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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2015 8:07 pm    Post subject: Could I potentially commission a fantasy armor like this?         Reply with quote

Greetings everyone.

I am a little nervous about whether this subject will be of interest to others, or if at this stage it is appropriate to ask advice, but let's find out: For the past three years I have been a fan of the Japanese manga comic "Berserk" by Kentaro Miura, which is set in a fantasy world based on medieval and renaissance Europe and has an unusual amount of attention to detail concerning European arms and armor. Miura seems to have done substantial research but also has a wild imagination, causing the armor depicted to vary from the utterly fantastic to almost complete accuracy. Despite my general preference for historical armor that is as accurate as possible, the idea has been floating in my head for a "fantasy" armor commission based on the equipment of the story's protagonist, Guts, during the so-called "Golden Age" story arc. It started as an idea for a cos-play--in other words a costume based on the character for me to wear to a convention--and I thought it would be nice if at least one element of the costume, the cuirass, were real usable armor while the rest could be props made of plastic and such. I thought that if it were properly fitted with my jacket I could also use it for longsword sparring, perhaps. However, upon seeing the armor rendered in 3D for the 2010s feature film trilogy adaptation I thought for the first time that the whole shebang could actually be made to work in the real world, even if it would not be as practical as historical designs. For an amateur like me who's never commissioned a custom anything to have such a crazy idea must be biting off more than I can chew, huh?

As I am 24 years old and headed into grad school I have to say upfront that I may not be able to afford such a project for years or even a decade. In other words, this is more of a long-term aspiration than something I am thinking of doing right away. All the same, I wish to ask for the opinions of others to figure out what would be necessary to make it happen and what sort of armorer(s) might be willing and able to execute it for me. It would also be nice to get a ballpark idea in the broadest terms of what it might actually cost to have it done well and how long it would take to come to fruition. Theoretically, I would be willing to save up for a long time in order to have it done right instead of cutting corners.

Setting aside the clothing and utilitarian items such as clothes, boots, baldric, etc. which I would have to arrange for from other craftspeople, the armor would be comprised of a lobster tail pot helmet with a barred visor, a back and breastplate, pauldrons, a heavy leather belt with a leather codpiece, two laminated tassets suspended from the belt, and a long gauntlet for the left arm. To me the helmet and gauntlet give it something like the feel of a mid-17th century English Civil Wars cavalry armor, and I would really like to subtly modify the design to incorporate historical inspiration from that time period.

I felt like the movie did a good job of the overall design, as they made it look relatively practical and also interpreted the pauldrons in a way that looks better to me than the manga version. However, I still prefer the original anatomical design featuring embossed pectoral muscles for the cuirass instead of the globose look of the movie. I think it could also do without the articulated armpit pieces, as that seems like it would add unnecessary cost without a change in function. In any case the cuirass is cropped to end at the natural waist or roughly at the navel, unlike Greek and Roman style muscled armor which usually covers most of the abdomen in front. In both interpretations, the tassets are on the sides instead of on the front of the thighs where they should be, and I think if they could be made not to interfere with the codpiece I would like to have them moved to the correct place. Maybe having the large belt instead of simply having a plate fauld is a bit silly in the first place, but I want to keep that feature. Sufficiently thick or hardened leather can act as armor anyway, and I thought that maybe the belt could have iron plates riveted in like a coat of plate or one of those Tibetan armored belts.

There are a couple of issues that I can't make up my mind about from a functional perspective. Guts can get away with wearing nothing but a sleeveless shirt underneath the cuirass because it's just fiction, but I would like to have some kind of totally sleeveless arming garment or lining that would show as little as possible under the cuirass. That would also make an issue of where to attach the pauldrons, as I am unsure whether they could be pointed to an arming garment that lacked proper sleeves. I have seen that in the late 16th and 17th century pauldrons were buckled to the gorget more often than not, but Guts' original armor doesn't have one and I am disinclined to change that. Lastly, I want to stick with the hook-and-pin method of attaching the cuirass, but I'm not sure whether the shoulders of the cuirass should have large plated straps secured with a hoo,k or instead small hinges that can be attached with a pin that passes through a slot and turns 90 degrees. Honestly I don't know the terminology for all the various hinges, straps, hooks, and pins, so if anyone could educate me or point me towards a source I would be thankful.

