Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour


Submitted on
September 14, 2010
Image Size
271 KB


53,262 (3 today)
914 (who?)
LARP Armor - v3 by Astanael LARP Armor - v3 by Astanael
Still in progress.

Except for the sword and the daggers, everything in this outfit is hand made. Most of the leather plate are made for croupon 3-5mm thick. No paint, only neat oil and forming. The overall is not really heavy.

I'm proud of the gautlets, you can find the blueprints on my gallery. The amber stone comes from a belt fond in garbage. The helmet is an historical aberration, mixing scales, celtic and greek inspirations. The rings around my belly are realy useful to hang various items.

I need to add legs protections. Working on it.

The main trouble I have is to get this nice rounded and burned effect ont the edges of my leather plates. How did you pros do it ? I've tried dremel, wood lissettes, plastic formoirs, direct burning, sand paper...
Add a Comment:
Schuler-001 Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great work man. Quick question: Did you harden the leather or is it sill in it's natural form?
Astanael Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Many thanks ^^
The leather is not hardened, excepted for the pauldrons which comes from an old pair of graves which were formed.
I mostly use a thick sturdy croupon, so I do not have to use such techniques. That and the fact it is very time consuming.
Schuler-001 Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool. Thanks.  I've been trying to find different ways to shape leather besides the basic water/wax hardening techniques that everyone keeps using.
Astanael Feb 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Mostly, I made shapes by assembling straight pieces by riveting and sewing.
I would love to learn the "cuir bouilli" technique, halas I lack the materials and space to do so.
Schuler-001 Feb 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Cuir-Bouilli isn't that hard and it doesn't take up much space. All you need is a decent size pot to hold the water.  How I was taught was to let the water get to nice and warm to the touch, not boiling, drop the piece of leather into the water and let it sit for about ten minutes. Stir it every couple of minutes so that it doesn't sit on the bottom. After the ten minutes pull the piece out and begin to shape it how you want it.  Just a heads up the piece will shrink a bit after being the water so it's a good idea to cut it a little larger then what you plan it to be. Also I found using a wooden or rubber mallet helps to shape the piece. 

The only big problem about doing cuir-bouilli in the house is that leather dose give off an order when it's cooking. It's not a bad smell to me but I know people who really don't like it.    

Astanael Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I see, we weren't talking about the same technique. What you call Cuir-bouilli is what I call simply molding.
I thought cuir-bouilly required a wooden mould to press and form the leather, wich I don't have the time and patience to carve myself.

I tried the process you described once, with mitiged results :…. The whole became quite fragile afterward and I needed to oint it heavily to be usable. Water washes the collagen insides the fibres thus requiring filling it up again. Furthermore, prewaxing prevents water to go in and out.

I will try again, for I must have miss something.

Thanks again for the tips ! I really appreciate it.
Schuler-001 Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

We're actually both right. Cuir-bouilli is just the boiling of the leather how one shape it is really how one feels comfortable doing it. I know guys that cut the shape, boil it and then molded it free hand when it's harden, like metal, others use, as you stated, use an anology to shape it.

Like I said I've had both good and bad experiences with boiling leather. Like you, some came out very fragile; other times it came out quit nice. Now that you mention it. I do remember reading how after the hardening process some people would dip the leather into the beeswax to prevent water damage. I wonder if it was also used to fill in for the collagen that is washed away by the water.

Honestly, I think making proper harden leather is much harder then what many people think.

Astanael Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Indeed, i have also very bad experiences with forming, this is why I mostly assemble my pieces with thread and rivets.
Leather is a live material, changing with time.

I confirm the waxing methods fills in the pores and render the whole waterproof. This is how you can make bottles and glass from leather. I periodicaly wax my armor to stand rain, and it does.

I think the medieval method of cuir bouilli require medieval treatements of leather, which is hard to find. You're right in sayin' the only way to know is testing. As soon I've finished working on my current project (mostly mastering gimp and latex prosthetics) I will try again to make some masks.

I think I read somewhere that somes techniques requires to glue some clothing behind the leather to reinforce it.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk techniques and timps with me, I really appreciate it.
(1 Reply)
liontroll Dec 22, 2013   Artisan Crafter
Are the gauntlets connected by snaps?
Astanael Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nope, they are not connected to the armor.
Wrist are very mobile articulation and require to turn around to nearly 360, therefore they cannot be connected to the forearms.
Tight leather gauntlets and a thin strap under the palm (search for the gauntlet bluerint in my gallery)
Add a Comment: