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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject: DIY brigandines         Reply with quote

Could anybody give me some pointers on making a early 15th century brigandine? Are there any kits available on the market or do you have completely fab the thing yourself?
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No finish yourself brig kits on the market that I'm aware of.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there is one peice of advice I can give...

Buy a Roper-Whitney #5 Punch.
http://www.roperwhitney.com/punching/2-45.cfm

(or at least a kniock-off copy)

Trust me, when you have 9000 holes to do...

the choice of a drill, clamping the plate down, centre-punching it, then lining up the drill, drilling through the hole, then taking a larger bit and doing a quick spin on each side to remove the burr, or 9000 holes to simply slip the sheet of metal in, line up, press and "thwunk" one instant nice clean hole, well, the whitney punch costs 80/$80 ish, but it'll save you dozens of hours of work.
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Jon Terris




Location: U.K.
Joined: 14 Nov 2005

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I prefer a drill press to be honest.

Centre-punch each hole and just hold the plates (in your hand or in mole-grips) in the correct spot - do a whole batch of plates in one session (I work on one column at a time out of preference) and then counter drill on the back side to remove the burrs.

I find this easier than using a whitney punch but we're all different right!

There is no real short cut to making a brigandine, they take time, but they're worth it.

As for a pattern, the real adjustment should be done in the fabric, the plates (or more accurately the spacing of the plates) can be adjusted to fit the fabric with relatively little stress (some plates may need to be trimmed or extended to cope with extreme differences in size of course!)

JonT
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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Terris wrote:
I prefer a drill press to be honest.

Centre-punch each hole and just hold the plates (in your hand or in mole-grips)


Nyargh.

Afraid I'm rather.... erm. attached to my fingers, and rather dislike drills' abilities to snatch and bind, creating a nice whirling guillotine affair....
Call me paranoid, but drilling without each and every plate securely fixed into a vertical vice clamp is screaming "accident waiting to happen" to me.

but then again, I'm a power-tool-phobe, and take great delight in cutting wasters to shape with a hand saw and putting in the taper with a #4 bailey plane, over the same job with a power plane that takes a thousandth of the energy. gives a nicer finish too, I think.
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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I'm drilling a fairly small object, I hold it in a vice grip. Otherise, I've had no problem with a drill.

JG Elmslie wrote:
Jon Terris wrote:
I prefer a drill press to be honest.

Centre-punch each hole and just hold the plates (in your hand or in mole-grips)


Nyargh.

Afraid I'm rather.... erm. attached to my fingers, and rather dislike drills' abilities to snatch and bind, creating a nice whirling guillotine affair....
Call me paranoid, but drilling without each and every plate securely fixed into a vertical vice clamp is screaming "accident waiting to happen" to me.

but then again, I'm a power-tool-phobe, and take great delight in cutting wasters to shape with a hand saw and putting in the taper with a #4 bailey plane, over the same job with a power plane that takes a thousandth of the energy. gives a nicer finish too, I think.
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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Tue 21 Dec, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok. Other than Windlass, what ready to wear brigs are out there? I would think that there would be more given how widespread they were used during the middle ages.
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Dec, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry, how widespread thier use was during the middle ages isn't the problem, the enormous time consumption involved in building one right is. Brigandine is not simply a shell with alot of plates of the exact same size riveted inside but instead plates of a variety of different sizes to allow the garment to taper to the form. By way of example is this piece, Italian c. 1470 http://medievalreenactment.fotopic.net/p2198980.html . The armour shoppe of today s often, very often,a single individual or at best two or three rather than seven, ten or even more of a period shoppe, making all the wares that they offer so the ability to have some one or more than one dedicated to doing nothing but making brigandine all the time, much like riveted maille , is simply not possible or practicle. I think most will agree that White Rose does some of the nicer ones avaliable http://www.whiteroseapparel.com/brig1vel.jpg http://www.whiteroseapparel.com/brig2.jpg
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Tue 21 Dec, 2010 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry Bohnham wrote:
I would think that there would be more given how widespread they were used during the middle ages.


