Thursday, September 13, 2007

Armour of the Week

click on the images to enlarge.
This is a standard three piece armour set. Although it is really basic, bottom of the line armour, I decided to do some upgrades....I uced better buckles than I was going to use, and I picadilled the armour.
The client specified that he wanted the armour to buckle in front. I don't think that improves the looks of the armour much, but it does make it a little more functional. In the below picture, you can clearly see the rivets which hold the picadills in place. So what are picadills you ask? They are little pieces of leather under the armour which keep the layers of armour from sliding upon themselves. Prevents scratches in the protective finish, and of course, gives rust a bit of a run for the money. They also keep the armour from clanging together when you move...
I also did another couple of things to this armour which are out of the ordinary....I flared the bottom plate of the plackart, and english wheeled the surface into nice fluted shapes in the back.
Looks quite nice in the side light.

Below are the faulds and tassets..The faulds lace onto the breastplate, and the tassets lace onto the faulds. Those eyelets along the top of the top lame in the fauld set below match up with the eyelets on the bottom of the breastplate in the very bottom picture.
Below are tassets which lace onto the faulds above.
Above are the fairly standard tassets, rounded to prevent injury, and eyeletted rather than buckled. The buckles look kind of nice, but the client can do that himself next year when he has some more cash.

And the nice three piece breastplate. I also picadilled the breastplate, so the scratchy surfaces which have plagued my armour all these years might be a thing of the past.

My only real regret is that the picadills, like the tongues of leather under the shoulders, don't really show, yet they take more than an hour to install. So these nice additional touches are all fine and good, and will get me more work, yet they add a lot to the time it takes to make the armour.

The classic battle between quality and price I guess.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This is a picture of a helve-hammer. A foot operated hammer. I want to make one like it. Details that I really like....the foot pedal is a round ring, not so likely to hurt my shin if I walk too close to it. The link between the hammer and the foot lever seems almost infinitely adjustable. The springs can be tightened up if desired, and more can be added if necessary. The whole hammer can be raised a few inches in back. (Though I don't know why....) And I believe the big 6 inch pipe under the anvil can be filled with sand to soak up the blows, and protect the floor.
Things I don't like about this hammer design...
I don't know how I would change anvils. Some of the anvils I use are not metal anvils at all, but rubber, sand bags, or wood blocks. Not sure how adaptable this set up is to swop out anvils. I would like to see a safety stop, where if I suddenly leaned back, a prop would drop in and keep the anvil up and out of harms way. Or maybe a high tech laser/photocell which would do the same. I saw one of those once to keep fingers out of a punch press, and again, to keep fingers out of the blade of a table saw. The distance between the arm and hammer face is a little short for comfort. I would like a longer hammer head to clear edges of metal.
I like the idea of the foot operated hammer. A little safer than a power hammer.

Sort of thinking about hammers this morning...and the arthritics in my shoulder.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Shoe Template

A few years ago, I got interested in Roman stuff, and they had found a set of Roman Combat boots (with the Roman still in them!) at the Coppergate Dig in the City of York in England. The ground was wet, and the leather stayed intact, so I could get a real idea of the pattern. Other finds have occured since, of course, notably the find which the fellow in the picture below made, but I figured I would share the original template I came up with way back when!
This is the Roman Caligae design from
He really has the right idea, and I urge you to visit his site, and see how he made those really cooo hobnailed boots!
But these are mine. On paper. Laid out about 15 years ago, and still used from time to time. Note that it is in four pieces. I cut them into four pieces just so that I could scan each piece. Just never got around to taping the pattern back together, thats all!

Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Anybody who wants to download these patterns are welcome to do so. Let me know how they turn out okay?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rob's Armour

Three piece armour. I did not make the helmet or the shoulders. Or the sword, or those kuul boots. But I DID make the breastPlate, Back Plate, Fauld and Tassets.

I am thinking a different style of tasset should go with those boots. But I dunno, these are pretty period.

Surprisingly enough, this is actually MY backplate. It is fairly easy to bend and twist this style of backplate around until it fits. Took about half an hour. The bottom plate goes half way around his body in front underneath that custom breastplate. Oh well, at least it works.
And he can train in this armour, so we fit, function, suitability, and I think good looks. I am rather proud of the effect!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Curved, round shield, with random pieces rim re-enforcement, and steel centre boss. It was a trick to get that centre boss to fit so is a compound curve on a compound curve. Its even more difficult than it looks and it looks darned difficult!
The maple centre handle. I didn't worry too much about arm straps or paint....I figured the client would do all that! And he did....he actually painted it all green, and left the steel nice and shiney with silver eagles nailed on the face. But that wasn't my department, I just supplied him with a nice shield.
And you can see the almost finished product...the boss is 16 inches across, and oval. The shield is thirty inches across.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Barrel Helm

Nice little barrel helm. The eyeslots don't get used nearly as much as the row of holes just below them. The chin strap is laced onto the helm with those little red laces, so that if for some reason, the client gets hurt, they won't have to tilt his head back to undo the chin strap. Just a quick slice at the exposed laces and off it comes. I put eyelets in to keep the laces from cutting themselves! Not that I think that getting hurt is very likely in normal combat, after all, it is 14 gauge throughout!, but you know, in case he tries to head butt a bull or maybe a train.
If for some reason, his marshals don't like the chin strap being laced on, it could always be riveted into place. Standard 3/16 rivets would work just fine...there are 44 rivets in this helm...about three quarters of a pound just in fasteners alone.
Oh, and check out my new helmet stand! It has an eagle on it! Kuul!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Site of the Week! I have seen this fellow's work for years, and admired it. I hope you click on some of these links and explore a most prolific and interesting artist's vision. (biography) (some more examples of Jim Warren's work) And his home page.