I am currently working on a suit of fantasy armor and am wondering a few things about the segmented cuirass I am designing. It will have to be a full contact suit so I am thinking of using 12-15 oz leather with a overlay of thin steel that will only cover what is seen. That way it will be light and stronger than just the leather alone. The cuirass will cover my chest and back area and I am planning on making a pair of paulrons combined with a gorget that will cover my entire shoulder and end right below my breastbone so as to better protect me chest. The segments will only have to cover my stomach area. Each segment would cover the entire front me and be a shallow V shape. Problem is I have never done anything like this and have few questions about it. 1. What gauge steel would be strong enough to withstand possibly alot of contact and will be light enough not to make it more worth my while to make the whole thing out of steel, which I have no knowledge of. 2. How many segments,lames I think they are called, should I use to make it flexible enough and not make it look like a bunch of little strips put together? And could the tops of the lames be flat or do they have to follow the same line as the bottom? 3. The back and breastplate will be attached at the shoulders but only buckled on the sides so could I have a less segmented back that does not match the front? Like only three lames for the entire back? 4. How exactly do I attach the lames to each other so they move freely yet still remain strong enough to last awhile? I would want all of this to be hidden if possible. 5. I am thinking of either painting the steel some color or making it look like a different metal, gold,silver,bronze,copper, dunno yet. How would I do this so it sticks cuz I don't wanna have to touch up my armor all the time. I'm a one time guy so to say most of the time I will just make something new than repair my old stuff. Well thats my story. I have only experience with leatherworking no steel, at least not this kind of work,lol. I need help cuz this armor is in my head and I can't get it out! I need to Thanx for any help!