Once you're happy with the patterns it's time to start modelling! Here are a couple of suggestions to proceed:
- Use Mask Changed Points (make sure the point is filled) and the Inflate deformer (Deformation < Inflate) to turn that 2D pattern into 3D relief.
- Use Mask by Intensity and the inflate deformer to create some depth (you can also invert the mask for different results!)
- Using the Extract tool to create new pieces and refine them individually.
This technique isn't limited to armor, but can be applied to any mesh! It's a quick way to explore multiple ideas and get inspired with little effort!