Samuel Lee is a talented crafter with a penchant for epic fantasy armor. As the owner and lead designer of Prince Armory, Lee has spent the past 10 years perfecting his art. Clients all over the world have enjoyed the team’s costumes, décor, weapons and custom suits of armor.
In addition to each outfit’s exceptional quality, part of what makes Lee’s designs so phenomenal is his ability to fuse traditional medieval templates with the aesthetics of modern designs.
“Prince Armory is in the forefront of anything I do, but I also like games, anime, sci-fi and fantasy TV shows and movies,” he wrote during a Reddit AMA session.
While it would be easy to view skills such as blacksmithing and leatherworking as relics of the past, at Prince Armory they serve as a foundation for some truly out-of-this-world creations.
Prince Armor has taken on the task of reimagining the looks of several iconic heroes and villains. Each piece presents the character accurately, but in medieval garb instead of their typical attire.
Lee searches for the correct balance between making each piece recognizable, and at the same time, original.
Taking too many liberties with the look of these sets could disappoint fans, but so far Prince Armory has flawlessly blended varied design elements with expert flair.
Of course, this attention to detail doesn’t come quick or cheap. Lee explains that since the cost of every project is proportionate to how elaborate a piece is, there is no standard price for one of his creations.
In 2017, however, the Prince Armory website estimated the minimum project cost was $2,000.
In addition to Darth Vader and Loki spin-offs, Prince Armory has also developed an Asgardian take on Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit and a menacing, leather-plated Joker.
Lee’s knack for adaptability and creativity started young. After starting out with woodworking, he went on to pursue digital creation (game design and 3D modeling) in his teens. Along the way he was introduced to LARP through friends.
He later joined the renaissance fest scene and wanted to try making his own armor. This lead to him joining a local group that made weapons and armor, and he started picking up traditional techniques. This was the foundation that allowed him to establish Prince Armory.
Okay, enough gushing over the fan service! For medieval and fantasy armor purists, the armory provides quality all the same.
Lee’s custom projects are just as fascinating as their fandom-inspired counterparts. Clients certainly won’t have to worry about bumping into an identical suit at the next con.
The Big Screen Treatment
Conventions aren’t the only place you can see Lee’s work in action. Prince Armory has also handled commissions for commercial clients.
For example, his Elven Knight Armor was featured prominently in a Samsung commercial in 2013.
Lee has said he’d love to work on other big fantasy projects and series down the line.
Despite his knack for making clients’ dreams come true, the crafter confesses that he’s still never finished a full suit for himself.
“I’ve always figured I would make a really cool set of dragon-themed armor if I ever had time, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Just too many other obligations for the foreseeable future.”
Back in January, the standard queue for a custom set from Prince Armory was around 2 – 3 years. This makes it a safe bet the company will continue producing plenty of work for us to admire in the future.
Keep up with all the battle (and photo) ready creations from Lee at the Prince Armory Facebook page.
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