I've been lurking for a bit now... not asking too many questions (since most newbie questions are answered by searches...) But, Here's my armor debut. I've read pros and cons for fiberglass, sintra, sheet metal, aluminum, etc... Being an SCA fighter, I'm used to metal and leather. I'm also a bit picky when it comes to my projects. I want my armor to be able to take a beating.
Under ideal circumstances, I'd be able to buy raw materials and go from there, but being on a tight budget, I scrounge and salvage what I can. I'm making my armor from an old highway sign that had been hit by a semi and left on the side of the road for several weeks before I "helped clean up" the side of the road and salvaged it. I think it's some kind of aluminum alloy... it's tough as nails, 1/8 inch thick, and hard to bend:
Today, I made a rough cut of the left breastplate:
it's not much so far, but it's a start.