If I am totally off my rocker, please tell me so gently but firmly, and if I have made any mistaken statements please correct me. Any further questions or points for discussion are welcome. Thank you.



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Shoulder straps on Met 27.159.1.jpg
Pauldrons buckled to the gorget on Metropolitan Museum armor 27.159.1

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hinge and pauldron straps on Met 2002.130ap.jpg
Hinge for joining shoulders of the cuirass on Metropolitan Museum armor 2002.130ap

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Profile view of cuirass on Met 19.129af.jpg
Side view of cuirass on Metropolitan Museum armor 19.129af, including the kind of side straps with hooks I would like to have.

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Full view of Met 15.113.1.5.jpg
Full length photo of Metropolitan Museum armor 15.113.1.5 with lobster-tail harquebusier helmet, long gauntlet, hooked shoulder straps, and designed for use without gorget or pauldrons

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Zodd Fight C.jpg
Action pose, film

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Zodd Fight B.jpg
Close up of armor, film

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0019-021.jpg
Helmet, side view, manga

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0001-030.jpg
Equipment sans helmet, manga

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618


Last edited by Michael Parker on Wed 17 Jun, 2015 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2015 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To my mind, there are 2 ways of approaching this.
The first is the cosplay route, where you interpret the images of the manga or anime as photo-realistic/accurate representations of the equipment and regalia of those in the story universe. Going this route the most important thing is making your outfit match the look of the source material as closely as possible. Although I am no expert in amoring or cosplay, it seems that getting a workable harness taking this route will be a challenge.

The 2nd approach is to assume that the equipment used in the story is functional, but the representations of it are stylized/artistic. Taking this route you have a bit more leeway. For instance, you could look at the shoulders and say "o.k., there is no way someone was wearing inch thick plate armour with 3 spikes on each lame... so what is the real, in world object the artist is trying to represent?" and then interpret the 3 spikey bits as an artist's (who doesn't know much about armour, perhaps) attempt to show a 4 lame spaulder, or possible some sort of alamain coller, with fluting. Seems to me this is more likely to deliver a workable harness, though less useful for cosplay.

My only specific idea is that the breastplate as represented looks awfully wide across the pectoral area, which will be a real pain. Perhaps a breasplate with sliding gussets would be a better interpretation?
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J. Nicolaysen




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who cares what anybody else thinks, it's your dream. You've obviously got a grounding in some historical armor to the point that you can even describe what you are wanting, and the potential pitfalls. So what if you want something more fantastical than average for this forum, it is still interesting to see where it does and does not intersect with historical reality. At the end of the day we are all here just interested in various things because they are not in this modern world, it's more of a spectrum than a right or wrong.

To that end there are some incredible makers of weapons whose work is obviously grounded in historical sources but they have chosen to me what looks like a more imaginative or fantastical if you like and artistic way of going about it. I respect their work just as much as the hardcore realistic smith, it's all stuff I can't do but can admire, and there is a level of pure craft/art in both cases.

High-end armorers are the same even though it's a smaller field. An armorer might really take up the challenge to get what you want because it might stretch their skill set or artistic vision. The worst any guy can say is, "No I don't think I want to build that for you."

