Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pauldrons part 7

Hmmmm....going to have to work on the design of the back part...they look curiously unfinished. Yet I know they slide together fairly neatly. When the hand is back, they fall into place like on my left shoulder, when I swing my hand forward, the "wings" open up.

I made them fit a little tighter into the body than in previous incarnations. Dont really want to push it inward much more. I didn't realize that making the fences would cause the shoulders to be so rigid. Normally they have a little give to them. But these ones are unyielding. They feel very safe.

Now I just look mean. Actually, its because I took my classes off and can't see squat.

So all in all, I think they pass. We'll see if Charles thinks they pass. His opinion is the only one that counts after all.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Spaulders part 6

above, a slightly blurry picture of the completed pauldron.
A close up from the picture above.

But before we could finish, we had to make the lames. Here they are, nice wide lames. Bottom lame is rolled to protect the arm. The top lame is pounded to a 2 foot ball to match up to the false lame.

The "false" lame is installed. Nice shadow line on the sides. A hole is drilled in the centre to hang the rerebrace off.

The only inside picture I can see the supporting leather straps and the double washers on the 3-16th inch rivet in the false lame. I am sure this single rivet is strong enough, if not, well then it can be swapped out pretty easily for a quarter inch rivet.
A very nice picture of the front side.
The above pic is from the top rear, looking down.

From the below, looking up at it. I suppose it is all done except for the strap which goes around the biceps.

From the rear, looking up.
Well, what do you think Charles...look like what you ordered?

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pauldrons part 5

This is the finished pauldron, now all that is left is the lames. See the blue templates? Most important part of a job like this is to keep templates in order. Make changes to them depending on what you find out about each job. The copper rivets attach to leather belts on the inside, whose purpose is to limit the movement of the three sections.

Here is a good view of the spaulder. In the forground is the front part, goes over the chest. It is more narrow than the back part.
And you can see how it falls forward to match the shoulder ball.

Above is another view of the same thing....the shoulder is not symetrical front to back. It took months to figure out exactly how to make these pauldrons, and several beta tests. Actually, this will be the second set I am making after all the templates were corrected. (and not surprising, I did a slight mod on this template this time too!) The other pauldrons you have seen on these pages have actually been those test pieces. It looks like I should get that fence onto the anvil and straighten out the top edge...grin!
Above is a close up of the fence where it is attached to the pauldron. I just followed the line of the bottom section of the pauldron. The rivets were tricky...I had to counter sink them on the back so that they didn't scratch up the middle section.

Above I am installing the "top lame" which actually is not a lame at all, but a sort of "fake lame" which gives some shadow line to the joint where the arms attach. It is pretty rigid, what with the three rivets holding it in place. It should also provide a bit more rigidity at a point which will get hit a lot.

The bottom lame looks like this. I rolled the inside edge so that Charles can bend his arm without cutting up his biceps. The long part drips down almost to the elbow.

And this is how they will look when I assemble them all together. Some leather on the inside, and these will be ready to attach to the pauldron.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grad class Algonquin Fall 2008

A fine looking group of warriors. I think I am at a bit of a list there....
click on the pictures to enlarge and see the action.

Here's Jeff taking a slight break. His armour is looking, um, used.

Get hit in the hand, you got to fight with your left hand. And you had better hustle!

Shayne, preparing to commit a murder stroke. Shayne, on the left, is clearly moving forward, the fella on the right is looking to trip and fall. That 'might' work to get him out of the way!

Gentlemen, lay on.

Nice sequence of blows.

I think Shayne is knocking the pants off the guy in the foreground!

A melee. Well, two on one anyway.

Its still all about training. These guys are actually wearing 50 pound chain maille shirts. Don't let what looks like lack of armour make you think they are lugging it around! The light plastic is just fine for training. Don't even "think" this is tourney gear!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Arcata Eye

When I feel tired and worn out, like today, I like to read good literature. The Arcata Eye, the mildly objectionable newspaper from Arcata California seems to fit the bill just fine. The Police Blotter is literature I really look forward to... it seems to be published in blog format. That is to say, a few lines then a link to "read more" . I generally find such blogs to be really objectionable, but thats beside the point. Below is a sampling of the Arcata Eye Police Log. The whole thing may be found here....

