I am hoping to get to go to E4, however I am pretty limited on funds, I was wondering if anyone knew a good way to create my own armour as buying it seems pretty expensive, a basic leather lamellar seemed like a good idea but I can hardly find any leather scales or shapes for sale anywhere, any ideas?
Probably best to buy a half-hide or something and cut it into scales yourself. Probably best to use a knife. The Empire Wiki has one or two pages about leatherworking tools and techniques.
Le Prevo (see their website for details and prices)
Lyons Leather (Keith Lyons)
…or you could always try ebay.
A big bag of offcuts might be a good buy, if they’re being sold off cheaply because they’re too small for most uses.
Check the Wiki for the rules on minimum thickness depending on whether you want it to count as light or medium armour.
For punching loads of holes it’s probably quicker and easier to use the kind of punch that you hammer, rather than the kind with handles you squeeze together.
Or for stiff leather you could even use a drill: I’ve done that before.
Here’s a tutorial on making your own leather scale that might be useful - Leather Scale Armour - Craft Tutorials
UK larp kit is a facebook group for selling larp stuff. That occassionally has leather scales or similar, or if not might know people who have them or sell them and how much they might go for.
That tutorial would need to be adapted a bit for Empire armour though: it uses thin leather (too thin to count as armour in Empire) that can be sewn to cloth with a sewing-machine. So unless you have a serious leather-sewing machine, it might be better to punch holes in the scales and hand-sew them to the backing, as Daisy did with metal scales in Scale Armour - Craft Tutorials
What nation are you looking at playing? this can help/hinder in the style.
I was going to be going as wintermark
I would personally recommend against wearing lamellar styles as Wintermark, as it is an iconic Varushkan style.