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Posted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:55 pm
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As far as armour-making goes, this article is also a must read Smile
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm


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Posted on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:13 pm
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Thanks for the link Lorraine. Very Happy

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Posted on Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:27 am
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TOMAR's for making fourteenth-century harness of plate anyway. It touches on mail, but does not greatly address it. Kind of assumes you learned mailling elsewhere. Say, here.


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Posted on Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:23 pm
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Okay, I'm steaming ahead on my projects (as I have a tendency to do). More than enough scales and titanium rings to do anything I want. I have a blacksmith lined up for my work. I've looked and looked over different armour designs... and I still like the design I've been contemplating. So I though I'd kick it around here.

First, I want it to be as strong as possible while still being light. I don't want to be strapped into it like full plate armour I'd like to be able to duck out of it should I suddenly find myself drowning. That said I'd still like the increased level of protection and mobility that plate would afford. Ergo my desire for a hybrid.

Below you will find a VERY rough design of how I would like just the torso protection to be (I have plans for other areas of the body).

1. I wanted to plate the shoulder/upper torso region of my body not just because those areas are the more fiddly when designing chainmail, but moreso because I desired pauldrons and neck guards. I couldn't think of any reliable way to attack those two items to scale or chainmail, whereas the plate would afford a quick riveting solution. The plate will be the basis from which everything hangs off of. While not technically correct I still get the image of a the pads you wear when playing football. Stainless steel plate for added strength and reduced weight.

2. The second level of armour is scale. Because I'm trying to minimize weight, I decided to go with an old fashioned answer and instead of using split rings, I intend to sew the rings directly to thick leather panels with sturdy linen thread. The panels themselves will allow me to remove any one panel that is damaged so I can repair the scales or completely refit a new panel. Each panel is fully punched (with eyelets) to facilitate placement with all other panels. The leather panels are about a 1/5" thick and so should act as a secondary layer of armour for the scales. High temper spring carbon scales because TRL only had Grade 5 Titanium scales.

3. Approximately 2" above the navel the scale will then give way to titanium chainmail which will go down to approximately the crotch level. This will be woven in the standard E4-1 weave.

4. The pauldrons and plate will protect the vulnerable shoulder/armpit regions while still affording good mobility. To further assist in this protection, there will be a much lighter Japanese 3-1 weave hanging down from the pauldrons until it reaches halfway down the forearm. Japanese 3-1 should be light enough to prevent restriction of movement at the shoulders while protecting against slashes.

And now for the visual.

[img]http://gorogirongut.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5gkuye[/img]

Now I know this is a hybrid and technically doesn't fit any of the standard armouring conventions. And I know that I'm new at these things (notwithstanding my research). So can you see any major holes or weaknesses in this armour? Something that would completely make this an epic fail? Seeking your thoughts and the wisdom of the ages.

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Posted on Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:37 am
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The wisdom of the ages is frankly gonna argue with some of your wheel reinventions in armor design. But hell, that's what I'm here for. They, uh, seriously did have the ergonomics of plate very well worked out. This is why plate armour looks just as it does; these are the shapes of plates that don't get in your way, don't bind your motions hardly at all, and yet lie upon you to keep you intact.

GorogIrongut wrote:
First, I want it to be as strong as possible while still being light. I don't want to be strapped into it like full plate armour I'd like to be able to duck out of it should I suddenly find myself drowning. That said I'd still like the increased level of protection and mobility that plate would afford. Ergo my desire for a hybrid.


You're essentially asking an engineering question here, and "as strong as possible" is qualitative rather than quantitative. It wants fining down to, well, resisting the effects of what weapon, and by how much? -- a concrete bunker is proof against a gothic flanged mace (a handsome and fearsome weapon, btw), but it is also not what you're after.

Making plate armour work at its best makes it about the opposite of instantly removable. Some pieces could be tied into place, about like putting on your shoes. Sollerets were secured over feet by tying them onto the knight's shoes, for example. Limb armour should fit you very closely, about like a thick coat of paint. Everything gets strapped in there snug. Torso armour varies a bit; some breastplates are domy things creating a spaced-armour effect. Highly efficient over the vitals, although inefficient anywhere else. Even the helmets fit fairly close -- usually. Some types also did the spaced armour thing. Remember Arthur, King of the Britons' hard hat in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Spaced armor, those corners to his saltshaker pot helm.

