Skip to main content
Advertising

Picture This

Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

February 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (2)
  • Print

Andy Leider, The Armorer


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Andy Leider of Rochester, Wash. works on a thigh piece for a suit of armor he's building in his home studio Monday February 4, 2013. Leider, a carpenter by trade, first bought a suit of armor to be the best man in a friend's medieval-style wedding, and it inspired him to learn how to build it himself. "The funny part is, they ended up going to Vegas and getting married there," he said. "I ended up with a suit of armor, so they got me into it in that way." Self-taught, he has created suits of armor for men, women and even his late canine Spok (right). "The techniques that I use are the same ones people used 500 years ago. It's really no different. Course, I'm lucky enough to have nice shears and a couple of air tools and grinders and stuff to make it faster but when it comes to shaping it and forming the metal, it's all about the same, same hammers, same stakes, same everything."

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES



BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Andy Leider works under a bright light to see any indentations in the metal and focus on smoothness. He prefers to work in his workshop alone, which can be slow to learn, but has its benefits. " I don't really deal with rude people all that well, and generally, there's only one of us out here."

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Leider looks at the smoothness of the metal by holding it up to the light.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Leider pounds out a thigh piece he's working on a flat anvil to physically spread the metal, which hardens it. "Work hardening. That's the benefit of the hammer," he said.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Leider holds an articulated knee piece for a suit of armor he fashioned by hand. The articulation allows the joints to flex. "It definitely makes you feel tougher than you are, that's a fact," he said about donning even something as simple as a pair of gauntlets. "It's quite a feeling."

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A pair of high heels, requested to be replicated in steel, sit on top a pile of movies in Leider's workshop.



BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Leider checks the shape of the thigh piece on himself while forming it. .

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A railroad spike heats to a glowing red color in Leider's small propane forge. He also does simple blacksmithing, making little custom knives out of the spikes.



BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A railroad spike turned into a simple knife..

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Leider smooths out part of a gauntlet. "All armor looks best with the curve of a woman," he said. "That's advice I got from Ugo Serrano, a master armorer in Longview." Serrano makes high-end armor for television and movies like "The Chronicles of Riddick," "Planet of the Apes," "Blade Trinity," and others.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

One of Leider's most prized creations is this replica of "Death Dealer" armor, inspired by a character created by Frank Frazetta, a renown comic book, science fiction and fantasy artist. The Death Dealer appeared on the cover of metal band "Molly Hatchet's" albums. The scythe pictured is dull and hollow, made out of sheet metal, but appears menacing.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Really neat! MORE
Neat and kinky. MORE

Advertising