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Mark Wilkie





Joined: 19 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 3:42 am    Post subject: Fighting with a Pig face         Reply with quote

Hi all

I just recently purchased a pig faced bascinet, i have not had the chance to fight in it yet, but i was wondering what techniques you may have used to get used to fighting in this style of helm. also what you may think are the best tactics while useing this helm in combat on foot.

I love these helms but the vison can be an issue, so let me know what you think is the best way to get used to fighting in a pig face.
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First of all, check if the visor can be removed. Without it, the protection decreases, but the vision, breathing and shouting capability increases notably...I can't give any other advice, sorry.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Fighting with a Pig face         Reply with quote

Mark Wilkie wrote:
Hi all

I just recently purchased a pig faced bascinet, i have not had the chance to fight in it yet, but i was wondering what techniques you may have used to get used to fighting in this style of helm. also what you may think are the best tactics while useing this helm in combat on foot.

I love these helms but the vison can be an issue, so let me know what you think is the best way to get used to fighting in a pig face.


On foot, in period you would have fought with the faceplate open because you can't see squat. Today, for safety sake you will have to fight with the faceplate closed of course. With time you will be able to anticipate what a persons legs are doing based on the position of their shoulders and head (which is all you will see). A really good fighter will intentionally mislead you knowing your handicap. For this reason many people just use a fencing mask. The other option is to have an armorer make you a faceplate out of perforated steel that will swap in and out of your current helm. I have seen a lot of people do it. I have also seen some helmets sold new with duel faceplates to satisfy a situation just like yours.

If you decide to have a second face plate made for your helm you will need to send in your helm because the plate needs to be custom fit. The perforated steel for the faceplate should be the same gage as your helm with a hundred or so small holes punched into it. Almost all SCA armorers who make helms will be able to accommodate you. It should cost about $100 plus shipping back and forth.

The cheaper option is to get a small hard drillbit and start drilling out breathing holes into the faceplate of the one you have. If you put about 50 under each eye, plus near mouth, you will see and breath much better.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I have read here one would remove the visor for fighting on foot or just raise it but then it does make the helm feel top heavy and if hit with a hard blow on the visor it could be disturbing or the visor close at an inopportune time.

When on horseback charging with the lance the visor would be down and if on foot facing a storm of arrows it would be down.

Vision is impaired but one gets used to moving one's head to make the best of what vision there is and the breaths can give you some cues about movement to help direct your head to use the ocular slot(s). ( Some visors have a slot low at mouth level that one can see downward to a lesser degree than the upper main vision slots ).

A later Sallet, even with the visor down gives better vision as the vision slot is much closer to the eyes and the pig face snout that extends forward does block vision to a degree.

Bascinet with the more rounded visors may give slightly better field of view ?
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...net+Helmet

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




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the helmet Jean linked to, and while I haven't fought in it, the degree to which it limits my vision is pretty small. I have fought with worse, to be sure. The helmet I have fits me very well though, and the oculars are pretty close to my face. It's amazing too, how much those three little holes under each ocular open up my field of view.

However!

The reasons I haven't fought in it are that the visor doesn't stay in place very well, and the mounting mechanism can can open up really easily, allowing the whole visor to fall off! Also, depending what sort of training sword you are using, it might fit into the ocular, which is no good. I'm trying to decide whether it is worth it to try and modify it. I have a few better helmets.

But I have a question related to this; what mechanism historically would hold the visor open or closed? Just hinge friction? How do we know that historically they kept their visors open on foot with a pig-face? I guess that's more than one question.

A further comment though. I don't think (having never worn one!) that a pig-faced bascinet that fits correctly should hamper your vision particularly more than a similar round-faced bascinet. Anyone have experience to the contrary? It just looks to me like the cone shape of the visor pretty closely follows the line of the blind spot around your nose. The oculars would block your view of the cone more than the cone would block your view, and most of it would be out of your line of vision anyways. Just my perception here.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But I have a question related to this; what mechanism historically would hold the visor open or closed? Just hinge friction? How do we know that historically they kept their visors open on foot with a pig-face?


On question 1 while often today a belt and buckle is used I have seen historical examples of friction, the hinge right at the pin where the two halves of it join would have been a little egg shaped creating friction when the visor raises or lowers thus keeping it up or down. Indo-Persian khula khud helmets sometimes used a similar idea to allow the nasal of the helmet to be adjusted to the right position and then locked in place.