Were you expecting to go sailing in armor, or to fight on narrow, rail-less slippery bridges? Don't do either one in plate harness; they're dangerously silly. Fight on nice dry ground. Don't expect to do amphibious warfare. If you're going to do Age of Armour stuff of that kind, equip yourself with a shield for one hand and a sword in the other, and fight in your shirt. No going swimming in tin suits, 'kay? Even Beowulf's tin shirt was a byrnie of the briefest description; Tacitus says some of these guys could swim briefly by great effort in their byrnies, which trick could at least get your soggy butt out of a river.

GorogIrongut wrote:
1. I wanted to plate the shoulder/upper torso region of my body not just because those areas are the more fiddly when designing chainmail, [Not, in my experience, true. --KtR] but moreso because I desired pauldrons and neck guards. I couldn't think of any reliable way to attach those two items to scale or chainmail, whereas the plate would afford a quick riveting solution. [And this is true. --KtR] The plate will be the basis from which everything hangs off of.


The gorget, that is. One thing plate arms can suspend from is leather straps or spring pins attaching to the edges of the gorget, whose flange covers the medial portion of the shoulders' slope. It's also common enough for the breastplate and backplate (the breast and back, as the more compact and professional phrase has it) to go on over the gorget, which in late period could be a pretty large bit of metal with everything added together, front half and back.

GorogIrongut wrote:
The second level of armour is scale. Because I'm trying to minimize weight, I decided to go with an old fashioned answer and instead of using split rings, I intend to sew the rings directly to thick leather panels with sturdy linen thread. The panels themselves will allow me to remove any one panel that is damaged so I can repair the scales or completely refit a new panel. Each panel is fully punched (with eyelets) to facilitate placement with all other panels. The leather panels are about a 1/5" thick and so should act as a secondary layer of armour for the scales. High temper spring carbon scales because TRL only had Grade 5 Titanium scales.


Let me see if I understand this: does this cover the bendy part of your torso, shortribs to hipbones? Because if you're making an entire cuirass of this and then piling pauldrons, breast, and gorget atop it all, you are no longer in "light as possible" by any measure whatsoever, regardless of alloy. It'd sink you in the pond you don't want to fall into all the faster, too. The way you put it was open to misinterpretation.

Interesting notions. I still have no idea what you expect to get hit with, thereby to figure out what sort of "damage" you expect to repair conveniently.

GorogIrongut wrote:
Approximately 2" above the navel the scale will then give way to titanium chainmail which will go down to approximately the crotch level. This will be woven in the standard E4-1 weave.


Sounds like you are describing what is essentially an unusually tall mail fauld, a skirt of mail covering the hips and upper thighs. If this is something you want "as strong as possible," buy it welded from Gordon Osterstrom of Tucson AZ, WeldedChainMail.com. This sort of thing is his business and he offers Ti mail. Don't hang it so the hem is exactly at crotch level and free to swing; your testes will thank you. You probably would rather not ask how I know -- mail has momentum when you start walking.

GorogIrongut wrote:
The pauldrons and plate will protect the vulnerable shoulder/armpit regions while still affording good mobility. To further assist in this protection, there will be a much lighter Japanese 3-1 weave hanging down from the pauldrons until it reaches halfway down the forearm. Japanese 3-1 should be light enough to prevent restriction of movement at the shoulders while protecting against slashes.


I believe you mean the upper arm not the forearm: you are describing what the armouring world calls mail "voiders," there are no other kind. The pauldron edges shelter the armpit fairly well, but armoring the armpits directly against thrusts aimed in there takes mail. There are pictures in museums of aristocratic gentlemen in sixteenth-century arming doublets with mail voiders laced on appropriately, with coverage of a bit of the ribs, the armpit and the whole ball of the shoulder, and a good ways down the upper arm, the mail being wrapped around the arm and its edges meeting also at the top of the shoulder (so there's this one long seam all the way from inboard of the point of the shoulder, over that, and down the arm almost to the elbow, the whole thing neatly tied shut with bow knots), which would then be covered by the pauldrons and overlapped by the breast and back about their armhole edges.

