Since the previous DM Binder I've been meaning to prototype a slimmer version to stock in the store. When a hiccup in my supply chain presented a couple day's pause in my work load I zipped at the chance to crank out that prototype. My wife will be using this prototype for her upcoming campaign starting later this summer.
To make it more cost effective I used a material I haven't used very often before: deertan cowhide. As the name suggests it's straight up cowhide but it's been tanned using the same process normally used for deerskins. The result is pretty supple and durable and just at the edge of a cost-effective lining. For the interior I used trusty EVA foam, appropriately textured, which should be durable enough to work over the long term.
There were a few tricky spots during construction, mostly having to do with the properties of EVA. I quickly figured out that tension on the stitching was very important. Too much tension and the foam would tear. Too little and the stitching would slack or look sloppy. I expect that's something I can continue to improve with production models.
All in all, there's probably a few things I'll change (mostly having to do with the EVA joint on the back but not nearly as much as I'd usually have after one prototype. I expect it should be up in the store pretty soon!