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Aaron Harris




Location: Stratford New Zealand
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 1:01 am    Post subject: HMBIA Helmet test         Reply with quote

Has anyone else see this ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv2ZngY3A90
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting, thanks for posting.

Would love to read some info about this:

- is this funky halberd/voulge thing based on any actual find. Looks very fun. Big Grin

- Is this properly sharpened, or is this actual safe Battle of nations style stuff? Couldn't quite hear it being mentioned when they measured it.

- who made the helmet? And how 'kosher' it is. Taking into account that the guy was pretty much bashing away with all his might against stationary target, it stood up really formidably. Eek!


Cheers.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric is all about the BoTN stuff so this must be to prove the caved in helmets people have experienced are due to poor craftsmanship. In the video they measure the edge (~2mm) and the back of the blade (~6mm) with a total weight of 2.4 kg. Nasty even as a blunt.

Any of those blows might have broken the neck of anyone unlucky enough to be struck. Its rather extreme and yet the helmet didn't fail. A useful data point: good job Eric!
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think we'd find that an inch deep dent into a helmet would be rather... well you'd probably be dead if the helmet was remotely form fitting with a historical suspension liner. Makes me kinda glad i returned the GDFB barbute i had that was a smidge too small to pad (for live steel SCA style with camp mats and such), even though it was quite pretty and a helmet I'd actually like to fight in.

Personally i think this just shows the power of a poleaxe/polehammer/polearm with a force magnifying spike as a striking edge. Considering most period helmets would be around 16ga and probably at best case hardened iron for the average 15th century soldiery, I see why the poleaxe/polehammer was a such a deadly tool.

For "friendly" tourneys, I wouldn't want to wield or be fought against with a barchiche/lochaber axe such as that; seems unnecessarily dangerous when a standard form of edged pole weapon serves the same purpose of knocking someone down.
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Aaron Harris




Location: Stratford New Zealand
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me i am impressed a mild steel helm can put up with that sort of punishment.
I have heard a spring steel helm has around 7 times more tensile strength than mild.
It makes you wonder how much variation there would of been between helms/armours/steel back in the day
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm, I have a 14 gauge helm that is mild steel. Pole axes are allowed in my group but I am not sure of the size or weight restrictions on them. It is a sugar loaf type and there parts at the top where there are two layered plates of 16 gauge resting on top of one another. It can dent with a hard enough blow. Where in all the lands can you get a hardened helm? That has to be serious money and seriously life saving : Surprised My group does not require spring steel or hardened steel for helms. Just 14 gauge steel.

Tom King wrote:
I think we'd find that an inch deep dent into a helmet would be rather... well you'd probably be dead if the helmet was remotely form fitting with a historical suspension liner. Makes me kinda glad i returned the GDFB barbute i had that was a smidge too small to pad (for live steel SCA style with camp mats and such), even though it was quite pretty and a helmet I'd actually like to fight in.

Personally i think this just shows the power of a poleaxe/polehammer/polearm with a force magnifying spike as a striking edge. Considering most period helmets would be around 16ga and probably at best case hardened iron for the average 15th century soldiery, I see why the poleaxe/polehammer was a such a deadly tool.

For "friendly" tourneys, I wouldn't want to wield or be fought against with a barchiche/lochaber axe such as that; seems unnecessarily dangerous when a standard form of edged pole weapon serves the same purpose of knocking someone down.


Is your red painted helm a Bentwood special also Tom Big Grin ? Mine's not, I bought mine used from Larry the Just in Tyme boot salesman! Just had to ask!

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Tom King




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PostPosted: Sat 05 Oct, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, 10 bucks of 14ga steel made into a bucket helmet. Good welds and a strong double thickness brim equals a long lasting helmet. Still wouldn't want to be hit by something like that though Eek!
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Oct, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally for me, I've always cnsidered such tests as wrong:
* no one will stand around still, waiting for someother to bash him with full strength
** such ticknesses are quite un-correct.
So, if this video is demonstration of the BoN rules - it's OK; if it's a "arm vs armour" test, for me it's quite bully and foolish.

But in anyway, at least looks pretty cool.

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Tom King




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PostPosted: Sat 05 Oct, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Bedrosov wrote:
no one will stand around still, waiting for someother to bash him with full strength

Peripheral vision is pretty limited, even in a well fitted full helm. So while relatively rare, I've seen plenty of people take a blow to the head from outside their field of view with no knowledge of it coming towards them. This is usually in mass melee tourney and open field battles of course.
Boris Bedrosov wrote:
such thicknesses are quite un-correct.

