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13 November 2014

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You are in: Leicester > People > Your Stories > Electronics to Armour


Electronics to Armour

Do you have an unusual hobby that you'd love to do full-time? One Leicestershire man who is now a professional armourer has some sound advice.

"Basically this is what I want to do from now on, this is what I want to make my life... it's my bit of immortality"

Julian Adams, armourer

Making money from your hobby and turning it into a career is something that many of us would love to do.

Julian Adams from Wigston had done just that - he used to be an electronic engineer, now he's an armourer making suits of armour, swords and helmets for museums and societies who recreate battles.

Listen: Interview with Julian Adams

BBC Leicester's Bridget Blair went to Julian's workshop and home to see his work...

Bridget Blair and Julian Adams

Bridget Blair and Julian Adams

Julian first had the idea of making body armour after becoming involved in a specialist online forum on the subject.

This lead him to experimenting with putting steel together using the techniques and tools that mirrored those of 500 years ago - just with added electric power!

It turned out to be a rather expensive hobby, both time and material wise. So after a bit of market research Julian decided to drop his engineering job and turn full-time armourer.

Julian feels it's essential for anyone starting a new business to really discover and target their buyers:

"There are a lot of people out there who don't know you're out there; they need to find it out from you, they're not just going to happen upon you. So you have to advertise yourself.

"It is difficult, but if you keep going and you keep working at it, you will eventually succeed. You've just got to keep going."

Sir Timothy, a 16th Century suit of armour

'Sir Timothy': 16th Century armour

Time and patience

It can take between five and seven months to complete a full suit of armour, using both metal and leather work skills.

Around a third of this time can be spent just researching and measuring up the made to order kit - which can be for horses as well as humans.

"It's incredibly frustrating, it can be mind-numbingly boring when you're just hitting steel sometimes, but the end result is what I expect - is great, what I enjoy.

"Basically this is what I want to do from now on, this is what I want to make my life... because it's history - it's my bit of immortality.

"In 500 years time my armour will still be around. I won't, but people will remember me for it."

last updated: 03/03/2009 at 14:08
created: 03/03/2009

You are in: Leicester > People > Your Stories > Electronics to Armour

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