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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Advice on purchasing a viking age helmet         Reply with quote

Hello. This is my first post so bear with me.

My name's Finn and I do viking age reenactment. I have lately considered buying a helmet. Primarily for protection.

I was recommended by a friend to come here and ask my questions.

I've been looking at two models: Gjermundbu and a spangen-model. Although the spectacles of the Gjermundbu-model are tempting when it comes to safety I am hesitating because it came from a rich grave (possibly someone close to the king) and my idea has been to keep my gear on a low "wealth-level" (which probably should rule out helmet and any kind of heavier armour completely, but as I said this is a matter of safety). Leaves a spangen-helmet, and I really like the look of the ones with the nose guard rolled up at the tip.

Since I have no knowledge of technical language and have some trouble interpreting the specs on some of the sites I need some advice.

This is the model I like the best so far:



Unfortunately that one costs a fortune, even though I'm thinking that helmet might be worth every bit of it.

- I need the helmet to be of thick enough steel to actually protect my head if someone were to strike at it (accidentally or on purpose).
- I want it to fit my head well and have lining.
- I would like to pay as little as possible without compromising safety.

Any advice on this? How thick must the steel be? Who has models similar to that above at a low price?

Thanks in advance for any input on this.

(the model above can be found on http://www.jelldragon.com/viking_helmets.htm)
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Finn!

Here is a spangenhelm for about 256.00 euros (plus shipping to Sweden). http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=61

I'd wager you could find a maker in Europe who could get one for you without having to pay overseas shipping.

Good Luck.

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




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks good, but the price is still quite steep. I've been told I can get fully functional helmets for almost half that price, but where I have no idea. I've still to find said helmets.

This one is cheaper than the link I posted though..
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Mihai Ionita




Location: Romania
Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can't really get proper helmets cheaper than 200 euros. Any cheaper than that and you will be risking the structural integrity of your skull whenever things get violent.

http://www.die-ritterschmiede.de/index.html

Die Ritterschmiede have excellent helms when it comes to quality/price ratio. They are suitably thick (a mild steel helmet should be about 2 millimetres to ensure its protective value) and come at about 200 euros in price. They are also located in Germany so shipping will be merciful.

As I said, there are cheaper sources.

http://www.kovex-ars.com/index.php

At Kovex-Ars for example you can find helmets which are a bit cheaper than Ritterschmiede's, but they compromise heavily on protective qualities. Their thickness is about 1.3 millimetres mild steel. Murderously thin if you ever receive a serious blow to the noggin.

So the choice is up to you in the end.
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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 12:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hahaha



Anyway, in the second link you posted (kovex) the helmets look very smooth. Are they pressed rather than hammered out?

Not that it matters much, since I am certainly more interested in surviving a potential accident than saving bucks.
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Mihai Ionita




Location: Romania
Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have no idea, to be honest. I've never really dealt with Kovex any more than their website.

I am sure, however, that other forum members have more experience than I.
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Philip C. Ryan




Location: Omaha, NE
Joined: 04 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have no idea as to the manufacturing process of Kovex....

However, I can tell you that a helm, or any piece of armour or metal, can be planished (hammered) into a very smooth finish! Just because you do not see any hammer marks on a piece does not imply that it was not hammered.

Check out GDFB. The spangens they have there are decent in thickness/ protection, and the price is a bit lower.
http://www.getdressedforbattle.co.uk/

Skjaldborg Viking Age Living History and Martial Combat
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Augusto Boer Bront
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Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here it is, just 100 euros
http://www.kasto.org/111-viking--_dragon-_.html
With enought thickness to tobact and with linen.

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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 11:18 am    Post subject: 17 gauge?         Reply with quote

That last one, at approx. 17 gauge, must be very thin and light, more adapted to the needs of LARP and latex weapons than metal. I would go back to mercenary taylor, or at least nothing slighter than 16 gauge ( doubled where there are bands). JC
Bon coeur et bon bras
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Romulus Stoica




Location: Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania
Joined: 26 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

SCA has a minimum of 16 gauge mild steel helmet requirement for fighting with ratan wooden swords and even in some SCA shires 16 gauge (~1,6 mm) is considered too thin. I have seen what a blunt steel sword can do to a 2mm mild steel umbo and to my 2mm mild steel buckler. I think if you want your skull safe while fightng with blunt steel, you should wear at least an 1,8mm mild steel helmet .... better a 2mm mild steel helmet, depending on helmet design and the skill of the craftsman who made it.
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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip C. Ryan wrote:
Check out GDFB. The spangens they have there are decent in thickness/ protection, and the price is a bit lower.
http://www.getdressedforbattle.co.uk/


Do those include lining?