I wouldn't want to be wearing the correct 16-18ga case hardened iron helmet of the average man at arms and take a blow like that. "surviving" helmets suffering supposed poleaxe blows are never pretty... or wearable.
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The danger of tests like these and the growing popularity of these styles of armored sport combat is it's starting to blur the lines between what was historical and what is purely a function of a modern sport with a historical outward appearance.

All weapons in the BoTN / ACL etc... are blunt concussive weapons regardless of how they're shaped. So a sword, poleaxe, halberd, falchion, mace etc... everything's an impact weapon, even if in historical context it was a cutting or thrusting weapon. Since all you can face is an impact weapon, and the nature of the sport requires armor that can stand up to constant blunt force trauma and bludgeoning, the armor has morphed away from historical armor to suit the specific application, in this case being beaten repeatedly with a blunt weight on the end of a stick.

So helmets have to be made from impractically thick mild steel in order to have the mass and impact characteristics necessary to not result in immediate death or loss of consciousness for the person inside. While heat-treated spring steel has far superior deformation characteristics, it can't absorb force like a 15 lb lump of thick mild steel, so it's probably not as safe. As long as we're not looking at any of these tests as anything related to historical armor, we're fine. But people keep trying to draw parallels and that is dangerous. We risk perpetuating old myths and creating new myths about historical armor in the process. We need to be careful in the discussion that these two very different types of armor are kept separate and not combined in context.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've seen, some historical helmets, especially from the sixteenth century but also earlier, were 3mm or thicker on the top. One c. 1575 infantry burgonet measured by Alan Williams, for example, is 2.3-3.8mm and pretty soft (142 VPH). Jousting helms were often 8-10mm in period when unhardened, which shows what they considered necessary for safety. Of course, that was against the couched lance rather than any infantry polearm.

I'm not surprised that the tested helm ended up deformed and dented rather than cloven. What evidence do we have that halberds and other such weapons cut through helms? I can think of a seventeenth-century source that indicates halberds clove lighter helms, but I doubt that includes 3+mm crests.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I recall, Richard III was killed by a halberd blow to the head that drove his helmet into his skull, but I don't think it cut through the helmet.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, my HMB practice helmet is 3mm mild. The faceplate (not historical, but Mamluks and Turks only wore bar nasals on Chichaks) is 2mm. I have a bar nasal for it as well.

It hasn't been hit yet (it's still being assembled), but my HMB club insists on testing helmets with a heavy axe before allowing them. They're all power-lifting martial arts guys, so there WILL be a dent, no matter how thick it is. I'll put up a pic when it gets tested.

The important thing to mention about it is that it weighs about 6kg, and close to 7kg... Quite a bit more than the 3-weapon masks and Kendo men I'm used to, and some of those historical ones must have weighed even more. That was my idea, to have a heavy practice armour ... my bazubands/mittens (inspired by the Stibbert Krug) are 2.5mm tempered spring and are 2.5+kg each as well..

To have weight like that in an actual fight would be some seriously hard-work though, and, on the head in particular, a bit of a hindrance to great balance without a lot of practice. So extra respect to those guys who wore these things into a pitched battle!

Here's photos. The screws are obviously to show how it'll look all assembled. Cool It has been made by Edward Shaykhutdinov from Tatarstan. The guy's amazing, look him up on facebook.



 Attachment: 94.08 KB
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 Attachment: 80.77 KB
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If I recall, Richard III was killed by a halberd blow to the head that drove his helmet into his skull, but I don't think it cut through the helmet.

According to the recent skeletal examination, the halberd blade penetrated several centimeters into Richard's brain, which would have resulted in immediate unconsciousness and death shortly afterwards. But there are eight separate injuries to the skull so he must have lost his helmet at some point.

Here is Woosnam-Savage's reconstruction of the event:

"Richard probably got within a few yards of Henry before his horse probably became stuck in marshy ground or was killed from underneath him. On foot, with foot soldiers closing in, the fight becomes a close infantry melee. It would have been difficult to get through the armour, so attackers would have gone for gaps, or tried to break pieces off. The skeleton only shows the minimum number of injuries - the soft tissue has gone - and he is likely to have taken many more wounds of which there is now no trace. At some point he loses his helmet and then the violent blows start raining down on the head, including a possible blow from a weapon like a halberd, including the one which I think kills him. Then I think it possible that someone has come along, almost immediately afterwards, possibly with his body lying face down and stuck a dagger into his head. From becoming unhorsed, it probably only took a matter of a few minutes, before he was dead - not a long time at all."

