Saturday, June 21, 2008

RenFaire Armour

Nice looking stainless steel armour. A Knight from the "Knights of Valour", at the Renaissance Festival at Upper Canada Village, in Ontario, Canada. The horses seemed to enjoy themselves. The armour looks pretty solid, though when you look at it really closely, you can see that it is pretty scarred up...after all these guys really DO joust at each other!

I don't know much about this armour....but it is pretty and it works well. What more could you ask? The wearer told me the name of the maker, but it went in one of my ears and clearly flew out the other!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Painted Armour from Prague

click on these images to enlarge. Above is the morion.

The shield.

And the breastplate. I believe it is the lion of St. Mark.

Fairly straightforward single piece armours, which have been decorated with oil paints.

Thanks Pierre for these pics.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Later period Prague Armour

This later period armour is a very good looking "ordinance" armour. It is a nice, 2 piece breastplate, with high "stovepipe" gorget, nicely made spaulders which have a totally needless but very cool rondel in the armpit, and great big "mitten gauntlets. This is a battle armour, and it might have been tough enough for the joust...but the lack of lance rest suggests that it is not really for sport, but rather for use. Plus the Morion helm was never used for the joust. (this is assuming of course that the helm is continguous with the armour...grin!)
Note the big "dent" in the armpit from which the rondel is suspended by cords. This is how you can tell front from back! That rondel must clang like the clapper of a bell unless it was tied down by a hidden thong.
Another good detail is the pin which holds the spaulders in place....there would be cotter pin to inserted through that post on his shoulder to hold the shoulder armour in place, and that post would also provide a hinge point for the armour to move around.
The Morion helm is in period to this armour....designed to not only look really big and nasty, but also to shed arrows and sling stones. I have seen and handled original morions, and for some reason, they are almost all raised up from a single piece of steel. I am not quite sure why...but unlike most helmets, the Morion seems to be a real "show off" piece for the armour maker. I would think twice before doing all that raising! I would probably build it up in halves...they just didn't! The cheek pieces are more complex than they look....they actually swing out past that big visor, and the chin strap is attached to the inside of these cheek pieces.
As usual, the Bohemian armour has the flared gauntlets rather than a complex and delicate wrist joint which marks the better French and and some German armour.

click on the image to enlarge....

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More Prague Armour

I love the leg armour on this is crisp, clean, and very straightforward. The wings on the knee cops have a sort of "lotus leaf" look to them.

What a great cod piece!

Absolutely gorgeous finger gauntlets.

Do you think this guy was royalty? It "does" seem like a lot of face is showing here though.

And here is the whole armour. Click on the image to enlarge. Can you spot the problem with wearing this armour, and for that matter, the one in the background? A prize to the first person who comments to identify the w.t.f.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008


click on the images to enlargeBill examining a couple of swords which seem to have been damaged.

closeup of the bell. I think it could use another brightening to perk up the gold. That gold layer is pretty thin!

These ones made it all the way to Vimy Ridge last spring for the ceremony. I was thrilled to be watching this very same sword saluting the Queen.

This is the Eagle headed air force sword. The air force plaque is raised on a backing, and is the exact same "albatross" which appears on the cap badges of airmen in England, Canada, and all the other commonwealth countries. This eagle (we only call it an albatross) transcends nationalism, and like the fouled anchor is the symbol of sailors, the albatross is the symbol of airmen all over.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prague Armour

click on the images to enlarge.
above is a lovely splinted armour, with wide placqart flare. Difficult to imagine exactly what the rest of the outfit would look like...I suspect it would be pantaloons, with minimal leg armour. There does not seem to be provision for faulds and tassets.

This is interesting....the Belgian style legs which are extensions of the faulds. They certainly look very nice....and the lames appear to be joined without any leather at all. This might imply some very tricky fitting. The globose breastplate must have taken an inordinate time to pound out, and that gorget looks like it is integral to the armour. Neat idea.

Above is another of the same idea, however the breastplate is much more reasonable...a Peascod breastplate, made by slitting a triangular section out of the bottom third, and welding it all back up. The fastest way to make a breastplate.

Above is just such a peascod breasplate. Note the glaring absence of holes, mounting plates, or anything which will help this armour stay on. This armour was never used. The slight wobble in the centre line may have made this armour unsaleable, and so it ended up on display.

These are part of the set that Pierre took when he visited Prague castle.

Thanks you Pierre.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Armour from Prague

These are closeups of the armour from Prague....the spaulders. Compare them to the ones I made below! I honestly don't know how they could move their arms forwards....that big forward wing would just ride up into their neck!
I'll have to study this armour some more. It "should" be fairly simple...but the mechanism on how it all works seems clumsy to me. I don't believe an armour make that can do work that good would make a clumsy armour.

Thanks Pierre for the pictures. Tomorrow I will post the full armour.