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Description:

To me, it doesn't make sense that the guard in mlp always wear the same type of armor, regardless of situation. I mean… I don't actuall know if that's what they used to do in like midevial times (or whenever best corresponds to current equestria), but these are magic horses and I don't care. I want them to have different armor, so I shall give them such.

I also just really like designing armor and clothes for creatures -like, when I was thirteen I had an obsession with designing fullbody armor for cats, for some reason? Or at least, the edges of my schoolwork was covered in it. I'm fairly certain none of it would actually be, you know, functional though -way to much focus on looking cool.

As for this, I will fully admit to not having done as much research as I probably should have -I mean, I've tried to imagine the range of movement of the ponies, and looked at both how it's done in the show, as well as how horse and human armor functions irl. Like, how joints are handled and such. I had to look at both, since ponies in mlp are quite a bit more flexibale than an irl horse, while having a completely different body from a human. Still, most of this was for fun, and I wouldn't be suprised if these weren't optimal either. If you're an expert in armor, feel free to tell me how these would get the pretty pony wearing them killed in two seconds =P

Oh, and this is based a bit on my other headcanon regarding armor in mlp, but if you don't wanna read that, tldr: the armor has an enchantment on it which changes the colors of the pony wearing it -that's why all the guards look so alike. Different divisions have different colors, usually the colors of their commanding officer. Shining Armor was Captain of the day-guard, so all the guards have his colors -hence, why his colors aren't affected.

Anyway onto the armors. Where I just noticed a mistake in a helmet not being properly aligned with itself. That's gonna bother me. That poor guard's helmet is warped. I guess they got the leftover helmet noone wanted.

Ceremonial Armor:
While they may prevent you from dying quite as fast as if you weren't wearing any, the purpose of this armor is just looking as pretty as possible while parading around the city for some event. It is covered by quite the number of enchantments, though none of them is for actual protection. Nay, these enchantments keep the armor looking shiny, clean and glittering, and the pony underneath pristine, no matter how many tomatoes any protesters may throw at them. There are many different versions of ceremonial armor, all keeping to the same design, but with different "themes" so to speak. These ones here are used for the Summer Sun celebration, thus keeping a theme of blues, silver and golden hues, with a sun-motif. Other examples are the Midwinter Moon celebration's ceremonial armor, which features silver, white and blue hues with a moon-motif and the Hearth's Warmings armor which is silver, gold and red hues with a heart-motif.

Now, the saddle, tack and reins isn't because anyone ever rides them. On the actual usable armor, a saddle is used to balance and pad against any pack the soldier will be carrying on their back. The tack was used to keep the helmet on a long time ago, but nowadays an enchantment is used instead. Of course, since this armor is only for looking pretty, both the saddle and tack has been rendered absolutely useless in their prettyfiying process, even adding "reins" of flimsy pretty fabric. Same with the fabric under the saddle and in front; is supposed to be under the armor to keep it from chafing, while here it's supposed to flutter dramatically in the wind. Complete the look with giant feathers and a long braided tail, and you've got yourself one handsome pony.

I based this design a lot on the show's design as well as real life… fancy horse decorations or whatever it's called. Like the feathers come from circus-horses, and the braided tail comes from how dressage horses' tails will sometimes be braided. Fancy blanket, tack and reins comes from, like, parade- and circus-horses.

The reason for the shows' armor being the main inspiration for this design rather than one of the other two versions, is that it just looks impractical to me. The swirly-shapes at the front look really purdy, but they seem to be kinda in the way of the front legs. At least to me. But as I said, they're real purdy, and this armor is all about being purdy, so here they go.

Oh, and keeping with how the entire thing is just for show, the ponies wearing it doesn't just march through the streets. No, it's also a show of coordination and fancy-hoofwork (like a really boring dance-routine without music) -dressage, but in a group. The pony here demonstrates a sidepass, which they're probably doing in perfect synchonisaion with x number of other soldiers. Keep that muzzle lowered and that tail raised high, gotta look as beautiful as you can.


Everyday Armor:
As the title implies, this is the practical everyday armor. Or rather, the semi-light version of it. Depending on the expected danger, pieces are added and removed. Such as the chainmail -can either wear no chainmail, chainmail on the belly, chainmail on the throat and belly (the most common version; gotta protect them vital organs from being stabbed), or full-body chainmail (They do always wear fabric below it, to keep from cafing, but it's also covered by the color-illusion of the armor so you can't see it here). Other pieces include leg braces and full-plate armor on the neck and belly. Or an aformented saddle to carry stuff.

Now, being protected is no reason to not look at least somewhat pretty, so the armor is covered by swirly deocrations -just a different colored metal in this stripes. This armor here is the Day-guards, so its gold with decorations that are very sun-themed, featuring circles with lines extending as rays of light. It also has a sun-motif on the flank. The Night-guards' armor is silver and has stars and a moon-motif.

This was mainly based on the armor of the show, with some modified decorations and a torc-neckpiece-thing replacing the swirls. As I said, they looked pretty, but also very cumbersome, so they had to go. Not sure if I drew it as well as I could, but the neckpiece here also points outwards, to allow for more range of the front legs.

As you can tell, the whole icon of the flank is a running theme of both this armor and the ceremonial one. The reason I decided to do this was partially because it just fits to have something there, since that's usually where the cutie mark is. But also partially because.. that's where the cutie mark is. This is still the military we're talking about. Removing the individual and replacing them with just a cog in a unified group, symbolised by literally covering up a pony's mark of individulaity and replacing it with a unified one, seems …fitting for them to want to do.

I'm not sure if that's something I think modern Equestria would really come up with, but I find it reasonable to think it's something the military in ye olden days would want to do. Which would then carry on into modern times through tradition.


