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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Aug, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: 14th C. CoP vs Breastplate in Regards to Heat         Reply with quote

I have a an excellent Wisby style 14th century coat of plates from Wintertree Crafts, and while a love it, I find it can be quite warm.

I assume that a 14th century half breastplate such as shown below would be substantially cooler due to the back being open an the plate being less tight to the arming coat/body.

I am hoping that someone with experience wearing both kinds of armor can elaborate on how substantially cooler a breastplate is?


Thanks!

My CoP (from Wintertree Crafts):

Example Breast Plate (from Platener)

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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its not the armour but the foundation garment that retains heat. Iron and steel conduct heat reasonably well.

If one wears a lightly padded arming coat constructed of natural fibres, it tends to wick moisture. Hydration is more important for relative comfort than the specific style of armour. When people wear foundation garments thickly padded with synthetic fibre then they roast.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree. I have both and they seem to keep heat in the same. biggest issue is the fabric under. It can either cool the person as he/she sweats or heat them up further.

RPM
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I agree. I have both and they seem to keep heat in the same. biggest issue is the fabric under. It can either cool the person as he/she sweats or heat them up further.

RPM


Agreed. I wear a globose breastplate over a haubergeon with my kit, and find that once I've got a good sweat going (assuming it's warm outside), I actually start to cool off. When my shirt and gambeson are wet and a breeze goes by, it acts like radiator fins and cools me off. I don't feel much different if I take the breastplate off and just wear the gambeson with haubergeon.

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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the point being missed here is that the CoP configuration you are completely wrapped in:
Front: Leather, Plates, Mail, Gambeson
Back: Leather, Plates, Mail, Gambeson

Wheras: in half-breastplate, since it has no back:
Front: Plate, Mail, Gambeson
Back: Mail, Gambeson

I know from experience when I take off my CoP I radiate heat and cool off very fast (I do have a properly made arming coate), so I imagine if nothing was on my back to begin with (besides the mail/arming coate) I would be much cooler overall- even if my front was just as hot.

Basically the leather wrap of the CoP really traps heat.
Is this not the case? Am I missing something?

Randall, you say you have both and think they retain heat similarly, but:
A. Is your CoP backed with leather as mine is?
B. Is you breastplate full, or half as pictured above?

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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My comment will not be particularly helpful, but I would guess that may be one of the reasons why textile backing seemed to be preferred for CoP and similar stuff, at least for wealthy guys.

Only bold hypothesis, but interesting.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have worn Wisby Type I and VII pairs of plate, breastplate with and without back and scale on leather over a gambeson. (BTW there is nothing called a "half" breastplate unless one side of a corrazina has fallen off) None of them made as much difference as changing the foundation garment. Obviously another layer over mail will be hotter as air doesn't move around the body as much to absorb heat. Fabric covered vs leather is also of limited difference because suitable fabric for a pair of plates is almost as impenetrable to air as is leather.

So yes, if you wear only a breastplate and no back you will be slightly cooler than if your back was also covered. A couple of our guys play that way and simply tolerate the dagger shots to the back, rare as they are.

Hope that helps.



T. Arndt wrote:
I think the point being missed here is that the CoP configuration you are completely wrapped in:
Front: Leather, Plates, Mail, Gambeson
Back: Leather, Plates, Mail, Gambeson

Wheras: in half-breastplate, since it has no back:
Front: Plate, Mail, Gambeson
Back: Mail, Gambeson

I know from experience when I take off my CoP I radiate heat and cool off very fast (I do have a properly made arming coate), so I imagine if nothing was on my back to begin with (besides the mail/arming coate) I would be much cooler overall- even if my front was just as hot.

Basically the leather wrap of the CoP really traps heat.
Is this not the case? Am I missing something?

Randall, you say you have both and think they retain heat similarly, but:
A. Is your CoP backed with leather as mine is?
B. Is you breastplate full, or half as pictured above?
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Hope that helps.

Thanks Kel, it does!

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Fabric covered vs leather is also of limited difference because suitable fabric for a pair of plates is almost as impenetrable to air as is leather.

Good point.

Kel Rekuta wrote:
(BTW there is nothing called a "half" breastplate unless one side of a corrazina has fallen off)

I wasn't suggesting a half breastplate is a technical term, it was just my way of distinguishing a fully vs half enclosing breastplate. Happy

Kel Rekuta wrote:
A couple of our guys play that way and simply tolerate the dagger shots to the back, rare as they are.

A dagger to mail, even if non-penetrating would not be pleasant-- My baselard is acute enough it makes it almost an inch into mail before the rings stop it. On the battlefield I would be more worried about a bodkin tipped arrow at short range, or a spear, halberd or poleaxe tip and my mail however.

My bascinet's aventail is rather extensive so I think the back of the gorget + double mail to the shoulder blades should leave me pretty protected from anything striking downwards. That coverage also provides good motivation for me to face my opponent and not run Big Grin

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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also have a wintertree CoP and I'm just going to comment on a couple of factors. It's been a while since I've worn a breastplate, and I've never worn one for an extended period over mail (as I do frequently with my CoP).