On question 2 I was unaware that we did but there is certainly artwork that speaks to the contrary. The fourth picture down in the Poitiers article here on the site http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_battle_poitiers.html depicts visors down on all the footmen, and in fact a mounted figure has his visor up. A picture from Froissart's Chronicles c.1400 depicting a siege on page 84 and 85 of An Historical Guide to Arms and Armor out several hundered figures shown on foot only two have thier visors up and one is an artilleryman. Visors were certainly removed which may be what was meant but artwork shows this done by both people both mounted and on foot.
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Mark Wilkie





Joined: 19 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you to every one who has posted, the information has been invaluable to me, i was wondering if any one has had any experience fighting with this pig face: http://www.ravencrest.co.uk/faced-houndskull-...p-550.html

also does anyone know of the quality of the helm.

many thanks
mark
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
A further comment though. I don't think (having never worn one!) that a pig-faced bascinet that fits correctly should hamper your vision particularly more than a similar round-faced bascinet.


I have no fighting experience, but I have tried various houndskull bascinets in stores. What matters I think is what kind of houndskull visor you have. Some houndskull visors are just like the round-face or shovel-face visors with a small cone on the nose/mount area. For example, this one from Coburg.. With such a visor, the eye slits are in the same position as with a shovel-face visor.

Compare that with a fully conical pigface visor such as this one from the Royal Armouries. Because the entire visor is conical, the eye slits are much further away from your eyes. Given the same size eye slit, the vision will be worse.
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Mark Shier
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Joined: 27 Mar 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: bascinets         Reply with quote

I've seen no evidence for any mechanism other than friction for holding the visor up or down.
The Getty Fiore MS (combat manual circa 1410) shows a technique for wrestling your opponent to the ground using his visor, which suggests that there was no locking mechanism.
The Getty shows most armoured combat with visors removed. for both sword and poleaxe. The Pisani-Dossi Fiore has all of the armoured sword techniques with visor removed, and all but one of the poleaxe plays with a visor on.
mark

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:

Compare that with a fully conical pigface visor such as this one from the Royal Armouries. Because the entire visor is conical, the eye slits are much further away from your eyes. Given the same size eye slit, the vision will be worse.


My Valentine Armoury pigface visored bascinet does put the oculars a few inches away from the eyes and vision is more restricted than with my GDFB barrel helm http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Great+Helm

Although the eye slit on the barrel helm are narrower they are much closer to the eyes.

I haven't fought with the bascinet but I did wear it for a few hours at an event and it's amazing how quickly one adapts to the narrow vision but learning to move the head subtlely to keep what one needs to see in view and use movement clues through the breath as I mentioned before: But everything being equal, wider oculars or closer to the eyes oculars are going to give you better vision.

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





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a pig-faced bascinet and regularly fight in it. Eye slots are like those on this helmet and therefore are somewhat wider than on most bascinets. Fighting one on one is not that difficult as you can guess what your opponent's legs do by watching only his shoulders. But in mass fights you are at a big disadvantage. No problem as long as you are in the middle of formation. But as soon as formation breaks you have a big problem understanding where are your enemies and whether the person you see is your enemy or your friend. Side-to-side field of view is pretty narrow (at least in case of my helmet) therefore I can basically see only in front of me. And when I quickly spin my head I see only parts of body armor, shields and helmets. And as most reenactors here wear viking-style armor (maille and norman and gjermundbu style helmets and of course no coats of arms) it is not enough to understand whether it is a friend or a foe. For example I once thought that my opponent had a round shield (which meant that he was my enemy) while in fact he had kite shield (which meant he was actually my friend) and I only saw the upper semicircular part of it. So if you participate in mass fights make sure you stay in the middle of formation with somebody covering your back and flanks. Don't fight without the visor if you value your eyes and teeth. Or if you don't care about authenticity buy a perforated visor as was already suggested in previous replies.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I forgot to mention. If you are using blunts... do yourself a favor and make sure you opponent has a rubber tip on his blunt with a washer on the inside. There have been some nasty accidents in Eastern Europe with blunt tips getting inside tiny openings. The result has been the banning of thrusts in many of those organizations. The solution I just gave you will remedy the threat... so long as you are not charging into each other at full speed and points forward. That is because if the tip snaps off, you are left with a sharp point again.
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've fought in a pig-face, houndskull, and klappvisors. None of them are easy to fight in with the visor attached, you have to train your method extensively with each different helmet you use.

