Recently I've started a rather big project here - making munitions armor - that is fast to produce average quality stuff from the "one size fits nobody" cathegory. While maille is good, its slow to make - a set taking several weeks to produce. I will need a whole year to equip a squad of 10. So I went on with something different, which is easier as a whole, though it takes a bit more instruments.
Chain&plate armor is made from small overlapping plates, joined together with rings. Its not dissimilar to lamellars, scale armor and brigantines, except that the plates here are held together by rings, not by rivets or laces. Its a typically eastern design, as the local reenactors from Chigot would say - "Turkish job".
This here is a test piece made for about 1 hour and a half, hopefully soon to become the full prototype. Right now it covers the chest, and I will stretch it a bit more to cover the abdomen and then wrap with chainmaille. The full kit will look like a weird hybrid between a roman lorica segmentata and a lorica hamata.
Chain& plate is surprisingly easy to make requiring only a bit more in terms of tools and supplies. A drill is needed to make the holes, and sheet metal of at least 1mm thickness for the plates. Even scraps will do as you can cut them up into small plates. To cut sheet metal, a throatless shear will be your best friend.
Here is what they look like:
Chain&plate armor is quite maneuverable and light too. It bends easily both ways. You have to pay a bit more attention of course - with maille worst that can happen is losing a few strands of hair - with plate you got sharp edges that must be filed away, and you should make sure its not close enough to your throat to actually cut you if you make a backflip or something.
Chopped up plates, ready for rust cleaning and drilling.
It terms of speed, it took me 1 hour to cut 30-40 plates from pieces of scrap, and another 1.5 to make 1/3 of a torso front by myself. With a couple of friends, it will be easy to make an awful lot of these.