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Post-Apunkalyptic Armor

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That used to be a perfectly good suit of Powered Armor.

"It seems the first thing everyone does after the bomb hits is strap every random animal skull and piece of kitchenware to their leather singlets."

So, your whole world has gone down the swirly waters of the porcelain throne, eh? That's a bummer!

You'll probably miss the clean underwear most of all. Yes, The Apunkalypse has long since come and gone, society has crumbled (or been blasted to smithereens by nuclear war, meteorites, unfriendly aliens and/or the Wrath of God), the tailors were the first to die, there's nary a McDonald's, Wal-Mart or Hostess cupcake factory left standing and tribal punks roam the wasteland.

What's a Disaster Scavenger to do? Improvise! Necessity is the mother of invention in Scavenger World, After the End.

Need to protect your noggin? Raid the wreckage of the local football stadium. There should be helmets lying around every seven feet or so. If you're not careful you might just trip over one or three.

Whilst food, water, shaving cream, and deodorant will be scarce commodities, fetching a king's ransom for those lucky enough to scavenge some up, there will always be a surplus of used sporting equipment, police riot gear (sorry, no weapons), and used car parts lying around from which to fashion the latest low-tech ensemble with which to protect yourself from the elements, wildlife, and your fellow man. If you're planning on teaming up with the baddies, since they have all the cool toys, don't forget to cobble a few spikes onto your outfit as well.

After The Apunkalypse, nobody will judge your garish fashion choices or lack of personal hygiene, because frankly everyone will use and wear the same recycled remnants of a communal bygone era.

Taken to certain extremes, this may result in outfits that are Awesome, but Impractical or even Scavenged Punk. Chainmail Bikini is fairly common for both genders, indicating that civilized notions of modesty have also gone out the window.

A Sub-Trope of Improvised Armour, and a Sister Trope to Post Apocalyptic Gasmask.

Compare Pelts of the Barbarian.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fist of the North Star being a prime example of the The Apunkalypse naturally features this trope. The common raiders feature this slightly more than the main characters, whose outfits tend to be almost fantasy-like in design. One thing's for certain though, shoulder pads are in.
  • Japan, a manga by Kentaro Miura where a Yakuza boss gets flung into a Bad Future, features this prominently. Behold the dude's magnificent car tire Shoulders of Doom and street pole spear!

    Fan Works 
  • Subverted in Fallout: Equestria. After a battle in an early chapter, Littlepip appropriates a suit of cobbled-together armor from a dead raider. Later, when she approaches a settlement, she is mistaken for a raider herself and gets shot and badly wounded by a sniper. After recovering, she ditches the raider armor in favor of an armored Stable jumpsuit.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Doomsday: After a viral outbreak, Scotland is walled off and its inhabitants return to their tribal, modern primitive roots.
  • Mad Max sequels The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road are all examples of post-Apunkalyptic tribes of ne'er-do-wells (often seen with fairly typical scavenged Post-Apunkalyptic Armor) encountered in the wastelands of the Apocalyptic world they inhabit. As the Trope Codifiers for this look, they're also the direct inspiration for most of the examples below. Fury Road in particular even has leftover circuit boards (given computers rose during the 30 years between films) as part of Immortan Joe's armor.
  • The Postman — After a bout of Doomsday, society breaks down, and people revert to either insular villages or large authoritarian, sometimes punkish, communes for survival.
  • Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone has the henchmen of the villain Overdog dressed this way.

  • In The Dreamside Road, The Wuyar Archers wear concealing black leather body armor of Mad Maxian design.
  • The bandits in the Mad Max parody segments of The Last Continent, one of whom "looked as though he'd bought his clothes in the scrap metal yards of three continents and, where they wouldn't fit, had strapped on a chicken."
  • Tachanka from the South, a Soviet novel about the Russian Civil War (not an apocalypse but close enough, believe it), features a Makhnovist bandit character who looted a livery from a traveling circus and customized it to look badass (but still a bit comical).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied in The Daily Show. Rob Riggle reports from a post-apocalyptic wasteland wearing an outfit right out of Mad Max. When Stewart comments on it, Riggle says that your standard "leathers 'n feathers" ensemble is mandatory in such circumstances.