Valentine Armouries looks like a good mix of historical and film/fantastical. Certainly looks like his work is capable and he does a lot of things for show-business. http://www.varmouries.com/

Prince Armory might be another. http://princearmory.com/gallery/

There was another maker I found who had really nice historical things and really well-done fantastical things, but of course I can't find him now. If I do I'll post it, or somebody else might. As I recall it was more mail type armor though. Maybe it was someone from the second page of this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=10

Finally, it's not like there haven't been absolutely ludicrous looking pieces of armor in the past that may or may not have been made intended for combat http://www.lightlink.com/armory/specs.html (A great replica of a bizarre historical piece)

Good luck. Hope you find the right armorer for the job and that you can afford to make it a reality.
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Nat Lamb




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, if you are thinking of partial demi-semi, , sorta, kinda inspired by reality, then checking out von Gotz and his mechanical arm (who must surely have played a role in inspiring the Guts character) might be worthwhile.
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are no real mistakes here on the design as its a fantasy creation. The only pitfall would be it didn't fit for whatever reason but that's down to the armourers. I say that plural as I don't know if this is meant to be an organic armour that's grown over the years or something straight off the shelf from one source. Getting slight changes in style might be fun but ts where their edges meet that's the problem.

There are plenty of people out there who could do this, go for it!

I'd suggest you might want to talk to Terry English here who is used to this kind of thing, his film work is very well known.

http://www.terryenglisharmourer.co.uk/

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As has been mentioned, you can do either cosplay, or armour.

Cosplay will give you the best resemblance as you can use thicker but lighter materials to better match the object you are trying to depict. However, it won't function as armour for obvious reasons. But, this can be a lot cheaper, as you can do a lot of the work yourself.

Armour will be more protective, but if you aren't going to actually use it as such, it's a bit silly IMO.

The two could be blended as there are metal-work techniques that could be used to give the armour some perceived weight; for example, the thick pauldrons could be a sheet of folded steel that's padded underneath with foam.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Armour will be more protective, but if you aren't going to actually use it as such, it's a bit silly IMO.


Oh, I don't really agree with that! I made my orc armor "real", from steel and heavy leather, because I'd been making historical repro armor all my life and had no idea how to use plastic and foam! Making it was a challenge, and I enjoyed wearing it to a couple of cons, and everyone who saw it was impressed. Granted, wearing it for *fourteen hours* at Dragoncon was a painful experience, but...

And heck, most of my historical helmets and armor get used very rarely, but again, I love making the stuff and showing it off when I can.

But yes, it's all up to what YOU want, and we all have different aims and goals. I will say that I have been very impressed by some fantasy and anime folks who go to some length to actually LOOK like the character they are recreating. Especially compared to some "historical" reenactors I've seen over the years who prefer to make up what they want and don't really know much about how things were "back then"... (Just SOME reenactors, mind you! Many are good or VERY good!)

If you haven't been to the Armour Archive, do give it a look. It's another basically historical board like this one, but there are some fantasy folks there who are very well-received, and everyone is happy to advise.

http://www.armourarchive.org

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/

And there MUST be a dozen boards that can give better advice about plastic and foam and other non-historical materials and methods, I just don't know them!

In the end, go with your mood swings! It's YOUR hobby, eh?

Matthew
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, everybody.

To tell the truth, I really can't help being inclined toward what Nat called the "second approach". Of course, doing a typical cosplay with plastic, foam, fiberglass, or other light materials would allow me to get it just like the art and would be cheaper. I may find that some parts simply can't be executed in steel and will have to be done cosplay style. However, I think that I'd want at least one or two core elements of the armor to be real.

I am willing to view the art as a stylized representation rather than the literal truth, and make modifications for functionality when I interpret my requests for the armorer. In fact, part of my motivation is being inspired by Miura but wanting to do him one better by interpreting his work in ways that I think will improve it. I think that I can walk the line knowing what is necessary to keep it's appearance as a and what can be changed. If I have to reduce the broadness of the chest or put in some gussets, so be it. To me as long as the silhouette and a few details stay the same, anything else is fair game.

