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Rich Knack




Location: Charlevoix, MI
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Putting together a "kit" on a budget (advice want         Reply with quote

After years of not going to the RenFest in garb, I have decided to take on the persona of a late medieval English commoner footsoldier, just for fun.

For weapons, I have an arming sword, a 15th century warhammer (replica of the 1450 French example in the Wallace collection), two rondel daggers (one with a single-edge blade, and one with a triangular section "stiletto" or "poniard" blade), and a bill and a halberd (the last two are not allowed in some renfests).

For armor, I have a mail haubergeon (mid thigh length) with long sleeves, and a 15" steel buckler. No helmet or coif.

All these items I have gathered over time, but I want to put together a somewhat more "authentic" kit, and I am currently on a tight budget (I am looking to spend less than $100, and preferably less than $50, on each additional item needed). I am looking at a period between about 1400 and 1500 (War of the Roses, generally speaking). On my budget, I doubt I can afford 100% historical accuracy, but i would at least like to generally approximate what I am trying to portray.

First off, what, out of the items I already have, would be proper?

Second, what do I still need, in terms of armor, headgear, belts, weapons (I am not an archer, BTW) etc., and who has them cheap (if not 100% authentic)? NOT looking for plastic, though. Leather, fabric, and metal and wood. Don't want to look tacky, after all...

"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

to be a mid to late 15th century light infantryman you should probably add a pair of jack chains and an external gambeson to your outfit. As for helmets, an open of closed faced sallet would match your kit well. You may also want to add a crossbow to your kit, which would explain the lightness of your total armor level.
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...d+Gambeson
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...sor+Helmet
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...let+Helmet
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Jackchains

Or you could go for a slightly heavier infantryman by adding a sallet or other helmet and a breastplate and plackard to your current kit.

(The best image i could find to illistrate both styles. Left and right)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0jhB7B5wBfo/UBZ3gDX...0/ros4.jpg

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...reastplate
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...ic+Cuirass
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Rich Knack




Location: Charlevoix, MI
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Likes: 3 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about this sallet? Price is more within my budget...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Celesta-Armor-Helmet-/261080476726

It does not appear to have any sort of chin-strap, padding, or suspension (did they generally have these items during this time period, especially on cheap helmets?), but padded arming-caps are inexpensive enough.

Also, what sort of sword belt would be proper? Right now, all I have is a "standard" ring-belt that has no kind of suspension system.

Would a breastplate have ever been worn without an accompanying backplate?

"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

breast plates would be worn without backplates over a gambeson or mail. I have a helm of that style and they aren't great, i'd go for a virsored sallet, even if it is a cheap indian one
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Michael Parker




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rich, if I were you I wouldn't consider buying that silly helmet on ebay. Confused It's a non-functional display piece that doesn't look like you could properly wear it, and frankly I think its shape looks ugly. Probably anachronistic for your English Wars of the Roses persona too. I hope you'll consider those Kult of Athena sallets that Tom suggested. They're reasonably priced, wearable, and I think they are similar to many helmets of the Wars of the Roses. I think they look very nice. Cool

My philosophy is that If you spend money on a very cheap item that doesn't even fulfill the minimum requirements for which you're going to use it, or which would require you to make so many modifications that you might as well have spent the money, that's not saving money but wasting money you could have spent on a decent one that would be affordable and in which you would look good wearing. Wink

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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Rich Knack




Location: Charlevoix, MI
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I have found a number of patterns online for padded jacks, and I know how to use a needle and thread (in fact, I also own three sewing machines), so I can probably make one myself for less than it would cost to buy one. It just might take a while due to time constraints (I may have to wait until next year to go "in character" Sad ). For that matter, I could probably make the jack chains as well.

I also work in leather, so I could probably make my own sword-belt; I just need details on how authentic ones would have been constructed. (My sword, by the way, is a tempered Strongblade "Knight Protector" arming sword, which got generally good reviews on the "Sword Buyer's Guide" website).

Guess I will have to save up for the helmet...

Would light infantry have worn some sort of armored gauntlet, or some other hand protection? Or no hand protection at all?

"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you may want to go for the more armored look to save time and give a more accurate portrayal of a mercenary infantryman. a friend of mine owns the GDFB breastplate and it is pretty good if your chest is wide enough. I'm a bit small, so it interferes with my arm mobility. I also own the GDFB jaw bone sallet and the thing is well worth the price. I usually go as a mounted archer or heavy infantry with my reenactment group from the mid 15th century. GDFB also makes some gauntlets in the $100 range that would match your period, but i would suggest buying these after finishing the rest of your kit to focus your money on buying the helm and breastplate. With this look you don't need the jack chains and the amount of metal will look more impressive than a mail shirt under a padded jack (the period correct way to stop missiles and prevent rain from rusting your mail). As a reenactor myself, i can say that the more shiny metal you have, the more impressive you are to the crowds.

So an outfit of a sallet, breastplate over mail shirt, with a sword and polearm will be an impressive, rarely seen kit.

for future reference, Eric at http://jamesriverarmoury.com/ makes good arm and leg armor at decent prices. I have his gothic spaulders, arms, and have a set of leg armor on order from him. He usual posts discounted items on his ebay page at http://myworld.ebay.com/armourereric. If you expand your kit to heavy infantryman, his gear is priced right and custom sized

For a sword belt, a multi point suspension harness like the ones in this thread would do the trick

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.18285.html
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might want to consider just how much tinwear and weaponry you want to lug around a Renn Fair all day, too! I once spent 14 hours in orc armor at DragonCon, and even with surprisingly comfy greaves, after about 6 hours I was about ready to chew my legs off.... Bloody great sword banging against my hip all day, cuirass straps sinking into my shoulders... Anyway, just sayin'!

Plus, check the weapon rules! Some fairs don't allow any to be carried, others might require "peace bonding".

Have fun!

Matthew
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Rich Knack




Location: Charlevoix, MI
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will mainly be going to the renfest in Holly, Michigan. Their rules require that swords and daggers/knives be peace tied. Maces, pikes, claymores, and halberds are the prohibited items listed on their website.
"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 12 Aug, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rich,

I would really advise you start putting aside some money so that you can buy some better quality gear. You might as well get better quality stuff that you'll be happier with longer term, rather than buying a bunch of second rate stuff to build a kit now. Think about it: what will feel like more of a waste- spending money too soon on a kit that isn't as good (which means that essentially, your money has been lost since you've purchased poorer stuff that over time, you'll wish you had not bought) or holding off for now so that you can get a kit that you will be happier with for the long term?

By the way, if this strategy of saving money seems like it might be too slow, then I might also spend some time thinking "What are some more creative ways I can earn (extra) money?"
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Rich Knack




Location: Charlevoix, MI
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Likes: 3 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon 13 Aug, 2012 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I just found a pattern set on Amazon for a "15th Century Burgundian Arming Coat". From what I understand, these patterns are based on historical research so should be reasonably accurate, and I get the fun of making my own. I also found a set of jack chains on EBay.UK, and managed to "best offer" the price down to $62, shipping included, so I think I am off to a decent start. Meanwhile, I will be saving up for a breastplate and helmet, and just go in garb next year.
"Those who 'beat their swords into plows', will plow for those who don't."
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