Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Some call these Paulderons.  Interestingly enough, I cannot seem to find a dictionary reference older than about ten years for the word "paulderon", so even though I think these tend to more "pauldron" than "spaudler", I will stick with the word which decribes the shoulder...the "spaude". 
This is the spaudler from the Imperial Museum in Malta, inside views.  Look how narrow they are in the picture below!  

And of course, they look very fancy with their outside edge roping and machine made fluting!

Below is the spaudler I came up with based on measured drawings I made on the ones above.  Very plain, very simple.  They are not designed to be the last word...far from it!  They are designed to prove the design.  These are the first of this design I have ever made.  As far as "proving the design, I am content with it.  There are a lot of details I need to correct in the templates.  

The shoulder dents need to be guided a little closer to the opening.  These shoulder dents are what normally make a piece of armour a "paulderon".  But then I have covered that ridiculous squabble elsewhere. 

and of course I will have to work on my outside rolled edges.  I HATE outside rolled edges...because this one was a sort of prototype, I didn't bother to roll the outside edges.  

 Above you can see the sliding rivets on the rerebrace lames.  I made the sliding barrels too, but got distracted, and have not mounted them on yet.  If I do barrels more often in the future, I have GOT to get a rolling jenny!  Next post, I'll show my sliding barrels.  They are not pretty, but they DO work.  Much to my surprise I might add!

All in all, as far as prototypes go, I am reasonably happy with this experiment.
All of this naturally goes neatly with my post from last year about these spadlers...

Oh, and why do I call them spaudlers instead of spaulders?

(actually, I think they are both right, or both equally wrong...English is SUCH a mutt of a language.  I rather like "spawde"...a shoulder in the same reference of obsolete English usage above.  (page 780) The Dungeons and Dragons crowd have made "spaulder" popular, but they apply it to polderons.  I think I should just call these "shoulders!" and be done with it!)

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vienna Armour Museum...a Saddle

 The beautiful saddle above is made of wood, covered with panels of ivory and painted with lapis lazuli paint.  The white looks very pretty against the dark lapis background.  Click on the images to enlarge them.  
      It doesn't look like the world's most comfortable saddle, but it is good enough for a short tour through the town I suppose. Below I have done some closeups of that magnificent saddle.  One could spend an hour just drooling over this one item!  But there are so many more, that all I could do was make a really good picture and analyze it later. 

Below is a closeup of the left side of the saddle horn.  The lizard like shape wrapping around the top is the body and tail of a dragon...whose head is found curling down to the right.  There is another on the right side of the saddle horn.  There is something written on a panel tucked underneath, but between the glass flare and the odd angle, I didn't get it.  To be honest, I had no idea it was there until now!  The Hapsburg shield is on a heavenly wheel...a cheeky reference to the importance of the Emperor!

And St. George with his Dragon.  

And the heavenly hosts down below.  These may be maidens being kept by the dragon for later, but just as easily, they are angels.

Even the bottom plaques are heavily carved...this cherub is tucked into the clouds down at the lower left of the composition.  

A damsel with a head on a stick, hercules with his club, and a couple of grotesques. 

Adam and Eve, and a rampant lion.  

The right hand side of the saddle....showing a little of the wear. 

 Above are the large plaques at the back.  No doubt they are biblical figures....I suspect Christ preaching to St. Jerome, but your guess is as good as mine.

Four figures dancing...a man dancing with a raven, and a woman dancing with a long eared animal with human feet.  The motif is continued the next panel down.  Interesting monsters!

 I am fairly certain we are looking at Hercules with his club...but perhaps we are seeing Sampson pulling down the temple.  Hercules is more likely, except for the lack of the lion headed cape.

Below is a tiger, grooming its cubs, and to the right, a pelican in its piety....hard to see, but the pelican is biting its breast to supply blood for the hungry chicks.  This is a common motif, or I would never have known what it was. 

 And a very fierce dragon up above.  Again, the lettering, and again, I failed to get a good shot at it.

Below, are two very nice and well dressed annunciation angels.  (The sroll in the hand of the top angel is a dead giveaway

And finally, below are an eagle and a unicorn.
I hope you enjoyed the closeup study of these as much as I did.  Again, if you click on them, you go to the gallery, and you can get right back here by clicking "off" the gallery, that is, by clicking elswhere than on the gallery itself.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Article in the Ottawa Sun

By ,Ottawa Sun
First posted: | Updated:

The Fourth Doctor, easily identifiable by his absurdly-long multi-coloured scarf, waited patiently in line for food ahead of a suspiciously feminine Robin, while the Mad Hatter dabbed relish on his hotdog in the company of a sexy White Rabbit and something purple with a tail.
Ottawa Comiccon burst into its second day on Saturday, packing the Ernst & Young Centre with a crush of colourful characters dressed to impress.
Some were out-of-the-box pre-fabricated costumes, others lovingly crafted.
But by far the best were beaten into being by blacksmith Bill Fedun, a brawny Metcalfe armourer busy strapping sexy dames into burnished steel suits.
“Can you believe it?” he grins through his white beard.
He and his South Tower Armouring Guild have been making custom battle armour for 22 years, and he teaches sword fighting at Algonquin College.
A woman peeps out from the neck piece of one of his creations; Fedun reaches out a hand to retract a piece of metal obscuring her face.
“We wouldn’t want to hide her,” he said.
She’s wearing what he calls “parade armour” — a comparatively light casing of steel “designed to shed arrows.”
“It’s a little light to be used for real combat,” he said.
It’s 18-gauge armour, or about 1/18th of an inch thick.
The more heavy-duty stuff is 16 gauge; a full suit weighs about 110 pounds.
But it’s fantastically mobile, with interlocking plates providing flexibility around the shoulders and elbows.
Fedun, a charmer, pauses to kiss the hand of a young woman asking about chainmail then starts to explain how he crafts a suit of armour.
It takes about 30 days, he says, and it all begins with a sheet of mild steel.
He cuts the shapes he needs based on an ever-evolving set of templates then he takes to a dishing stump — essentially a tree stump with a bowl-like depression — and gets to work.
Hundreds of hammer blows at long last give beautiful contours to what had been just a sheet of metal, and some time on an English wheel — “an iron for metal,” he says — smooths out the surfaces.
Fedun convinces the mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper to try on a chain mail shirt.
It sits heavily on the shoulders, but offers total freedom of movement — certainly more than enough to take notes with.
And they say the pen is mightier than the sword.
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