Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Lou Bin

Lou S. asked me to make him a Byzantine armour.  It had to look fourth century. And it had to meet or exceed SCA regulations.  It must also work like a charm.  Right oh then.


 Semi-articulated forearm guards

 Forearm guards are clamshell opening...they pivot open on the rivets under the elbow cop.  Big concession from the original is the wing. 

 The gorget is totally not Byzantine....even though I tried my best by incorporating a Roman Lion decoration.  OTOH, it will protect his neck. Interesting variations are the deep cutouts on the sides to allow Lou to swing his arm up overhead.

 I swept the top of the "chin" portion forward a lot to allow for greater comfort.  Nothing is as uncomfortable as a goget, and hopefully, this will be better than most.

 The back is beaten out to match his back since this gorget is designed to fit closely to his skin. 

 Four eyelets on each side.  Two for the arms. Two for adjustment.

 Click on this picture to see it full size.  this is the inspiration.  Below, you can see the upper arms based on the above picture.  Again, lots of eyelets, hopefully at least two of them will be suitable to lace to the elbow cops. 

Below are the shin pads.  If I had gone sixteen gauge for all of it, they would have weighed him down  something awful!  So I replaced part of the lower leg with leather.  Again with the Roman lions.  Would have been a site easier to make articulated knees...these only "look" easy!  Oh, and I made them from that pretty hot rolled steel.  If you look at them closely, you can see that I modeled the shin bone and the flares for the calf muscle.  

The third from the bottom picture is the inspiration for Lou's armour.  He called me up way back in February, and told me he wanted a Byzantine armour.  For SCA fighting.  "But Lou", I said, "Byzantine armour is not suitable for SCA combat...it is all open faces and scale and stuff which is good for bladed weapons, but not so good for SCA beatin' sticks!  Even the materials...they used light gauge brass and bronze, the SCA requires heavy sixteen gauge metal.  They didn't have gorgets and kidney belts and stuff. 
 Like a fool, I agreed that there might well be ways to make an SCA armour which will pass for Byzantine armour at first blush.  Almost every thing had to be invented from the ground up...this is not a normal armour!  The fact that there is no articulation on the joints is a serious problem.  There are no knee cops at all, just someting resembling shin pads.    The deep dishes take an inordinate amount of time.  I am not sure if they are SCA legal yet...they might need some flanges still, see if I can protect the sides of the knees.  
  These pieces are almost all the third incarnation, sometimes the fourth, since it takes a couple of tries to get them right. For every piece you see up here, there are two in the scrap pile!   The result by now is not too bad, and not so bad price wise.   Because Lou allowed me to take my time, they got done right. 

Now to see about how to get all those scales made into something which will meet SCA regulations.  Then it'll be done.


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