    Music Videos 

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech got something of this aesthetic going on during the Succession Wars, after rampant use of nuclear weapons and orbital bombardments had resulted in the loss of much of the Inner Sphere's manufacturing ability. With replacement parts becoming increasingly scarce, people were forced to improvise to keep their battlemechs in working order. At the most extreme end of it were so-called Frankenmechs, which were made from grafting whole body-parts from different mechs together. If the stars aligned correctly you could wind up with a very fearsome machine. Most of the time you would wind up with a malfunctioning scrapheap that barely stayed together.
  • Some editions of the RPG Gamma World include rules for cobbling together armor like this.

    Video Games 
  • Ashes 2063: As a shooter that wears its references on its sleeve, the game features punk-ish raiders in Mad Max-like scavenged bikini-like leather armor. One NPC's dialogue questions if they were using bondage gear.
  • In Borderlands, Bandits don't really wear armor for the most part. Most of them wear masks, but Badass Bruisers have crazy homebrew helmets. Bandit boss Sledge wears a nasty suit of welded-together armor, including a helmet built around a welding mask. He also has a hammer made out of engine parts.
    • By Borderlands 2, some Bandits do wear light body armor, usually either customized football pads, stuff made from sheet metal, or bones. Others wear bits and pieces of old Crimson Lance armor. On the second playthrough and beyond, some psychos wear heavy Lance armor that has seen better days.
  • The Resistance in Brink! is largely clothed in this fashion, with the Fortress and Warrior archetypes in particular wearing armor clearly cobbled together from scrap metal.
  • Conqueror's Blade: In the lore of Season XI: Tyranny, the Borderlands have been ravaged by natural disasters and the rise to power of the bloodthirsty, destructive Tyrant. Warlords are left to scavenge whatever they can get to arm themselves. The result is a sort of medieval Mad Max aesthetic which can be seen on all of the weapon and armor cosmetics available during the season.
  • This is worn by the Rogue enemy faction in Crimecraft Gang Wars. Female rogues in particular uniformly wear spiky body armor. Rogue berserkers and aggressors wear football gear (with helmets in the latter case). This stuff is also available for the player to wear — and sported by several of the game's preset classes.
  • Apart from the pre-war stuff, every single piece of clothing in the Fallout series. Many of these are Shout Outs to the Mad Max series. Some of the post-War armours avert it (especially the Enclave's multiple power-armour designs).
    • This not to say that everyone dresses this way; by Fallout 3, most people are dressed in scavenged or patched-together outfits suitable for roaming the wastes or pre-war clothing or armour appropriate for their job or surroundings. The Super Mutants look this way because they're practically orcs and nothing that can fit a human can even come close to fitting them, and the Raiders dress in leather and metal outfits with bare chests, metal bras, leather straps, and spiked pauldrons because they're ruthless bandits in a post-apocalyptic wasteland — of course they dress this way.
    • Super Mutant Behemoths beat even the regular Super Mutants, wearing necklaces made of human skulls and chains, using car doors as shields and shopping carts strapped to their backs as backpacks and wielding entire fire hydrants (and the pipes they're attached to) as clubs.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, the Marked Men in the Divide are probably the best example in the series; they wear their old armor from where they NCR or Legion troops, patched up with whatever they could find, which prominently includes street signs. Subverted in a few cases; some Marked Men have masks that are near-perfect recreations of the ornate one worn by Caesar's second-in-command Lanius. Ulysses praises the craftsmanship their creation involved, as these too were made from whatever sheet metal they could get their hands on.
    • At the lowest levels, Legionnaire armor is made mostly from scavenged sports gear. That means football pads and batting helmets.
