Throne of Blood Taketoki Washizu Samurai Armour

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JBlevins

New Member
Being new here I have read some threads but I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of stuff. One of my planned builds is going to be the Mifune's armour from "Throne of Blood" complete with arrows in the body and through the neck.

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I'm wondering who else has had experience with building samurai armour.

I plan to size directly from the movie. I'm actually the near the same height and weight and body build as Mifune.
 

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Riceball

Sr Member
I've never attempted anything like this myself but I can tell you that are a few different approaches to this. You could attempt to make in the traditional method which was using lots of small plates that were then laced together. This would produce the most realistic results but would also be the most time consuming, esp. if you were going to make the plates yourself.

A less realistic method but at the same time less time consuming would be to make each major component (should guards, breast and back plates, etc.) as one piece, score the pieces to make them look like individual plates and then fake the lacing. Foam would probably work pretty well for this method since there would be few, if any, seams to worry about and faking the appearance of individual plates would involve little more than cutting thin lines using a ruler and an X-Acto.

A third method would be a hybrid of the two I mentioned above. You still wouldn't cut and lace individual plates but instead of large pieces, you'd just cut out entire rows and lace those rows together. It would be faster than the traditional method and would probably look more realistic than the second method.
 

JBlevins

New Member
Riceball

Thanks for the advise. One thing I notice about this armour is that it a different look from a lot of the other armour I have seen before. Being pretty good with knots and rope work I may try to make the plates from foam and lace them together.

I have seen colour images from the film I just haven't found any with the armour.
 
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Riceball

Sr Member
@Riceball

Thanks for the advise. One thing I notice about this armour is that it a different look from a lot of the other armour I have seen before. Being pretty good with knots and rope work I may try to make the plates from foam and lace them together.

I have seen colour images from the film I just haven't found any with the armour.
Japanes armor is very different from European armor but the general method of construction was very popular in Asia. It's known as lamellar and resembles scale armor except that instead of being sewn onto a backing, lamellar is free standing and the scales of plates are attached only to each other and no backing is used.

If you're going to attempt to make this armor from foam I would highly recommend that you either make it in rows or entire sections and not individual plates, that would involve a lot of cutting. If you wanted to do it using individual plates you would be better off either buying the plates (there are some sites out there that sell lamellar plates made of resin/plastic) or cast them yourself. As for the lacing, I would do some research on this, the Japanese had very distinct ways of lacing the plates of their armor together. It looks like the particular style of armor being worn is an older style known as o-yoroi, this shoud help you to research the lacing methods used.

In regards to color, if you can't find out what the exact colors that were used don't be afraid to be colorful, Japanese armor, esp. the o-yoroi style, was typically brightly colored because they lacquered the plates and would lace with colored silk.
 

rickhoward

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hello, Jblevins. I've put together a couple of suits of Japanese armor, and a assisted on several others) for a reenactment organization that I participate with. These suits were not replicas, but for costume/sport purposes - ABS and/or Kydex, both individual scales and bands, laced in a couple of different styles, etc.

For Mifune's suit, individual scales were laced into bands/strips, which were then lacquered and laced together (in kebiki-odoshi, in this case). Depending on the level of authenticity you're looking for, Riceball's recommendation for skipping the individual scales is a good idea (and became a fairly common practice later in Japan's medieval period.
 

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JBlevins

New Member
As just a film fan, I'm eager to see where you take this.:)
No pressure ;)

My original idea was to go through all the Kurosawa/Mifune period pieces and recreate each of Mifune's costumes Rashomon to Red Beard. Depending on how long this takes I may still do it.

I loved Sir Alec Guiness but Mifune as Obi-wan would have been something. Of course I've never been sure if that was ever true.
 

Powdercake

New Member
I recently finished a set of samurai armor by threading all of the tiny plates. It was extremely time consuming. I didn't really keep track of the amount of time it took, but I worked on it pretty regularly for almost a year.

That said, it does look good at the end. I'd recommend choosing materials/tools that are easy to work with. My plates are made of plastic (cut from rubbermaid trash cans) and threaded with paracord. It was really tough to get the paracord through the holes I drilled. If I had to go back and do it again, I would use an easier material. I haven't counted, but I had to thread over 2,000 holes for my armor.
 
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