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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 3:45 am    Post subject: My current project - 1250 knight kit         Reply with quote

I thought a few of you may find this interesting.

I've recently created a wiki site for our re-enactment group to be used as a resource for group members - but since I'm working on getting a good set kit together for a 1250 knight, I thought it would be useful to document the work I'm doing on it (hopefully to inspire other group members!)

Anyway, here's what I've put together so far. It is most definately a work in progress (and not yet fully up-to-date with everything I've done so far), but I do intend to update it regularly.

Also note that it's being done on a very limited budget, in my spare time, and I'm most definately not a craftsman at all. Quality of workmanship will be nowhere near what's usually seen here, but I hope the end result will be worthwhile.

Here's the link.

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Biro%27s+Knight+Kit+-+1250
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks pretty cool. I have often thought of doing a 2nd half of the thirteenth century kit myself. It is such an exciting time frame over much of Europe that it is really appealing. That said I need to finish the things I am working on doe my 1340s kit before I do anything else but maybe someday.

One comments. Why do you think they were using secrets,/skull caps under mail coifs? I have seen no evidence for this practice really until the 14th. Might make your life easier just to do the coif and padded coif.

RPM
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

One comments. Why do you think they were using secrets,/skull caps under mail coifs? I have seen no evidence for this practice really until the 14th. Might make your life easier just to do the coif and padded coif.
RPM


There are quite a few pics in the Mac bible showing people with the coif opened up and secret's worn over arming caps - See the middle pic in the link below..:

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Secret


Also, I find that a lot of period artwork in general (not just the mac bible) which show knights wearing only mail coifs, have oversized heads - hinting at a helmet underneath (I know, medieval illustrators weren't great with scale).

There are also a few effigies that hint at it too:

http://www.themcs.org/armour/knights/Felixkir...%20120.JPG

http://www.themcs.org/armour/knights/2006%20M...0%2021.jpg

(and could probably find more if I dug further)

<Edit> Also we need hard head protection for safe combat - so just an arming cap isn't workable for me.
The prevailing look is either this or a barrel helm. Since most people go with the barrel helm, I'm doing the opposite Razz

(Besides tieing the coif under the rim of the secret holds it in place very well!)

This part of the project is already under way too - I just havn't got around to taking pics yet since I'm giving more focus to the chausses right now.
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wear my cervilet on top of the mail coif, which I find more conveniet. the images can be interpented in either direction.
There are exaples of people weaing their cervilete on top of the coif in one picture, and with the coif down and the cervilete on top of the arming cap in the next. Probably because there is no convenient place to put the damn thing... This is even more true for greathelms.

Alternately, you can have a kettlehat. While primarily a infantry helmet, it was also used by knights.
Otherwise, your plan looks real good. I would recomend getting a longer spear/lance, and a shield that can be used when hung on the shoulder, in the mounted knight fashion. I based mine on a depiction in Life of Edward the confessor;



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DSC00421.jpg


"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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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds good my point being though that you do not have to change anything. There seems to be a huge amount of people just wearing mail coifs without them.

Interesting I had never seen the Mac example. Clearly these helmets were in use, especially over or alone but generally I do not see anything that makes me think it was the most common way of doing under the mail such. As far as some people having seemingly big heads.... eh could just be how the artist drew them.

RPM
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are correct of course, they can be interpreted either way.

My take on it is that there are a lot of illustrations showing knights in combat with what looks to be just a mail coif. It's true, we can't say whether they are wearing a secret underneath or not - but overall there is a large overall proportion with this look.
So for our group portraying the period, I think we need to have some people with this look. Yep, it's easier to wear the secret over the coif or use a kettle-hat - but we already have a bunch of both of these already.

I already have a long-spear(or lance) stashed away, ready to accept a pennant (head needs tightening though). Probably around 8 feet long.

For the shield, I'm happy with the strapping as is for infantry use - but accept that a more cavalry-oriented grip would be more accurate for a knight. It may be something to change when I finish everything else.

Thanks for the comments!
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

Interesting I had never seen the Mac example. Clearly these helmets were in use, especially over or alone but generally I do not see anything that makes me think it was the most common way of doing under the mail such. As far as some people having seemingly big heads.... eh could just be how the artist drew them.

RPM


You see probably about half in the mac-bible with barrel-helms, and half with what appear to be just mail coifs. I struggle to see why so many would be in battle without any soild head protection.

We'll never know either way - but I want to change it - I think it's a really interesting thing to work on (mainly because I havn't really seen anyone else do it).
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No I agree. If you can show it was done then no reason not to do it. I was just pointing out it is highly likely that nothing is under the mail beside the padded coif. In several of the pictures of Saul and Jonathon for example in the Mac it is clear there is no secret on as they both have their mail coifs drawn back and we only see the padded coif. There are many men similarly decked out. That said you could be right. They both are likely candidates for great helms and maybe others made do with the round caps under or over mail but since we see in many places mail used alone I am not sure we can say one way or the other if it was more common than wearing a secret helmet or not. But your find there is a fairly sure bet it was at least done so hard to argue that.

Elling's point about storage and carrying the skull cap is an interesting one but impossible I suspect to prove as if they wore it atop the mail in combat but atop their head alone for transport is possible but under the mail we'd be unable to know in conflict as they would be obscured by the mail.

RPM
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian; You could simply add cavalry straps to your wedge shield, as a start. Most of my shield grips start out being stapeled to the back of the shield in order to find a good configuration before putting nails in.

As for de-standardizing your kit, you could paint you scullcap, if nobody else has done so allready.


