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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 12:39 am    Post subject: Making my maille coif look good:         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm working on fixing up my kit to look more historically accurate. I upgraded to a better nasal helm, switched to a wool surcoat (from cotton), and traded up to riveted maille. It's all looking pretty great...to me anyway. Unfortunately, one problem persists. My maille coif just drapes over my head and shoulders rather than conforming to the shape of my head and neck. It also leaves a huge gaping hole over under my chin, so my throat would be extremely exposed. Needless to say, this doesn't jive with any period stone effigies or manuscripts.

Basically, I want to turn this,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bullets4brains/8...hotostream

into this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bullets4brains/8...otostream/

Note how the maille ends just over the top of the chin, and exposes only the face. I tried lacing a leather thong through the neck of the coif, but it didn't pull off the same effect.

Does anybody have any ideas on how I can make my coif look better? I'm really hoping that the answer isn't "get one custom made." I could buy some more rings and a riveting tool if necessary. I have also seen modern illustrations of the maille coif being laced up the back, but again, I'm just not sure. Any advice any of you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could add a padded liner, it would take up some room in the hood, and that would help with the fitting.

Something along these lines

http://rivetedchainmail.pl/rm_23.html

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Ęthelmearc
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What you are looking at in the 2nd photo is an integrated coif with an aventail.

If you are using a separate mail coif, then the facial opening doesn't have to be very large because you can remove the coif by pulling it off over your head. Thus, if you want to make the facial opening smaller, buy some rings and a riveting tool and add some rings to make the facial opening smaller and cover your chin. However, such a coif is never going to conform to your neck like in the picture above.

An integrated mail coif, that is woven into the hauberk, has to have a large facial opening so that the coif can be be pulled back off the head when not in combat. This large facial opening leaves the face and chin exposed, as in your first photo. The Medieval solution is the aventail, an additional flap of mail that is wrapped under the chip and attached up around the brow. That's what you are looking at in the second photo.

The problem is that no one really seems to understand how to duplicate the aventail that is pictured in your second photo.
The reproductions that are available on the market are not even close.

Contrast this effigy here:


With the modern "aventail" reproduction here:


If you can figure out how to nail down the proper look with a proper aventail, please share your secrets with the rest of us.

I am experimenting myself to try to figure this one out.
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There have been a few threads/attempts and theories about this in the past...

I think you first need to decide what kind of look you want for your coif. I think it changed through the 11th -14th centuries - in terms of how it looked and how it was fastened. Often with several different methods around at the same time.

As already mentioned, I think you want the 'integral look' (this would be contemporary with a conical helm) - but it's difficult to get it to work without the rest of the hauberk 'anchoring' the base of the coif in place...

The mid 13c sees what is probably the first seperate coifs appearing (in germany) - as per the St Maurice effigy (Gambeson.pl do a good re-creation of this) - but that isn't very shaped...:

http://www.medievalart.org.uk/Germany2007/Mag...C_0306.jpg

I have seen a period image of this style of coif which included ties from the bottom corners linking front-to-back underarm to keep it in place - and also a tie around the neck...

I believe there is an early 14c example of a coif which had a vertical split at the back of the neck which was tied up. This would be a very easy way to make the neck part narrower while still being able to get the coif over the head. Obviously this design was for a seperate coif.

On yours, I'd suggest the doing the first thing I did with mine - which is to take out the rectangular section at the neck (ie take two vertical lines down from each bottom corner of the face-opening to the bottom of the coif) - and then join the two sides back up. This will give you a pointed bottom to the coif which you can close up to be the right size as to stop just under your chin. It's an easy change, the neck will be tighter and you will lose the gape - however your chin will still be bare. But then you could try to use the spare mail you just 'liberated' to make a small, fixed ventail to cover the chin..
(and if you get the neck too tight - or want it tighter, you can add the split up the back)

One simple suggestion too (and a personal beef with a lot of uk reenactors doing the period).. Tuck the coif into your surcote.. It will help hold it in place, make it look a lot more like an integrated coif and give you a much better 'profile' for the period.
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Chris Gilman




Location: California
Joined: 07 Dec 2007

Posts: 74

PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Corey,
The answer is tailoring. It is like posting a picture of a "Hoodie" and a designer tee shirt and asking how to make one look like the other. Very few people tailor their mail and in a way its easier than tailoring fabric, because you can change the shape anywhere you want, by adding or subtracting rings. It is not as difficult as it may seem. Here is a link to a tailored mail sleeve to give you an idea what should be done with mail. Edit, found a better link: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=157253

Chris
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Harry Lindfors





Joined: 07 May 2008

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At first i suggest you read this link:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=23226

A fellow forumite Sander Marechal describes how he modified his coif. I have the exact same coif Sander has, with the same problems, and i just pretty much followed what he did and got an almost matching results. My coif now looks almost exactly like Sander's does. It should work fine for you too, as it looks like your coif is like ours...
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Ęthelmearc
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All of these sugggestions are great and will work for a separate mail coif - but no one, as of yet, has solved the issue and gotten "the" look with an integrated mail coif.

