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A suit of so late Tang empire (618-907) armor Photo: Courtesy the Wen Chenhua

Wen Chenhua functions on a set of armor. Photo: Courtesy that Wen Chenhua

I to be no historian, so ns don"t have much of an idea around how an excellent the Tang empire (618-907) was. However, ~ Wen Chenhua, one armor master and craftsman, showed me the bright armor worn by soldiers during the period, i couldn"t aid but gasp in astonishment in ~ the fierce visage those warriors must have actually presented.Wen and his colleagues room the designers behind the armor seen on The Longest day in Chang"an, a hit TV show that mixes the hour-by-hour layout of popular US activity show 24 and Chinese period dramas. The present has to be praised through viewers for the historic accuracy that its costume design.Wen met me downstairs and led me come his two-story workshop in Haining, Zhejiang Province. I was impression by the watch upon entering the building. Pieces of leather, wood, plastic and also metal to be everywhere, but from their form I could tell the they could be combined into a tough set of armor.The an initial floor is where they produce the various parts of a collection of armor, while the second is the architecture center.Complex craftBefore the interview, Wen"s revenue partner and armor specialist Chen Kai assembled a set of Ming empire (1368-1644) armor.The armor is composed of 2 layers. The external part, well-known as kai in Chinese, is do from metal, if the inside part, referred to as jia, is made up of leather and cloth.According come Wen, the hardest and also most durable part of the armor is the front chest piece, which have the right to buffer strikes and protect the body. It is made up of many tiny metal parts that are connected tightly come each other like the scales of a dragon.Wen described that most of the components were do using modern-day technology, such together 3D printing. This technique is much cheaper 보다 making whatever by hand. A collection of armor make this means costs roughly, 60,000 yuan ($8,500)"If us made it all by hand, an entire collection of the armor would cost an ext than 1 million yuan ($141,900) come make," Wen said."This is why we usually make one or two pieces by hand and the remainder are made making use of machines.""For example, a skilled craftsman making things by hand can create one come two little pieces because that the chest armor in one day and each piece sells for around 100 yuan," Wen said."This is why not numerous craftsmen desire to do that."In ancient times, make armor cost much more time, money and also manpower. In the Records the the 3 Kingdoms, chronicler Chen Shou (233-297) explained how much armor the basic Cao Cao had before the battle of Guandu, as soon as he fought versus the general Yuan Shao.Cao Cao led 70,000 soldiers in the battle, yet only 2,000 of them had actually metal armor."Our job-related is heavily dependent on modern industry," claimed Wen."In old times, only a country had the capacity to produce armor because that its armies."True come lifeWen previously functioned selling computers. That only began to revolve his interest in armor into a career approximately 2013. End the years he has become well-versed in reading ancient works, which he emphasize are an extremely important as soon as recreating old armor."We described the Wujing Zongyao (Complete Essentials for the army Classics) the the northern Song dynasty (960-1127) and also Armor Restoration through Bai Rongjin ," claimed Wen.Wen and the other designers also like to visit museums and also archaeological sites come look at actual piece of armor from various dynasties come ensure your works space faithful come actual history.In the architecture center, top top one wall surface hangs a paint of an ancient warrior wearing silver- armor. Armed with a long spear and a sword, the warrior rides on a white horse while transporting a baby in his arms.The painting is that Zhao Yun, a basic of the Shu Han Kingdom (221-263) throughout the 3 Kingdoms (220-280) period. Zhao once charged into Cao Cao"s military on his very own seven times to save the young prince Liu Chan.Feng Zijian, the artist behind the painting and also one of the workshop"s designers, called me that the armor Zhao is put on in the artwork is actually no from the 3 Kingdoms period but rather is based on armor used during the late Yuan empire (1279-1368) and also the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644)."The writer of the Romance that the three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong lived throughout the late Yuan Dynasty and the beforehand Ming Dynasty. I think Luo"s knowledge of Zhao Yun should be based upon his living environment," said Feng. Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, among China"s Four an excellent Classic Novels, is a fictitious novel based the background of the three Kingdoms period.Feng claimed that they are working on producing this set of armor and also will shade all the components according come actual historical records."We will use this set of armor come talk around the ancient armor of that period."Difficulties and progressWen admitted that his team confronts different difficulties every solitary day. Because that instance, the drying and also shaping of leather was once a huge problem."We tried numerous methods and they every failed," stated Wen.

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"We even started to doubt ourselves."Then castle realized that the climate in southerly China was really humid, which meant that the animal leather needed an ext time come dry 보다 in the drier climate in northern China."It felt similar to beating a boss in a video clip game," Wen joked.Wen also detailed that the society around Chinese ancient armor is not very advanced."The biggest problem is that numerous historical dramas carry out not salary that lot attention come armor design," Wen said. "They just use the exact same armor to stand for the armor of old times and also this leads audiences to think that armor provided to be similar to that.""However, us still have actually the faith," stated Wen."We will try to make an ext ancient armor for movies or dramas prefer The Longest work in Chang"an therefore audiences can learn around real ancient armor."Newspaper headline: Armor up