit and socket set, David’s historically accurate reproduction of a 15th-century vambrace (arm harness) and gauntlets has impressed all of us here at Edcon Steel, and we’re sure it will impress you, too!

The inspiration

The inspiration

David learnt to make his armour through a group called the Company of the Cross, a living history group dedicated to bringing history to life and educating children and adults about 15th century history at medieval fairs and metalworking events across New South Wales.

“I’ve always been interested in history of all types, but I became more and more interested in 15th century history specifically, as it was the golden era for armour,” David says. “The main mission of the group is to provide an accurate depiction of life at that time and ‘debunk’ the historical inaccuracies that are so common in popular movies.”

One of David’s favourite ways to share his love of history and enhance the educational experience of his audience is by creating true-to-life weapons, armour and other historical artefacts.

“I’ve made many items from the 15th century period, including a mail shirt called a hauberk… it was one of the most time-consuming things to make,” David says.

“It involved making thousands of metal rings from fencing wire and linking them together. It took me months to finish!”

Creating the vambrace and gauntlets was one of David’s biggest undertakings, but well worth the effort.

“We wanted to use the armour to educate kids,” says David.

“They always love trying pieces on and experiencing history first hand!”

The project

The project

Constructing the armour took considerable research, time, effort and skill, with David using his weekends and any other free time for the project.

“There’s a lot of research and reference material needed to make sure the armour is historically accurate,” he says.

“And I learned all my metalworking skills from the head of the group, Greg Cleall, who is a very accomplished armourer and well respected by his peers worldwide.”

But David’s vambrace is not simply for display – it is fully functioning armour.

“The most difficult component to make was the couter, which is the elbow, as it is central to the whole mechanics of the joining and how well the vambrace fits and feels when worn,” David says.

“Unlike a fabric garment that has plenty of ‘give’, armour such as this needs to be custom made to fit the specific dimensions of the wearer.”

When deciding where he was going to stock up on the materials he needed for the project, David knew there was only one place to go.

“My first time going to Edcon Steel was like being a kid in a candy shop,” he laughs. “Since then, I’ve done a number of projects over the years and Edcon Steel is always my go-to for metal supplies.”

The final product

The final product

David’s project was meticulously constructed using Edcon Steel’s range of cold-rolled mild steel, with thicknesses ranging from 0.75mm to 1.2mm.

“Everything is handmade, including the hinges and buckles, and it took about three months to complete,” David says.

“Cold-rolled mild steel is strong and easily welded using basic welding gear, and it’s very good for forming and has a beautiful polished finish.”

While you might expect 30kg armour is difficult to wear, the even distribution across the body makes it easier than anticipated.

“The armour needs to be comfortable,” David says. “You need to be able to wear the armour all day and move freely to fight in it. You kind of get used to it… it’s not very limiting at all.”

Congratulations again, David, on your impressive project!

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