If someone has succeeded, show me the photos please.
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Corey Skriletz




Location: United States
Joined: 27 May 2011

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed 17 Apr, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Lindfors wrote:
At first i suggest you read this link:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=23226

A fellow forumite Sander Marechal describes how he modified his coif. I have the exact same coif Sander has, with the same problems, and i just pretty much followed what he did and got an almost matching results. My coif now looks almost exactly like Sander's does. It should work fine for you too, as it looks like your coif is like ours...



YES! YES! YESSSSSS!

Thank you, Mr. Lindfors! That's exactly what I was looking for. I had seen a picture of Mr. Merechal's coif on a different thread and sent him a PM in regards to it, but he hasn't seen it yet. Would that I had known he had posted a thread about it. It sounds like, before i do this, I had better make a final decision on a gambeson, so that I can take the diameter of the collar into consideration before I alter my coif, so that the neck fits properly. Otherwise, this sounds perfect. Thanks again. Just what I needed.

And thank you to everyone else, as well. I really appreciate all your help.
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S. Sebok





Joined: 13 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Apr, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually have a coif that does what you want yours to do, What I would suggest is buying some rings and closing up the facial opening to tailor it more. Also would suggest using either leather or jute tie cord to go around it so it fits tighter and looks more like what you'd see on the effigies.

Heres how mine fits and it fits rather well and closely:
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 22 Apr, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But have you ever been hit in the face whilst wearing it? Doesn't it need even a bit of lining, padded or not?

Does look better than most though!
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue 23 Apr, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread has given me the spur I needed to revisit mine again. It's a different style but will post a pic or two once it's done
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Robert MacPherson
Industry Professional



Location: Jeffersonville USA
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This guy's work seems to be headed in the right direction. http://dawnofchivalry.wikispaces.com/Mail+Coif+-+Biro%27s+project His descriptions are a bit hard to understand. More pictures of the coif in different states would help. It would look better and be truer to the illustrations if he ditched the chin padding.



Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

is he wearing the helmet under the mail?
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Robert MacPherson
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Location: Jeffersonville USA
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck,

He sure is. Weird as it seems, it appears to have been pretty common to wear a small helmet under the coif. It certainly contributes to the silhouette.

Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That would be me that last pic. There's another thread on it here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=27964

I'm happy to answer any questions on it since my wiki page is really more of a log of what I've been trying to do than a set of instructions on how to create the final results. When I do finally think I'm happy with it, I'll create a new page with a detailed description of how it is and how I would go about creating it from scratch knowing what I know now. I'll probably add a drawing and more detailed photos to explain. It's tricky at the minute with the current page.

Yes, there is a helmet under the coif.

There is no padding on the chin, just the leather edging continues inside the chin part to keep raw mail off my face. The ventail just happens to be a bit baggy there, but I'm trying to tighten it.
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Robert MacPherson
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Location: Jeffersonville USA
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian,

You are doing a fine job there! I think you are really headed in the right direction.

Could you post a couple of pics that show what the coif looks like when it is not done up? Likewise, a couple of pics that make the folding and lacing clear would be great.

Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,263

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Robson wrote:
The ventail just happens to be a bit baggy there, but I'm trying to tighten it.


Don't tighten it too much, as it will restrict your ability to turn your head once attached, and limit the ability to fit a gorget beneath. The Maciejowski Bible has plenty of examples of a gorget bulge at the neck:


Since we also have lots of examples of the nail coif being shown down in both miniatures and effigies, I agree with Mac that it would be nice to see how it looks off the face for comparison. I started tagging miniatures showing the coif off the head at manuscriptminiatures.com as "mail coif, doffed"

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?year=...ew=gallery

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:

Contrast this effigy here:


With the modern "aventail" reproduction here:


If you can figure out how to nail down the proper look with a proper aventail, please share your secrets with the rest of us.

I am experimenting myself to try to figure this one out.

The "modern aventail" you link to is clearly trying to depict the earlier "bib style" aventails of the 11th C. Here is an example



The effigy above is a later style of aventail that seems to appear in the 12th C.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Robert MacPherson
Industry Professional



Location: Jeffersonville USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
I started tagging miniatures showing the coif off the head at manuscriptminiatures.com as "mail coif, doffed"

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?year=...ew=gallery



Well done,sir!

Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Effigies and Brasses is calling your name!
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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