This is a method I came up with to replicate the look of the chainmail Kimahri wears on his bracers. I only have a very basic knowledge of chainmail, and this is not something I learned from an outside source. That being said, there’s probably a better way to do this, but it worked for me!
- Chainmail rings (2 sizes)
- Various pliers
- Wire cutters
- Armor piece
- Jewelry wire (20 gauge or lower)
- Heat gun
Step 1: Gather Rings
To do this, you’ll need two sizes of rings. I don’t remember the exact sizes I used, but as long as you have a larger size and a smaller size, this will work perfectly fine. Its also a good idea to have thicker rings for the larger size and thinner for the smaller, to make construction easier.
Step 2: Start putting rings together
Open up one of your smaller rings by taking two pairs of pliers and twisting it apart. I like to use a set of jewelry making pliers when I do this. They are small and easy for my tiny hands to work with.
Now add two larger rings to the smaller ring and close it up. To close, just twist the smaller right back together with the pliers.
Step 3: Smash
Once you have your two larger rings on one smaller ring, pull them apart so the the smaller ring is positioned in between the larger rings. Then, take a larger pair of pliers with a flat nose and smash the smaller ring so that it flattens around the two larger rings.
You should end up with something that looks like the last picture above.
Step 3: Repeat
Repeat the process so that you have a line of larger rings all connected by smaller, flattened rings. The only difference will be after you have the first set of three (two large, one small) you’ll only have to add on one small and one large to continue the line. Make your line long enough to sufficiently cover the length of your piece of armor.
Repeat the process to make additional lines to cover the width of the armor.
Step 4: Connect your lines
Line up your lines next to each other so that they sit where you’ll want them to on your armor. Then, take a smaller ring, and connect the lines by flattening the smaller ring onto them, just like when you made the lines.
Repeat until you have something that looks like this:
Step 5: Attach to armor
To attach the new chainmail piece to your armor piece, you’ll need to add some jewelry wire to all the rings along the outside edge. 20 gauge or lower is best because it gives your a decent amount of thickness to the wire. Cut a fairly long piece of wire with some wire cutters. Make sure its long enough to wrap around the chainmail ring and around to the back of the armor.
Next, I used a round pair of pliers to wrap the end of the wire into a circle, then I attached that on to the chainmail ring and closed it as you can see below.
Repeat this until you have a piece of wire attached to every outside ring. Then, place the chainmail onto the FINISHED armor and wrap each piece of jewelry wire around to the back of the piece of armor. Make sure its tight so that the chainmail doesn’t move around. Last, take some strips of Worbla and cover the ends of the wire on the back. This will both keep the wires in place and protect you from getting jabbed by wires when you wear it! I used Worbla’s Mesh Art, but any kind of Worbla will work here. Just cut some strips, heat them up, heat the back of the armor, and press the Worbla on. I used two layers just to be sure it was secure and that the ends of the wire wouldn’t poke out too much.
Make sure you finish the armor before adding the chainmail on! You don’t want to try and paint/finish the armor after the chainmail has been attached! You will have a bad time.
Side note: I used Worbla here because my piece of armor was made with Worbla. However, there are plenty of other materials you could use in place of Worbla if you don’t want to use it. For example, you could use strips of foam or fabric instead. Just remember if you use something other than Worbla you’ll also need to use some kind of glue (example: contact cement) along with it to secure them. As long as you have something to secure the the wires and cover them up, your armor will end up just fine.
Attaching the chainmail on may scratch your armor a bit, so be prepared to have to touch some things up when you’re done! Below you can see my finished product!