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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject: Rebuildig my maille coif         Reply with quote

About a year ago I started a thread about maille coifs. Various other projects took precedence but now I finally have had time and money to start working on this.

I started off with a maille coif from Cap-a-pie, a UK supplier of riveted maille run by Mark Hale. I'd really like to recommend him here. Since I wanted to properly fit the coif to my head I needed tools as well as a coif and loose rings for this project. Mark didn't offer any tools on his website but he was kind enough to make me some anyway. I didn't have the tools to convert a pair of carpenters pincers to riveting pliers myself. His service was top notch, communications very fast and his prices very reasonable. It was only a few days later when the Fed Ex courier stopped at my place to drop off a very small package that weighted several kilograms.

The coif itself was of good quality. During my inspection and fitting I only came across three weaving errors: one missing rivet, one missing ring and one extra ring (it looked like an expansion was started but then forgotten about when weaving the next row). From what I have seen this is superior to e.g. GDFB or Ulfberth maille. I have seen close-up photos of those that showed more bad rivets on a single patch than I found on the entire Cap-a-pie coif.

The fit wasn't very good though. It was big, far too big for me. I'm not exactly small (1.82 meters, normal build) but I drowned in it. See the attached pictures. But, that's exactly why I ordered the tools and 2000 extra rings for Happy (well, that and for making maille gauntlets. But hat will be another thread).



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Original, front

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Original, side

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's what my coif looks like after the first weekend of work. I started with trimming the mantle. I'm not very broad shouldered and the mantle was sticking out beyond my shoulders quite a bit. When I trained with the unmodified coif during my last WMA training it flopped around quite a lot. I trimmed off 9 rows of rings so that the mantle would come to about the edge of my shoulders. This also gave me a strip of maille that I can use for other things, like filling in the gap up to my chin. It's also a source for solid rings. The coif is half solid rings, half riveted rings, but I only ordered riveted loose rings.

Next up I started taking in the neck. My original plan based off my old thread was to take it in as far as I could and run a slit up the back so I could fit my head through. However, I noticed that while taking in the neck that I couldn't take it in too far. The standing collar on my gambeson meant that my neck wasn't all that smaller than my head. In the end the neck opening barely fits over my head so I don't need a slit in the back. The upshot of that is that I don't need a squire to lace me up Happy I took in 8 columns from the side and back of the neck. Then I took another piece out from the front of the neck and mantle, reducing the entire circumference.

Lastly I filled up the gap below my chin with segments from the mantle trimmings. At first I filled it in quite high, up to my lips almost. Pretty much similar to this original from Gotland. I thought that with such a small opening, I might even get away without adding a ventail, but that felt quite uncomfortable against my chin and cheeks. So, I heightened the opening again so it fit closely against my jaw. Later on I will add a side ventail that will cover my chin and mount (and maybe nose) but I'll need to do a bit more research for that and order some leather.

And here are some pictures of the end result. Still to do: a ventail and leather lacing on my brow line. I'll take it out to WMA training again next Friday and see how well this fits when in action.



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Tailored, front

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Tailored, side

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

looks real nice.
I am planing to do the same, with more or less the same coif as you, so I'll be following this with interest.

Are you going to have the mail cover the tip of your chin?

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sander,
I will follow this thread, too. I am eager to know, how your ventail will look like. In my experience it is a lot more practical to wear the seperate coif under the gambeson instead of over it. This way the standing collar of the gambeson could be worn like the presumingly standalone collars of the gambesons in some of the illuminations. Plus: the coif doesn't flap around and tears down on the sides of the head. I wonder which sort of helmet you will wear with it? It seems very tight now.

Best regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Are you going to have the mail cover the tip of your chin?


Not the cowl part. I originally closed the cowl up to just below my mouth, covering my chin, but it was really uncomfortable. It also became hard to turn my head. So, I opened it up again. I do plan to cover my entire chin with a ventail. Mark Hale from Cap-a-pie told me that when they add a ventail to a coif, they make ventails with a chin-pouch. I'm not exactly sure (yet) how that's supposed to work, but I think it means that the ventail is a shaped piece, following the contours of my face and chin instead of a simple, straight flap. I'll probably end up doing some experimentation.

One thing I also need to look into is how to attach the ventail to the cowl part of the coif. I'm still unsure how the actual seam is supposed to work there.

Quote:
In my experience it is a lot more practical to wear the seperate coif under the gambeson instead of over it. This way the standing collar of the gambeson could be worn like the presumingly standalone collars of the gambesons in some of the illuminations. Plus: the coif doesn't flap around and tears down on the sides of the head.


Hmm.. not quite sure if I want to try that. I don't wear anything under my gambeson Happy As for the flapping, I can tell you next Friday how much of a problem this is after I used it at WMA training.

Quote:
I wonder which sort of helmet you will wear with it? It seems very tight now.


Lack of funds says "Conical nasal". It's still correct for the 13th century and I can use it at Hastings in 2012 (which I really want to attend). Actually, I am strongly contemplating aping Patrick Kelly's norman kit and getting the not-very-expensive GDFB Olmutz helm and painting it in a similar colour scheme (only black-and-white instead of blue-and-white).

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too think I'll follow along with this project.
It looks so much better fitted than when it was in its original state.
And why don't you wear a phrygian helmet or painted cervelliere with it instead?



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Intergrated tailored coif and mufflers n a hauberk ftw :D

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Sun 29 May, 2011 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
And why don't you wear a phrygian helmet or painted cervelliere with it instead?


That depends on what they will allow at the Battle of Hastings reenactment. I only have money for one helmet at the moment so I am shooting for something that I can wear at Hastings (1066) and which also fits my mid-13th century Hospitaller Sergeant. If I ever have enough money for a second helmet then it will probably be a kettle hat of some sort because it's equally versatile. I must say that I am somewhat intrigued by the kettle hat that Maurizio D'Angelo's avatar is wearing. It's hard to see, but it appears to be a kettle hat with a small, downward-sloped brim.

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I belive you could get away with a cervilere in 1066, but I would check the hastings kit guide first. I've got one of these, which is pretty good value for money:
http://www.battlemerchant.com/Helmets/Battle-...:2173.html

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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