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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Getting your armoury started         Reply with quote

I'm brand new here, and to this sort of thing in general. I was wondering where a lot of you guys and gals go to acquire your armor in particular. Now keep in mind I'm 23 and work in the military so I'm not strapped with cash. I've been looking around trying to find a close face helmet, but they seem oddly hard to find. Any help or discussion in general would be appreciated.
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Theo Squires





Joined: 23 Jul 2012

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 07 Oct, 2013 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello. Start by looking at the *Favorites" section (Show Top Favorites as picked by our members), which has links to several producers. There are, of course, many more than those listed, but they might be a good start. For armour, the real limiting factor is budget (as with anything, I suppose). Any and all things can be custom made at a cost, but if you want cheaper pieces the options are fewer - this is perhaps more true for armour than weapons. However, there are many talented smiths, particularly in Eastern Europe than have a good price point and range, though I have not dealt with them personally.

You may look at the following makers, in no particular order:
http://www.armour.cz/ - by Jiri Klepac (Czech Republic)
http://bestarmour.com/ (also Czech Republic, don't know maker)
http://www.armorymarek.com/ - by Pavel Marek (also Czech Republic)
http://sl-armours.com/en/home.html (Belarus)
http://nigelcarren.com/ - by Nigel Carren (British guy working in France)

There are many, many other makers, so by no means limit yourself to this list. I will post some more links if/when I remember them. You should also look through the Makers and Manufacturers section of the forum, as some armoursmiths post there. If you search the forums a bit you should find some more links to armourers, particularly if you go to the thread "Show us your kits and harnesses". That will also give you some good inspiration, no doubt.

What styles of armour interest you most? Or century? Some things are easier to find than others due to popularity - gothic armour, for example, is always a favourite. Some styles, like 17th century cuirassier armour, may be more tricky. Are you interested in acquiring a collection of different styles/eras, or do you want a full suit of armour?

Weapons are considerably easier to find and there is much more information and discussion about them. Many swordsmiths are listed in the Favorites section and elsewhere, so I'll leave it to you to find them.

Hopefully that gets you started.

Edit: Here are some more, though I don't know much about them.
http://www.tomala.lublin.pl/index.php?strona=wstep&lng=eng
http://www.armour-vanek.cz/indexen.html
http://wildarmoury.com/index.php?index

This thread may also be interesting (http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18254 - 'Show us your helms')
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 3:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Close helms are hard to find as they are difficult to get right and not many either want them or try them. They also appear in a period that's not that popular to re-enact which is why nasals, sallets, kettle helms great helms prevail and much post 1520 needs to be commissioned, unless you live in Europe of cours or are looking at the ren faire community.

If you are going for a close helm then bear in mind a fitting or two will save you an awful lot of pain and hassle so try and get someone experienced and near to you. Also bear in mind that close helms are the peak of helmet making at the time so everything else that goes with them will ideally need be up to the same level of skill.
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm not really knowledgeable of all this stuff yet so I guess I can't speak specifically about centuries or regions, but I know I like some of the later styles. I like the complexity of them and that they have a more striking visage to me. I've been trying to do more research on different types and styles but I know I have a ton left to learn. As near as I can tell I would say I like maximillian style armor because of fluting on it. I'd like to have a collection someday but for now I'd like to start with getting one suit together. I am sad to hear about the rarity of close helms, though it makes perfect sense. I'm sure they are really tough to make and I'm guessing not as many exciting historical events took place in their time if they aren't as popular for reenactments. It's kind of odd how armets and close helmets seem to be so popularized with symbols of knights.

I do really like the close helms, and I've always liked zweihander type swords. As far as I can tell they are from the same era and could have been used by the same people.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you said zweihander and got my attention - the two handed swords I've been following, seem dated to 1530, but that's only 3 of many examples. truly they are an interesting blade style to research.

as a beginner to this hobby i recommend you do as much research on your item before you go after it. I've found with the more research i do on something i want, it drives me down more and more specific to what i want - and in the end that's what I'm happiest with.

like any other hobby that is out there, this can get expensive - but the way i look at it, its just like hunting or fishing - or whatever else you may pick up, these are specialized items and they cost. but don't let the cost of some of the things drive you away from it. as long as you budget properly what's there to worry about. if you find something out there you like, its all of what you want, your research into the item has you feel like its a solid buy, then just splurge and get it. just make sure you'll have enough left over to feed yourself.
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Jonathan Fletcher





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My advice...

1. Ignore the shiny stuff until you have a well made and well fitting arming garment. That means finding a good off-the-shelf arming coat such as this one http://historicenterprises.com/arms-and-armou...p-713.html or having one made (more expensive).

2. Consider what you want to cover the gaps with: Neck, oxters, groin, potentially backs of legs. This usually means nothing (and a sword through your armpit) or maille. Maille is a pig, little of it well fitted, usually requiring some work to get it to fit/work. This is time consuming but low skilled work, good for when it is raining outside. If you suddenly feel flush and have time to wait a year or two then Mark is your man at http://www.capapie.co.uk/

3. Only once you have got these basics sorted and working would I advise ordering a harness of armour. Without these, the nice shiny stuff is just for decoration and it is harder (and will cost more in the long run with mistakes) to reverse engineer the arming garments and maille to the armour. The harness will be the single most expensive unit, you need to get this right first time. Measure, or better be measured, to fit the armour wearing the arming clothes and maille to avoid the need to find yourself buying a new set of arms, for example, because actually they are great over clothes but not over an arming coat with maille sleeves.