Here is how the world has changed:

In the 15th century it was cheaper by far to make a brigandine as labor didn't cost the same way it does today. A crew of apprentices who were living on a very small yearly sum would work as a team to hammer out brigandines by the scores while the better apprentices & journeymen worked on the plate armour.

Plate was more expensive to make and cost more in period.

Now fast forward to the 21st century, the same guy who has to make a living as a armourer can make you a nice 15th century breastplate out of mild steel or even spring steel for a fair price, breast & back, still not bad, now ask him to lay out and cut hundreds of plates, curve them, punch the trifold hole patten in every one, heat treat them, tin them ,have him hand hammer the 2000-3500 rivets to the multi layer cloth shell and hope he has the tailoring skills to pull it off... $3000-$4000.

White Rose has been the lowest priced brigandine (that's not that Indian crap) that I'm aware of.

Here is a link that can guide you on making your own http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/brig_craig1.html (It took the guy 250 hours to build this $20x 250 hrs = $5000)

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see said the blind man. I just wondered if there were other suppliers, probably using 3rd world slave labor like Windlass, who had brigs on offer for reasonable money. I just thought that since the brig was prevalent in ye olde times that there would be a current market demand sufficient to support several mass producers of them, ie lots of people would want one. I guess not though. Having made a costume brig for myself when I was ten or twelve with cardboard plates I have some idea as to the asymmetry of the plates required to conform to the human body and the man hours necessary to fit them to the support garment, which is why I had hopes someone out there was producing good brigs for a approachable price so I wouldn't have to spend a year or two making my own. Where is that army of serfs when you need them for pete's sake, anyway? Some people have have lots of spare time, other have lots of spare cash, I always seem to have neither. Wink
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

go over to www.armourarchive.org and ask about brigandines... you will even see some for sale and in kit form... my suggestion would be to make sure you do your research and know what you want historically speaking first at any rate. Armour Archive is mostly SCA and nothing against that but their standards for being historically correct vary tremendously... aka to the point of plastic but there are some really great armourers on that site as well
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With regards tp producing a brigadine/jack/corizona(?), one would think that those who make armour would have scrap and off-cuts left behind, so whilst being time consuming in the extreme (unless they've got an apprentice Laughing Out Loud ), if they had enough stuff left behind, and there was a demand for it, why would one not just do some oldde school recycling.
After all, a plate that's a tad thin here, or a bit short there won't matter too much when it's under spiffy velvet or leather. I mean, I'd still buy it.
Just my Aus$00.02.

Note to self: Make brigadine one day... Maybe...

Edit:
JG Elmslie wrote:
Trust me, when you have 9000 holes to do...

It's over 9000?! WTF?!



 Attachment: 68.18 KB
1.jpg
Not a brigadine, but feasibly it could be made from left overs.
(I believe I got this from someones album [I think]).


Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.


Last edited by Sam Gordon Campbell on Thu 23 Dec, 2010 3:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 3:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
With regards tp producing a brigadine/jack/corizona(?), one would think that those who make armour would have scrap and off-cuts left behind, so whilst being time consuming in the extreme (unless they've got an apprentice Laughing Out Loud ), if they had enough stuff left behind, and there was a demand for it, why would one not just do some oldde school recycling.
After all, a plate that's a tad thin here, or a bit short there won't matter too much when it's under spiffy velvet or leather. I mean, I'd still buy it.
Just my Aus$00.02.

Note to self: Make brigadine one day... Maybe...


Hi Sam,

as I recall it, your photo shows an earlier coat of plates (Plattenrock) found somewhere in germany. This find is one of it's kind, as there are not many coats of plates preserved. If you are interested in it, I can dig for the publication of the find... I just recently saw it somewhere online.

Regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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JG Elmslie
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Location: Scotland
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Reading list: 28 books

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:


Edit:
JG Elmslie wrote:
Trust me, when you have 9000 holes to do...

