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Deshler Davies




Location: Virginia
Joined: 05 Oct 2009

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: "Can a Knight touch his toes?" -The pros and cons         Reply with quote

First the subject at hand
Can a knight in full plate armor actually bend all the way over and touch his toes or does the armor impair his movement beyond that point
now to the grey area.
I am deciding on a new suit
However all the research i have provides materials, construction, and time periods.
No one ever gets down to the nitty gritty of it all.
Such as
why would you take
Anima
Plate
Scale mail
Brigadine
Leather
Lorica segmentata
and all the others

So my line in this is
I am looking for a suit that would at least let me touch my toes, but could take a blow from a war hammer.
there are many forms of armor i am sure, and i am interested in everyones opinion about what makes a certain type of armor awesome.

I so far have been leaning towards Anima for protection but i haven't worn everything. So how would i know the ins and outs of the different types of armor and their benefits. Simple my friends i ask all of you ^_^
what makes a suit of armor great?


Last edited by Deshler Davies on Sun 11 Oct, 2009 6:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup. I can touch my toes (well, almost, I'm usually not stretched out that well these days) in my German peascod with an articulated belly. It's tough to see the articulated belly in most pictures of armor, but it was done. The articulated belly seems to be rarely reproduced.

Cheers!
Matt
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's possible if the armour is well fitted and pointed and strapped on properly: If parts are a bit loose they might end up sliding down in awkward ways. Wink Laughing Out Loud

As to being able to take a blow from a war hammer it depends: Is it a solid hit or a glancing hit ? If it's a real war hammer you are taking about and not a simulator remember that war hammers where designed specifically to harm someone in armour by seriously denting it or at least transmit the energy through the plate and doing serious damage even if the plate looks undamaged or just slightly dented.


The bigger war hammers, Poleaxes and Bec de Corbin are devastatingly effective against armour and even more so when the user is trained in it's use.
Wink

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If itīs a real warhammer and your talking about solid hits, then I donīt think any armor will do you much good. If itīs a simulated warhammer, I find that leather lamelar generally works best.

As for reduced mobility, when I use to fight in full plate in the SCA, I could do my hap ki do rolls just fine with the armor on. So if itīs fitted properly to you, I wouldnīt worry too much about reduced mobility.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
If itīs a real warhammer and your talking about solid hits, then I donīt think any armor will do you much good. If itīs a simulated warhammer, I find that leather lamelar generally works best.

As for reduced mobility, when I use to fight in full plate in the SCA, I could do my hap ki do rolls just fine with the armor on. So if itīs fitted properly to you, I wouldnīt worry too much about reduced mobility.


Worry more about heat and dehydration, weight is next, mobility is fine if well fitted.

Heat and humidity: In a humid climate it's a lot worse from what I've read, at least in a dry climate your under armour gambison may get soaked in sweat but it will actually cool you down, in high humidity the heat just stays with you and heat stroke should be a concern especially if you haven't acclimatized to a hot climate.

Again, as I said before and P. Cha has mentioned a real war hammer is made to kill anyone in even the best armour that's why they where invented. Wink ( If a simulated hammer weighs as much as a real one it still has the mass to be dangerous if not used with reasonable control, the only difference is the real hammer has a harder surface and pointy bits ! ).

Play safe. Wink Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 1:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can bend, squat, sit, touch toes, twist, and raise my arms over my head. It will ultimately depend on what type of harness you end up getting, as some may hamper your finer movements more than others - but you should be able to have good range of motion in anything you have made. It should fit like a second skin on you. Happy

I'll second the comments on heat / dehydration. Those are probably your number one worry because they can kill you in even today's enviornment.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Deshler Davies




Location: Virginia
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i thought for sure the breast plate would ram into your stomach while bending.
Anyone want to explain why that doesn't happen?
second
change warhammer to sword
i was tired last night when i wrote that and armor was most effective against swords and such
then onto the next question
where do theses armors excel?
all of them.
For starters i know that plate is probably the most useful against swords and light arrows at the cost of weight and agility in some cases
Anima seems like some of the best armor in the world and i am extremely curious about it
heres what i gathered about it
"This style of armor is called an anima (Italian) or spangenharness (German). It consists of a series of lames, or of an upper plate and a set of lames, which are attached to leather straps. This is an efficient combination that allows for a high degree of protectiveness without forfeiting flexibility. Yes, I can touch my toes in armor, or do side bends."