4. Choose an armourer who you can visit for fitting and tailoring/tweeking as the armour is made.

5. You get what you pay for. Cheap armour looks cheap, doesn't work as well. Better to wait and save up.

6. Milan Marek and Petr Jizba at http://www.bestarmour.com/ are good, perhaps better than their prices still. I have an armour made by them and it is good quality for the money, perhaps contradicts what I said in 5. If you are c.6ft and c.85-95kg I might be tempted to let it go for sale with arming coat, voiders, skirt, neck, helmet, the full shooting match. But it is for c.1415 so perhaps too early and no 2 handed swords around. PM me if interested. And I'm in the UK so postage would be expensive.
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My bits of advice:
Start from the inside out. I know it's tempting to get the shiny stuff first but it will help immensely with fit and comfort.
Make sure everything fits well. This will help your mobility immensely and prevent chafing and armor bite from extended wear.
I know you said you haven't picked centuries or regions yet, but settle on something before you start laying down money. Even if you aren't as concerned about authenticity (although IMO you should be Happy ) Doing research will give your kit a higher level of both visual and functional cohesion. Armor of different eras used different technology and were designed to combat different threats, so knowing your era and region will give you a better sense of what function your gear was designed to perform.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel, from what I know thus far the zweihanders were used by German and swiss forces, particularly Mercenaries and would have been used during the Maximilian era.

Johnathan, you offer sound advice there. The shiny stuff might seem more exciting but it doesn't add up to much without the stuff under it. I certainly need to learn a lot more about what makes up a whole suit or harness itself but you guys have been very helpful. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I'm looking for but I know at least when the time comes I'd like to try to get a helmet That doesn't have an affixed neck piece or gorget. I'm 6' about 85 ish kg, maybe a bit less.

You guys are all stressing a good fit or sizing. I'm sure that is really important for the number of reasons you mentioned but I'm not sure how I would go about that. I can look into it but I doubt there are any smiths around here. Right now I'm in Montana, and there isn't an abundance of people here. If not in person I guess I would need to provide measurements through email or some other means.
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Jonathan Fletcher





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm 6' about 85 ish kg, maybe a bit less


Then I'm your man. If you want to prance around like Henry V for the 600th anniversary of Agincourt in 2015 let me know, my armour is for you. Have a look at Agincourt by Osprey books, nice intro to the period and equipment. You'll need a long sword though, like this http://www.armabohemia.cz/imgnew/epees/epees/nn48v.jpg or if you are flush like this http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...f-xvii.htm
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lol, I honestly have no idea what that means or what that would look like
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't take this criticism the wrong way, but I think you are going about this backwards and that is why you are having some confusion. Rather than picking based on aesthetics and then finding out about the history, go the other way around. Read the history, and find a certain event or people or time that draws your interest. That event or history will give you a very sold grounding on what aesthetic choices are correct.

So rather than saying "I like Maximillian Armour" and trying to go backwards from there, start from a war or battle like say "the War of the Roses" and work up from there. That way you know you actually like the history that goes with the armour, rather than just making such a big decision based on what is essentially purely aesthetics.

Just my advice, worth exactly what you paid for it...

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting your armoury started         Reply with quote

Brendan McM wrote:
I'm brand new here, and to this sort of thing in general. I was wondering where a lot of you guys and gals go to acquire your armor in particular. Now keep in mind I'm 23 and work in the military so I'm not strapped with cash. I've been looking around trying to find a close face helmet, but they seem oddly hard to find. Any help or discussion in general would be appreciated.


Are you active duty off shore or reserve currently in US? Honestly before you buy anything, I'd join a group like the SCA, HEMA, or the Adrian Empire and spend time with them. Once you get to know some people, you'll eventually find local armor smiths who can sew and do leather work as well as metal work. You'll also likely pick up good deals on used equipment and learn how to make more of it yourself. Of course, none of this applies if you are active duty in a conflict right now in which case getting a kit together will be very difficult having to send measurements and such and guessing if it will all fit together. If you are on tour, I'd wait until your tour is over and join a re-enactment club.

Newbie Sword collector
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin, I certainly don't take it the wrong way. I definitely like history and appreciate the history behind the armors and peoples themselves, but I've always been a stickler for aesthetics and and design. It's not that I wouldn't love to learn more about all the history, but I'm drawn to things in life in general based on aesthetics and function. The more complex and intricate something is the more likely I am to be interested in it. For example; I love vikings and their history but I wouldn't want to build or compile a set of viking armor. As interesting as they are, they just don't have the allure of the design and visual flare that a knight might have. Hopefully I don't sound dumb for saying that. I do greatly look forward to learning more about all the history I can.