Heavy Armor (i.e. the tin-can-suit):
I.e. the Crap-we're-going-to-a-literal-war-where-death-is-a-very-strong-possibility armor. Any and all concers with looking pretty has been thrown out the window. This needs to only be protecting the pony as much as possible while still allowing them to move somewhat effectively. Still covered in enchantments, these are only for protection and durability -not even the ever-present color-changing enchantment is added. It woudl take up precious mana which could be used to help prevent concussions. Besides, the point of that one is to make the soldiers look the same (thereby looking more unified and intimidating, as well as confusing attackers), and here you can't really see anything of the pony, so that purpose has already been fulfilled. Mane and tail is shaved down, can't risk haivng those get snagged or get it their eyes. They'll still have a tiny naked tail, which is protected by the cup-looking thing at their rears.

Non-unicorns are given a fake sharp horn to stab with -it's usually seen as disrespectful to go around wearing fake wings or a fake horn (unless it's for a play/specific costume or a prosthetic and such) but for this, giving the pony another weapon is more important than other ponies being offended. Unicorns can't usually do magic though a full metal covering of the horn, so instead their horn is covered by a cage-like structure, hidden behind a sharp knife-looking blade, curving in front and partially over it. Keeps most weapons from breaking the horn, and keeps enemies from grabbing at it.

The only part which wouldn't be covered here is the wings of a pegasus. They're either always tucked against the sides of the pony, who'll have to fight without them, or the sides of the armor is covered by hanging flaps of tight chainmail, which would let them extened the wings outside the armor and fly. During flight the wings would be completely exposed however. Pegasi uses their feathers for such fine movements in order to fly, that wings cannot be covered by anything or they just won't work. (So, no wing-sleeves for Twilight is this headanon). The exception being the front of the wing, where the "arm" of the wing is, which usually has thin braces on them.

They'd also have their rank and division stamped onto the flanks of their armor; can't really see faces, but you still gotta know who's who and who's in charge. Didn't draw it here, cause I wasn't decided on how those symbols would look.

This armor is very much basd on human full plate armor and horse armor. My main issue was the joints, and how all the pieces would fit together. The joints I based on how human human armor does it, but as for the plates… look, mlp ponies can move their joints ridiculously more than a horse, so I couldn't base most of their placement and structure on horse armor. They also have completely different anatomy than a human, so most of human armor is also a no-go. Instead, I just had to imagine how a pony would move and where all the important internal bits are, and try my best to just make it from imagination. Personally, I think it's pretty reasonable with how the different plates cover and slide over each other to allow for movement while still covering most bits. Though, since you can't see the inside, I wonder how well I managed to portray everything…

Either way, fun design excercise if nothing else!
safe1552914 artist:jackiebloom155 earth pony189925 pony824857 unicorn256341 armor21251 braided tail973 details in the description4 eyes closed77981 galloping337 headcanon2060 headcanon in the description92 heavy armor8 helmet9282 hoof shoes3878 long description126 plate armor30 royal guard6978 royal guard armor656 simple background336900 transparent background175739

Comments

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3 comments posted
PUBLIQclopAccountant
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice

Pubilq Phirm
I have a few thoughts on the heavy armor.

1. Unicorns wear a modified faceplate that can be flipped up and out of the way of their horn for spellcasting. Imagine the unicorn flicks her head back to cast the spell and then drops it down to cover his muzzle again.
2. Pegasi would definitely have their wings inside that heavy armor. It looks way too heavy to be practical to fly in. I'd imagine that they have their wings tied so they do not instinctually flap their wings inside the armor and injure themselves.

More thoughts on the pegasus armoring in a live battlefield situation:

• Pegasi who need agility are either naked or in very minimal armor: no more than reinforcement along the wing front and a plate on the bottom of the barrel. These would be the expected armoring for aerial fights, reconnaissance missions, and special ops. They rely on their ability to use the full 3D space to dodge threats.
• Pegasi who value survivability above speed, such as most transport missions, wear significantly heavier armor. They'd wear the full helmet and sternum plates with chainmail covering their barrels and backs. They would also wear wing front reinforcement so that the full load does not have to be supported by their wingbones. Their feathers, legs, and tails would be exposed and assumed to move too fast to be a good target. Depending on their load, they may also have heavy plates covering their cutie marks. Instead of primarily being for protection, the heavy flank plates are to maintain balance when pulling light loads or flying unloaded. All the heavy armor bits without the flank plates or a full load would make them too front-loaded to fly.

My HC is that pegasi mostly have bird-like hollow bones with some exceptions for bones that receive the most compression during landings.
FlutterMEDIC1

Nice armor study. As for the historical aspect of human armor, medieval typically had two sets of armor they commonly wore: combat and tournament. The former is what we can expect from the third pony here, plate and chainmail covering as much of the body as possible while affording maximum mobility. The latter is an entirely different matter, where it goes to "screw you" levels of defense, the absolute max of armor a person can feasibly wear, as you don't want your soldiers to get killed fighting each other for sport. The Late Medieval period, however, is the introduction of armor sets similar to the middle pony. The armor became more ornate while still maintaining defensive capabilities as firearms became more common, but not common enough to justify scratching the usage of combat armor entirely, and smithing techniques were refined. The first pony, then, is essentially the quintessence of parade armor when firearms became the main weapon of war. It became utterly pointless to wear such armor when tens of less-trained infantry can obliterate you at range, so most armor was relegated to pageantry.

tl;dr Third pony is closer to human medieval armor; second closer to late medieval, early renaissance armor; first closer to everything after firearms became main weapon.