The way I see it, making a really good cosplay of Guts would cost a lot of money and time anyway, and it would only be good as a costume. It wouldn't be a possession that I could really value over the years, although I could at least make some good memories with it. In the meantime I could get my feet wet by doing simpler cosplays other characters. I just can't help but thinking, wouldn't it be a thrill to go out to an anime convention or a LARP or SCA event or a Renn faire or whatever and be the only person, to my knowledge, who has actual steel armor based on this character? To be able to look like Guts and at the same time to shoulder the weight, hear the clicking of the plates moving against each other, and feel like my protection could stop a crossbow bolt or a pistol ball?

Berserk was the first comic I ever read where the author did so much research on European arms and armor, swordsmanship, art history, architecture, clothing, ships, mythology, folklore, and countless other topics just to make a fantasy world feel more real. Since he started writing he's gotten a lot more into the details. For Heaven's sake, in one chapter he depicts a foot combat in armor where Guts uses a legit harnischfechten move at the half-sword! It's like the Game of Thrones of manga, only I like it even more. The attention to detail made it easier to become immersed in that world, and that is what this project idea is really about for me. To not just look the part, but to feel it.

While we're at it, any ideas about how I could suspend the pauldrons from the shoulders? I have not yet found any art where Miura depicts that part, and that place is usually covered by the cape anyway so there's room for interpretation.



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Vandimion Honor Guard.jpg
Ch. 284: Federico Vandimion rides out from Vritannis to meet the Band of the Hawk

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618


Last edited by Michael Parker on Wed 17 Jun, 2015 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Raman A




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd advise against plastic or foam. It generally looks awful. Not only does the finish always look wrong, but the lightness and thickness of it makes it move incorrectly in motion. I see no reason why that armor couldn't be made in metal. It's just a simple cuirass and helmet. Any armorer should be able to do it, but you'll probably want to go for one who has experience with late 15th and 16th century armors.

I would just start e-mailing armorers to inquire if they would take on the project, and if so what the estimated cost would be. However, as Nat Lamb said you'll probably need to take some license with it for it to be fully functional. It's best to work through these small technical details with the armorer himself; he'll know much better than you how to implement the design. http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=280...=agamemnon This thread shows what the process is like working with an armorer to make a custom piece. http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=32085 This thread deals with swords but most of the sentiments there are relevant.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've seen some AMAZING armor made from fiberglass, craft foam, and even metallic fabrics (scale armor, that one). One piece was one of Boromir's bracers, which I assumed was nicely weathered leather until I got it in my hand and realized it was craft foam. Even 6 inches from my eye, it *looked* like leather. That was an unusually good paint job, though! It's also true that I had no qualms about moving or sitting in my orc armor, or tossing it in the back of the car, whereas the really fabulously gorgeous high elves couldn't actually sit down in their stuff, ha!

You can go "real" without going *too* real simply by using slightly thinner metals, or aluminum rather than steel for some parts. That will save a lot of weight, but the piece will still look and move and sound realistic. Much easier to work, too, if you're doing it yourself.

If you think you can't make any of this, I'd encourage you to try it anyway! Get scrap metal out of trash piles and dumpsters, some snips, a drill, a hammer and a mallet, and start experimenting. (Cardboard patterns help a lot, first!) Who knows, you might end up with much of it done ahead of schedule and under budget!

Matthew
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Nat Lamb




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about one of these, the gorget might be hiding under the cape

http://www.britishmuseum.org/collectionimages..._001_l.jpg

just a thought.

edit. Just found a (Czech, I think) armourer's page that has a harnes that, to me, looks like an armour that a manga artis might depict like Guts'. Replace the helmet with a lobstered back, ditch the maille and the right gauntlet, take the bottom lame off the shoulders, chuck a cape around the gorget and it is already kinda close.
http://www.bestarmour.com/armour_12.html
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Theo Squires





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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One can do a lot with fibreglass, foam, plastic etc to make impressive suits for costuming purposes. For example this great Kingsguard suit looks quite metallic and realistic, but wasn't made of metal: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=284133#284133 . It wouldn't stand up well to the rigours of combat, because that is very much not its intended purpose. So at some level I think you need to chose whether you want a costume or a functional piece of armour and let that guide your decision with respect to materials and production processes.

