I can comfortably build one in one day on a weekend. Most of the time is spent waiting for the many layers of latex to dry. Sunny days are best for this
A nice technique on here for flexible core extension susing hotglue:
They're using tube rather than rod, which makes it a bit easier and means there isn't a join which can fail.
Because I'm now looking this up and other people may need it, this link has now changed to:
A lot of good advice and background information here:
They also have patterns and instructions for making leather scale armor.
My mum has found a source for the pigment for acrylic paint - just the pigment, not the carrier medium. Next time I’m working with latex I’ll try using that instead of paint to colour it and report back