Almost finished with the right leg armor. I just need to attach it the armor piece semi permanently. I am going to use the double faced tape I used on the lower and was thinking about using a couple of Chicago screws and hiding them under the middle strap or behind the aluminum cartridges. I am also going to glue those in as well so they don't slip or fall out when I am walking.
I think I get pretty close to the original. There is one detail that I was going to do but ended up omitting because it was going to complicate the build. If you look closely at the middle strap you can see a wear pattern and a bulge. I think this is paracord used to secure the cartridges. I did a test sample and found it didn't hold the cartridges any more securely so I opted not to include this.
I didn't use white thread for the sewing detail, the color is Buff and looks more natural in my opinion.
Thanks for the kind words. I am hoping that by posting my progress it will inspire others and it keeps me motivated. There are also things I am learning along the way.
Tonight I finished the leg armor by adding velcro tabs. You can see in the pics that there are two smaller tabs and only when I began to work on it I realized the reason why, the thickness of the middle leather belt is about the same thickness as the velcro. Two tabs keeps it flush and reduces the bulk. I also used double faced tape to secure the strap from moving around. If this works loose I will revisit the Chicago screw idea I mentioned above. Any time I use velcro or tape on leather I always use Barge cement for a sealer or primer for the tape to stick to.
also had a happy accident tonight. I thought the raised bump that you can see on the cylinder strap was some paracord underneath to secure the cylinder. When I did a test piece it proved difficult to insert the cylinder and in fact made it looser so I abandoned that idea. My solution was to just use some double faced taped to secure the cylinder and when I slid it into place, I noticed the tape rolls back on itself and creates the raised bump! I am convinced now that this is how they are secured on the production suits. The trick to getting it centered is to offset the tape a bit lower than center although you would probably need to test your tape.
I have started work on the left leg. I printed the tombstone shape and added a quick layer of bondo as I didn't want print lines migrating through the leather. I wet formed and worked in the form with a bone folder to create the shape, then let dry overnight. I glued in the tombstone shape and then dyed the final color. The strap will be left long until final assembly.
Next I formed the top shape using thin leather wrapped around some foam sheet. I used spray contact adhesive for this as it won't be a wear and tear piece and did a quick mockup just to check proportions.
I started working on the left leg pouch. The one in the pic above was just a stand-in that I pulled an overall dimension from. I created the pattern in heavy cardstock and transferred to my leather once I was happy with it. It took 2 tries before I was satisfied.
I pre-dyed the leather a warm brown before assembly and glued some of it together. I decided the top detail piece is going to also be the belt loop but I will probably be gluing it permanently in place during final assembly.
Next is the top stitching detail and final assembly.
Tonight I did the top stitching detail on the pouch and strap. The thread is a dark brown on the pouch and a tighter length. I tired to go a little tighter like in the pics but my leather needle punches larger holes and it didn't look great so I compromised a bit. I used the color Buff on the strap as white provides too much of a contrast and doesn't fit in the color palette.
The pouch is functional but I will never use it for anything. A piece of high density foam will help it look filled and keep it's shape. I lucked out and had one ball stud so I could finish this off tonight.
All three leg straps finished except for final length.
I know this thread is being looked at. Would you prefer the pics large or just as thumbnails? Also, is the detail enough or too much? My thought was to chronicle my build and techniques so others could follow.