Spartacus: Blood and Sand Training Armor


New Member
I greatly appreciate the continued support. Still in the process of continuing to age it a bit more.

.... I really like what you've done with this armour and I feel inspired and want to make something myself too. Do you have any build advice?

Best advice I can give is make paper templates for everything, heavy card stock is best. It saves both time and especially money by minimizing having to correct mistakes made on the leather. And always test finishes on scrap pieces.

.....One thing I learned while googling around is that actual leather armor was boiled to make it harder and more durable. This will also make the leather shrink.

Do have have alot of expierence with leather and how hard/expensive is it to get into?

I've done some armor using the boiling method (cuirboulli). Seems to be more suited for pieces like chestplates and vambraces as it results in the leather being very stiff. Pieces like this need a bit more flexibility to be practical. I used a method somewhat similar to get the scales to keep a curved shape. Rather than submersing it in boiling water, I used a sponge and got the scales moderately wet with hot water then put them in the shape I wanted and let it dry out for a day or two. Still very flexible but wants to stay in the curved shape I need.

As for price, the materials for this probably cost around $60 total.
Most expensive thing being the hide itself.
If you are looking to get into leather working, look to see if there is a Tandy Leather Factory near you. Prices are competitive and the staff is generally very knowledgeable. Best thing though is they have a table set up with all the different tools and you can go in and play around with them and see what things do. They also generally have free workshops on the weekends that teach you different skills and tools.

You really only need like 4-5 tools to do almost anything you need and they are under $70 for the lot depending on where you get them.
Knife of some sort (I use a 1/2" exacto)
Stitching Awl or tiny drill bits (for making holes for sewing)
Decent hole punch kit (for making holes for rivets)
Beveler/Skiver and a burnisher/edge slicker (for finishing the edges)

If you are on the fence about starting leatherwork, jump in. Once you have the basics you can pretty much make anything. For the first couple of pieces do old/aged items. Good for covering mistakes plus if you rummage through the pile of hides at your leather store you can generally find a few gnarly ones and get a halfways decent deal on them.


Active Member
Check to see if you have a Tandy Leather store in your area or an actual leather repair shop, a lot of them have scrap bins. Ebay is also a good place to pick up bulk leather.


New Member
I agree, I would try and find a leather supply house, saddle/shoe maker or an online retailer.
For most armor pieces I generally use ~8oz leather (1/8" or ~3mm thick) and you'll probably only find belts at a thrift store to be a usable thickness.


New Member
Cool. I made the same shoulders and outfit for an Australian Con which just a passed (18th June). I think yours look much better regarding the cut and leather you chose.

I did try to rough them up with a wirebrush, my knife and finally (silly as it sounds) i pulled out a ******* sword i have and swiped it at different angles to give it that realistic feel. Even got red leather paint and sprayed diff parts of the armour.

I'll take some shots of the shoulders for an example shortly.

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New Member
@SpartacusAus: That looks great! What did you do for embossing the pattern on the shin guards?
I would also consider throwing your white cloth bits into a tea/coffee bath to dinge them up a bit, would definitely add an extra layer of lived-in feel.

@Otori- I lightly wet the surface (tanned side) and then just rolled/folded the leather very aggressively and it naturally takes on the wrinkles.

@corytrevor: Maybe not a run but certainly will make them on an on-demand basis! :)


Active Member
anyone have any good patterns for the loin cloth type thing they wear? i'm trying to put together my costume but dont want to look like i'm wearing a diaper because i don't know what i'm doing lol


New Member
Marcus....excellent work!!! This is my first post, but I've been following your work for a while. Tell me, what type of leather did you use to make the pauldron? I went on the Tandy site that you provided, but there are many to choose from?

I saw in your previous post that you used 8oz leather, correct? But what kind? Latigo leather? Chap Leather? Rawhide? Cowhide? etc. They even have one thats specifically for sole, armor and Shield leather. But it comes in 12-14oz. Which did you use for your project?

Thanks again, and keep up the great work!!! I'll post photos when I'm done with mine.



Well-Known Member
Some things that have worked for me in the past is to take wood or metal files to the leather. You can do this dry, or soak the leather and rake the files along the edges and surface. Believe it or not, but steak knives work great too and a nice combination switching between the two will go a long way. You can also take one of the hand held lighters (lighter torches) and burn it. There's always paint too. You'd be amazed how distressed you can make something look in a few minutes without it taking forever. The key is.. Just be absolutely mean to it and it's hard at first to do so after working so hard in creating something so awesome.. but it's worth it in the end. Good luck man and the armor looks fantastic!!:thumbsup


Sr Member
are you going to do a run of these by any chance??
one of the best shows i have seen, its just sad and terrible Andy Whitfield passed away, the show will never be the same without him. he played that role to perfection. deserved an award imo, him and the actor who played Quintess
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