Body armor fell sharply out of favor in Europe during the 18th Century but made a strong resurgence in WWI after folks realized how much getting shot hurt. These are some of the more...eccentric...examples of rudimentary blast shields and flak vests as compiled by our friends at Oobject.com.
If you need to deck out your menagerie in metal plating as well, check out this armor for animals, armor for your mug, and some generally badass armored accouterments.

A Splatter Mask won by tank crews

Armadillo-like Infrantriepanzer body armor 1918

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Brewster Body Armor 1917-18

Franco American Experimental Dunland Helmet

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French soldier wearing a kind of armor as protection against flying bullets

Helmets with eye protection masks

Experimental machine gunners helmet

Shrapnel veil in front of French Adrian helmet

Steel sniper's mask

Troops wearing WWI body armor

WWI French infantry shield

WWI Italian troop armor