You have to scroll down a bit...This first picture shows the side bars in the fully out position.
And here they are in the mostly collapsed position. There is a sliding rivet behind, where you can't see it, just like in the original. You also get a really good closeup of the fancy file work along the edge. Not all of the Knights (of St. John) had armour this fancy...often the edges did not have the file work.
Many people have wondered, even in scholarly books, how the shoulder pieces actually stay out. It makes sense that when you bend your arm to strike a blow, the side piece will sink in on its sliding rivet...so what brings it back out again? Some have speculated that it was the way the straps were mounted, but we have found that often the straps are mounted on the inside, big breastplate. There is a hole there to indicate that that was done once. Well, having made one, I finally found the answer....there is a spring action at the bottom pivot rivet that keeps it sprung out.
Three quarter views of this armour. This one is the same as the last one, but brightened up a bit.
Full front view...the "spring action" is obvious when you see it in full front. The main breast plate acts as a spring to hold the side pieces in place. You can push them down, but it causes a little bit of flex in the breastplate, resulting in the armour pulling back out into place when the sword blow is done.
You will note that even with the side plates, the armour is still pretty restrictive. You cannot move both arms forward at the same time!