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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Good source for mid-late 15th cen armor Reply to topic
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Patrick Shirley





Joined: 05 Apr 2010

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Good source for mid-late 15th cen armor         Reply with quote

Hi all, I've been lurking for a while, and have gotten interested in putting together a 15th century kit, however, I'm not sure what makers/companies/manufactures offer good armor from this period, who would you recommend to a newbie looking to put together his first kit?

Thanks
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heres a few...

http://armstreet.com/store/armor/

http://steel-mastery.com/en

http://www.tomala.lublin.pl/index.php?strona=wstep&lng=eng


I have had good experiences with Armstreet and Steel Mastery. My 15th c kit is mostly from Mercenaries Tailor who are unfortunatley not in buisness anymore, but I see Allen Senefelder from Merc Tailor still sells bits and pieces in the Makers and Manufacturers section and he was always an awesome and generous guy to deal with!
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,446

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jun, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some important considerations are:

What do you want to use it for?

What do you want to spend?

Without answers to those to questions at the least, its going to be very hard for anybody to constructively point you in the right direction and get your wants and needs aligned.

Links page here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/links.html

...includes URLs for many resources and vendors, including some armorers. Notice that not all of them are up to date but gives a reasonable place to start looking at least!

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Fri 21 Jun, 2013 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rune Vildhoj




Location: Denmark
Joined: 21 Jun 2012

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First consideration, as Joe pointed out, is to figure out what you primarily want the armour to be:
Decorative? For reenactment purpourses? For some specific kind of sparring/SCA-fighting or does it maybe have to fullfill both of these or even meet other criteria?
Are you willing to compromise a little on either design being less accurate for the period or the protective value being less (not raising parts but merely bending the metal into shape saves a lot of time = money but may thin and weaken the plates) in order to save some money? Perhaps as a newbie you are hesitant with putting down $$$$$? Assuming your interest is in a fairly period correct outfit it can easily be a large sum to spend, so maybe you want to have some idea of the world you are to enter before going for the whole lot.

Another very important thing to mention is the order in which to put together a full suit or kit. Always start from the inside out. Fit is everything if you actually want to wear the armour, no matter whether this is just for looks or actual sparring, rather than just being able to put it on display next to the fireplace. So get hold of undergarments first, next foundation (gambeson or whatever term one prefers) and only then consider the outer layer of the armour. Which in the case of 15th century is likely to be almost solely plate. Full coverage or just a cuirass. You could always start out with a breast- and backplate to get a sense what it is like to wear, then add on parts or get a complete suit once you have found out what you feel is important to you and what less so. Or maybe then a helmet and armour for the torso and get the leg protection at some later date, thus splitting the cost. Whatever the case, get the clothing and foundation right first as those are not only important but would be useful no matter what particular course or armour you subsequently decide on.
If you have knowledge, skills with needle and tread plus a little patience, much of the clothing can be made or fitted by yourself, otherwise there are plenty of options for having it tailored at not too exorbitant cost. Of the rack clothing is a rather modern concept - at least as standard. Everything being cut and sewn by hand, usually as individual commisions, tailoring the parts to the wearer was the norm for pre-industrial clothing and does make a world of difference.

Worth noting on the issue of cost is of course that the prise and complexity of the armour corresponds to the level of persona the kit should be apropriate for; a professional man-at-arms is better equiped than a peasant levy, just as high nobility could afford more fancy features than those at the poorer end.
Also consider if there are particular styles you prefer, just visually or because you want to portrait an English knight rather than an Italian one. Rich persons could easily have travelled or just bought their items froms most of Europe, but still there were distinct regional characteristics you might want to conform to. Do your research first and in case of deciding on a custom made harness, do not be afraid to discuss it or any personal wishes at length with your armourer of choice rather than just looking at pictures on commercial websites and shop for an exact replica of these.

In my opinion, having both a not too accurate second hand armour of my own, another made-to-measure (with some minor anachonisms and inaccuracies, though quite nice) and being in the process of getting a third (and hopefully rather authentic) one done, I'd say that there really is a world of difference between good and less good armour if you plan to wear it as more than a costume. Theoretically one might get lucky with fit and functionality on a budget, but in order to fully experience how well an armour can be in terms of possible articulation, wheightload and protection, then there is no subsitute for having the real thing done by someone who knows his craft. It would be like claiming a wallhanger is the same to the concept of a sword as an Albion is... Recommendations as where to look then depend so much on what you want the armour for.

Once you have made up your mind as to intended use and narrowed down your choice to a specific decade/region/coverage, then look to choicing an armourer who seems to be doing this good or come back here, asking for peoples experiences with ordering from a particular smith who may have caught your eye.

By the way, welcome and enjoy the hobby!
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,446

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun, 2013 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This topic and thread might be a helpful resource as well, f for no other reason than to see what is out there!

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...1f2e41a9ec

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Reading list: 5 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 301

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun, 2013 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rune Vildhoj wrote:
First consideration, as Joe pointed out, is to figure out what you primarily want the armour to be:

Another very important thing to mention is the order in which to put together a full suit or kit. Always start from the inside out. Fit is everything if you actually want to wear the armour, no matter whether this is just for looks or actual sparring, rather than just being able to put it on display next to the fireplace. So get hold of undergarments first, next foundation (gambeson or whatever term one prefers) and only then consider the outer layer of the armour.!


This cannot be emphasized enough. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on the finest armor, and it will fit and function like garbage without the proper arming garments worn beneath. People often skip this step because armor is much sexier than a solid arming doublet, but it leads to terrible dissatisfaction and usually results in re-buying a lot of stuff after you realize the mistake.

For the mid to late 15th century, a stout arming doublet is what you're after. You can make one yourself, or purchase a good one commercially. Historic Enterprises offers one of the best commercially available ones:

http://historicenterprises.com/doublet-arming...ath=99_112

Once you've got the arming garments squared away, only then can you be appropriately measured for a proper suit of armor.

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