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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Size and shape of a flat-topped kit / early heater         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Next weekend I am going to build a shield press/rig for making curved shield, together with a friend of mine. It will be based off this fantastic rig. That website also has a great article about making the shields themselves. Particulary useful is his guide on how to draw the outline of a heater shield.

I'm looking for something similar to draw the ouline of an early heater / flat-topped kite shield as they were used at around 1200-1250. Any ideas what dimenstions such a shield would be? Any clever way to draw them perfectly, similar to Ye Olde Gaffer's heater design?

Thanks in advance!
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T. Hamilton




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't help you with the dimensions, but I just made a heater using Gaffer's shield press. I'm really happy with how it turned out, but during construction, I noticed the center of my plywood panels did not line up with the center of the press' curved ribs, and would have resulted in an assymmetric curve. If you built the press according to the diagram, you will need to move your cleat up a few inches to compensate. I was using 2ft x 4ft quarter inch panels. Gaffer mentioned in the tutorial that he had changed the curvature radius on his plans, and I think this just slipped through the cracks. All in all, that press is awesome!
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Richard Schneider




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you have an image of the design you are planning on matching? In theory, you should be able to put a scale rule to it and figure out the relationships. In Ye Olde Gaffers" it cleverly shows it by relational units. Knowing the dimensions of your design you should be able to use a makeshift compass (like Gaffers) to draw any curves.

It is best if the image you are working with is a straight on view. Careful to take the curve of the shield into consideration.
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to fight with a flat topped kite, and I absolutely loved it. I pretty much guessed at the dimensions though.

As far as the curve goes, as long as the curvature is consistent across the press, the shield doesn't need to be aligned at any particular part of the press to have symmetrical curvature.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Schneider wrote:
Do you have an image of the design you are planning on matching? In theory, you should be able to put a scale rule to it and figure out the relationships.


I don't have any images yet, unfortunately. Which is one of the reasons for my post. I've been paging through the Maciejowski Bible but only very few infantry shields are shown, and you always view them from the side (e.g. held over the head or strapped to the back during a siege).

Hmm... I'll have a look through the "Show us you shields" thread.

I do know the maximum shield size I can produce: 61 x 122 cm. That's the standard size of plywood around here (or in multiples thereof, e.g. 244 x 122 cm).
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I've been having a look through various manuscripts and it seems that the length of an early infantry kite/heater shield is from knee to shoulder as apposed to cavalry which seems to be top of hip to collar-bone.
As for the width I'd assume that since with one of these shields one would fight 'side on' as it were (then again, I guess that's how one is meant to fight anyway) so maybe it doesn't need to be as wide as one would think.
I think it's depth that I'd be concerned about, as it seems that it curves around from shoulder to shoulder, and as such I'd persoanly tweak the Ye Olde Gaffer's Press to give my kite a deep curve.
It does seem to work well for moderately curved heaters though.
I may have to make one.



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Guys near the siege ladder.

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I think this is from here somewhere...

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 12:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for those images Sam. Do you happen to know what dates they are from?
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alas, I just sort of saved them, but I think that the bottom one is from the 13th Century Germany and the top one maybe early 14th Century.
Oh, and here's one more if it helps.



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Goliath in the you-know-what-bible...

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Thanks for those images Sam. Do you happen to know what dates they are from?


Those two images Sam posted are from a couple of our feature articles. The first is the 21st picture in Mail: Unchained. The second is the 6th image from our Great Helm Spotlight.

Happy

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Chad. You obviously have an awesome memory Happy
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Thanks Chad. You obviously have an awesome memory Happy


The filenames give it away.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The filenames give it away.


Yep. And the fact that I wrote one of those articles and edited the other didn't hurt either. Happy

Happy

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The filenames give it away.


I don't think filenames show up for us mere mortals, just for you admins and moderators. At least, I haven't seen them Happy
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
I don't think filenames show up for us mere mortals, just for you admins and moderators. At least, I haven't seen them Happy


All you have to do is put your mouse's pointer over the image in browsers like IE and the filename appears. Magic! Happy

Happy

ChadA

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Richard Schneider




Location: Des Plaines, IL
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Bayeux Tapestry (granted this is about 100 years prior to your timeframe) shows that the shield covers roughly from the shoulders to the middle of the thigh top-to-bottom and shoulder tip to shoulder tip across.

I am 6'-0" tall and that puts the shield at 21"(53cm) wide x 32"(81cm) tall. The width matches the size that "gaffer" uses and I think it makes sense.

As for the length, it makes sense that the shield would cover about what a gambeson covers.

The tapestry shows curved top and you mention flat top so just square the corners.

Does that sound about right?



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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2010 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
The filenames give it away.


Yep. And the fact that I wrote one of those articles and edited the other didn't hurt either. Happy


And full credit to you for it as well! Laughing Out Loud

Referencing, I need to learn it better... Don't want to get banned :<

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the final design I came up with. I started off with the same 3:1 ration as Gaffer's later small heater design, but the curves are different of course. For images of the finished shield (and press), take a look at my other thread.


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Early heater design. All lengths are in ratio's. Multiply to get your final sizes.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I made a load of flat topped kite shields last year that were nominally dated 1180.

I was given approximate sizes to work to because that was what the display required, but I was at liberty to change details as required to make them look right and work right. I used the same jig for making the round and flat topped kites for this job and the flat topped kites came out at about 58cm wide and about 92cm high.

The round topped kites were basically a half circle on the top at a radius that matched the max width of 58cm and the sides curved from this top semicircle tangentially so there was a smooth intersection between the top curve and side curve. The total height was a bit under 120cm.

The flat topped kites were cut maybe 5-7cm above the centre of the top radius and corner curves put in.

The shield was about (from memory) 8cm deep.

I need to look into it more, but I think the later flat topped kites as they started to become heater shields really started to curve so that the depth of the shield was far more than this.

As wooden shields with a canvas covering they were 12mm thick and were not light (I didn't keep any stats) but those that had a boss and especially a rawhide edging really became heavy. The edging on mine was nailed on, but I personally think because of the cost and the weight of 300 odd hand forged rose head nails that sewing would have been far more common. Sizes are always deceptive but just bare in mind that the perimeter of a round topped kite is about 3 meters, so after tacking both sides that is 6 linear meters of nailed rawhide.

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