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Nick Esposito




Location: Northern Virgina, US
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Mercinarys tailor unfinished look?         Reply with quote

Has anybody noticed that the stuff by mercenaries taylor has a rough and unfinished look to it? Is this on purpose?

the surface of this breastplate seems rather bumpy and uneven. It also does not nearly seem rounded enough to be an accurate reproduction of a 14th Century Globose. If that is what it is supposed to be

http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/images/14th...rofile.jpg
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They're filling the niche of "munitions-grade" armour. Their prices coincide with the level of finish. If you'd like a better finished product, ask them about it and see what the additional cost for such work might be.

Their photos on their web site don't seem to reflect as high of a finish as seen in photos of "end users" I've seen shared on this site and whatnot.

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Michael R. Black





Joined: 24 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: finish         Reply with quote

Have you looked at their stuff in person or just photos online? I've been very happy with the items I've bought from them. Price and service cant be beat, in my opinion.
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, that's far too flat for a globose breastplate.
Most of their stuff looks better fomed, though.
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually own one of those breastplates, but with faulds, from Merc Tailor.

The finish is munitions grade (unpolished) but it looks better in person than that image captures. This is consistent with every piece I've seen from them; they look better in person. I think that the flash has really highlighted every slight change in surface in that particular picture though.

I also think that the angle and lack of faulds on that one make it look less globose than reality, but mine is not truly rounded like some historical ones are.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually that picture is four years old and frankley, crap. I've got a better one I finally took of Scott Hrouda's that I have to get around to photoshopping and put up instead of the old one. These may give you a better feel for the look of some of it http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2019672...23a8b16a92 http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2010253...286af0e1b2
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pictures on Allan's website do not do justice to his work and many are old. My 14th century breastplate is perfectly formed. Please take a look at his customer photos (link on his front page) and my mini-review here. Again, my cellphone photography is not the best, but I was so excited to share with the forum. Meanwhile, my coworkers just roll their eyes as another piece of armour, weapon, or book arrived at the office.
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The picture of the peascod B&B plates is crap as well, that picture is 7 years old. They look nothing like the one on the site. Every time we build a set I forget to take pictures of it. I'm finishing a set up by the end of the month and hopefully i'll remeber to take new picks for the site.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This http://cgi.ebay.com/c1620-Complete-Set-Cuiras...45f6a71858 is a typical example of period munitions armour finish. Hammer and planishing marks are clearly visible on many surface areas ( close up pics begin in the 5th picture down ). This http://cgi.ebay.com/c1580-Black-White-German-...4155197abf is another example of munitions armour and its finish.
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Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

New pics of integrated arm harness! Every time that page loads the pictures scare me! Here, I'll save you some work and take the pics myself when it gets here! Just change them!
But yeah, as if we havn't established this yet, Allan's stuff is much better in person. The articulation is smooth as anything also. Completely functional. It's always cool whenever you can actually say, "sure, gimme anything you got" to the kid w/ the bokken (who just politely asked if he could give it a swing) whist wearing your armour, and know your armour's gonna work.

"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Quarantillo wrote:
New pics of integrated arm harness! Every time that page loads the pictures scare me! Here, I'll save you some work and take the pics myself when it gets here! Just change them!
But yeah, as if we havn't established this yet, Allan's stuff is much better in person. The articulation is smooth as anything also. Completely functional. It's always cool whenever you can actually say, "sure, gimme anything you got" to the kid w/ the bokken (who just politely asked if he could give it a swing) whist wearing your armour, and know your armour's gonna work.


Yeah, the pics on his site are really really old and don't show his work to advantage, some of the designs/details are also improved or at least improved variants are an option i.e. my recently ( This morning ) received Fixed Neck Sallet has a visor that looks much better to my eyes than the angled eye slot version still shown on the web site pics of it and matches the visor I asked for when I got my Articulated Neck Sallet a few years back. ( At the time we discussed and decided on a custom version of the visor closer to the type usually seen ..... don't know if the slanted ocular version was used historically or not but if it was it is less well known, less common in period and frankly less attractive to my eyes ).

Note: I don't know yet if the new visor type is now standard or if Allan just remembered my preference and made mine ( recent order ) match the visor on my Articulated neck version.