http://swordmaiden.com/wp-content/uploads/eichlinganima.jpg

then there is scale male which has got to have some pros and cons
basically i am looking for the pros and cons in all armor including plate.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think y'all may be overstating the effectiveness of hammers against plate armor. While a couple of accounts claim a single blow to the head could incapacitate or kill, both records of armored pollaxe duels and manuals suggest armor granted considerable protection.
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Deshler Davies wrote:
i thought for sure the breast plate would ram into your stomach while bending.
Anyone want to explain why that doesn't happen?
.


Because, as the term says, it is a BREAST plate, not a BELLY plate Wink

The breast plate is supposed to end above the navel, so sit down and figure out yourself how that would impede your range of motion.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
I think y'all may be overstating the effectiveness of hammers against plate armor. While a couple of accounts claim a single blow to the head could incapacitate or kill, both records of armored pollaxe duels and manuals suggest armor granted considerable protection.


Umm saying warhammers aren't effective against plate and then giving the example of a poleaxe doesn't quite work.... In anycase, I have tested out some warhammers and flanged maces on steel plate covered tatami with wooden cores and both those weapon had a habit of breaking the wooden core, rather violently, through the steel and tatami. While this isn't a perfect test, it leads me to believe that a good solid blow from either of those weapon will result in broken bones at the very least through plate...along with massive soft tissue damage and internal bleeding most likely.

Jean is VERY correct about the heat and humidty though. The main reason I got rid of the plate was because every war I went to, I kept nearly passing our from the heat and I was SOOOO tired from the strain of the heat and humity that I didn't feel good for about 2 days after an event. I was fine at fighter practice at night though.
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know about in armour but I noticed that if I exerted myself in hot humid climate (which I lived in for most of my childhood and early teens) that I was fine if I kept going but if I stopped then my body caught up with me and I really felt the heat and the exhaustion like Jean said it's darn near impossible to sweat.

What's really scary is when you feel ice cold . . . in a 119 degree weather with 100 percent humidity Eek!

One thing I'd advise is to drink a ton of emer-gen-C
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
... In anycase, I have tested out some warhammers and flanged maces on steel plate covered tatami with wooden cores and both those weapon had a habit of breaking the wooden core, rather violently, through the steel and tatami. While this isn't a perfect test, it leads me to believe that a good solid blow from either of those weapon will result in broken bones at the very least through plate...along with massive soft tissue damage and internal bleeding most likely.


Hmm, I have to agree that this sounds a little overstated. Certainly a mace or hammer would be MORE effective against plate than many other weapons, but if such a weapon were able to do that much damage on a regular basis, wouldn't the use of armor have dropped sharply? Probably the best conclusion is that wearing the armor while being hit by a war hammer is still a lot better than NOT wearing the armor!

While I realize that your target is traditional for cutting tests, most likely the wooden core was not nearly as strong as living bone. Nor does the target move and react to a blow as a human limb would in combat. So a conclusion of "OUCH" is certainly valid, but be careful about drawing too many anatomical parallels.

Vale,

Matthew
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep in mind that the wearer would also have a plackart, good mail (preferably doubled I would think) and several thick layers of padding and leather under the armour and I would think over as well and the cuirass would also having reinforcements and would on a 5-10-6+ 180 pound man who has a shield and is moving and fighting back
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:
Keep in mind that the wearer would also have a plackart, good mail (preferably doubled I would think) and several thick layers of padding and leather under the armour and I would think over as well and the cuirass would also having reinforcements and would on a 5-10-6+ 180 pound man who has a shield and is moving and fighting back


That depends on what kind of armour we are talking about. Full harness would more likely only have mail sleeves to go with it rather than a full shirt, and a thinner arming coat instead of the thick padding usually worn with mail. Leather? Probably not, perhaps except a thin layer as lining on some armour parts.

Johan Schubert Moen
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew, keep in mind that this is for ideal hits. Ones that are hit square and solid...hit that in combat is not likely to happen. When we messed up and the hit wasn't square, the plate armor kept the wooden core from breaking. Yes I realize that the medium isn't perfect...but it isn't as far off as you think.