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
Here it is, just 100 euros
http://www.kasto.org/111-viking--_dragon-_.html
With enought thickness to tobact and with linen.


Thanks for the input but that just looks bad. Sad

Romulus Stoica wrote:
SCA has a minimum of 16 gauge mild steel helmet requirement for fighting with ratan wooden swords and even in some SCA shires 16 gauge (~1,6 mm) is considered too thin. I have seen what a blunt steel sword can do to a 2mm mild steel umbo and to my 2mm mild steel buckler. I think if you want your skull safe while fightng with blunt steel, you should wear at least an 1,8mm mild steel helmet .... better a 2mm mild steel helmet, depending on helmet design and the skill of the craftsman who made it.


A friend said 1.5 mm would do, but I would feel a lot safer with 2 mm. Even though it would make the helmet 25% heavier.
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Augusto Boer Bront
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Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.battlemerchant.com/Helmets/Dark-Ag...:2144.html
Thake this, it costs less.
It says that there is a "superior leather inlay", so i guess it does.

Armourer-Artist-Blacksmith
www.magisterarmorum.com

Pinterest albums to almost all existing XIVth century armour.
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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
http://www.battlemerchant.com/Helmets/Dark-Ages/Viking-Spectical-Helmet-14G-steel-with-leather-liner-size-M::2144.html
Thake this, it costs less.
It says that there is a "superior leather inlay", so i guess it does.


Wow. That's cheap. There has to be a catch. Eek!
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Augusto Boer Bront
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Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Joined: 12 Nov 2009

Posts: 266

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, no catch Big Grin.
When you're loocking for some armour on the net, try to search always the original manifacturer, it's always cheaper that the retailer's one.
Loock also for some riveted armour, yes it's not cheap, but the less expensive on the net (eg. 450 euros for a riveted hauberk).

Armourer-Artist-Blacksmith
www.magisterarmorum.com

Pinterest albums to almost all existing XIVth century armour.
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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
No, no catch Big Grin.
When you're loocking for some armour on the net, try to search always the original manifacturer, it's always cheaper that the retailer's one.
Loock also for some riveted armour, yes it's not cheap, but the less expensive on the net (eg. 450 euros for a riveted hauberk).


That's good advice, thanks. I'll look at that.
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Dan R




Location: Australia
Joined: 15 Mar 2010

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Finn,

Would making a helmet based off the examples you posted above be possible? my experience is that spangen helmets are fairly easy to make with minimal tools. If this sounds like a good option but you are unsure where to start you could look over at armour archive for patterns and information.

Cheers,

Dan
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Viktor Abrahamson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Finn, have you had a look at the SPQR site?
Itīs swedish and have a lot of GDFB stuff. Lots of helmets.

Some of the helmets have lining according to the pictures.

The shipping should not be so bad since you seem to live in Sweden?

http://www.spqr.se/

I have not dealt with them myself, but heard a lot of them.

/Viktor
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Finn Palm




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 24 Jul 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 26 Jul, 2010 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I live in Sweden. I had completely forgotten about SPQR. I looked at their stuff a few years ago. Although there was something about SPQR that I ought to remember. I need to ask around.

I am starting to narrow it down anyway. Seeing a few helmets that stand out to me.

Please keep the suggestions coming. Thanks. I'm learning a lot here, about gauging steel for example.

Dan R wrote:
Hi Finn,

Would making a helmet based off the examples you posted above be possible? my experience is that spangen helmets are fairly easy to make with minimal tools. If this sounds like a good option but you are unsure where to start you could look over at armour archive for patterns and information.

Cheers,

Dan


Hehe. It's tempting alright. If given the chance I would definately like to try it.
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