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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 5:58 pm    Post subject: Entry Level WMA Longsword Freeplay Gear         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I am interested in getting some entry level gear for WMA Longsword Freeplay.
I am hoping to get the community's opinion on on the use of the following items for that purpose:

WTC Gorget
Bellows Face Sallet (Note: Size large + arming cap)
German Style Gauntlets

Would these work for wasters? What about steel trainers?
Please share your thoughts

Thank you.


Last edited by T. Arndt on Thu 04 Aug, 2011 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Philip Fox




Location: Fairfax, VA
Joined: 20 Jan 2011

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's far more than entry level there. If you are part of a group go with their standard, different groups use different gear. Many groups use 3-weapons fencing masks, lacrosse gloves and a fencing jacket. You can add shoulder pads, knee pads, shin guards etc if you'd like. All of that costs under 100 bucks. More money for a good steel blunt, or synthetic waster!

Oh and it all depends on what you are learning as well. Blossfechten is different harnesfechten... so in the case of harnesfecten you'd be under dressed.

Not to discourage your purchases though, they all look decent and in fact if you do go with those gauntlets I'm dying to know your thoughts as I've been eyeing the same set, but it's a little overkill IMO for just starting out. Good luck regardless!
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Tod Glenn




Location: Helena MT
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn't jump right into blunts until you've had some experience with wasters. IMO, You need a good understanding of technique and control before you start swinging a steel blunt at a partner. Head and hand aren't the only things that get hit in freeplay. I've got a painful apple sized bruise on the ribs from a synthetic waster (Rawlings).

We don't do any freeplay with steel. Steel is preserved for controlled drills and demos. YMMV
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I forgot to mention I currently have a very stout gambeson custom made by steel-mastery.

Philip Fox wrote:
That's far more than entry level there. If you are part of a group go with their standard, different groups use different gear. Many groups use 3-weapons fencing masks, lacrosse gloves and a fencing jacket. You can add shoulder pads, knee pads, shin guards etc if you'd like...


I'm glad you think so. I do plan on wearing sports elbow caps as well. I was considering a mask, but I would really rather have back of head protection as well.

Tod Glenn wrote:
I wouldn't jump right into blunts until you've had some experience with wasters. IMO, You need a good understanding of technique and control before you start swinging a steel blunt at a partner. Head and hand aren't the only things that get hit in freeplay. I've got a painful apple sized bruise on the ribs from a synthetic waster (Rawlings).

We don't do any freeplay with steel. Steel is preserved for controlled drills and demos. YMMV


I agree. I started out doing my drills with wasters and have shifted to blunts. I plan on engaging in free play with wasters initially; however, when the time comes to use steel blunts, I would rather not buy all new kit if that is not necessary.
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Tod Glenn




Location: Helena MT
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Got it. Are you going to use full weight blunts, or federschwerts?
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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 8:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're using steel blunts, please do not use a plain 3-weapons fencing mask, especially if you're studying German longsword. A one-two Zwerchhau combination *wants* to hit past the coverage of the mask. They're simply not safe enough for the application.

There are reinforcements available for the back of regular masks, or you can get one of Terry Tindill's longsword-worthy masks.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Likes: 14 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod Glenn wrote:
Got it. Are you going to use full weight blunts, or federschwerts?


I currently have a Hanwei Practical Bastard Sword and have an A&A Fechterspiel on the way (as well as a Durer for practice cutting).

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
If you're using steel blunts, please do not use a plain 3-weapons fencing mask, especially if you're studying German longsword. A one-two Zwerchhau combination *wants* to hit past the coverage of the mask. They're simply not safe enough for the application.

There are reinforcements available for the back of regular masks, or you can get one of Terry Tindill's longsword-worthy masks.

All the best,

Christian


Thank you for the confirmation of my suspicions that a mask was inadequate.

Also, if anyone has experence with 14 GA GDFB Bellows Face Sallet I would love to hear about it.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The issue with that bellows face is that the eye slot is too wide to prevent entry of the point. You can have perforated plate welded in to fix that.

Alternately, if you want more medieval looking safety gear, then check out the bouting helmets from Windrose Armoury. I own two and they're fantastic.

Yours,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:

Also, if anyone has experence with 14 GA GDFB Bellows Face Sallet I would love to hear about it.


I don't have this Sallet but I do have the " Jaw bone GDFB " Sallet ( Strange name for it WTF?! ) and my point is that a real helm like this does generally give you better protection except for the possibility of the point of the blunt slipping into the ocular slot: This was a normal risk for real combat in period but an unfortunate " gap " (pun) in protecting one's eyes.

Also would need a Gorget that will fit with it.

My suggestion would be to find and use close fitting protective goggles ( unbreakable ) generally used in machine shops with the Sallet if they can fit under the closed bellows visor ? I have never tried this and there might be good reasons why it might not work or be safe, but something to consider maybe. Question

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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jean, as always, thanks for the great input.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I don't have this Sallet but I do have the " Jaw bone GDFB " Sallet ...


