There are a myriad of armor types made from small metal plates joined to make armor in the absence of affordable large plate forging tech. Lamellar is small semi-overlapping plates with holes punched to allow them to be woven together to the neighboring plates with cord or leather strips.enter image description here Most other types such as scale armor or brigandines have small armor plates riveted to some flexible backing.

What I have found precious little information on is individual lamellae plates connected by rings of riveted mail instead of the traditional cord or leather strips in standard lamellar patterns. In theory this would be a very effective blend. The weakness of lamellar armor is that the strips or cord weaving it together would get cut protecting against repeated slashing attacks and eventually fall apart. On the plus side lamellar armor provides excellent protection from piercing attacks and decent protection from blunt damage. Chain mail armor as everyone is familiar with is nigh immune to slashing attacks but very weak to piercing bodkin points or blunt damage. Chain mail is also the most flexible armor available.

Together, I would presume lamellae plates woven together with mail rings would have near excellent protection against slashing and piercing damage, with decent protection against blunt force. Being its own armor would be lighter than scale armor plates affixed to a full sheet of mail backing, as that is basically two layers of armor which is pretty redundant; against slashing the overlapping scales are plenty fine and the mail underneath sees little use, while against piercing attacks anything that slips past the scales won't be stopped by the mail they are attached to either.

The only thing is I've only ever been able to find a few close examples that aren't quite what I envisioned. Polish/Russian Bechter armor is close, but it trades protection for greater mobility. The plates do not overlap in all directions like lamellar armor and the mail sections in between the plates are sometimes 2-3 rings wide, allowing both piercing and blunt attacks to simply hit mail instead of rigid plate with a well aimed strike. museum bechter armor

Would the combination of layered plates woven with single metal rings be any better than contemporary armors of the type?

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    $\begingroup$ I would expect production costs would bee biggest issue. Chain is kinda one size fits most lamellar would be able to be re-laced for the son, grandson etc. This riveted lamellar would be more expensive to produce and not as transferable as the other two. That is, it looks much more difficult for a smith to make and modify. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2021 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ In chain mail, the most time-consuming task was soldering/welding each individual ring. Without a joint treatment, the rings would just pry apart and the chain broken very quickly. For that reason, chain mail was only used over the areas that needed flexibility and the 'solid' areas used traditional plate armor. But for sure there would be no 'stealth mode' for your armour. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2021 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ The Roman Lorica Segmentata you show was relatively heavy armor. MD-hobbyists still find the plates, they are ca 5-15 grams each. You don't stitch that with metal rings, because you'd need wide and thick rings. The armour would become even heavier than the 9-15kg it was. Using the holes, the segments could be easily stiched together with a leather chord. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Aug 7, 2021 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Goodies That isn't a roman Lorica Segmentata at all, it's a polish Bechter in a museum in Krakow. Segmentata are Laminar armor, not Lamellar, totally different design concept around large circular plates $\endgroup$
    – yolo man
    Aug 7, 2021 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ @JustinThymetheSecond the Second That isn't how chain mail was made at all. Chain mail was never soldered or welded, and never had joint treatments. That's the fake junk. Proper mail was riveted, the metal rivets were hammered into a hole punched into a part of the ring hammered flat. It was not uncommon to see chain mail shirts worn over padding in Europe, either on the limbs or over the entire chest as a mail shirt, especially for those who weren't of high status. It was a fair bit cheaper than proper plate, lighters, and more mobile. Neither plate or mail were particularly stealthy. $\endgroup$
    – yolo man
    Aug 7, 2021 at 3:40

1 Answer 1


Heavy and Expensive.

The armor would be feasible, as your provided example of Bechter proves, and Mughal period Plated Mail is also a real world armor that is quite similar to your design. These kinds of armors would provide good protection against slashes, but would still retain mail’s vulnerability to heavy stabs. I’d suggest having a mail shirt as a bottom layer and the lamellar placed as a separate vest over the top for better stab protection.


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