If money is tight, you may decide that you can start making soft components of the kit yourself and build up skill to build the larger pieces yourself. I haven't tried this, lots of other people have. There are forums dedicated to producing costumes (including armours) using various materials, no doubt with helpful picture-heavy build diaries. If the Guts armour hasn't been done before, chances are that something similar has been: and, if it has, you can be sure that there's a photo or twenty to be found.

If you go the route of real armour it is probably impossible that you actually forge things yourself. You're at grad school, you don't have access to a forge etc. Chances are that situation won't change unless you're graduate degree is metallurgy or mechanical engineering or applied medieval history (or not even then). If you're willing to pay other people to make things for you, the only limit on what is possible is how much money your are willing and able to spend. While armourers are somewhat rarer breed that swordsmiths (or, at least, we see a lot less of their work on myArmoury), they do exist and there have been several posted in this thread already. I think that most aristans love the chance to push the boundaries of what they can do (if they're adequately compensated!) and seeing as producing armour is a fairly niche field, not many folk will turn away good money to do what they love.

Several armourers mentioned in this thread do work for movies and TV, so they'll have experience catering to artistic direction and balancing aesthetic with function. Maybe have a look at http://nigelcarren.co.uk/ as well, while you're at it.
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Richard Miller




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, you're not off your rocker... unless I am too! The thought of owning set of one's own personal fantasy gear is absolutely awesome. Kudos to you for even exploring the idea! To actually bring into it being would be a fine accomplishment. My first thought would be to consult with local smiths, of course and also speak to someone who would be able to render the project in mechanical drawing form.
A decent 3D printer could be invaluable if you were able to make scale models. You clearly have an ability to describe the project in both words and pictures, so make it real!
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for the continued replies. It seems I finally found a picture where the whole kit is taken apart. It looks like Miura was lazy and just drew the pauldrons sticking out of the shoulders of the cuirass without any apparent means of attachment, so I'll have to come up with something. However, I am still loath to put a gorget in because it seems like too obvious a modification. Then again, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if it had no neck lames and just looked like the one on the pikeman's armor here. I can see how the gorget would be the ideal place to buckle the pauldrons to because it distributes the weight all around the neck and shoulders--obviously that's how I'd do it if I didn't have this need not to look too different from the source material. Could the same effect be achieved by adding some buckles facing out on the shoulders of the cuirass itself? Or perhaps some upright pins that the top of the pauldrons could fit over, to be secured with a little hook or clip, like on the Scudamore armors in the Met? I guess I'm not sure whether the reason the pauldrons couldn't be suspended from the cuirass more directly is that it would be structurally unsound, or more likely that it just wouldn't distribute the weight as nicely...


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Full Kit Dismantled.jpg
Guts with his kit laid out around him

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Front view of gorget on Met 19.129af.jpg
Front view of gorget on Metropolitan Museum armor 19.129af; relatively small and inconspicuous, no pronounced neck lames. Where to attach pauldrons?

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Pauldrons of Metropolitan Museum armor 11.128.2.jpg
Pauldrons of Metropolitan Museum armor 11.128.2 attached by pins rather than buckles. Although several parts were restored by Daniel Tachaux in 1915, I think he probably had enough original material to use the correct fastenings.

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618


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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 12:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where is the US are you Michael? I may have missed it above but if you let us know we can hook you up with suitable local armourers. I'll also second ArmourArchive most heartily, the knowledge and its giving freely is a great resource.
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Mark, I am in Essex County, New Jersey. I will check out Armour Archive in the meantime.

