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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jul, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Need help with historic "fantasy" kit         Reply with quote

Hello all, I'm putting together my first kit and could use some advice and suggestions. I'll start off with my intended use, feel, and budget. My wife and I have and event coming up in a little over a month that we need outfits for (set in medieval/ renaissance/ fantasy setting). In addition to that, we both attended our first Renn Faire last year, and thought it'd be fun to go in something besides modern street clothes next time. So these uses sort of lead into the next issue, which is budget. For a kit that I only intend to use once or twice a year, I really am not prepared to spend lots of money at this point. That may seem odd considering that my weapon is an Albion Crecy, with an equally expensive (and beautiful) scabbard by Brian Kunz. But the difference is that the sword and scabbard are something I wanted as a collection. The kit I'm about to buy is more for pure fun.

Now I know this may turn some of the purists off right away, but the look that I'm going for is fantasy, based on a semi-historical look. What I have in mind so far is a mail haubergeon and coif, surcoat/ tabbard, leather jacket and gauntlets (jacket under haubergeon and surcoat), leather boots, and linen or wool pants. I'm toying with the idea of a cowl either in addition to or instead of the coif.
(cowl: http://www.bytheswordinc.com/p-10286-cowl-sty...3312.aspx)

I briefly did some WWII reenacting and one of the things that impressed me most were kits that looked like they'd been through a war or two. New looking gear is a huge turnoff. So any tips in how to weather/ break in some of the gear would be appreciated. I came across a company online (where the cowl is from) that seems like a one stop shop for all our needs, called bytheswordinc.com. Does anyone have experience dealing with these folks?

Now down to the biggest issue, mail and boots. For the haubergeon and coif, I'm looking for something that looks heavy and worn enough to appear real, yet at the same time be affordable. I've seen some shiny silver mail at Renn Faires that look like they have the same weight as a cotton shirt, and are bright enough to be used as a signaling device for a lost hiker. I'd like the opposite of both of these looks. Unfortunately, there seem to be a gazillion choices in mail shirts, even among fairly inexpensive items. Boots are the same matter issue. Lots of choices. The haubergon and boots I'm willing to spend the most on of any items in my kit. I'd like to set a cap of about $150 for each.

Now as for the surcoat, of the ones available on the site, I prefer this Crusader Surcoat:
http://www.bytheswordinc.com/p-5169-crusader-surcoat-tt9-975.aspx
...but that said, ideally I'd love to have a custom made surcoat (white with a dark green border), and maybe a symbol or two (anyone know of any symbol's associated with or used by reeves?)

Well, that's it for now, any help would be greatly appreciated. Obviously I'll show pictured of the kit when it's complete.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure about the fantasy stuff, but I've helped a bunch of people getting re-enactment stuff together on a budget - so my suggestions would be based around reasonably period correct stuff for your desired look.

I can't really suggest speciifc suppliers fro the US either - so it's just gonna be general advice

For boots, try GDFB ankle boots: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...nkle+Boots
They go well with the mail/surcote look you're after. Just make sure your hose (leggings) are tight to give that overall medival lower-leg shape.

For mail. I'd avoid shiny stuff too - but that's on authenticity grounds, since it's probably galvanised or aluminium. Check on Ebay - there are loads of imported sets (from India) for sale there. Probably cheapest - just make sure you check delivery times and postage costs. I like blackened stuff. Flat-rings are generally lighter and worth going for if you're planning to be walking around all day in it. Avoid loose, baggy sleeves and make sure the sizing is correct. Mail stretches a lot and most chest sizes shown are fully stretched - so you want to order at least 10" more than your actual chest size to allow free movement.
Also may be worth thinking about long-sleeves. It will mean not having to worry about what to wear under your mail since it won't show, will be more authentic - and will also show off the mail more (since it's only really the sleeves which will show under the surcote).

For surcotes. I'd suggets making your own. You'll save a fortune and get exactly what you want. They're pretty easy for the basic shape and if you only want a basic design on it, you're on to a winner.

Not sure what you mean by a cowl.. your link didn't work for me. But if oyu get a mail coif, you'll need something to go under it so it doesn't scratch or catch your hair. Which will probably mean getting hot under there (depending on your location) which may mean you end up not wearing it more than you are. just a thought..
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David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would avoid BytheSword. They tend to be very over priced.
KultofAthena is a much better choice.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian and David, thanks for the info and suggestions! I'll shop around a bit more instead of relying on bythesword.com.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
View user's profile Send private message


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