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Real Deal Spolas
Sorry that I have to say this Feinman, but most of your very large images show large off-white blurry objects?
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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You are right. I seem to be having camera problems.  I will try to remedy that in future pics..

Here is a pic with iPhone.  I've flipped over  the piece I will use for top layer of yoke (one of two), and scrubbed one layer of casein into the flesh side.  I will just use one layer on this side, and I will finish this side by rubbing some oil with beeswax melted into it as a further waterproofing coat.  The layer below it will have just one coat of casein on each side and the oil on both; the layers will be sewn together at the edges with goat leather.  The casein is already emulsified with linseed oil and is suitable for outdoor use. With my Tut scale armour project, the casein adheres so permanent!y to the hide that you can't get it off without damaging the hide scales themselves.

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Kindles and iPhones and imgur don't work well together. Anyway. There is zero cracking, there are a couple of deep wrinkles in hide, but I'll just use those for bottom layers! Casein was used in shoe industry to make those white shoes. If you have seen those, you know how well the stuff bonds with hide and leather.
Yoke template

While I wait for these pieces to cure --two more days, I will work on the tooled and painted hide reinforcement strip with the likeness of the wild woman with mumps --er gorgon, and the egg and dart edgings at top and bottom of breastplate.

Try again with pic:

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Quote:ALL of those are shown not flexing and the same length. Those depictions where the torso armour is continuous, often are shown with longer, flexible ptyreges (Alex. Mosaic etc.). Those examples are twined.

Those examples MIGHT be twined. I think that there was a range of construction methods for pteryges and that some were probably twined but there is no way to know how common the practice was. We have to be wary of taking a rare example of something and pretending that it was commonly used.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
Yeah. I wish we could find some more surviving examples! Maybe somewhere in Egypt.
I would not use the word "pretending" as that implies we know something is false, yet claim it is true.

Todd is making a hypothesis, "a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation."

I think if we have a significant number of consistent depictions, a knowledge of the availability of the raw materials needed to make an item, some awareness of how similar items were made that may not have the same usage, but could be manufactured using the same process and some knowledge of the societal norms prevalent in the time period in question...we can make good educated guesses on a wide variety of things from antiquity we lack solid information on if we want to replicate them.

As new information becomes available we can modify our understanding of course.
Joe Balmos
So far everything seems to be great! The two pieces of hide I have painted and dried are flesh side out (to encourage evaporation of the outer layer through the hide). Today I will apply the mixture of beeswax and poppy oil and stand oil to the flesh side of the hides --the side currently out. When that gets in there and dries, after a day, I will cut out two of the three layers of the front breastplate and the top layer of the yoke. Then I will take those and lay them flat and do the same thing to two large pieces of the second hide (which is slightly thinner but completely immaculate). Then I will have enough hide for everything. Have to order more paint, that might be the holdup.. The hides sucked down about 8 oz per side!
Tonight I will cut out two of the three breastplate layers and perhaps the top layer of yoke. pics pretty soon.
First piece cut out.  The casein can be scratched off the surface with a bit of work, so I decided to shellack the front.  I used shellac on the Tut scales.  I don't know what kind sealant or varnish they would have used, but Tut's scales appeared to have some resinous sealant.  

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Been too busy to get much done on this, but weekend starts today!  So pics after a while.
Okay, well, the white casein isn't curing the same way as the casein I've used to paint scales in the past; it's powdery, and scrapes off.  Drag.  And, I don't want to use acrylic paint.  So... I can still use the pieces of hide thhat I've cut already, but instead of two layers of the elk rawhide, the top layer will be from bleached Red Deer rawhide (elk from Caucasus) I will leave it the light cream color, and paint the stars on the yoke and add the tooled painted strip as already mentioned. A lot of spolioi were apparently colored, tan / cream like. Dyeing the skin side of hide would be easy --such as red.  i'm not going to use leather --my point in experimenting with the hide is to shew that it is the material that was used.
This will be the surface hide:

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Okay cut first layer of hide for the yoke, and rubbed in a heavy coat of the wax / oil sealant. The blemishes are just survace discolorations. The yoke is curved in reverse right now, but that will change when things afe sewn together.   The cream rawhide will go on top, and I have goat leather for an inner liner on the yoke, and I think I'll just fold it over for the edging, and paint that part.  Will draw gorgon and design for tooled hide strip --will work on tomorrow, with pics.

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Here is the thick breastplate layer; about 2.75 mm thick, I can barely cut it with my metal sheats.  It is sealed with the oil beeswax mixture mixed with the with the white casein, and will have the cream rawhide on top, and inner thin goat liner like the yoke.  It is slightly convex, as it should be.  I'm pretty strong, but I can barely flex it.

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Have this strip of hide flesh -side up.  I soaked it in shower and when it is "leather hard", I will incise the design into it, paint it, and let it dry, and cut the strip out, and seal it.  Look closely at the gorgon in the depiction, and you'll see that she has the hardware in her teeth; a hole on each side of her mouth, with a ring on each side; there is a bit inside of spolas and the rings are on the outside for the yoke attachments.  Should look cool!

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Okay, the drawing, and the drawing embossed onto the hide by using a stylus (ballpoint) to go over the lines (destroying drawing in process, so traced copy before) and then using a lead holder to draw into those lines, further embossing them.  Painting next.

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Painting begun.  I am just using casein with earth pigments.  It is similar to parfleche.  

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