Are you on a budget but have plenty of time and patience? Then you can use pop tabs to construct armor. RPF forum user PoptabArtist has constructed armor from the material before, and she uses a method that combines the pop tabs with chainmail rings. First, she plotted out a pattern. Then, the tedious work starts. And all of the work on this build seems to fall into that category – but look how neat it appears! She paints the pop tabs in sections. For example, when she started the leg pieces, she painted almost 200 pop tabs yellow. Then she laid them out and started connecting them with jump rings. Wow.
She started on the Iron Man build in June 2013 and has been posting progress on the RPF and Facebook. You can see many more photos there and marvel at how far the suit has come. Also, you can examine her method and work on your own set of pop tab armor!
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The top looks like protective gear for American football.