I like Aventine's "Manic" elephant. It is more 'conjectural' than the conjecture of others based on one or two sources. I bought one because it looked cool- that's all. Certainly the manica often displayed on models (even by me) on elephant legs being hoops of bronze is crazy. What would hold something like that on? Elephant legs are not like the pillars of temples like some models depict, they are tapered like, er, legs.
The same principles apply to elephant legs as human legs, what would keep them on? They are not elastic. And if they are heavy, then how much does an elephant tolerate having his circulation cut off to tightly bind his legs??
My guess is to often paint the leg bands as leather, as this seems like it could be at least tied on --- if that wouldn't cut the circulation to the elephant's feet. The artist (Peter Dennis) for the Osprey on elephants makes a judgement that any leg protection must "be above the knee", this makes more sense as this could be supported by the trappings and belts, or if small eneoguh might float above the joint as in the Mughal illustration below. Most of the Mughal elephants with ceremonial armor do not have leg pieces, and in Indian art ususally only ropes are shown adorning feet. Of course the Indian commentators seem to imply the best protection for the elephant's legs are escorts, two men for each leg.
So as shown above, the Elephant and Gaul (Seleucid terracotta) is the most favorable image of leggings. The item gives no readily identifiable way of attaching these to the legs. The Mughal armor in museums and in artwork are interesting in that they use scale, and lamellar, and plates, but usually no leggings are depicted. Often they have ropes and even flowers around their feet, but that's because their feet are wider than their lower legs- which again taper.
The idea of upside down scale is equally problematical. Scale is layers of small plates held on top of each other mostly by gravity, turn it upside down and it does not hold together unless strapped together at the top of each plate, which kind of defeats the idea of scale overlapping. Not saying this is impossible, but seems impractical.
So are these leg bands cocked up and ridiculous? Probably so
like I said I usually paint them as leather or cloth, but in this case I went for bronze plate
lala la lala la
So back to the point, I like the Aventine manica plate model, because it is different, fanciful, and cool looking (as opposed to different, fanciful, and dumb looking- or to big). As a complete reprentative of the Pergamum reliefs and other sources, a bit less historical probably, but would make for a nifty Roman Empire elephant in Britain :)