Shoulder Check

Mandy\'s avatar

Β I went with foam for my wedding armor, and I think that’s what most people at conventions assume. Fox, of course, went with steel.

Fox\'s avatar

This comic could have also been called: Wandering Eyes, Cold Shoulder, Equivalent Exchange…

42 comments on “Shoulder Check

  1. Nice ‘topsy-turvy’ comic…, great rueful/bashful expression on the girl in the last panel! She’s cute…, what species is she?

    1. From the eye markings, the shape of her snout, and the leaf in her hair, I’d guess a tanuki

      1. I wish I’d seen your response before I made mine. After researching, I see that you are likely right.

    2. Since we can’t see a tail, going by her eyes, I’d say she’s supposed to be a raccoon, although her ears aren’t raccoon ears.

    3. Yeah; love this one. That turn-about is soo funny!
      Really liking Mandy’s little half-smile too. Not -quite- evil. πŸ˜‰
      Agreed; that is one cute girl. (Not quite as cute as Mandy, of course. :-))
      Hmm.. Japanese raccoon-like critter? Red panda?

      1. You mean the tanuki/raccoon dog? It’s possible. The ears match but the tanuki has a black throat. However, most people wouldn’t know that. You may have hit the nail on the head.

        1. That’s the one, Glenn! So happy to be right…for once…too. πŸ˜‰ (It’s so seldom I am on comic strip stuff. :-))

          1. I knew you were referring to the tanuki when you said japanese raccoon. However, I wasn’t sure about the muzzle until I Googled tanuki and that’s when I saw the black throat and chest. In fact, they look like a grey with black mask version of the red panda to me.

    4. The conversation went something like:
      M: “OK, what species should the extra be?….I’m making her a raccoon. I haven’t drawn a raccoon in forever.”
      (This is how decisions are made)
      F: “Not Japanese enough. Make her that thing Mario turns into.”
      M: “A Tanooki? I don’t know how you’d make sure everyone knew the difference between a raccoon and tanooki.”
      F: “The little leaf. Actually, make her a raccoon cosplaying a tanooki. That’s perfect.”

      1. Well, it’s nice to know that I was half right. LOL. I thought she looked like a raccoon until someone else mentioned the Japanese raccoon then I realized the tanuki, although I don’t know nothing about Mario. (Not a video gamer.)

  2. Is that the same Deadpool from Shield Rush and Casino?

    What characters were not identified from last week’s contest?

      1. I’m not sure what the Casino version was wearing. Just saw a mask and sillohette body. This Deadpool might have changed costume. If this is the same crowd from the Shield Rush one, Fox might not be standing still since the other guests could be mad at him knocking them over.

  3. I love the turnabout that Fox uses on the woman. Guys hear that all the time. LOL.

    1. The ears sort of indicate the possibility of a fox; but, they look a bit like those on a raccoon dog, aka tanuki. That’s my opinion anyway. Of course, Seley may have another creature in mind where she’s concerned.

    1. FMA in general, but it was certainly an exchange, and turnabout is equal and fair play. Being in armor just made it more appropriate. I just didn’t feel enough people knew FMA to get the joke, but I wanted to include it since we were at Katsucon for obvious reasons

    1. I thought the same when I saw it. Over the gambeson I wear a blue tabard. The real one has gold trim

    2. His tabard – it doesn’t actually have a tall collar, but I drew it with one so I could have blue peeking over the edge of the breastplate, just for color balance.

      I struggle a bit with drawing armor. I’m getting a lot of practice in this storyline though!

  4. Some people’s buff is damage, some people’s buff is resistance. Fox’s buff is buffness.

  5. The expressions in the last panel are fantastic! Great work as always, Mandy πŸ™‚

  6. My thought process when reading this: Is…is that a tanuki? The face…the ears…the leaf…it’s gotta be a tanuki right? *reads artist notes* Nooothing there. TO THE COMMENTS! YES not only was I right but others figured it too. X)

  7. Hah!

    I gotta ask, Fox. How much of the suit is steel and what do you wear under it? I must confess that my own suit of plate is about one third aluminum, and I can never manage “regular’ clothes underneath due to the harness. I actually modified an old wetsuit to serve as an undergarment which works out well, but I’ve not yet tried it in winter’s chill or some of the damned weather we’ve been having the last few weeks.

