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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Holding up my leg armour Reply to topic
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Kyle Kurth





Joined: 07 Jan 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Holding up my leg armour         Reply with quote

I was wondering if there were any ideas on how to hold up my new leg armour?

http://www.wholesalearmor.com/002legs.html

is what I bought and it has buckles at the top, should I just get a belt and add leather to the bottom of the belt to hold them up or is there something better?


Thank you in advance for the help, I am new to all this.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think leg harness typically would have been supported by points (ties) on the arming doublet. I'll bow to the armour folks here, though. I'm relatively new to that line of study.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Sean said. For most 14th century types of harnesses, a vest-like garment called a pourpoint was worn, which allowed the weight of the legs to be spread over your hips, back and shoulders rather than only on your hips, such as this one:

http://www.revivalclothing.com/index.asp?Page...;ProdID=39

For later period harnesses, it is more typical to wear an arming doublet, which accomplishes the same thing, but is designed to accomodate other pieces of the armor, such as this:

http://www.revivalclothing.com/index.asp?Page...ProdID=221

The above link also has a brief overview of how to put on a full harness if you scan down.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
For most 14th century types of harnesses, a vest-like garment called a pourpoint was worn, which allowed the weight of the legs to be spread over your hips, back and shoulders rather than only on your hips, such as this one:


It was brought to my attention that pourpoints were likely later than I'd realized, being more of a 15th century garment.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you plan on fighting in the armor, then I would say just attach it to a weight belt. The weight belt doubles as extra kidney protection so unless you want historical accuracy it is a good method.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
If you plan on fighting in the armor, then I would say just attach it to a weight belt. The weight belt doubles as extra kidney protection so unless you want historical accuracy it is a good method.


While this will work well enough (and is cheaper), using a proper fitting arming doublet in comparison is like night and day. I used to get by with the belt method, but now that I have an arming cotte, I can never go back. It distributes the weight in a way that a belt simply can't do, making the armour feel lighter, and is so much more comfortable.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Wed 07 Jan, 2009 11:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
P. Cha wrote:
If you plan on fighting in the armor, then I would say just attach it to a weight belt. The weight belt doubles as extra kidney protection so unless you want historical accuracy it is a good method.


While this will work well enough (and is cheaper), using a proper fitting arming doublet in comparison is like night and day. I used to get by with the belt method, but now that I have an arming cotte, I can never go back. It distributes the weight in a way that a belt simply can't do, making the armour feel lighter, and is so much more comfortable.


Very true. My legs never felt right hanging off a belt. Since the armor is marketed for SCA however, the weight belt kills two birds with one stone. You need kidney protection for the SCA after all. And considering the price range...I think price may also be an issue as well. But a proper arming coat makes the world of difference for armor in general. Makes the breastplate more comfortable, can use it as a harness point for arm armor and is a bit of extra protection to boot. If you can afford to, it's definately worth it to go that route Happy .
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jan, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill - you'll probably find that the vest-like garment is actually very much speculative and relatively ill supported (though in combination with a gambeson, it makes a very comfortable and adaptable suspension system). Most believe the under-armour garments in the late 14th and into the late 15th C were basically hose and a stout doublet or something more like a gambeson depending on the period (generally earlier).

I use a gambeson which has been custom made to suspend both my hose and leg harness. SCA rules aside, it works incredibly well. The trouble is that it has to fit very closely, something that is hard to do without getting the garment customized in some way. Basically, through the mid-section it is very snug, loosening a bit below the hips. Above the mid section can be a bit looser, though the arms are usually snug to support the arm harness.

BTW- there are other, more historical, ways around the hard kidney protection depending on your period - the Armour Archive would be a good place to check for historical and SCA compliant armour ideas.

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan, 2009 1:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hehe well yes...but the historical ways generally cost a lot of money. A weight belt is 20 bucks. There is a reason why so many SCA people use the weight belt. It works (well kinda...but enough for what we do in the SCA) and is cheap. The arming vests while it costs more does make for a good system to accomidate armor. A customized gambeson is bloody expensive. And this is for a set of rather cheap munition legs...

I can see the vest...a customized gambeson...I'm seeing this is as much less of an option for your average SCA person using munition armor.

As for historic kidney protection...well by SCA rules, a lot of armor that cover that area is adequate. However some fighters who do that end up urinating blood the next day sometimes and a weight belt pretty much elimates that level of damage to your kindney (rememer the SCA uses wraps...and a lot of times, they land on your kidney)...and historical or not, why would you NOT wear one under everything for that added safe guard? I mean it can just serve as a 20 dollar don't wanna piss blood armor piece...kinda like the I don't wanna sing falsetto 10 dollar piece of plastic you wear in your pants that is also not very historical Happy .
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Bill Sahigan





Joined: 06 Jun 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

uhh.. why would you need kidney protection if you are wearing 15th century harness?
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You also might consider incorporating a set of military style suspenders with any weight belt, or use the military belt. Such as these:

http://www.galaxyarmynavy.com/products.asp?cat=194

I use to have a set of munition grade generic 3/4 plate in 16g mild, and that was how I held up my legs. Very comfortable, and distributes the weight better than just a weight belt.
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
Joined: 25 Jun 2007

Posts: 156

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Hehe well yes...but the historical ways generally cost a lot of money. A weight belt is 20 bucks. There is a reason why so many SCA people use the weight belt. It works (well kinda...but enough for what we do in the SCA) and is cheap. The arming vests while it costs more does make for a good system to accomidate armor. A customized gambeson is bloody expensive. And this is for a set of rather cheap munition legs...

I can see the vest...a customized gambeson...I'm seeing this is as much less of an option for your average SCA person using munition armor.

As for historic kidney protection...well by SCA rules, a lot of armor that cover that area is adequate. However some fighters who do that end up urinating blood the next day sometimes and a weight belt pretty much elimates that level of damage to your kindney (rememer the SCA uses wraps...and a lot of times, they land on your kidney)...and historical or not, why would you NOT wear one under everything for that added safe guard? I mean it can just serve as a 20 dollar don't wanna piss blood armor piece...kinda like the I don't wanna sing falsetto 10 dollar piece of plastic you wear in your pants that is also not very historical Happy .



you asked for ideas. I gave some. if you to want use the weight belt - go for it...

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
-- Enrico Fermi
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