    • Taken to something of an extreme in Fallout 4 due to the game allowing you to mix and match different types of armor pieces over a suit of civilian clothing. A character might wind up wearing a right sleeve from a suit of combat armor, a left sleeve from a leather jacket, a right leg consisting of the Institute's plastic and alloy armor, and a left leg made from robot armor, all attached to a raider's chest piece and worn over a Vaul-Tec jumpsuit.
  • Downplayed in Final Fantasy VII; SOLDIER uniforms consist of turtlenecks, gloves, and pauldrons, elites wear more complex armor and uniforms, Cloud has a pauldron and bracelet, together with his rusted sword gives off this crude parody of uniform.
  • Auto Assault - The Mutants obeyed this trope most closely. Humans mixed in Tron Lines and the odd gadget or two while Biomeks added bolts, claws, and other cybernetic bits.
  • In the first and last areas of MadWorld, common Mooks are guys decked out in armor made of football pads, tires, and road signs. Some of them also have motorcycle helmets. Miniboss Big Bull Crocker is essentially wearing the deluxe package.
  • The Super Monday Night Combat fleshed out the game's setting by giving "Outlander" uniform choices for a few of the classes. Outlanders live in the lawless wastelands between sanctioned towns and cities, and their gear is pretty slapdash but much more intimidating than the standard-issue stuff.
  • Persona 5 parodies this: one of the Phantom Thieves has a leather, sleek biker outfit with various armor bits when working, spiked shoulder pads included. She's also Makoto Nijima, who is probably the least likely person to become a raider, ever, in an actual apocalypse. Lampshaded, of course.
    Ryuji: 'Sup, Ms. Post-Apocalyptic Raider.
    Makoto: Do you want to get smacked?
  • Turns up some in Rage (2011); ranging from a tattered orange robe with black trousers and a One-Way Visor to Doom Troops-a-riffic Powered Armor, to not-quite-Steampunk brass plate mail, to dog skins.
  • Fat and Skinny duo Junkrat and Roadhog dress like this in Overwatch. They hail from Australia, which in this game has become a radiated blown apart wasteland, with the duo being "junkers" who scavenged for a living before going on a crime spree together.
  • Phoenix Point:
    • The absolute lowest tier of armor (as in, even worse than your standard issue ODIN armor), the Praetorian (assault), Guardian (heavy), and Swamp Cat (sniper) armor sets, are made out of sports padding, football helmets, repurposed coat leather, and lots of forest-green paint (with red for accents). Out of all of them, only the Swamp Cat helmet looks professionally made, rather than thrown together from sporting goods and car parts. The "Praetorian 2" and "Guardian XA" helmets are pretty punk, being, respectively, a football helmet (complete with rollcage-like face guard) and a motorcycle helmet with buzzsaw-blade mohawks; the latter having a neato-looking red-mirrored wraparound visor and a a yellow jawguard. Such armor is usually found on Independant recruits, or in crates during Scavenging missions, and is better off disassembled for resources than worn into combat.
    • The Disciples of Anu get in on the action with their standard-issue Acolyte armor, which is fashioned from belts, scrap metal, and bits of arthron shell for the right pauldron (which is a pretty good choice, considering how damage-spongey Arthrons can get). They even have a helmet (the "Aksu") that's literally repurposed SCUBA rebreather gear with the air hoses painted neon green (which is also a good choice, since the apocalypse involved an airborne plague, although the nukes didn't help any).
  • The XCOM 2 DLC "Anarchy's Children" adds many such pieces to XCOM's armory.


    Real Life 
  • In modern Syria, practically leveled as by an apocalypse, rebels have built combat-worthy armored cars able to withstand 23mm cannon fire, from salvaged junk steel plates welded over small trucks. With remote-controlled machine gun stations and flatscreen TVs for control.
  • Invoked by ZNA Productions, who makes some pretty punk-looking armor and weaponry out of repurposed and reinforced sporting goods, plumbing, and treadplate.