Frequently Asked Questions

Who wears this stuff?

Amazingly, there are a lot of people out there in a variety of hobbies and professions that still require handmade, quality custom armour.  There is a thriving reenactment community that dedicates itself to the study of living history.  Organizations, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and Live Action Role Playing (LARP) often need handmade pieces to fit the needs of their activities.  I myself am a member of Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA) which is dedicated to the study of the combative arts used in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.  Many people are surprised to find that the sport of competitive jousting is still alive and well in the Americas and Europe.  I have also done work for museums and television.  And, of course, I’ve just simply had clients that want to have something unique and beautiful that can be passed down as an heirloom.

How much does a suit of armour cost?

This isn’t an easy question to answer.  Too many variable must be to considered regarding a specific cost, but this is a general idea....

Most full custom suits made of mild steel start at $10,000.  This is for a basic suit with no additional decoration and utilizing a simple design.  As a suit increases in complexity and labor, the price goes up as well.  Much of the cost is in the details that are often unnoticed by anyone unless they are physically wearing the armour.  Rivets, washers, hinges, buckles, rolled edges, flutes and strapping all adds up to create a comfortable, flexible garment that is made of steel.  Other decorative details, such as etching, chassing and repoussé, patination (coloring the metal), enamel work, stone-setting and engraving also add up.  Then, if one uses an expensive material on the armour, such as gold or silver, the price is also effected.  So, the realistic range of a full suit could be $10,000 - $100,000.  However, the sky is the limit...but I always try to find the most economical solution for my clients.  My goal is for my client to be happy not only with the finished piece, but with what’s left in their pocketbook.

Why is armour so expensive?

I would love it if I could provide beautiful work for anyone and everyone that asks for it...truly.  Armour has given me a profound amount of joy in my life and I do love sharing with people.  But, in order to produce armour of the quality and historical accuracy that many of my clients require, I must devote myself to learning and mastering techniques that are thousands of years old that requires many hours of labor.  Custom armour has one inherent drawback in that each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.  A piece of armour made for one individual will not fit another in a manner that is proper for combat.  Therefor, I cannot crank out pieces in a factory setting based on a central pattern.  I do offer many stock items that are based on patterns, but these are limited to their generalized function.  Armour needs to be tailored to the individual, a concept that is foreign in our modern, ‘walmartized’ understanding of consumerism.  All I can promise is that you get what you pay for when it comes to armour.  If time, care and expense has been taken with it, you will be very happy with the end result.  And that is, ultimately, the joy that armour can bring.

What is your "real" job?

I am actually a top secret CIA operative...but don’t tell anyone.

Seriously, the ‘title’ of my profession is Artisan.  I am a professional.  I have spent 11+ years at university earning a BFA in Art History, an MFA in Metalsmithing, a minor in French and a minor in European History.  In the course of my studies, I have taught and lectured at universities, conventions and schools.  I have been a practicing business owner since 2005 and I eat, drink, sleep and dream about my profession.  It is my passion and I love it.  This also means I have to function as an accountant, webmaster, marketer, manager, laborer and anything else that is required to keep this crazy train on its tracks.  So, please, if you meet me in person, do me the favor of not insulting me by asking what my “real” job is (yes, I get asked this too many times).

How long does it take to make a project?

However long it takes.  As I’ve mentioned, the process of armour production cannot be classified in a mechanized set order of time.  Custom work requires a certain amount of wiggle room to make sure everything is made properly.  Some projects take as little as a day while others have taken 2 1/2 years.  What I do strive for is complete transparency of information with my clients regarding the progress of their piece.  When I give an estimated time of completion, it is exactly that: an estimation.  I use that estimate as a goal based upon past experience with previous similar processes.  However, this is not an exact science.  I do not have a magical armour making machine hidden away.  I’m putting in anywhere from 40-60 hours a week.

What is the wait time on an order?

On average, I have a backorder of custom work between 6 to 12 months.  If the wait gets past 12 months, I simply have to stop taking orders until the level goes down.  Depending on the project, I can squeeze in a small order as a side project, but this is usually on top of an already packed schedule, so don’t request it!  On top of my custom orders, I have to keep a certain level of stock items available to be readily shipped.  I do keep an accurate work list that can be viewed on the website.

Do you take deposits?

Yes.  If you are interested in ordering a custom piece, I require a 50% non-refundable downpayment in order to secure a place on my work list.  Full details regarding this can be found on the Ordering page of this website.

Do you finance?

No, I do not.  I find that clients benefit more by breaking down a large project into the constituent parts of the full suit of armour.  Instead of ordering the whole suit, order one piece at a time based upon which piece you need most.  I am an armourer, not a credit agency.

What methods of payments do you accept?

