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Scale Thorax Research
I'm putting together a scale over leather thorax and I'll use this topic to post research and production photos.

Just to start, a friend--a professor from Bulgaria--just provided this scale photo from a Bulgarian journal. As I understand, these are 450 BC scales from Thrace. I was struck by how much they resemble what's visible on some 'High Classical" Attic red figure.

Sadly, as I have made 378 scales to another pattern, it's too late for me, although I might try these on the yoke, as per Achilles on the vase.

[Image: n681611203_2130199_5541.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
The plates pointed from you do not belong to linotorax, but are from scale armour from Scythian type. Few similar were found in the last couple of years in Thrace. These used of You are from Pejcheva mogila, excavated from late Georgi Kitov. There he find protective collar such that from Derveni, greaves, Halkidian helmet and hoplit’s shield.
Are there any other finds of scales, or paintings dipicting the lacing/wiring arrangement?
John Conyard


A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

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Quote:The plates pointed from you do not belong to linotorax, but are from scale armour from Scythian type. Few similar were found in the last couple of years in Thrace. These used of You are from Pejcheva mogila, excavated from late Georgi Kitov. There he find protective collar such that from Derveni, greaves, Halkidian helmet and hoplit’s shield.

First, there is no such thing as a 'Linothorax' in Classical times - it is a made-up modern word.( even the Homeric word is not this). Second, from such a small sample it is impossible to determine exactly what it came from. The fact that the sample was found with standard 'Hoplite' equipment means that a Tube-and-Yoke type body armour is highly likely.......

My question is, can your Bulgarian friend, or anyone else tell us what the fragment of organic material is?
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
In February I started building a scale thorax. I wanted it to be as right as possible within the limits of my own craft skills and some financial limitations.

I used 220 Bronze sheet, 20 gauge, for the scales. I used both vegetable tanned cowhide, full hide (not a split) in 16 oz for the body, and I used tawed (alum buff) cowhide for the inner pturges and some details.

My basic plan was to build the corselet that Patrokles is wearing on the Tondo of the famous Sosias cup, as it is dead-on in period at 500 BC. But I couldn't see the back of that corselet, so I used a back flap design from another Italian fragment fo the same period. In addition, and I confess to allowing zeal to overtake historical accuracy, I made bronze chest plates via repousse like those worn by Akiles on the Akilles Vase (name vase) from 450 BC. Oh, well.... Smile ) )

I had three major construction issues. The first was the shear number of scales, as I had decided to scale my outer pturges. The second was that the curved belly below the waist-band of Patrokles corselet would be very difficult to execute and scale. The third was the attachment and position (well, and creation of) the "Akilles Plates."

The best craftsman I've ever worked with (Erv Tschanz, a horn and leather worker in rochester NY) alsways told us to tackle the hardest part of a project first, so that if it proved un-doable, we could go back and re-design. So I started with the Akilles plates. That meant I had to learn to repousse. i had huge help from Aurora Simmons (also on this list) and from Joe Piela of Lonely Mountain Forge.

Here's an early plate...
[Image: n681611203_2162599_7440517.jpg]

getting there
[Image: n681611203_2162601_1687014.jpg]

The other side--chasing
[Image: n681611203_2162603_1254235.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Annealed and ready for further shaping

[Image: 2476_65363536203_681611203_2162606_1315964_n.jpg]

One all done. Only five more to go...
[Image: n681611203_2221970_323152.jpg]

Almost all done. A mere thirty hours or so...
[Image: n681611203_2221969_1055779.jpg]

Careful examination will show that as I made them I got better. So in the end, I had to go back and planish all of them to the standard fo the last one.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
So--time to make scales. I'll keep this short. i cut them with snips, and shaped them with a fast file and with a cold chisel.

s a sheet ready for cutting. I learned to drill and smooth the holes FIRST.

[Image: n681611203_2331640_3135194.jpg]

cut into strips:

[Image: n681611203_2331641_3176567.jpg]

different task--starting the repousse waistband...

[Image: n681611203_2331643_6934947.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
The design for my waistband
[Image: n681611203_2331650_790263.jpg]

The test piece
[Image: n681611203_2331644_7245373.jpg]

now the pattern for the thorax
[Image: n681611203_2305667_4561305.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Tawed leather. 25$ a square foot.
[Image: n681611203_2305668_7767563.jpg]

pattern layout on veg tan cowhide
[Image: n681611203_2305669_2055916.jpg]

All cut and dyed, the under-armour and the chect of tawed leather tacked but not finished:
[Image: 2903_90127886203_681611203_2423551_510741_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
The back. The wings may look familiar...
[Image: 2903_90127901203_681611203_2423554_2676988_n.jpg]

Cut apart again. Now I'm finishing the pturges with bronze tabs. I wouldn't bother with this step if I did it again.
[Image: 2903_91946661203_681611203_2453455_1417061_n.jpg]

scale layout. I laid out each pturge and all the curves first, and then punched the holes.
[Image: 2903_91946666203_681611203_2453456_2026441_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Three pturges finished:

[Image: 2903_91946681203_681611203_2453459_2190239_n.jpg]

I had help from friends. Jenny Carrier putting scales on...
[Image: 2903_91946706203_681611203_2453463_7851018_n.jpg]

Now the belly holes are punched:
[Image: 2903_91946716203_681611203_2453465_2411153_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
The first scary moment. Time to install the waistband, which is now repoussed and chased. And re-polished by Aurora, who felt (correctly) that I couldn't be trusted to polish it completely...

[Image: 2903_91946731203_681611203_2453467_7976649_n.jpg]

Success! And the first attachment points installed, too.

[Image: 3256_95656626203_681611203_2514112_2511400_n.jpg]

Another view. All the thorax holes are punched.

[Image: 3256_95656631203_681611203_2514113_5024598_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Then I went to Greece for three weeks.

Then I came back and got to work.

Leather lining installed and trim finished

[Image: 3256_95656651203_681611203_2514116_5393575_n.jpg]

Yes, it is suspended from the ceiling by coat hangers and rope. That turned out to be the best way to reach inside and do scales.

The alum buff chest plate:
[Image: 3256_95656661203_681611203_2514118_288265_n.jpg]

At this point, all of the leatherwork is done ont he main body and it's just lacing. Sadly, I then dowloaded all my photos from greece and deletyed a long series of photos about installing the Akilles plates. Just as well--that was way scary and involved riveting over my own repousse, which could have ended in disaster. It didn't, but I'd avoid it like the plague in a future project. Hephaeston guided my hand, however, and it eneded the week looking like this. Still not finished--the shoulders and back need scales. But wearable!

[Image: 4858_114492436203_681611203_2833940_4574890_n.jpg]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
And then...

[Image: 3672059207_dd9031c228.jpg?v=0]

I'll post again when the yoke is scaled.

Worth saying that I fought in it for hours, took some heavy blows, and some scales got deformed but were easily repaired. It works. it also got wet and dried out, and I sweated it into shape. Fits like a glove. I feel that the scales in the center chest are spaced badly and I will eventually splurge on a hide of tawed alum buff for the pturges, which I'll re-do entirely on the inside--Giannis was right about those. But the out abdominal curve works, and the fit... well,decide for yourselves!
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Too sexy!! Congrats!

Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
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