Here are pics of the Articulated Neck Version to show what I am talking about.

Oh, another pic of me wearing different armour most of which are from Mercenary Tailor's ( The Bascinet helm is from Valentine Armouries. The arms are the full arms made by Allan as is the leg armour, BP by GDFB ).

As Nathan said it is " Munitions " quality armour so some harmmer marks are left visible and not polished out, but as others have said the quality is much better in person than in the current web pics.



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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Believe that Allan fills the munitions grade niche really well, both his pricing and products refect that. I am a satisfied customer an quite frankly wish that I had "discovered" him earlier.

Been collecting for several years and one of the first things I learned was; look for hammer marks. Most of us of us already know this, but just as a reminder....... Given the amount of armour produced over the period of its use, the majority of it would have to be munitions grade stuff. Rough from the hammer resulted from the necessity of trying to arm hundreds, perhaps thousands, in a relatively short period of time. This seems to have caught on with some of the upper echelon folks, i.e. a number top grade helmets and other pieces reflect this "rustic" look.

Cheers,
Dan
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If all goes well I'll soon have a simple breast and fauld from MT. I'll try to supply accurate photos here when/if it works out.
-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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Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a huge cache of pictures of people and their armor from merc tailor...

better pics...

so you dont have to look and load pics seperatly...

And for those with new pics of your armor from the merc tailor... post 'em if you could, thanks

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nick Esposito wrote
Quote:
Has anybody noticed that the stuff by mercenaries taylor has a rough and unfinished look to it? Is this on purpose? The surface of this breastplate seems rather bumpy and uneven


I am no armour buff and I am not personally familiar with Allens work but I heartily support munition grade armour and the approach he has taken. So many historic pieces are anything but perfectly mirror polished and some are even left black from the forge and yet I simply do not see that reflected in the production of armourers today. I guess that the market does not want black armour (as in hammer marks and scale) so that is out, but a decent planished but not polished flat finish is in my mind perfectly acceptable and historically very accurate. It also has the advantage of giving you a piece of armour that works just as well in all regards, but at half the price (or something similar).

This is actually something I have often commented on and were I to make armour (which I won't) I would really push for clients to take munition grade finishes like black scale, paint over black scale (particularly for sallets) and planished as these finishes are just not represented on the reeanctment battlefields, that have an almost uniformity of mirror finishes.

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Tod

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing to keep in mind is that 'Muntions' armour came in a wide variety of qualities,
This is lower quality Munitions armour:


This Spanish breast plate is fairly typical of decent Munitions armour.


While high quality stuff would look like this:



Allen's work would without a doubt rank with the better pieces as far as the finish is concerned.

I fully agree with Tod that the muntions finishes are much neglected today, I've tried to do my own small part by chosing a middle ground which is more polished than 'black' armour marked by the hammer but still not mirror polish or even the best type of 'muntions' polish I've seen

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think one of the best arguments for the modern munition finish is that the historical relationship between the maker of munition armour and the men he armed seems roughly parallel to the relationship between the modern armourer and most of those he arms. Munition armour wasn't meant to fit as perfectly as a bespoke harness (except by accident, I guess) because the armourer didn't get to personally measure the end-user(s). That's pretty close to the modern scenario for most of us, even if we're providing basic measures.

If I were to buy fine armour without in-person measurement and fitting it might look slightly off from an historical viewpoint--why would a knight spend huge sums of money for a beautiful but ill-fitting harness that might not function properly due to the fit? Historically, a breast and fauld like the one I'm getting from MT isn't necessarily meant to represent my social status/wealth or articulate perfectly with a half-dozen other pieces of armour. It's what militia and better-equipped infantry wore, often over only a shirt and doublet to judge by depictions in artwork. I think this more modest historical expectation is a good fit for the modern customer/armourer relationship.

Speaking of fit (and form): How to put this delicately.... Worried ....The average modern purchaser of armour might have a more rounded physique than did the men who wore the hourglass-shape harness we know and love from the world's great museum collections (though there's a big `un at Churburg and more elsewhere, no doubt). Fitting men who are bigger in the middle could dramatically change the aesthetics of armour. That said, I've seen heavyset men--past and present--whose armour looks great because they're wearing it properly, with historically appropriate fit and garments. In judging the quality of an armourer's eye we have to account for the demand to fit a more physically diverse population as well as how well the customer understands and applies historically appropriate fit and garments.