Johnny Potatochipseed plants asphalt orchard – November 11, 2008
11:32 a.m. Three to four imbibers guzzled booze on the pedestrian walkway, disposing of the bottles by a devilishly ingenious method – throwing them on the ground and shattering them. [More]
Doing the agitated needle-capping/uncapping dance – November 4, 2008
4:14 a.m. A trio of kids egged cars near a K Street car wash, creating treasured memories to last a lifetime. [More]
Rockin’, stompin’, drinkin’, druggin’ and doggin’
11:10 p.m. A bongo cabal on the squareMade major drum awesomeness thereWhen someone objectedPolice went and checked itAnd silenced the big beaty blare. [More]
A downed bongo pilot's disappointing posture – October 21, 2008
11:26 p.m. A saxophone’s schmorzando pealsIntruded on I Street’s idealsFor nighttime relaxin’Cops talked to the saxmanAnd ended the tortuous ordeal. [More]
The usual dingbat drill for alternative Army men
• Friday, September 19 1:17 p.m. A person sitting on the Plaza complained of being harassed by a juggler. [More]
Groovy buses deliver tie-dye, sewage to your doorstep
• Friday, September 19 12:22 a.m. The saxman’s melodious strainsInfected the slumbering brainsOf near-alley sleepersWho opened their peepersAnd called up the cops to complain.[More]
Pills, pits, poop, purloined property... party! – September 30, 2008
• Friday, September 12 1:06 a.m. The carport sounds, less than beguilingHad someone awakened and dialingPolice for assistanceThey met no resistanceAnd shut down a sax player’s stylings. [More]
Watermelon rind goes over to the dark side
2:01 p.m. A drunk positioned himself at the base of the pedestrian footbridge and assumed the role of town crier, except that his cries amounted to bitching out passersby. Police cordially exiled him to far distant shutthefuckupistan. [More]
Two-poodle swarm terrifies villagers – September 16, 2008
12:31 a.m. The midnight rambler returned, this time describing someone in a downtown store who walked up to him and said he had stolen his identity. The caller also asked if he’d called the right number for “pirate talk.” [More]
Siphoning and saxophoning both prove draining – September 2, 2008
• Wednesday, August 13 3:19 p.m. At an 18th Street address, the blinds are always drawn and a reeky skunk smell emanates from within. [More]

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making Pauldrons part 5

The first step is of course, like making any armour, is to lay out the pattern on cardboard. In this case I am using a file folder. It is the perfect weight, cuts easily, and is easy to mark. The first line below was made by laying the shoulder piece onto the card stock, and tracing the bottom edge. Then I traced a larger circle with my compass...that would be the red line.
But wait...there's more. There has to be a way to attach the fence (or haute piece) to the armour, so I created tabs. These tabs will bend 90 degrees, and will be used for riveting the haute piece onto the pauldron.
Also note that this method will create a haute piece which will be at 90 degrees to the armour. If you didn't want it to be exactly 90 degrees, then you would make the opening an extra couple of centimeters wider. Forget formulas...this will be a matter of winging it if you do that. Maybe another time.
The last thing you have to do is to design in a roll allowance of 2 centimeters (half inch) and to provide straight sections near the ends. And below, I have laid the above template onto the steel, cut and sanded it, and designated which will be the inside. They look symettrical front to back. Right.....sure they are.