Update: It is really bugging me how to attach those pauldrons. I feel like Captain Ahab obsessing over Moby Dick. I went back to the galleries and saw pretty clearly that whether by pins through a hole or buckles and straps, the pauldrons are always anchored to the gorget. How they did it on 17th century armors without a gorget is a moot point since if they didn't have a gorget, it seems like they definitely wouldn't have pauldrons either. Which makes me wonder, how did they attach them in the 15th century when they became larger than spaulders (which were pointed to the arming garment), but the gorget hadn't been invented yet? Were they still pointed to the arming garment, or were there pins and buckles anchored to some other place? The almain collar is another option, but that is by definition adding in a gorget. Bottom line, there is no historical precedent I can find for attaching the pauldrons directly to the shoulders of the cuirass in the manner I was thinking. Grrr...this is not what I had in mind when I said that I would make changes. Somehow adding a gorget that wasn't there before feels like a betrayal of the source material that I can't swallow. Does anybody think there's a mechanical, practical reason why I can't just put buckles or pins directly on the cuirass? If the neck is relatively closed like on the Pedro II armor at the met, it's almost as good as a gorget as support anyway, right? I am willing in this case to do something ahistorical as long as it works mechanically and avoids looking too different from the artwork.

On second thought, the more I think about it, adding a gorget wouldn't be a bad idea as long as it was more or less concealed by the cuirass. Usually a gorget is visible because the cuirass stops right about where the gorget begins, but maybe this could be an exception? I don't actually mind adding something that isn't in the art as long as it isn't really visible. Maybe I should sketch a drawing of what I'm imagining...

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618


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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your best bit is this

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=1

but other sections will be useful too.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guts' armour is obviously not a pure European thing -- the tassets obviously look much more like the side panels of Japanese kusazuri than any European tasset I've seen, and they're located much farther to the side because there would have been an odd number of panels (either one or three) covering the gap in the front, with the central (or only) panel being centred right over the genital. This is a tendency I've consistently noticed among most Japanese (and more generally East Asian) illustrators trying to draw European-based fantasy armour -- rather than doing picture-perfect reproductions of European armour, they often start from the construction logic of Japanese, Chinese, or Korean armour and then extrapolate how it would work in European-esque plate. Berserk takes much more direct and obvious inspiration from actual European armour than most but one can still see the Japanese construction logic coming into play occasionally.

I think we're seeing the same thing with the shoulder pieces. Try to see them as Japanese small sode, made closer-fitting and more curved to make them look more like European armour. And since Japanese shoulder armour was usually tied/pointed to the shoulder-straps of the do (cuirass) anyway, I'd expect that this is the kind of construction envisioned for Guts' armour.

So, given the evidence that the original template from the manga and anime appear to be a hybrid between Japanese and European armour construction techniques, I think it'd make more sense for you to consider a similar hybrid construction for your personal version (as opposed to trying to pull it off with purely European design and construction methods).

If you're not already familiar with Japanese armour, try the Features article on this site or the late Anthony J. Bryant's Katchu Seisakuben site (now under new management, but still as good as it has always been): http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/katchu.html
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Michael Parker




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Mr. Curtis. I have some basic familiarity with the components of Japanese armor from the feature article and such and I had actually considered the probability that Miura began his interpretation of the armor from a Japanese mindset, but for some reason I neglected to discuss or keep that in mind while posting to this thread like I probably should have. On one hand I had though of his pauldrons as being similar to sode, but that bit about the odd-numbered kusazuri was something that I didn't know and hadn't occurred to me. I also hadn't known exactly how the sode were suspended, and I guess it makes sense they would be pointed to the shoulder straps. How much should I let that influence my interpretation? I am not really sure. I still feel inclined to put the tassets facing forward just because it seems like an easy correction and it's not much good without one large tasset or three smaller ones in front, but I do feel like perhaps the pauldrons might as well be pivoted from the cuirass shoulders if it isn't mechanically infeasible.
"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's where the skills associated with making cosplay armour out of foam and thermoplastics (or even thick cardstock) would come in handy for you. You could just make a crude mock-up breastplate and experiment around with where to position the tassets and all for relatively little cost before you take the plunge and commission the actual armour in metal. And don't forget to take pictures if (or when) you do so since it might be quite helpful for explaining your wishes to the armourer.
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