I've just sent Allan my measurements and that process got me thinking about these issues. I could have sent Allan any numbers I wanted to, without regard for personal or historical fact. I could have said, "I'll add five inches to the waistline so I can wear it over a fanny pack." I could have told him, "30" chest, 30" lower ribcage and 30" waist", and when I show off the result on this forum the people who think I look like a bobcat caught in a stovepipe might blame the maker rather than the wearer. That must be very frustrating for armourers.

I feel that my part of the bargain (in addition to payment) is to give Allan good measures informed by research into historical clothing as well as armour fit and function, and to expect historically plausible munition armour rather than bespoke tailoring.

-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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Christian Borglum




Location: California
Joined: 21 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I’ll echo the thoughts of both Daniel and Sean. I think Allan does a terrific job filling the Munitions grade niche of the armour market. Just recently, I ordered a pair of Visby style Gauntlets from The Mercenary’s Tailor, and was very pleasantly surprised by their fit and finish when I got them. They are much more impressive in person than on the website. While the steel is certainly not mirror finished, I think the polishing the gauntlets received was very nice. It's certainly not what I would consider to be "unfinnished". Additionally, I find all the tiny hammer marks which are visible across the various formed plates to be visually pretty attractive. They’re a reminder that each knuckle plate and every finger lame is shaped and dished by hand.
Historically, the majority of the armour that was exported from Milan to other parts of Europe from the late 14th through the early 16th centuries would have been crafted by the armourers for customers sight unseen. Even as a wealthy Count, draggging a couple dozen of your retainers from all the way from northern France to Milan, like groomsmen to a tux fitting was finacially prohibitive, not to mention a bit time consuming. Given the lack of standard units of meausre in that day, It seems pretty unlikely that those craftsman would even had the most basic measurements to work from. I'm sure they crafted a lot of Breast & Back sets, Poyens, Coulters, etc, made to fit their best estimate of "your average man-at-arms", and without extensive polishing.
The Mercenary’s Tailor offers quality products at a great value. Allan’s munitions grade pieces represent a significant historical product niche, and we’re lucky to have his work. Happy

Christian
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Christopher Finneman




Location: Sartell Minnesota
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think their finish is rather nice.
Im not a huge fan of high end armor nor low end. Allans finish is just right for me and also doesnt worry me when I play/fight around in it. You got to consider this, most people who buy armor in this site will try it on or wear it to thier events be it fighting or what have you. So itll get its fair share of scratches dents rust what have you. So its made to be used. And if something is used its always going to need some kind of upkeep. But lil scratch or dent or rust adds character over time that you cant replicate. And I love that.
I have most of my friends eye up his stuff and I tell them for the price you cant go wrong. Although some may want a lil more smooth mirror or satin look to his or her armor all I say is take a lil time with a planisher and a hammer and make it how you like.
But hands down I think for fit and finish Allans work is top notch. Its like buying a Ferrari at a Datsun Z price range. Great stuff.

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the end of the day you get what you can afford and what you can stand to wait for. Do people make better looking and more accurate high end kit? Sure, buts if its high end you pay for it, and you wait for it. I can't sink $10K, $20K or more into a suit of plate. I don't want to wait two or three years (or more) to get the finished product). If I could afford top shelf, to echo some others here, it would not be done by mail order because I could afford to travel to the armourer, or I could pay them to travel to me. Bottom line, before you get hooked on a truly knightly look, best to consider whether you can afford it. Wasn't something that came on a budget back then. Won't be affordable today. MT provides a great way to get into something at a reasonable price, and in a reasonable amount of time. Its just not really something made for a lord.

Also, the finish is better in person that it looks in those old photos. There are things that can be nit-picked if you like, but that's always the case when cost is a major consideration (if it wasn't you'd plan a nice six county tour of Europe over the summer and around your armour fitting)! Razz

Note: Even with their munitions stuff, get the right arming clothes first! That makes a big difference for fit and look. Even if you're built like a cast iron stove.

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