And here is the collection of tools required to do this little job...the power shears and dcompass. I have decided to not use tabs, but rather, to just bend the inside curve up 90 degrees, and get on with rolling the outside edge. Nothing new there...just a lot of careful work. Laying out, cutting out, shaping, and rolling took about four hours per side, including drilling and rivetting the haute pieces onto the spaulders. Not too bad. Not a beginner's project either!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making a pauldron part 4

Research. Research. Research. Without research, you can't make anything that looks half decent. There are three types of research....primary, secondary, and tertiary research. There is some dispute on what constitutes secondary research, but no argument about what constitutes primary research. If you have the medieval artifact in your hand, you this is primary research. Unfortunately, this is usually not an option. Secondary research would be photographs of the object, hopefully made by somebody who knows what he is doing, like yourself, or a museum curator-photographer. Information on these pages, no matter how good it is, is still only secondary research. Tertiary research is information you get from paintings and stuatuary, all of which will be "adjusted" by the artist because, well, artists have artistic license to do that. Therefore, one must be very careful in using paintings, such as the painting of St. George by Andrea Montegna, dated 1460. Since we are making pauldrons, I shall try to stick to the subject, and see if we can get good information from this tertiary source.

Above, the famous painting of St. George by Andre Montegna, dated 1460. The original is in the Gallery dell Academia in Venice. The armour looks fairly straight forward, the five lame faulds and fancy big old tassets with rounded flutes are Italian right enough. The two piece breast plate is designed to cover the chest only. Either the legs are improbably long, or the armour is unusually high waisted. I lean towards the latter. But its the pauldrons we are here to see. The most immediate thing you notice is that they are assymetrical...the left one is big and solid, the right hand one is slimmer, with more mobility. The right hand pauldron has a haute piece (a fence) which are is designed to block a backhand strike to the neck, and the much larger left hand fence is clearly designed to deflect a thrust. Considering that this is a jousting armour (the lance rest is a dead giveaway!) the suspicion is that the left hand fence is designed to deflect a lance. The top edge of the fence is rolled, and there is an extra piece which goes down from the fence to stiffen the left shoulder defences...a whole great big piece of metal which covers the spaulder underneath, right from the fence down to under the flange of the elbow cop.

Moving right along, the magnificent painting of the battle of San Romano by Uccelo, from the Academea dell Arte in Florence. 1457. There are many foci in this painting, and it is worth clicking on the picture, and studying it for awhile. I particulary like the cross bow men in the back, who seem to have pretty much given up now that the battle is well and truly joined, a couple of messenger high tailing it out of there with the news, and all the pieces of broken lances and loose bits of armour littering the ground under the horses. Lets look closer at some of the details, click on the images below.

Above, a fully armed knight, standing on his stirrups. His visor is tilted up so he can see, and he has beautiful haute pieces and fences on his armour. A haute piece is not just the fence, you see clearly here, the term also includes supplementary pieces like the besague which is protecting his elbow, for instance. The fence is rounded at the top, looking very much like the one in Montegna's picture, above.

You so rarely see armour being used from the back. This fella has back faulds, and it looks like he even has back tassets. How complete is that!!! Both these warriours look like they are fighting in much the same armour as St. George is wearing in Montegna's picture.

Both of the above knights are well armoured, though in the interests of artisitic licence, it seems that the king on the left has left his helmet off. Though not unexampled...after all, it would enable him to shout orders, and often they would ride around with their helmet off to show that they are still alive regardless of rumours, one feels that it is not a common practice.

When Drurer makes a picture, you get the feeling that he has examined all the armour minutely,and possibly even worn it. The famous picture from 1498 shows germanic "gothic" armour, heavily fluted. Forget the fluting, thats mostly decorative.....what is really important is how big the "wings" are on the spaulders. See, the front wing is a little smaller than the back wing. And the fence is more fence like than usual. It seems a lot closer to the neck than is usual for fences, so it HAS to be mounted on the top lame. Otherwise it would simply dig into his neck whenever he lifted his arm. Again, the body armour is more high waisted than I usually make it, and this "ritter" has plenty of room inside to breathe. The elbow cops don't cover like they should...this long armed skinny individual is not wearing fitted armour. It is pretty nice armour though...six lames before you even get to the rere brace. Awesome!

And the only piece of secondary documentation I have...a famous harness of a gothic Ritter from the Tower of London Collection in of all places, Leeds, England. I really like the big baisin formed by the fences on these spaulders. I note that unlike the Italian armour, these fences tend to guard more from the front than from the sides.
So now I have to decide which armour I will choose as my inspiration to make the fences (haute pieces) of Charlie's armour.

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