If what you really have in mind is sleeves of mail, okay, that changes the story. They can come down to the wrist. They are easiest built in open-hang, for convenience in constructing the elbow using expansion/contraction arrays, giving a mail sleeve a distinct bend at the elbow, not unlike how a suit jacket's sleeve is cut. Closer in, the elbow section of a mail sleeve has the shape of the heel of a sock. At the shoulder end, a flare-out such as you have described is typical. The armory museum at Churburg, Austria has such sleeves of mail on display.

[img]http://gorogirongut.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5gkuye[/img]

GorogIrongut wrote:
Now I know this is a hybrid and technically doesn't fit any of the standard armouring conventions. [If you actually want the bloody thing to work, this is a risky sort of philosophy to design by. --KtR] And I know that I'm new at these things (notwithstanding my research). . . Seeking your thoughts and the wisdom of the ages.



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Posted on Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:23 am
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Now that I've peeked at your DeviantArt --

If you're going with this, include a gorget. You haven't one. You want it to hang the pauldrons and any plate arm defenses off of -- not that you've really finalized that bit. Attaching mail straight to pauldron plates makes it hard to actually fit and work upon your shoulders and armpits the way you want it to end up; I'd go with complete sleeves of mail and the pauldron plates laid over that were I to make such harness.

(Which I wouldn't, but would instead construct a brigandine torso defense teamed with a pair of mail sleeves sticking out from its armholes, and which are not attached in any way to the brigandine, which is put on over the sleeves. The layered look!

I'm quite terribly fond of brigandine. It's... comfortable. Not very heavy. And it really frustrates a knife thrust.)

Breastplate w/back, however abbreviated, goes over a gorget. Have its shouldery bits fitting closer to your neck than you've drawn, the top of the breastplate up at your throat with an arc of a cutout to fit there. The breast should feature substantial cutouts over each pectoral muscle to allow your arms freedom to swing forward and across, for combat mobility. Do not have the metal between these cutouts made too broad. The backplate is a different story, as it doesn't need such cutouts. Your arms can't come back that far, so rigid coverage over all the shoulder blade is okay. A proper pauldron covers these cutouts in the breastplate.

Right now your notion of pauldrons looks more properly to be spaudlers (or spaulders, take your pick) -- small-plate shoulder defenses, and not big enough to put haute-guards on to defend your neck. Pauldrons are that big, and they have a main, shoulder-cupping plate that is of a different shape than the corresponding bit of a spaudler. Laid out in flat metal it looks rather like a bowtie, narrow in its center where the deep dishing will be that folds the ends to where they lie upon your pecs and your shoulder blades, and the broad ends spreading to keep your armpits/chest covered against strikes from above or from horizontal.

Attach haute-guards to the pauldrons, not the breastplate. You want breast and back to join over the shoulder by straps, and the pauldrons to lie atop these straps, floatingly secured to the gorget. Pauldrons, you want them not only to hinge up and down but also to float free backward and forward, with your arm and shoulder; they had to come up with a suspension that could flop around the way the whole shoulder complex does; it's not very like the pure ball and socket of the hip. More like a socket set atop a wibbly wobbly tripod affair that waggles about.

Have a good look at the early-sixteenth kind of shoulder defense called a "munion," or alternatively "Almain collar." This is a sort of gorget-cum-shoulder defense, replacing the gorget and pauldrons both, invariably teamed with contemporary breastplates cut low and straight across the pecs, and generally shoulder-strapping right over the munion. They were popular in battle for quite some time, for infantry. The chevalerie stuck with the gorget/pauldrons defense. More deluxe. The munion was less expensive and generally easier to make.

Not sure why you don't just make the scale belly part just continue all the way down as your hip armor as well. There's not much design reason to just have the scale stop and then pick up with mail from there on down. Even if you think it would look cool -- I'd expect it not to, bluntly. That's also some very stiff, heavy leather if you're using cowhide. From your description that's roughly 12oz-weight saddle skirting leather. If you're using buffcoat leather -- very thick but remarkably soft for its thickness -- forget I said anything. Buff coats made flexible armour in the seventeenth century. For a substrate under scales you can go a lot lighter than 12 ounce. Ever consider deerhide? Nice and soft, like good drovers' gloves; flexible.