I can accept credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, personal checks, cashiers checks, money orders and cash.  The best and most efficient method is PayPal.  I do not accept offers of labor, materials, trade or barter.

All checks should be made out to "Crescent Moon Armoury"

How do you make armour?

This is an exceedingly complex question that can (and does) fill books and websites.  To put it simply, I try to make armour as closely as they did hundreds of years ago.  Handmade work cannot be replicated using fully-industrialized processes.  There are a few modern concessions that I made with some of my work.  I do occasionally use modern welding to reduce the labor cost of a project as requested by the client.  I also use modern sanders, grinders and polishers.  However, these tools aren’t too far removed from the original waterwheel-powered buffers and grinders originally used by historical armourers.  Occasionally I use materials, such as stainless steel or Argentium© silver (that weren’t available to historical smiths) based upon the needs of the client.

Where do you get your patterns and can I have some?

My patterns have come from years of hard work developing them for individuals.  I do share some patterns with choice individuals, but I’m not going to post them for everyone to use.  This isn’t some ‘I’m not sharing’ attitude.  The patterns are made to fit individuals, so trying to make something off of them will truly be an exercise in futility.

I have some armour from another armourer... Could I have you modify it?

I do not mind doing repairs to armour, but I find that modifications of an already finished piece is just as costly as making a whole new one from scratch.  However, I do not mind making components to complement an already existing piece.  For example, if you have a full suit, but need a matching pair of gauntlets, no problem!  Just email me with your needs and we’ll get the ball rolling!

Do you work with titanium or spring steel?

I have extremely limited experience with titanium and certainly not enough to create a full suit.

I have worked with a variety of alloys of spring steel, mostly for making spring components and blades.  Spring steel requires hardening and tempering in order to realize its full benefits.  These are very technically demanding processes that require a lot of extra attention.  An overly hardened piece is brittle and can shatter like glass (I’ve seen it happen).  If the piece is overly tempered, it will bend and be, basically, useless.  What few pieces I’ve done with spring steel are sent to a professional that uses highly controlled electric kilns to achieve the necessary uniform temperatures.  This adds to the cost of the piece and is generally not something that’s required by most, but it’s still something I’m willing to do.

Will you make fantasy armour?

Of course!

Can you make armour for women?

Yes. I don't find it much different than making fitted armour for men. Some design elements may need to be changed in order to accommodate different body types.  Many historical armour styles can be modified for the female form with little or no dramatic modification.  However, if the female client is looking for armour that accentuates any certain attributes, this can also be accommodated.  The fun part of custom armour’s custom!

Do you make maille (chainmail/chain mail/chain maille..etc)?

My first armouring projects (ca. 1995) were butted maille pieces!  I still enjoy making maille and there are specific sections of the website dedicated to it.  However, given the labor intensive nature of maille, it can be just as cost prohibitive as plate.

Do you make SCA heavy fighting gear?

Yes.  Please have a full understanding of your local regulations before ordering from me.  Failure for a custom piece to pass inspection based on your inability/unwillingness to communicate your needs is not subject to refund.  I want you to be happy with your product, but I am an artisan, not an SCA fight marshal.

I’m fighting in (big tournament/event) next weekend.  Can you fix my armour?

Yes, but it’s going to be a rush job that isn’t going to be pretty and I WILL charge you a rush fee.  Instead, I suggest that you approach me when the issue with your armour began, instead of days before you need it.  The more time I have to work, the happier you will be.

Your prices are high.  Can I do work/help in the shop as payment?

No.  Helping is not the same as babysitting.  I know that you fully intend to be hard-working and you want to learn the craft.  If you want to learn, start by taking some classes in metalsmithing to learn basic work skills.  If you want to do labor to pay for your armour, go get a job, get paid, save up, give me the money and I will make you something that you have paid for with your earnings.  Sorry to be blunt, but I get this a lot from well-intentioned people.

Your prices are high.  Can I provide you with the materials to make it cheaper?

No.  The material cost of armour is a small fraction of the total cost.  90% of the cost is in labor.  Offering to provide me with materials puts me in a position where I do not know the quality of the materials or where they have come from (scrap metal theft is a crime that I have zero tolerance for).

Are you hiring employees/Can I be your apprentice?

At this point, I am not able to afford paid help right now.  If I decide to take on an apprentice, I will approach you...not the other way around.  My girlfriend Robin helps out when she can because she has 7+ years experience in metalsmithing and is her own artisan.

The statements below have been borrowed and modified from William Hurt’s website at  I have edited the questions and answers to better reflect many of the same inquiries I’ve been approached with by various individuals over the years.  Please read, enjoy and hopefully gain a better understanding of the realities of a modern armourer.