Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reginald's suit

Here is Reginald's suit. It has very clean lines, and the pecs are sculpted in. Well made from sixteen gauge cold rolled steel.
You can see the thousands of hammer marks which remain even after the irons have rolled them out. The marks by this point don't exist as "marks" but rather variations in surface texture. If I was to paint it at this point you would not be able to see a single hammer mark.

As you can see, Reginald is a very fit and solid individual...he has a barrel chest and a reasonably slim waist. The chest is easily pulled out or pushed in as required if Reginald desires to wear padding underneath the armour or not.

The back is pretty. See how I shoved it up a bit...there is plenty of room for mobility.

Nothing fancy, just simple curves. But it IS made from 16 gauge steel.
From here, things are going to get a little more interesting since Reginald is actually not getting me to make medieval armour at all, but rather an interesting personal design.

More as I make it....

ip-location map zoom

Algonquin Grads, 2010 Basic course

ip-location map zoom

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Pure iron is barely harder and stronger than copper. Impurities are to iron, what paint is to an artist's canvas.

Red Ochre is Iron

The problem with iron at this level of purity is that it is too soft and too ductile for most commercial uses.

This means that the iron products that we know and recognize are relatively and deliberately impure.

Iron also has three allotropes or crystal forms, delta iron (body centered cubic) gamma (face centered cubic) and alpha, body centered cubic. I was originally taught* that delta and alpha iron were the same allotrope, a distinction that now appears to be a charming sign of old age… and the addition of impurities (alloying elements) have different solubilities based on these forms.

It is the addition of carbon and other elemental impurities which alter these allotropic forms that gives commercial iron and steel products their diverse properties.

When we look on the material certs that accompany our steel products , the first element that is reported is carbon. Carbon is ubiquitous, and has the dominant effect on the behavior of the iron based product to which it is part, even in the presence of large amounts of alloying elements.

What is implied by the certs is that after adding up all of the elements reported, the balance of the material is "iron."

In 2009 world Iron and steel production was estimated to be 1,219.7 million metric tonnes.

Physics trivia: Iron is the heaviest atom that can be made by the fusion of stars. Iron is is the 'ash' of stellar nuclear fusion. Iron is abundant- the fifth most abundant element on earth, and sixth most abundant in the universe. Our blood is red because of iron, and since iron is an essential part of our bodies, we can truly claim that we are "Stardust."

The preceeding is written by Miles Free on the Engineer's Blog. More on this topic here...

ip-location map zoom

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fight Books

(click on the above images to enlarge.)

When you get two or three sword trainers together, you get disputes and opinions. The task of a historian is to cut through the opinions, and determine the underlying truth in order to form your own (no doubt disputable) opinion. In the case of sword fighters, the opinions usually come down to "which school or style is better". Mr. George Silver, a sword fighter who bitterly opposed the "new fangled Italian style" wrote two books. The first was an off-putting non-stop diatribe against the Italians, the second is much harder to find but is more useful in that he discusses the "Englyshe Style of Broad Swerd" with great thoroughness and depth, a worthy sucessor the Marxbuder German style popularized by Talhoffer and Meyer. DeGrassi discusses the introduction of rapiers and the desire to not lug a shield around all over the place. Savolio is often considered the genius behind the creation of a foil and Achille Morozzo is considered the first codifier of cuts, guards, wards and parries.

The book by Egerton Castle referred to above is a wonderful compilation of these opposing viewpoints! Mr. Castle created a history of the art of sword fighting and has strenuously declined to determine "which is better". He and I agree that a fighter who is poorly trained in a superior style will lose against a fighter who is properly trained in an inferior style. Rather like the question "what sword is best in a fight", the answer of course is "the one you brought with you, not the one you left at home in the closet", the question of which style or school is "better" can be answered simply by observing which school trains their students daily, which school is more intuitive, which school is more capable of training folks who really have no knack for sports, and which school teaches techniques which can be transfered to other weapons easily. And perhaps, in this modern age, which school can stay interesting enough so that even the most jaded belt hunters will come back to it again and again.

Take a week of evenings, and read Castle's dissertation. I will guarantee that you will be the better for it.

ip-location map zoom

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scale Tunica

The light from the flash can pick up the plastic scales, but in normal day to day light, you can't tell the difference.
There is a plastic row of scales forming a kidney belt, and hard scales covering his spine and menubrium. The rest is nice soft leather scales.

Click on these to see them full size. These pictures were painted by an artist in the fourth century on the walls of a small church on the slopes of Mount Olympus. (that would be central-west in the long skinny island that is the birthplace of Aphrodite...among others. Including my personal goddess...Nemesis.) (Google it Dude!)

I figure that the artist was actually painting from life. The Tunic was short for a horseman, when I made my interpretation for Lou, I made the tunic longer.

ip-location map zoom