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Posted on Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:28 pm
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Thank you! I was hoping you would respond KtR. Now that you went back over everything exhaustively I can see the lack of clarity and outright mistakes in what I wrote (for example TRL only has Gr 2 Titanium scales, not 5).

My drawings were very rough and little more than an idea but you seemed to come across the gist of what I was thinking of. The plate portion I was speaking of was going to be a slightly larger and modified form of a gorget with real pauldrons (not spaulders). Your comments have helped me firm this concept up a lot more than they actually were, so thanks. Especially for giving me a name to the rough idea I was thinking of (munion, almain collar).

Just a few random thoughts from your comments:
1. I like brigandine too but that's not what I'm working for at the moment. That said you can find some nice examples of it in Game of Thrones. Perhaps that will be my next project.
2. The leather I intend to sew the scales to is in 5" by 5" squares and is 4.5 mm thick. It is also supple as all get out. Not heavy at all. I technically have enough of a supply to do this project atleast 3 times over.

As for my comments about repair, it's a given with any armour that some portion of it will be damaged at some time (scales or leather). With the squares as they are, it will be a quick fix to swap out one leather square for an undamaged one. And then all I have to do is go back and repair whatever happened to that one square.

3. I never intended to hang any major chainmail off of the pauldrons, just the light, loose weave of Jap 3-1 intended to protect the upper half of the upper arm and the armpit region.

Thanks again for your comments so far, I'm off to do more research.

p.s. My TRL order took a little longer than I expected to get here. Should be on Tuesday. In it will be my new tumblers. They'll make my work so far shiny and thus more presentable for pictures.

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Posted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:14 am
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Purchase in UK or bulk buy when in US?

As a UK resident importing from all over and purchasing in UK too I suggest:

Tumbler - if buying a rotary then buy UK made, if buying vibratory type for light weight media like walnut then buy from Midway UK ( our local USA Midway shooting sundries dealer) - but for vibratory for using steel media then ship from USA - BUT specify for European electrical supply!!! We don't make small vibes here.

Rings & wire - use Ringlord. I personally would try to avoid VAT tax of 20% and shipping charges by 'forgetting' that I had them in my HAND luggage when returning to UK. This is criminal, but not life altering. Depending on your hold luggage allowances you could pack them, but excess baggage charges will kill you.

A legal way is to post packages of less than £16 (UK Sterling pounds) value INCLUDING shipping/postal charges. That way you will avoid the 20%, PLUS the extra customs clearance charged by shippers or Post Service. Obviously costs for smaller shipments are higher in percentage terms than one big shipping - you will have to work out the 20% VAT import charge against lower shipping rates.

There was a song called 'Smugglers Blues' - but it ain't drugs nor guns!


The right answer depends upon asking the right question. The right answer depends upon the specific situation. There's rarely a 'right' answer but listen to both experience and opinions equally.

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Posted on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:52 pm
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Quote:
. . . you are describing what the armouring world calls mail "voiders," there are no other kind. The pauldron edges shelter the armpit fairly well, but armoring the armpits directly against thrusts aimed in there takes mail. There are pictures in museums of aristocratic gentlemen in sixteenth-century arming doublets with mail voiders laced on appropriately, with coverage of a bit of the ribs, the armpit and the whole ball of the shoulder, and a good ways down the upper arm, the mail being wrapped around the arm and its edges meeting also at the top of the shoulder (so there's this one long seam all the way from inboard of the point of the shoulder, over that, and down the arm almost to the elbow, the whole thing neatly tied shut with bow knots), which would then be covered by the pauldrons and overlapped by the breast and back about their armhole edges.


Found a thread on Armour Archive with a pic of what I'm talking about: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150764 You can see how it wraps around his entire shoulder area from beneath. Now this is for somebody who's going to put on a gorget, breast and back, and pauldrons of a late pattern (cut up into many articulating lames, even the medial portion of the main plate) in plate harness. From the big, comprehensive close helmet he's propping his arm on, looks like he's fixing to go jousting.


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