I have the shiki read and the scales laid out but I am unsure of how to keep the shiki from rusting in the armor as I plan on using it in the south. It is hot and very Humid here and was not sure the best way to protect it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Couldn't you just slap a few coats of black spray paint on it before lacing it to the lames? It is never seen anyways.
Unless you're very good with preparation and priming of the metal, spray paint tends to chip off pretty rapidly. Some people have had very good results from powder coating, but that requires special equipment.