However, my Schola instructor wears this visor on his main bascinet as an alternative:

http://revival.us/wmapiercedvisor.aspx



I've tried it out, and I love it. It looks good and the visibility can't be beat. It's the best protective faceplate I have personally tried out - nothing gets though it... Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
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"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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P. Cha




PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 11:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have fought in one for many years. When I reduced my armor, I change the faceplate on my helm as limited visibility + small shield + no armor = a LOT of pain. One big advantage of a pigface is that you won´t fall for feints as you won´t see them though Razz . Anyways some things I learned was that the breath holes make for good secondary visual input when you train yourself to do it. The helm your looking at has the eye slots closer to the face so it won´t be as bad as mine (mine had the eye slots about 3 inches from my face)...but look at the shoulder...when you see that move, block the shoulder. The hardest issue was finding openings to attack however...with such limited vision, it became kind of a potshot.
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Tsafa wrote:
I forgot to mention. If you are using blunts... do yourself a favor and make sure you opponent has a rubber tip on his blunt with a washer on the inside. There have been some nasty accidents in Eastern Europe with blunt tips getting inside tiny openings. The result has been the banning of thrusts in many of those organizations. The solution I just gave you will remedy the threat... so long as you are not charging into each other at full speed and points forward. That is because if the tip snaps off, you are left with a sharp point again.


If one wants to use thrusts I would advise to either get a visor like on helmet in my previous reply (that is why I actually made such visor though it was a real pain in the butt making all these slots), or get a perforated visor. I don't trust rubber tips. They look awful. And they may fall off, especially if one grips the tip of the opponent's blade.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Bill Tsafa wrote:
I forgot to mention. If you are using blunts... do yourself a favor and make sure you opponent has a rubber tip on his blunt with a washer on the inside. There have been some nasty accidents in Eastern Europe with blunt tips getting inside tiny openings. The result has been the banning of thrusts in many of those organizations. The solution I just gave you will remedy the threat... so long as you are not charging into each other at full speed and points forward. That is because if the tip snaps off, you are left with a sharp point again.


If one wants to use thrusts I would advise to either get a visor like on helmet in my previous reply (that is why I actually made such visor though it was a real pain in the butt making all these slots), or get a perforated visor. I don't trust rubber tips. They look awful. And they may fall off, especially if one grips the tip of the opponent's blade.


The Visor that JE Sarge posted is a good one. A rubber tip should still be used. The washer inside should keep the blade from punching though. The rubber should be taped down to the blade with strapping tape. Taped down it hardly ever comes off unless the tape is obviously wearing. The rubber tip is particularly useful for those thrusts coming in from lowguard like Alber or Boars tooth. I have seen them slide up the chest under the helmet. If you have a gorget, like you should, the rubber tip will catch on that. Of you you don't have a rubber tip, it can slide right under the gorget to your throat. That could be fatal. I road my tip up someones chest a number of times with the rapier to their throat.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I realize this is a small nit to pick, but I really hate the rubber blunts, and always use plastic instead. Rubber grabs whatever it hits and transfers all of the thrusts energy into the target. On a head hit that can rock your head back pretty hard and hurt your neck. Plastic hits and then skips off so that you don't get the same transfer of energy. I prefer UHMW plastic that I buy scraps of, or low friction chair leg tips with a washer and attached with hot glue and some tape as well.

Darkwood makes plastic tips that look like rubber blunts. They grab less than rubber but more than my homemade tips.

Sorry for venturing off-topic here, but we find this makes a tremendous difference to our safety.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, I have tried the chair tips with a washer on the inside. They're good too. I was not paying attention to the friction issue, but I can see how it would be improved.
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 03 Apr, 2010 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Tsafa wrote:
If you have a gorget, like you should, the rubber tip will catch on that. Of you you don't have a rubber tip, it can slide right under the gorget to your throat. That could be fatal.


I cannot disagree with that. Safety is always a must. Though there will always be some risk. A lot depends on how you fight and how you can control your weapon. And of course what armor you have. The one thing I hate about all kinds of tips is that if your opponent grabs your weapon under his armpit you have almost no chances of pulling it out (or at least no chances of pulling it out with the tip still on it). Besides if your tip slides, there will be very little difference between tip and no tip. Rubber tip is good because it does not slide. But at the same time it is bad because of it.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 03 Apr, 2010 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Bill Tsafa wrote:
If you have a gorget, like you should, the rubber tip will catch on that. Of you you don't have a rubber tip, it can slide right under the gorget to your throat. That could be fatal.


I cannot disagree with that. Safety is always a must. Though there will always be some risk. A lot depends on how you fight and how you can control your weapon. And of course what armor you have. The one thing I hate about all kinds of tips is that if your opponent grabs your weapon under his armpit you have almost no chances of pulling it out (or at least no chances of pulling it out with the tip still on it). Besides if your tip slides, there will be very little difference between tip and no tip. Rubber tip is good because it does not slide. But at the same time it is bad because of it.


The throat is very vulnerable to damage and even if the blow doesn't pierce or cut a crushed wind pipe can kill you and rubber or no rubber the effect with be basically the same in my opinion.

In some cases it should be possible to have the chest plate on a gorget under and behind the top of a breast plate so that the gap is such that no blade can slip below the gorget: This may not be possible if the gorget/breast plate designs don't allow this and the gorget has to be on top of the breast plate.

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