Greaves

Today, I began work on greaves. I’m not sure if these will be done in time for this weekend, but I’ll certainly make the best attempt I can!
So, what are greaves? Greaves are, essentially, armor that covers your shin so that people can’t put in a cheap shot on you. To illustrate what I mean, here’s a picture:


These are actually rather ugly as far as greaves are concerned, I think. They’re based on what the half-naked Spartans wore in 300.
What I would like to make is actually closer in spirit to the picture of the elf from Lineage that I posted yesterday (scroll down).
To begin with, I pulled out the boots that I wore with my outfit two weekends ago and put one on. Then, I took a ruler and just did a rough measurement from my ankle upwards towards where I would like the greaves to end. In this case, I want them to end a little below my knee. After all, I still plan on wearing my cuisses which already have knee cops attached to them. Ultimately, I might decide to marry the cuisses to the greaves (ie, attach them) but not today, I think.
Next, I butchered a brown paper bag. This is how I’ve been making patterns for all of my pieces so that I can save them and won’t be just blindly drawing on and cutting into metal. Since I decided that I wanted my greaves to be 11″ long (based on the measurement from my ankle to below the knee), I used a ruler to draw an 11″ long guideline for the pattern. This serves as my center line and reminds me of the scale of everything.
next, I measured around my ankle to try and decide how wide I wanted the bottom of the greaves to be. In keeping with impractical fantasy, I wanted them to taper at the bottom, so I decided that I only wanted them to be 3″ across. Using a T square (ie, a ruler that looks like an “L”) I used the guideline to draw a 1.5″ line left and right of the central line. This made 3″
Then, I began to decide on the shape I wanted for the top. Since most of my armor has featured a pointed and angular design (see the shape of my tassets, knee cops, pauldrons…) I wanted to mirror this in the greaves as well. I designed them to point upwards (which should hopefully nest nicely with the knee cops!) and measured everything out so that my greaves now looked like a kite shape with a flattened bottom–which was the 3″ line from before.
Now I wanted to get creative. Another shape which I have used in my armor is a circle cut out which I usually trace using any circular object at hand, including a salt shaker, a baby food jar cap, and a coaster. This shape I have used in my tassets and gauntlets and gives my armor more of an “edge”, so to speak.
Using a salt shaker, I began to trace semi-circles where I thought it would be neat to subtract some aluminum to create a more organic shape. When finished, my greaves ended up looking… hm, I kind of envision that the pattern looks like a mummy. That’s all I can think of to describe it.
Now it was time to get fancy. To help me keep the greave on my leg–and to add a bit more interest–I began to trace out a decorative band which will wrap around the outside of the greave and provide stability in the back. This band will be made out of aluminum as well and will be riveted to the front of the greave to wrap around the back, where it will probably be laced together. Again using precise measurement and a salt-shaker, I was able to make something that looks very visually interesting and will be functional. And, if you refer to my previous post, this was one of the pieces I was thinking of turning blue to add visual appeal. But that is also something I think I could do after it is riveted on, so there’s no rush.
When I feel motivated (maybe in about an hour, lol), I’ll probably begin cutting these pieces out and will also begin to cut out the pieces for the front of my breastplate, which will be made using the original pattern for the tassets. I will probably alter the pieces after they are cut, though, to make them narrower and more feminine. I’m a female elf, after all!
By the way, as my armor becomes more complex it’s beginning to get heavier! In-particular, my cuisses and pauldrons are monsters. When I’m done with everything, I’m both curious and dreading stepping on a scale with all the pieces on to see just how much it really weighs ^.^*

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