Quote:
To have weight like that in an actual fight would be some seriously hard-work though, and, on the head in particular, a bit of a hindrance to great balance without a lot of practice. So extra respect to those guys who wore these things into a pitched battle!

They didn't. Helmets this heavy were usually only worn in tournaments. Field helmets were generally a lot lighter.
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:

To have weight like that in an actual fight would be some seriously hard-work though, and, on the head in particular, a bit of a hindrance to great balance without a lot of practice. So extra respect to those guys who wore these things into a pitched battle!


This is exactly what I meant when talking about blurring the lines between modern sport combat and history.

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Steven Janus




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
Bennison N wrote:

To have weight like that in an actual fight would be some seriously hard-work though, and, on the head in particular, a bit of a hindrance to great balance without a lot of practice. So extra respect to those guys who wore these things into a pitched battle!


This is exactly what I meant when talking about blurring the lines between modern sport combat and history.


It depends on the combat but you are right. All modern sport weapons are essentially bludgeoning weapons. After all, we are really not 'trying' to kill one another, just make a 'scoring' blow. So some sacrifices do get made in the name of safety. I tried going the heavy armor route first. I had a 16 gauge haubreck with 8mm outer ring diameter underneath a 15 ounce unboiled leather placard. With gorget, splinted upper arms, winged elbows in 16 gauge, and 14 gauge pauldrons. I'm keeping the arm armor, helm, legs, and gorge. I am replacing the mail and leather placard with a canvas brigandine holding 16 gauge mild steel plates with some 15 ounce unboiled plates covering areas that were difficult to cover with metal. I'll have to take a picture of my helm and post it in this topic eventually.

Anyway what I really wanted to get across was that not every fight has to be to the yield with over powering blows and ridiculously heavy armor. Now I'm not BOTN, I am in Adrian Empire. Marshals are supposed to watch each fight and call excessive force in blows to prevent injury. This doesn't mean we love tap each other either. We go at it to make sure the opponent can significantly feel the impact well enough to 'score' a blow. No not entirely historical I know. In a way it is more like sword tag as someone cutting into a steel chest plate would be counted as a deadly blow in my group when it wouldn't be as you can't cut through a steel breast plate. All I'm trying to get across really is it depends a lot on the group. now I know this post is specifically oriented to BOTN. As a re-enactor of another group, I feel obliged to once again add my thoughts! most guys in my group have a kit weighing between fifty to eighty pounds. That's not too far off from historic armor kit, mine included. We do have some different rules in regards to our helms. No more than 3/4 of an inch in helmet openings are allowed, which thereby limits the selection of many historical helms. Though hardened helms are not a requirement. Good ol' cold rolled steel of the right gauge, 14, is allowable. We do allow pole axes in the group but I would have to review the wieght and shape restrictions again.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
They didn't. Helmets this heavy were usually only worn in tournaments. Field helmets were generally a lot lighter.


See my previous post. Various field helmets had 3+mm combs/crests and some massed over 6kg, though of course many/most were less than that. (3-4kg seems a common range for close helmets.) Sixteenth-century jousting helms were often 8-10mm thick, which is much heavier than the one tested here.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
They didn't. Helmets this heavy were usually only worn in tournaments. Field helmets were generally a lot lighter.


See my previous post. Various field helmets had 3+mm combs/crests and some massed over 6kg, though of course many/most were less than that. Sixteenth-century jousting helms were often 8-10mm thick, which is much heavier than the one tested here.


The field helmets you referenced are from the late renaissance to early modern period, and faced firearms. I'd be interested to see any medieval non-jousting helms used for foot combat that were commonly that thick and heavy. One or two counterexamples does not change the fact that the overwhelming majority of field helmets of the medieval era are not massively thick and heavy. From all the evidence we have, people were not wearing overly heavy helmets in pitched battle with any sort of frequency, and I fear the 'armor is massive and heavy' myth is going to be given new breath as a result of tests like these without proper explanation.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century are indeed the time you'll find some of the heaviest armors ever worn in combat. In the 1580s de la Noue considered the heavy cavalry armor of his day so burdensome as to make men-at-arms only able to fight for short periods of time. But see the fourteenth-century bascinet measurements by Robert Hardy I linked to above: 2.44-4.57mm on the top front. A uniform 16-18-guage helmet doesn't provide the same protection.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!


Last edited by Benjamin H. Abbott on Mon 07 Oct, 2013 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian has a point about late Renn helmets but its hard to refute the example of the Churburg S14 bascinet. The bascinet shell and visor come just shy of 4kg and tip over 6kg with the associated aventail. It took a massive whack to the back point during its working life which cracked it open somewhat. Its pretty hard to claim its a tournament helmet.
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