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Dustin Keith




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: My first kit         Reply with quote

Hey everyone. I'm pretty new to the site, but really glad that I have stumbled across it, and the wealth of knowledge that you all bring to the table. I have loved medieval armour, and warfare since I was 12, and now at the age of 28 I am putting together my first kit. I am going for a late 14th Century knight look. It all started with my wife getting me an Indian copy of a great helm off of ebay..... you know THE HELMET?!? huge eye slits, cheap brass reenforcements, and a fit so tight that it will break your nose Worried Anyways I thought I would like to continue the project and bought a chain mail halulberk off of ebay to go with it. I then cut out a piece of broad cloth for a tunic, and BINGO!! authentic 14th Century Knight right?? Not exactly. I have learned a lot in the past couple of months, for instance if you buy chain mail off of ebay for $95.00, you will soon find little links all over the house. This cheap excuse for armor cant even withstand its own weight, let alone stop a sword slash. Well the most productive thing that has happened thus far is that during a visit to the Carolinas Ren Fair, I met an armourer there by the name of Nute Scott. (www.armourgnomes.com) I knew that I wanted to go in the direction of transitional armour with my kit, and he helped me with my first two pieces of plate. Grieves, and gated vambraces. I was more than happy with those, and he is now working on a Churburg 13 cuirass for me. I am not nearly as much as a purist as many on this site. For instance my armour is stainless, for ease of maintenance, and even though as I understand surcoats were falling out of style by my time period, I still have one that I really like. I also have chausses that I intend to keep using with the kit, I just love chain mail! I am going for a Churburg look, but with a Pembridge Great Helm. I want a mixture of history, idealism, and "poor knight" (if there ever was such a thing!) and would appreciate any lessons that you all may have learned over the years, especially when it comes to DETAILS that make the difference between a good kit, and a great one. I want the overall look to tell a story. Maybe Im expecting more out of steel and cotton than it can provide, but so far this adventure has been fun and has really gotten into my blood. Thanks a lot, and I intend to post some pictures after I get back into town after Christmas.
Those who have the ability to help, have a responsibility to do so.
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Zac Evans




Location: London
Joined: 26 Dec 2006

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its pretty difficult to give much constructive help without pictures of your kit, but what I can do is show you some inspirational kit:

http://www.man.poznan.pl/~ritter/Wieruszyce2006/index.html

http://wolna.kompania.freshsite.pl/

These guys so totally look the business and when I get around to making my 14th century kit, I will be shamelessly ripping of items of their kit.

It seems that you've got a pretty good idea of what you want already, but its hard to picture it in my mind. When you put up some pictures I'll try and give some more topical help.

Good luck!
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Dustin Keith




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, thanks a lot Zac. Those pics are awesome, and you are definately right that they have gone all out. I love the attention to detail that they have, and I haven't been able to find a better group of pics anywhere on the web, so truely thanks. There are a lot of great ideas there. I should be able to post some pictures on the 26th, but they will not include my cuirass yet though. one problem I'm having is finding a good reproduction of the Pembridge helm in stainless. any suggestions? Take care.
Those who have the ability to help, have a responsibility to do so.
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 11 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 425

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dustin.

I like these repro.s I don't have one, but the makers have excellent reputations, and they certainly look to be based on those found from the period.

http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=64

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/armor007.html

PS
This isn't in stainless, though. Sorry I missed that.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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W. R. Reynolds




Location: Ramona, CA
Joined: 07 Dec 2004

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin,

Try this book, " The Peel Affinity" for inspiration. The re-enactment company that put it out is one of the best for their era. I personally do not have the book as my interest is 100 years later, c. 1470 so I cannot tell you if they have any resource info in it.

http://www.peelaffinity.com/

and here is their website

http://www.labelle.org//

I do know a few of these people having met them at WMA seminars and they are spot on in their interpretation. If you are going for the historical look you can't get much better.

If you ARE going for the historical look, start from the skin out. The following is from bits and pieces of posts I have made in the past on helping folks select armor. PM me if you have specific questions.

Some things to think about.

Good kit takes a long time to acquire even if you have a lot of money, which I didnít. The rig in my post took me six years or so to obtain, a piece at a time to replace my old stuff some of which had it's origins in the SCA and some of which I made myself and there are still some tweaks to be made. When my interest turned to Living History and quality armour I realized that it would be a long term goal and I would have to purchase from a reputable armorer. Not too many seem to deal with the 15th century, they all seem to be enamored of the 14th c. or earlier.

Good kit starts from the skin out. Armour as it was worn in the middle ages will not fit over modern clothes and for it to fit and look the way it was meant to, one has to bite the bullet and wear hosen, proper turn shoes (ankle boots) with a good thick clump sole and have a good arming doublet. If you are going to wear voiders order those and sew them on the doublet and provide for attachment of a mail standard, and skirt if you are going to wear that also. THEN with all of this on, get measured for your armour. This is critical for the armour will not fit properly otherwise.

Selecting good armour isn't always the easiest thing to do. The first thing to keep in mind is what you will be using it for and what period you want to portray. If you are just looking for protection of some sort for WMA just about anything that articulates well and looks like armour will be fine. If you are going for more of a historical look and leaning towards LH you will have to be more critical.

Since LH is my area of interest I will attempt to give a few pointers to that direction. The first thing you do is look at and photo copy as many photos (not artist rendered line drawings) of historical armors that you can find that interest you if you don't have your own personal library. Study the pictures and pay particular attention to fit, to include the way the pieces fit together (not just body fit), form and function. Then with photos in hand peruse the different armour manufacture web pages that are out there and compare real life to interpretation.

Things that you will find wrong with reproduction armour are, but not limited to, helmets with the bowl too elongated front to back or top to bottom or flat on the sides, visors that just don't look right, occularia (eye slots) that are too big, lames that are too large (usually at the knees and elbows), lames with big gaps, breast plates that are too flat, breast plates that are too long (the solid part should end at your navel otherwise you won't be able to bend at the waist, this is a good one to have custom made if you can afford it), greaves that look like rain gutters instead of shaped to the calf, vambraces and cuisses that look the same as the greaves (if you look at period armour it follows the shape of the body so unless your legs and forearms are shaped like pieces of pipe there should be some curvature in those pieces), fluting that was done with a bead roller (you can tell this by the rounded and sometimes deep profile of the fluting, it should have a sharper appearance more like a crease). This is by no means all that I've seen but these are the biggies and you can drive detail down to the shape of the buckles and rivets and tanning method used on the leathers.

If all this sounds expensive, it can be depending on your desire for detail. Do not however give up as there are reasonably priced armors out there that look good and can serve well for LH. Some of the ones coming out of the Czech Republic are pretty good but you have to do your research and be selective.

Armorers can be reputable and well liked, but can they really deliver what you are looking for? Look carefully at what they offer versus what you want. It just might be worth it to spend a little more (not something anyone wants to hear) and get a quality piece.

Research, research research!

Bill

"No matter who wins the rat race.......they are still a rat."
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Dustin Keith




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 09 Dec 2008

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R D Moore wrote:
Hi Dustin.

I like these repro.s I don't have one, but the makers have excellent reputations, and they certainly look to be based on those found from the period.

http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=64

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/armor007.html

PS
This isn't in stainless, though. Sorry I missed that.


Yeah, I especially like the Pembridge that A&A puts out..... like you said, not stainless though. Thanks a lot for the ideas.

Those who have the ability to help, have a responsibility to do so.
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