How was the built-in padding? Good enough, or is my idea of going with the largest size and wearing an arming cap a good idea?

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...Also would need a Gorget that will fit with it....


Did you mention this because you thought the gorget listed above might not fit with that helmet? Here is an up-close picture of it being worn.


Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...My suggestion would be to find and use close fitting protective goggles ( unbreakable ) generally used in machine shops with the Sallet if they can fit under the closed bellows visor ? I have never tried this and there might be good reasons why it might not work or be safe, but something to consider maybe. Question


I had been thinking about something alone the same lines (basic safety glasses, but machine shop ones are probably even better). Has anyone out there done this?
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
The issue with that bellows face is that the eye slot is too wide to prevent entry of the point. You can have perforated plate welded in to fix that.

Alternately, if you want more medieval looking safety gear, then check out the bouting helmets from Windrose Armoury. I own two and they're fantastic.

Yours,
Christian


" entry of the point. " Worried I'd prefer to keep my eyes-

If you are referring the Windrose helm I think you are, those look fantastic! Shamefully Blush , I'll admit that when I saw something I thought might work well for 65% less I was sorely temped. Obviously safety is my higher priority than price, I was just hoping-

What do you think of this Windrose sallet?

What are you thoughts on Jean's safety glasses under sallet idea? Too risky?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Hey Jean, as always, thanks for the great input.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I don't have this Sallet but I do have the " Jaw bone GDFB " Sallet ...


How was the built-in padding? Good enough, or is my idea of going with the largest size and wearing an arming cap a good idea?


Not really padding so much as a suspension system of 4 panels laced where they meet and somewhat adjustable depending on how tightly tied. Thin leather, by the way, and functional for costume use. Arming cap if you need padding should work. Some might want to replace the suspension with something more robust, but it works for me. Wink

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...Also would need a Gorget that will fit with it....


Quote:
Did you mention this because you thought the gorget listed above might not fit with that helmet? Here is an up-close picture of it being worn.


No, just a general comment that you do need neck protection as a blade could also slip by the bottom of the visor: Just that all the parts/bits have to work together and not a comment specific to the Gorget you show that should work.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...My suggestion would be to find and use close fitting protective goggles ( unbreakable ) generally used in machine shops with the Sallet if they can fit under the closed bellows visor ? I have never tried this and there might be good reasons why it might not work or be safe, but something to consider maybe. Question


Quote:
I had been thinking about something alone the same lines (basic safety glasses, but machine shop ones are probably even better). Has anyone out there done this?


If this works your eyes should be well protected but the blunt's tip might still cause and injury to your face if you are very unlucky, but the eyes are really the most vulnerable thing.

By the way even if you maximize protective gear going at it full speed and full power should be tempered by using good control both physical control of the blunt and emotional control to always be careful for your training partner(s)

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
...If this works your eyes should be well protected but the blunt's tip might still cause and injury to your face if you are very unlucky, but the eyes are really the most vulnerable thing....


What a handsome facial scar between good friends Razz - joking

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
....By the way even if you maximize protective gear going at it full speed and full power should be tempered by using good control both physical control of the blunt and emotional control to always be careful for your training partner(s)


I completely agree, equipment is no substitute for control. In fact, it could be a negative factor if people are deceived into thinking they can get by with less control. At the same time, honest mistakes are made, and I of course would like to mitigate that risk as much as reasonably possible. I have never experienced someone losing emotional control in a situation like that, but the thought is actually pretty terrifying.

Thanks again for the feedback Jean, feel free to chime in if you think of anything else.
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Helms for freeplay         Reply with quote

Hi

I'd agree with Christian - the Windrose helmets are outstanding. We freespar quite hard with steel blunts.

I've taken several very solid blows including a near full power thrust from a steel blunt to little effect (apart from a nasty surprise). The helmet has a couple of dings now but my head has none.

You will want to add a suspension harness - Sean Flynt published an excellent description on myArmoury on how to add a suspension harness.

As to other kit - your gauntlets look good but you may want to think about additional arm protection to the gambeson - an accidental hard downward swing on an extended arm is no fun.

cheers

mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
Joined: 08 Aug 2007

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
...

What do you think of this Windrose sallet?

What are you thoughts on Jean's safety glasses under sallet idea? Too risky?"


"18 gauge mild steel, " & "While sturdy enough for SCA fencing, the face-plate does not meet SCA fencing standards, check with your local marshals for information of its suitability for Cut and Thrust.".
I believe windrose intends this helmet for rapier or Cut and Thrust play in the SCA context with input local rapier officials it is not up to longsword free play. If you want a better answer ask John at Windrose, http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?main_page=contact_us

The one you want is http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?m...cts_id=561

People who I know who have fought SCA Heavy while wearing glasses under a helmet will tell you that glasses and helmets are a real pain, Safe glasses under a helmet would be a stop gap that in the long run you will not be happy with. My suggestion , you have payed good money for your A&A Fechterspiel please don't cut corners with safety equipment. Pay the money and get a helmet that is design to stand up the longsword play, you will be happier,safer and look cooler.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mackenzie Cosens wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
...