I wear my CoP over mail and a simple tunic and shirt (actually, usually two shirts) without additional padding most of the time. One of my schticks is to let someone swing at me baseball bat style with a longsword to demonstrate the protective qualities, and I strongly feel that padding is not needed underneath. The mail then creates a thin airway between me and the CoP. Obviously I don't get as much breeze as with just mail, but it makes a big difference, where I think that padding tends to block up that airway.

The big thing though, is that I get my CoP tightened as tight as possible over my mail, which pulls the weight of the mail into the body and disperses it. My CoP over mail feels lighter than just wearing the mail alone. The comfort of not having the weight of the mail hanging on my shoulders more than compensates for the increased heat. I did not find this benefit with a breastplate on the few times I briefly wore one over mail. The CoP is way more form fitting.

That said, I will admit that when I take my CoP off after wearing it for more than half an hour or so, there is almost always a mist of perspiration on the inside of the plates.

Just pointing out that there is some give and take in terms of benefits.

I'm planning on buying breastplate or two as loaner gear, so once I've tried that out, I'll try to remember to post my impressions back here.

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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
The mail then creates a thin airway between me and the CoP. Obviously I don't get as much breeze as with just mail, but it makes a big difference, where I think that padding tends to block up that airway.

I have not purchased my body mail yet, so maybe I should do that first so I can find out how strong this effect is.

Craig Shackleton wrote:
I strongly feel that padding is not needed underneath.

I could agree with that. My arming coate is very porous and substantially less padded than my gambeson.

This Agincourt Arming Cotte is the coate I use, it is at least 4x less padded than my gambeson. Granted, if I was only wearing mail, I would surely want to wear the gambeson rather than the coate.

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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Kel Rekuta wrote:
Hope that helps.

Thanks Kel, it does!

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Fabric covered vs leather is also of limited difference because suitable fabric for a pair of plates is almost as impenetrable to air as is leather.

Good point.

Kel Rekuta wrote:
(BTW there is nothing called a "half" breastplate unless one side of a corrazina has fallen off)

I wasn't suggesting a half breastplate is a technical term, it was just my way of distinguishing a fully vs half enclosing breastplate. Happy

Kel Rekuta wrote:
A couple of our guys play that way and simply tolerate the dagger shots to the back, rare as they are.

A dagger to mail, even if non-penetrating would not be pleasant-- My baselard is acute enough it makes it almost an inch into mail before the rings stop it. On the battlefield I would be more worried about a bodkin tipped arrow at short range, or a spear, halberd or poleaxe tip and my mail however.

My bascinet's aventail is rather extensive so I think the back of the gorget + double mail to the shoulder blades should leave me pretty protected from anything striking downwards. That coverage also provides good motivation for me to face my opponent and not run Big Grin


one thing that sticks in my mind is that michael edelsons test against maile that he did a few years back withwith quite good quality maile which was easily penetrated by the top spike of the A&A poleaxe id imagine other things like rondels and other thick pinty things would be very nasty

another thing to consider is not just being pierced but since you dont have that rigid protection, hammers and maces are also a big problem even if the maile isnt broken a poleaxe hammer mace or even a whack from an axe or something to the back will cause fairly high damage since the impact will invariably either damage a rib and possibly transmit to, and damage the spinal bones. this is because while you can fall forward the impact will very rapidly transfer to the bones since they are so closely under your skin.
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

one thing that sticks in my mind is that michael edelsons test against maile that he did a few years back withwith quite good quality maile which was easily penetrated by the top spike of the A&A poleaxe id imagine other things like rondels and other thick pinty things would be very nasty

another thing to consider is not just being pierced but since you dont have that rigid protection, hammers and maces are also a big problem even if the maile isnt broken a poleaxe hammer mace or even a whack from an axe or something to the back will cause fairly high damage since the impact will invariably either damage a rib and possibly transmit to, and damage the spinal bones. this is because while you can fall forward the impact will very rapidly transfer to the bones since they are so closely under your skin.


If your point is that one should seek to avoid the business end of a poleaxe, I doubt you will find many who disagree. Big Grin
Obviously rigid armour is going to be far superior to flexible armor in terms of thrusts from stout spear like weapons and blunt force trauma.

Like anything else armor is about trade offs. Is the reduced cost, weight and increased heat dissipation of a half breastplate worth not having the protection that comes from the backplate? At the close of the 14th century I think that would be a call made by each Knight/man-at-arms.

P.S. Here is the post referred to above by William by Michael Edelson, of NYHFA, regarding mail penetration.
http://www.newyorklongsword.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=285

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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yeah i know about it, michael posted the rsults of the test here on myArmoury..

and those were the tests of maile penetration i was referring o regarding the A&A poleaxe..
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
yeah i know about it, michael posted the rsults of the test here on myArmoury..
and those were the tests of maile penetration i was referring o regarding the A&A poleaxe..

Of course you know about it- you brought it up lol. I linked to it so other people who are interested could easily find it.

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Like anything else armor is about trade offs. Is the reduced cost, weight and increased heat dissipation of a half breastplate worth not having the protection that comes from the backplate?


It was worth the reduced protection for many Italians, at least. Some carvings and miniatures of this era show Italian troops with nothing more than the breastplate's retaining straps (presumably leather) crossed over the mail on their backs.
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