    1. I went with the traditional approach, trying to be as authentic as was socially acceptable. (I can’t find any information regarding what pants knights wore, if any)
      The armor is in layers:

      1. Steel plate — various gauges but mostly 16 or 18
      2. Steel chain — forget the gauge; butted, not riveted
      3. The blue tabard — Inexpensive broadcloth, which the chain surprisingly doesn’t damage
      4. A quilted, wool gambeson — Awesome outside in the winter. Not so fun in warm, crowded convention centers…or summer.
      5. A mesh workout shirt, or underarmor

      The gambeson is thick and padded, so it not only prevents the chain from pinching hairs or the plate from scratching, but also helps absorb any impact the armor takes. Since I’m not fighting in it, it’s not really required.
      The wetsuit doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but I don’t know how hot you get in one of those. The aluminum certainly cuts down on weight but it’s such a strange metal and difficult to work with. It tends to…smear. I was surprised woodcutting blades worked on it.
      For the summer I’ll likely create a layer to replace the gambeson simply made out of linen, or any durable fabric that breaths and doesn’t irritate the skin

      1. Oh, and there’s a half inch of neoprene foam glued to the underside of the limb armor. Mostly for comfort but the kinetic absorption properties are impressive.

  8. @Fox Did you forge the plate yourself? Any ring, scale, or chain maille in there? What does the helm look like?

  9. I’m curious where you learned to make the steel plate armor, or did you order it?
    I will be making my own steel chain mail once I get a little bit of money since I know how to do that, however attempting to find where to learn to make plate armor is proving difficult. Got any advice?

    1. Youtube.
      My first attempt at chest plate wasn’t up to my standards, so I bought one online. Compound curves (I learned) are significantly more difficult and require a great deal more skill to create without looking terrible. I don’t really have the tools to do it quickly, nor did I have the time before the wedding to do it by hand. One day.
      Similar to the chain–I can easily make chain with some wire, but I wanted to get married this decade. πŸ™‚

      Lazze on youtube has some cool stuff, but he’s got this awesome workshop too, with really nice tools like beverly shears and great english wheels. For my simple curves I just used 6x6s and sandbags for concave curves on the shield, and wrapped other metal around PVC pipes and used ratcheting straps to put enough bend in it to work properly. You’ll need a rubber mallet to get the last part of the bend.
      There are way better tutorials online too, that look a ton better, are fully encompassing and pretty impressive, especially when you start putting on brass decorations with little rivets.

      I’ve pictures that documented most of my process. The goal is to eventually have a ‘how-to’ DIY section on our site here with projects we’ve done, since DIY is such a big part of our life.

      1. Touche, that being said, how much was your steel plate? Im getting the wire i need (14 gauge stainless steel) for about $100 … im imaging decent steel plate costs just a tad more than that.

        1. Steel plate isn’t really that expensive; hence why it’s used everywhere. I wanna say a 4’x8′ sheet of 16 or 18ga cost me 20 or 30 bucks? I bought 4 total, and with another $20 to have the metal warehouse sheer them to 2’x4′ chunks I got out of there under $130 I believe. If you have a pickup it’d be less, cuz no cutting. It comes pre-oiled so it won’t rust as long as you’re using gloves when handling it.

          Stainless steel might as well be a four letter word. I’ve not yet worked with it simply because of all the difficulty I’ve heard using it. Simply making rings out of it is probably fine, but it’s expensive and difficult to work with when forming, IIRC.

          1. Hmm, once I find a steel/black smith who can form it / teach me, I’ll be getting some. And yeah, stainless is good for mail cause it won’t rust and it doesn’t need oiled at all, it does have a well earned rep of being painfully difficult to work with though. Thanks for the information … Though one more question if you don’t mind answering; What alloy/grade of steel did you get? I’ve been looking and I’m not sure whether to go with structural grade steel or tool grade.

        2. Try chainmailbasket.com … They have a wonderful assortment of all manner of rings, wire, and plans as well as other things like tutorials… and if you look on Facebook (or other social media) for any groups that focus on anything blacksmith related you can find or even found your local blacksmith’s guild! πŸ™‚

          1. I have chainmail material supply, design I was planning was the European 4-in-1 though I haven’t decided yet which style. Plate armor is what I am finding more difficult to figure out. Haven’t yet sat down and gone hunting for local blacksmiths yet.

    2. Your local Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) and/or local Blacksmith Group/Guild will be able to help with equipment and expertise. I have one near me that I found THROUGH my local SCA group and several of the members of that are VERY highly skilled in all kinds of different blacksmithing techniques.

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