Dusting Off Old Armors

by Betria Eilyn Tallrock

Two years ago, my mother gave me a very beautiful suit of armor for my birthday. All mithril chain and plate mail with Wildhammer-themed truesilver inlays. I only got to use it a couple times before starting my arcane studies, and had the chance to testify to its quality. Sadly, it’s been laying around in my closet for the past few months. A couple weeks ago, I found it again and decided it’d be nice to try it on again, if only for the exercise.

Anyway, I dusted off that armor and realized there was a certain procedure to it. I couldn’t just put it on after so long. So, here’s a little checklist of things to do before slapping on that old piece of plate you have kicking around in the back of your closet:

First of all, make sure it still fits you.

That’s the most important step, and I speak from personal experience. Eating all those mana cakes and not exercising as much as I used to didn’t do me much good. Being a tall girl, I’m very mindful of my weight (but that’s a different article). Early on, my mother’s armor felt a wee bit too snug.

If your old armor doesn’t fit you anymore, you have a couple options: you can either get back in shape, which might take a little while but will ultimately be better for you; or you can talk to a blacksmith and get it fitted to you again for a fee. Personally, I cut back on the conjured food and was ready to go in a little over a week.

Replace broken bits.

Maybe my closet has a gremlin infestation, or maybe I really need to yell at the cleaning lady and get her to pay more attention to what she’s doing, I don’t know. But every time I leave something in there for more than just a couple months, it turns up with a few bits missing or bent out of shape. It’s really annoying to pull something out of the ol’ gun rack and having to replace stripped bolts, springs and other random parts, and I’m just going to assume it happens to everybody.

Turns out, my old armors have the same problem. My mother’s armor was missing a few links, a couple scales, and one of the panes of the breastplate was a bit warped out of shape. Chain mail links are pretty easy to replace, all you’ll need is a gyromatic micro-adjustor, some heavy-gauge wiring (I like copper or steel) and a bit of patience. Anything else, you might want to talk to a qualified blacksmith, specially if your armor is made of something a little more exotic, like titansteel, dragonscale or pyrium.

Clean or replace any rusty parts.

This step is, thankfully, mostly optional nowadays. More advanced smelting and forging techniques now allow as to use things like mithril, thorium, adamantite, cobalt, saronite (I don’t recommend that one), titanium, obsidium, pyrium, and a myriad of alloys, most of them rust-resistant. Still, many modern armors are made with iron, steel or copper rivets, either to save up on cost or because some materials simply aren’t appropriate for that function (thorium comes to mind).

Those need to be checked before you can put your old armor on again, specially if it was soaked in seawater or if you live by the coast. So, check your armor often, even if you wear it every day. The only thing that’s more embarrassing than having your shirt stained red by the end of the day, it’s having the rivets rusting off and the armor falling apart while you’re heading off to battle. Or worse, when you have a bloodthirsty beast bearing down on you.

Oil it up properly.

This ties up with the previous item. No one likes a suit of plate that grinds and rattles whenever you take a step. Specially if you’re one of the more sneaky types, you’ll want to keep your armor oiled up and quiet. Padded or leather armors don’t need nearly as much work in this aspect, but there’s always a certain amount of lubrication to keep it from rustling, scraping or otherwise damaging itself.

There are lots of different oils you can use. Some, mainly goblins, swear by the oil they refine from the black oil gathered by their seaside rigs. I’m pretty sure that particular oil is flammable — which would explain the goblin’s tendency to catch on fire so readily. Personally, I use murloc oil. It requires airing out until the smell goes away, but it lasts a long time and doesn’t wash off easily. I’ve heard people using blackmouth oil to good effect, and a good friend of mine swears by mana oil from Dalaran. Sounds weird, but it seems to work.

Take it easy.

This is a handy tip to all classes of armor, but specially heavy mail and most plate armor. Wear it in incremental steps, don’t run too quickly, specially if you haven’t worn it in a long time. Even with the current developments in forging technology and newer, lighter materials like titanium, heavy armor is… well, heavy. Carrying the extra weight, even though it’s spread all over your body, can exhaust you surprisingly quickly if you’re not in good shape. Not to mention they usually get very hot in desert or volcanic environments, so drink plenty of water as well.

Those are the tips I have to share with you. Of course, every adventurer has their own maintenance rituals, but I think I probably outlined the most common procedures I’ve seen people use as I explored the world.

Safe travels!

~Betria practices casting while wearing heavy armor every day. One day she might be able to fling spells in chain mail, even though she’s not a shaman.


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