In its most basic form, Greek Costume Armor can be created by folding a big piece of cardboard and cutting a hole in the middle for the head to fit through. (You can use other materials but it's hard to beat the cost of cardboard.) The biggest problem is finding cardboard big enough to cover your body. It should be as wide as your shoulders and twice the length from your knees to your shoulders. (It works out great for kids.)


With three large pieces of cardboard, you can produce armor with more pizzazz. As shown in the diagram, you cut two identical pieces that run from your sternum to your knees; one piece goes in front while the other goes in back. Then sew two long strips of velcro on the top of each piece so it looks somewhat like overalls.

The third piece of cardboard becomes the breastplate; it should overlap with the waist-pieces by 2 or 3 inches. Try not to make it too long - you want the waist-pieces to show from the waist to the sternum.

You can then spruce it up with some accessories (belt and separate shoulder pads shown in the drawing) and a paint scheme. Branches and leaves work well for a Greek/Roman flavor while geometric shapes tend to make it look futuristic.


For multi-piece armor, the basic idea is to construct a breastplate with several discrete pieces. As you can see from the sketch on the left (a 3-piece breastplate covering a Roman-style Lorica Segmenta with 3-piece shoulder pads on each side), this adds extra panache and sophistication to your costume. Also note that using more pieces will take you further away from the look of Greek/Roman armor towards that of Medieval knights. To connect the various pieces together, you can simply drill holes in a few strategic places and then tie it together with string. Make sure you drill the holes somewhat in from the edge to give the links some strength.


The protection of choice for the Roman Legion was the Lorica Segmenta. It consisted of a series of metal strips arranged horizontally to form a cylinder that encased the soldier's waist/chest. In addition, several metal strips formed half cylinders on the top horizontal strip to cover the shoulders.

To make this armor style, cut about 6-8 strips of cardboard 2 inches wide and tie them together. If you can obtain cardboard long enough, the diagram on the left shows the simpler (relatively) design. However, the one of the right can be more comfortable due to the additional flexibility. Note, regardless of the design, you will need vertical links at the side and back; otherwise, the cylindrical shape cannot hold upon wearing. Two final suggestions: (1) straps over the shoulder to hold it up and (2) clasps in the front to let you put it on/take it off.


You may decide you want to create a scale mail coat; I would suggest seeking professional therapy first. While the concept of scale mail is simple, the implementation is exceedingly tedious. Undoubtedly, you will become somewhat unbalanced after painting and sewing/glueing/tying 100+ little pieces of cardboard together. (On the otherhand, if you are already twisted out like me, you can probably finish it.)


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