Steven, I've been active duty for about 5 years now as a structural engineer. Essentially I do carpentry, welding, metal work, masonry and lock smithing. Thankfully right now I'm at my home station in Montana. I'll definitely look into those groups though.

Thanks guys Happy
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brendan McM wrote:
Robin, I certainly don't take it the wrong way. I definitely like history and appreciate the history behind the armors and peoples themselves, but I've always been a stickler for aesthetics and and design. It's not that I wouldn't love to learn more about all the history, but I'm drawn to things in life in general based on aesthetics and function. The more complex and intricate something is the more likely I am to be interested in it. For example; I love vikings and their history but I wouldn't want to build or compile a set of viking armor. As interesting as they are, they just don't have the allure of the design and visual flare that a knight might have. Hopefully I don't sound dumb for saying that. I do greatly look forward to learning more about all the history I can.

Steven, I've been active duty for about 5 years now as a structural engineer. Essentially I do carpentry, welding, metal work, masonry and lock smithing. Thankfully right now I'm at my home station in Montana. I'll definitely look into those groups though.

Thanks guys Happy


Sorry, not much useful to add to the discussion since I'm a noobie myself, but I wanted to thank you for your service to our country Brendan. I also wanted to say that I am in complete agreement with you about aesthetics being an important part in interests. My tastes go towards the opposite of yours, with a full-mail crusader set-up and great helm being way more my taste than a set of gothic German armor c1500. But I'm in agreement with you, no matter how fascinating the history, if I don't like the looks of it I'm not going to collect or wear it. The US Civil War is a fascinating period in history, but the uniforms and equipment look like crap (I'll take flak for saying it), so I would never collect it as a hobby.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you smith, I appreciate it. I've always loved history but like you said it's hard to want to spend time and money on something that isn't appealing to the eye. Take a painting for example. The story behind the painting and why the artist made it may be fascinating but if it's ugly then you wouldn't want to buy it. That being said I'd still love to read about the painting lol. I'm definitely going to look more into the time periods and regions and hopefully I'll find that right balance of interesting history and eye candy.
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brendan McM wrote:
Robin, I certainly don't take it the wrong way. I definitely like history and appreciate the history behind the armors and peoples themselves, but I've always been a stickler for aesthetics and and design. It's not that I wouldn't love to learn more about all the history, but I'm drawn to things in life in general based on aesthetics and function. The more complex and intricate something is the more likely I am to be interested in it. For example; I love vikings and their history but I wouldn't want to build or compile a set of viking armor. As interesting as they are, they just don't have the allure of the design and visual flare that a knight might have. Hopefully I don't sound dumb for saying that. I do greatly look forward to learning more about all the history I can.

Steven, I've been active duty for about 5 years now as a structural engineer. Essentially I do carpentry, welding, metal work, masonry and lock smithing. Thankfully right now I'm at my home station in Montana. I'll definitely look into those groups though.

Thanks guys Happy


hemaalliance.com/?page_id=686

Look under western US, there is a Montana chapter

http://www.adrianempire.org/chapters/roanoke.php
There is also a chapter in Montana for Adria.

http://www.sca.org/geography/
SCA also has Montana as well. SCA doesn't use steel swords for armored combat, they use rattans so you know. HEMA and Adria does use steel swords in armored combat.

Newbie Sword collector
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
hemaalliance.com/?page_id=686

Look under western US, there is a Montana chapter

http://www.adrianempire.org/chapters/roanoke.php
There is also a chapter in Montana for Adria.

http://www.sca.org/geography/
SCA also has Montana as well. SCA doesn't use steel swords for armored combat, they use rattans so you know. HEMA and Adria does use steel swords in armored combat.


Oh wow, thank you! That's awesome. I'll try to see if I can get in contact with them tomorrow. Looking at them they don't seem to be too active. The SCA chapter for here has upcoming events for 2006, and a post about a guy with the same first name as me passing away Sad
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brendan McM wrote:
Quote:
hemaalliance.com/?page_id=686

Look under western US, there is a Montana chapter

http://www.adrianempire.org/chapters/roanoke.php
There is also a chapter in Montana for Adria.

http://www.sca.org/geography/
SCA also has Montana as well. SCA doesn't use steel swords for armored combat, they use rattans so you know. HEMA and Adria does use steel swords in armored combat.


Oh wow, thank you! That's awesome. I'll try to see if I can get in contact with them tomorrow. Looking at them they don't seem to be too active. The SCA chapter for here has upcoming events for 2006, and a post about a guy with the same first name as me passing away Sad


I only belong to Adria. In south Florida it is VERY active. Just because they don't update the national website does not mean it is not active. Always contact the local group and see for yourself.

Newbie Sword collector
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Brendan McM





Joined: 07 Oct 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely. I will probably do so tomorrow.
I thought I might have been on to something here for a bit while reading about the Landsknecht and the Doppels÷ldner. Around the time frame for more complex armor like close hels, mercenaries, used zweihanders. All seemed well, but they don't seem to use much armour lol. It looks like the dress in more flamboyant clothing
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Ăthelmearc
Joined: 30 Jul 2012
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Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 1
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Oct, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Quinn said.

Knowledge and research and more research.
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