So, following on from my gratis gauntlet build and the lessons learnt therein I felt emboldened enough to make an attempt at some shin armour in the same manner.
Starting with the same basic template as previously I made some minor modifications to rework them into replicas of the in-game shin, printed out the card patterns and used these to cut out my foam sheet once more. Rather than recover old ground I’ll assume you’ve already read the related steps and this time cover how we’re going to assemble the parts below into a replica of the item at the top of the image.
For each shin then you’ll need the following:
A tin of black matt Plasticoat spray
Two sets of fast release clips (as you’d find on a backpack)
Two male camping studs (or, colloquially, poppers)
A pair of foam mat circles
A small strip of foam mat
A rectangle of foam mat to sit on the bridge of the foot
Approximately seven inches of trouser waistband elastic (depending on the thickness of your calves)
A length of elastic of sufficient length to loop round your chosen boot from the bridge of the foot to the sole and back
2 * 1 inch section of Velcro hooks
Your foam mat sections as per the template
Two 2 * 0.5 inch sections of Velcro loops
Lashings of lovely hot glue
So firstly we use the template to cut out the shapes for each part of the shin, remembering to flip the templates for each leg. Going by the problems I had with the gauntlets, you might want to write in big letters “done this side” after the first set, as I did to prevent later moronity.
I primed these with a coat of spray paint first before I started curving them to make sure any nooks and crannies were at least partially covered and hot glue the front of the shin onto the main shape, cutting fold lines into main part to make it easy to bend it into the correct shape.
With the boring prep done, we can start hot gluing. Cut enough of your trouser elastic (I use this as it has a nice ribbed texture and was sitting about spare) to secure the female part of the fast release clip and fix it closed with some glue.
You then want to take this and secure it on the back of the main part of the shin so that it nestles in one of the semi-circles which will be on the outside of the leg.
Turn it over once the glue has cooled and it should look like this:
Glue the foam bridge rectangle onto the bottom of the main shin, curving it to fit the shape. I choose to reinforce this with a strip of Duck tape as it’s only around 5mm of contact and this part will be under tension while wearing.
You can also at this point stick your Velcro hook section to the underside of the rectangle. I used industrial Velcro, but smeared some hot glue on the back for added adhesion nevertheless.
Next I Dremeled a couple of holes through the foam and elastic to push the camping studs through. Remember these are effectively going on backwards, that is the side you generally don’t see is the one we want to be visible to achieve the right look. These are just for effect as opposed to being practical so you could probably just hot glue them into place, but attaching the two parts of the popper reinforces the bond of the elastic to the foam on top of that of the hot glue itself.
Speaking of reinforcing the bond, the last bit we’re going to do with this side of the shin is to glue that strip of foam mat on the inside, sandwiching the camping stud, trouser elastic and shin together. As it happens the mat I used had a foil backing which helps reinforce where corners occur, and by sticking this on foam side up, it looks like there’s some reinforced plate inside the shin where it’s visible behind the female half of the clip.
Take a minute to glue the 2 * 1.5″ Velcro loop sections onto either end of your sole to bridge elastic strip, we’ll need them shortly.
On what will be the inside of the shin, you’ll need to scalpel out two slits of sufficient size to thread the other end of your elastic through.
Flip the shin over and glue down sufficient length of this to hold it (again this is going to be under tension when your using the shin so better safe than sorry) while still being long enough to go round the back of your boot and clip into place.
Back on the front, use the foam semi-circles you cut to add additional bond strength by gluing them in place to cover the slits and elastic.
After trimming the circles to match the shape of the edge of the shin, you’re hopefully looking at something like the below, here mounted on a newspaper wrapped boot with the under foot elastic Velcroed into place under the bridge section and ready for its first proper coat of paint. Might be a good idea to masking tape off the elastic and clips if, like me, you’re happy as they are and don’t want to spray them with paint.
Now weirdly there’s detailing on the in-game boots which isn’t far off the blue colour of my foam mat, however as with the gauntlets I don’t accept the “official” blue colour scheme on the associated merchandise and just want a matt black on the whole thing, so here’s one shin after its first coat…