Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kelly and Erik W's Armour

Above is Erik's gorget, all lined with foam and strapped up.

From the back you can see the difference in this gorget....because it goes under what amounts to a poncho, I had to make the back a lot longer. If it is too long, well, that can be trimmed off.

From the side, you can see the nice keyhole locking mechanism. The keyhole just keeps everything neatly in place, the belt is what holds it nice and tight.

The leather body armour is based on an armour dug out of a trench on the site of the battle of Wisby. It is leather, with steel plates. I don't like this armour is hard to make it look nice, and because of the ridiculous price of leather, it is often more expensive than steel of the same coverage. For some reason (that reason being that it can be made in your basement apartment with minimal tools) it is popular with the SCA, larpers and such medieval organizations that don't use live steel. We know a real sword will go right through this armour because, well, we have the original with the skeleton still inside, with a severed spine.
The original was cobbled together in a real hurry...which although period, doesn 't make it right. When you take your time with this armour, it has the potential to look, well, not so bad. Even downright good. And make sure you use good quality fasteners (the copper rivets are period and look SO much better than the modern two part dome rivets being used for (ha ha) medieval-like armour.
Erik is lucky...I found a nice piece of Italian top grain cowhide which was destined to become a couch but was probably considered to be too heavy. It is a nice ripe plum colour on the outside, and is tough as nails. Such a deal doesn't come by every day! Normally a piece of leather like that would set you back a couple of hundred dollars....this one was half that. And no, the leather used is not period...this leather is much tougher than period leather.

There is no secret to how to lay out the plates inside the armour, and I don't mind showing the world how it is done. SCA regulations demand overlapping plates all down the spine, and overlapping sideways around the kidneys. The key, I guess, would be to ensure that all the plates are properly rounded on their corners, and all the sharp burrs are sanded off. This is the step normally skimped on by the basement armourers, and is the source of the majority of scars and cuts caused by this armour. Note that every single plate is rounded, and painted to prevent rust from coming off onto your clothes.

The bottom edges are simply scalloped...Erik may want to stiffen these scallops to prevent them from curling....some people do that.
So, even though I don't normally like making such simple armour, I found, as I got into it, that it was not so bad. Careful alignment of the holes for the belt attachments and a good choice of buckles and straps results in a pretty good looking armour. I would be proud to have a man (or woman) wearing such armour on my team.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"We know a real sword will go right through this armor because, well, we have the original with the skeleton still inside, with a severed spine."

Classic line that illustrates your previous point oh so clearly.