When it comes to the point about the scullcaps, this picture illustrates it nicely.



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195_JONATHAN_WARNS_DAVID.jpg


"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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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 663

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 11:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Skullcaps: Going through John de Joinville's account of the Louis IX's crusade in 1250, I ran across a reference to John giving his "iron cap" to a fellow noble on the field in exchange for his helm so that he could "breathe more easily." So, even nobility would not shun a skullcap at this time! Must have come down to preference - particularly if you were fighting in the heat of the East!

That said, I'm looking forward to seeing this harness come together. I have a full suit of riveted mail that I've been meaning to tailor, but I can't afford my gambeson until February, so will not be working on it until then... This should be very inspirational. I hope it goes smoothly for you, Brian!

-Gregory
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
Skullcaps: Going through John de Joinville's account of the Louis IX's crusade in 1250, I ran across a reference to John giving his "iron cap" to a fellow noble on the field in exchange for his helm so that he could "breathe more easily." So, even nobility would not shun a skullcap at this time! Must have come down to preference - particularly if you were fighting in the heat of the East!


I believe this may be a matter of translation; hasn't the same passage been translated with kettle-hat or kettle-helmet instead of 'iron cap' somewhere else? At least I believe this is where some draw the historical basis of the kettle-helmet's use in the Crusades, although I could be wrong on that front...
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian,

I have to say I'm with you on this one. & here is my thoughts as to why:

1) It looks cool, & chapel-de-fers and great helms are so last century. Laughing Out Loud
2) I'm selfish & want to do three periods with one kit (late 12th, mid 13th, & early 14th).
3) With nothing but a sturdy stuffed arming cap (which thus far is quite rigid for what it is) all one would have to do is add suspension liners to their helmets (nasal, cervailliere, chap-de-fer, etc.) & put their coif over, under, or whatever they feel like on the day.
4) One could even wear another layer of maille (links running in the opposite direction of course) for yet another look. That, & the whole double maille thing.
5) & hey, if they don't want to wear a cervalliere under my great-helm, they can wear a torse (ringlet) instead, giving them that very particular look.
6) I'm still undecided about which way the maille on the coif should run though; horizontally it is more easily built and offers the chance to use a ventail, but vertically (it looks circular) simply hangs better and is less common.

Those are my thoughts at any rate.

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





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2011 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Brian,

4) One could even wear another layer of maille (links running in the opposite direction of course) for yet another look. That, & the whole double maille thing.


I already have a work in progress on that - just not touched on it for a while so havn't posted any pics yet. I should have something up in the next few weeks.

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:

6) I'm still undecided about which way the maille on the coif should run though; horizontally it is more easily built and offers the chance to use a ventail, but vertically (it looks circular) simply hangs better and is less common.



I've done a lot of thinking about this too (and some experimenting). I've found that the single, biggest thing I could do to shape mail around the face was to simply thread a leather cord through the rings edging the face to pull the rings in close. I've been wondering if the vertical (circular) version isn't much more than a kind of tube coming up from the hauberk with a lot of expansion at the sides to make it much longer at the back than the front - and then pulled in with a cord around the face. Kind of like wearing a buff..

Anyway, I've decided on going for the style that shows a line going across the brow with horizontal mail above it but vertical below. I have a prototype already and it looks very promising (and uses a bit of 'double-mail' too).

I'll post an update to this thread when I've gotten around to adding the whole mail coif project to our wiki to show you what I'm trying to do there. I'll try to do it sooner rather than later, since there seems to be a fair bit of interest on the whole headgear aspect.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian,

That would be sweet if you could. I look forward to it.

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




Location: Northern Utah
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Reading list: 5 books

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought all existent mail coifs run the same direct? Does any one know? All the ones I have seen run the same direction.

This one is from Wisby showing what from what I have seen is the norm.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...aube_1.jpg

Cool website by the way.

RPM
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I thought all existent mail coifs run the same direct? Does any one know? All the ones I have seen run the same direction.

This one is from Wisby showing what from what I have seen is the norm.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...aube_1.jpg

RPM


Well, all archaeological finds do indeed go horizontally, but they are also all separate coifs. Alas, the only evidence for the contrary style is sculptural and pictorial.
I suspect that for a knight of 1250AD having an intergraded coif that runs vertically (circular) would be as accurate if not more so. That being said, even after long discussion with Gavin from The Maille Tailor, we just can't figure it out. I have a hypothesis, but until I build it I won't know for certain. All I know is that if I had a choice I'd choose the latter.

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




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be really hesitant to use artwork as a counter to remaining pieces for a plethora of reasons. All the hauberks run the same direction as well so it seems unlikely they would not continue this to a hood. I have only made one integrated hauberk with coif and it worked perfect as far as comparisons to what I have seen regarding period looks and functioned well.That said I know of no remaining medieval integrated hauberks off the top of my head.

That said I am not 100% sure what you are referring to with circular as the horizontal weave looks circular in its own fashion.

Of course as with anything of this nature it is open to interpretation.

RPM
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall,

I've created a Mail Coifs page now:

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Mail+Coif

It shows what I view as the different coif designs for the period - I believe the 2nd one is the 'circular' pattern that Sam was alluding to.

I'll be adding more over the next few days on the linked page about the coif I'm working on.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could be. I can see what you are talking about. I am still inclined to think this is the look one gets when it is tightened with a draw string through the mail or something around the face and it is simply 'horizontal' but it could be.

RPM
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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Wed 16 Nov, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Added a fair bit of detail now on my coif interpretation (still in progress)

http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Mail+Coif+-+Biro%27s+project
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