Okay, inconsistent references anyone? I looked at most of my references and the color of Masamune's lacing changed from white to brown and I think I saw blue somewhere and in the anime there is none at all. Also the amount of lacing rows and armor plates seemed inconsistent too the more different pictures I looked at... oh come on!
|There's just three rows of armor plates on this figure..|
(photo found on Google)
First thing I did was to make a mini size armor out of paper and draw a lot of dots on it; the dots would be the holes for the lacing.
|Paper armor test pattern|
|My "lacing" test with a sewing needle and thread|
When I thought about it I figured I wouldn't want the threads to start at the showing side of the armor so I made extra holes on the top plate so that the lace would start/end on the inside instead.
|Now it's better ~|
|Cut out armor pieces|
With the pieces cut out I went outside to shape them with a heat gun. I wanted a nice bend in the middle, but not a very sharp one. The heat forming succeeded very well.
|Shaped armor pieces ~|
Next thing I did was that I cut the big piece into three parts along the marked cutting lines on the inside. After cutting the big piece I now had three separate plates and, well, I drew a lot of dots on them. I used my former mini paper armor as a reference for the hole placement.
|My three armor plates filled with hole markings..|
... and now to make them into, well, holes.
|Hello drill ~|
|.. it was pretty much perfect!|
|After smoothing the edges a bit|
And now.. well.. time to drill! Of course I did the drilling (and sanding) outside.
|First armor piece drilled|
|So many.. holes...!|
|Newly sprayed with the first coating|
|Inside sprayed with paint|
Gravity, I hate you sometimes.
|This demonstrates the "flowing paint problem" (lighter parts, not full coverage)|
and the "spray paint build-up".
While the second paint coating was drying I decided to move my makeshift table, with the armors, out in the sunshine so that the paint would dry quicker. It seemed like a great idea... until a random strong gust of wind appeared and blew all my armor pieces into the snow. My face was like:
Oh well, after all plates were dry I took them inside and begun lacing them together with the ribbon. I burned the ends of the ribbon each time I cut it so that it wouldn't unravel. Oh, and about the lacing, I didn't use any "historically accurate" or whatever way to lace it, I just improvised and used some real samurai armor pictures as inspiration/guiding.
|Burning ribbon ends|
|Two rows of lacing done|
This is what my armor looked like when done:
|Finished Masamune samurai armor pieces ~|