It's over 9000?! WTF?!


its' over nine thousand!
*ahem*

I'm currently working on a replica of this one, and I think (if the patterns and test peices I've got worked out are right) its about 6,800 rivet/nayles, in, I think, either 7,500, or 15000 holes, (assuming that each plate is peirced in rows top and bottom, and overlap with the rivets going through each plate...)
still trying to confirm wether they're peirced once or twice before starting on the metalwok, making sure its correct for 16th C brigs, though. I need more documentation on them....

I'm still working on the textile parts just now.... and have been for a while. mostly involving me staring at the peices, going "oh god, what am I thinking?!"

perhaps I'll just go back to 15th C reenactment. they're easy in contrast.

of course, I also want to make a replica of that Hirschstein Castle coat of plates you pictured, sam....
there's only one little problem with doing so... namely, I dont do 14th C reenactment, so would'nt have any use for it if I did.
(not that that's stopped me before, but I'm trying to have some common sense in what I make. armouring and RSI are bad combinations)



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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the web link, I'll go check it out.

So far I haven't seen too much historical evidence that says there were very specific brig styles or types linked to specific eras, although I'm sure there is a brig guru out there who's spent 50 years studying them who will correct me on that. Thus, I'm more interested in one that looks the part. Frankly I think it would be cool if some one was building brigs using cool materials such as titanium or ballistic rated polymer plates under period looking velvet or leather. The 14th cent coat of plates would work I suppose for say a merc or older/less affluent knight/man at arms, but I doubt the upper crust would have worn such an older piece. However since the coat of plates was usually covered by the surcoat, I suppose one could conceal it under the tight fitting jupon that was just starting to fade in fashion by 1415.

Now that I think of it, a coat of plates would be less labor intensive and I could gin one up with a reasonable amount of time/money invested. Plus, I could use it in a back dated ensemble for Cr'ecy.

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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JG Elmslie
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Location: Scotland
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Reading list: 28 books

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry Bohnham wrote:
Thanks for the web link, I'll go check it out.

So far I haven't seen too much historical evidence that says there were very specific brig styles or types linked to specific eras, although I'm sure there is a brig guru out there who's spent 50 years studying them who will correct me on that.


hrm, I'm no 50-year expert, but there is a very definate evolution and development of the brig, particularly if you consider the coat of plates to be a form of brigandine, in the general concept of textile-based body defence with metalplates attached. not sure if arguing that is going to be woefully wrong or not...

early 14th C ones tend to be a smaller number of larger plates, in similar vein to the wisby grave CoPs which are dated to 1346 but likely of slightly obsolete technology by that date. they in turn seem to be replaced by similar affairs to the hischstein castle find of around 1360, which Sam Campbell linked earlier in the thread, which is, as Thomas R says, something of a unique find.
That in turn seems to have been developed around the 1420's or so into the corrazina type armours, with two-part breast, and small plates in the waist - as can be seen in the bashford dean harness, and that in turn was then evolved into the brigandine with lungplates with the distinctive triangular arrangement of rivet/nails... into the 16th C, those lungplates in turn were abandoned in favour of more individual plates, and the rivet arrangement shifted from triangle patterns, to a line of 4,5 or even 7 in lines.
thattype then finally dropped from use as the jack of plates took over in the later 16th C, with the circular or hexagon shaped plates with a single hole and textile binding for the attachment layout.


that's the basic gist of it all, at least. or, more accurately, its how I read the evolution of the equipment by date.
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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good stuff. As I said I have only given a cursory look such things. The good news is is that if I cover it up with a tight jupon I can account for a multitude of sins and few will be the wiser. All this may be for naught however as I've looked at the Mercenary's Tailor and I can get a full up breast and back plate with fauld and tassets for less than $400 which would do me even better than the brig I think and I get more effective armor in the bargain. Still I've always thought brigs were a cool mix of textures and the rows of rivets give the whole thing more visual energy than plate. If I really do this right I could have enough kit to swing with ease through the length of the hundred years war. Yehaw!
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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