Ben, there was chain (butted) under the mail...no padding but a sinle mat is more padding then say your forearm or ribs would have with padding and flesh. Once again, not a perfect test...so take that with a grain of salt...in anycase, wearing any armor and using real warhammer against said armor while wearing is what I would consider foolhardily dangerous no matter what the armor is.
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Zac Evans




Location: London
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To the original poster:

Why is it so important that you be able to touch your toes? No fighting style I know of has such a stance contained within it, and actually, if you were wearing period correct harness for plate armour you would break the points holding your hose up before you were stopped by the armour. A more pertinent consideration would be how long can I fight in it, how easily can I move in it, and how much protection will it give me. Touching your toes is as legitimate a test of armour as being able to do the splits, or tightrope walking. You need to be able to move well enough to do what you have to, which is fight. A well made harness of any type will allow this. They wouldn't have been developed otherwise. The most advanced harness is probably the anime cuirasses you are interested in, but be aware that they often came with parts of exchange for different jobs, so while the anima harness gives greater maneuverability they often had plackarts attached when the fighting got fierce, or for jousts etc.

Zac
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Andrew Maxwell




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Umm saying warhammers aren't effective against plate and then giving the example of a poleaxe doesn't quite work....


Hi there,

I would respectfully suggest that pollaxes are more relevent than you think. A pollaxe commonly consisted of a hammer head (mail) and back spike (bec de faucon) on a long haft. The common conception of a warhammer is essentially the same thing but with a shorter haft. However, AFAIK the surviving warhammers with short hafts are all eiher broken or the haft has been replaced. So it would seem likely that a pollaxe is a warhammer... Confused

If anyone has a reference to a short-hafted warhammer being used in period I would be greatly interested. In any case, though, the pollaxe should be a reasonable point of reference; if anything it should be more destructive than a shorter-hafted warhammer given the extra leverage.

regards,
Andy
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't think of any example of blows from a hammer or similar weapon to anything other than the head hurting a man in plate. I can't think of any blows in pollaxe manuals directed against anything other than the head. While I wouldn't want to be hit with warhammer under any circumstances, I doubt blows to the body or limbs typically amounted to much.

As for shorter hammers, it's my understanding that cavalry used such weapons in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. According to Sydney Anglo, the Italian writer Massario discussed cavalry hammers and axes in the early seventeenth century. He apparently wrote that the spikes on both were effective against armor but these weapons saw more used in personal combat than in the field because of the difficulty of making blows and recovering after an attack. This comes from Anglo; I'd like to see a word-for-word translation of Massario.
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Alex Spreier




Location: Central Oregon
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
I can't think of any blows in pollaxe manuals directed against anything other than the head. While I wouldn't want to be hit with warhammer under any circumstances, I doubt blows to the body or limbs typically amounted to much.


Fiore specifically states, when striking from the Posta di Donna, to target the head, then the arms and hands if a blow to the head is not available. While this might not be a fight ender, it would certainly hurt and would absolutely create an opening, if not cause them to drop their axe. I don't believe that the men that wrote these manuals would include less-than-optimal techniques, i.e. if they knew that a blow to the limbs/body with the axe would not amount to much, they wouldn't include it.

As to the one-hand warhammer vs poleaxe - IMHO the poleaxe would deal more damage because of increased mass and leverage. However remember that the majority of one-hand hammers/axes were used on horseback - meaning it's not just the mass of the weapon + your arm's acceleration but also the horse's acceleration and mass = hitting like a ton of bricks!

Anyways, just my 2 cents.[/b]

Compagno, Northwest Fencing Academy

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Andrew Maxwell




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Spreier wrote:
As to the one-hand warhammer vs poleaxe - IMHO the poleaxe would deal more damage because of increased mass and leverage. However remember that the majority of one-hand hammers/axes were used on horseback - meaning it's not just the mass of the weapon + your arm's acceleration but also the horse's acceleration and mass = hitting like a ton of bricks!


That seems reasonable. OTOH, how many people are going to have the money, opportunity or skill to test a warhammer from horseback against armour (maybe Julia Thut might have??)
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