What do you think of this Windrose sallet?

What are you thoughts on Jean's safety glasses under sallet idea? Too risky?"



People who I know who have fought SCA Heavy while wearing glasses under a helmet will tell you that glasses and helmets are a real pain, Safe glasses under a helmet would be a stop gap that in the long run you will not be happy with..


Even though it was my suggestion I can imagine a few problems:

A) The glasses may fog up.

B) Even my regular glasses don't fit or work with some of my helms as the corners of the frames are in contact with the sides of the face opening and this can put some painful pressure on the bridge of the nose. That is for helms where I can use my glasses !
( Doesn't work at all with my close fitting Italian Barbute for example ).

C) See (B) but worse as the safety glasses tend to be bulkier than ordinary eye glasses. ( if you wear glasses already it may make thing twice as challenging. Wink ).

D) Might still work if one can find frames that sit very close to the face and don't make contact with the helm with a decent margin of space.

E) If the glasses shift out of position it can be annoying and not always easy to push back in place without removing the helm.

F) The sallet ocular even if wide will block your vision a great deal more than a fencing mask screen.


So , yes, sort of a stop gap solution that " might " work if you can find glasses that combined with a Sallet that won't interfere with each other in the ways I just described. Wink

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Jim Clark





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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't really think the GDFB stuff is appropriate for ether armored fighting or safety equipment for unarmored combat. The sallet would require perf steel and some sort of appropriate harness/padding and even then I would question is construction and the quality of the steel. The gauntlets look bulky and heavy to my eye. I would have to imagine the articulation is clunky and the short cuts they took in manufacturing would make using them difficult and cumbersome.

I also doubt ether item will fit or function well or be comfortable to wear. Armor needs to fit like a second skin or you'll hate it. I can't tell you how many people in my group buy the "cheap" stuff first because the right stuff costs some significant money. They all end up buying a second (or third, or fourth) time before they finally shell out the cash on some quality armor or give up trying.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 6:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If you are referring the Windrose helm I think you are, those look fantastic! Shamefully Blush , I'll admit that when I saw something I thought might work well for 65% less I was sorely temped. Obviously safety is my higher priority than price, I was just hoping-

What do you think of this Windrose sallet?

What are you thoughts on Jean's safety glasses under sallet idea? Too risky?


The Windrose Sallet is only 18g in the skull, so it's fine for the SCA cut and thrust program, but insufficient for receiving a longsword blow. The bascinet style helmet is 16g throughout.

Safety glasses won't survive a full power longsword thrust. That's a LOT of force all in one tiny area.

Yours,

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Christian for nixing the safety glasses idea. Big Grin Cool

I'm still glad I brought it up as a suggestion because probably others have had this same idea or might have this same idea in the future and it's best to have an education opinion about it not being a safe option.

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello folks,

I'd like to define a *reasonably* affordable, medieval-looking armour for longsword freeplay, one that will quite safe and look decent.

Head: Windrose pierced visor bascinet. And, both for appearance and safety, spend the money and get a mail aventail attached, either yourself or by them. ($350-$550, depending on aventail). You might also want a cheap leather or reinforced leather gorget under that.

Body: Gambeson; a real one, not one with insane open armpits like most of the GDFB offerings. Also consider a light, abbreviated breastplate - I've taken some, um, memorable thrusts to the chest. BTW, Revival Clothing's new cotton gambeson is on sale for $159 right now. And a simple GDFB breastplate will run you all of $85 dollars from the very reliable folks at Kult of Athena.

Arms: Get a pair of inexpensive elbow cops, like the ones Windrose sells ($52.50). Use these in conjunction with the simple gutter-shaped vambraces available from Kult of Athena ($55) or MRL.

Hands: Gauntlets remain the rub, though there are developments in the works. I understand Scott Wilson will be debutting gauntlet prototypes at Pennsic; I'll report back on them soon. In the meanwhile the Gothic numbers discussed here might work (I haven't tried them), but I'd strongly recommend removal of the inner door on cuff: it's shaped wrong, too big, and will inhibit crossed arms actions as-is. ($200-$300) Do not, btw, get the GDFB hourglass gauntlets, unless you plan on doing massive surgery to them.

Careful shopping and, for the smaller purse, some DYI can put all this in hand in the $900-$1300 range.

The gauntlets are the jarring part above. Hopefully, we'll have a 14th century-ish (to match the rest of the gear above) very soon...

Another option, for those inclined to more substantial arm protection: check out the excellent spring steel splinted armours being built by Wintertree Crafts these days. Erik's skills have grown by leaps and bounds and he's a great fellow to deal with.

Yours,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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