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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: 14th Century Kit         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I've been following these forums for quite awhile, as I have always had an interest in history, the middle ages, and arms and armour. Now, the time has now come for me to assemble my first kit, and I thought it prudent to consult ye, the masters of armour, before doling out cash to various armourers for items I will later regret purchasing. I apologize if this is in the wrong area or generally annoying, but I could use a hand.

The goal is to replicate the arms and armour of a knight or unknighted noble between 1315 and 1357, specifically in England Scotland, and Ireland during the Wars of Scottish Independence. As I understand, the armour in the first half of the 14th Century would comprise of mostly mail, along with the transitional plate. I am not entirely sure as to how much plate I should include in this particular kit. Should I wear knee and elbow cops? Full legs? Would spaulders be historically accurate? and should this include a coat of plates and surcoat?

As for helmets, I know that she great helm was still quite popular during this period, but as I despise them and they are mostly for mounted combat, would it be historically accurate to wear a bascinet with a visor?

So far I have assembled a Gambeson and a mail coif, and next I will purchase or make a shirt, braises, leather shoes, and hosen. I am open to suggestions as to what I should do next, sorry for all the questions, and thanks for your help.

Regards,

Owen Healey
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2015 7:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a big spread. I'd limit it to one or two decades tops.

So first part of 14th century mostly mail. Toss a pair of plates and a few bits of plate on like poleyns, couters and perhaps gaunts and shynbaulds and you'd have it. Likely a helm or early bascinet.

Toward 1323-1330 the amount of plate increases that by 1350 you will see much more plate armour, full limb protection etc. After 1340 we have the first evidence of breastplates by 1350 they are seen in inventories of the top tier of nobles, 1360 even more dissemination. Pairs of plates remain in use all the way until after 1400 though.

Effigies and art is a good place to start. Scotland is lacking in these sadly but are likely along the same lines at England at the time. The old Scotland was decades behind the rest of Europe might apply to the highlands but not the lowlands where for generations the families had intermarried and interacted.

I'd take a look here.

Search to get you started.
Effigies and Brasses

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/search/?year=13...costumes=1

Manuscripts
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?year=...anuscript=

Best of luck Owen,

RPM
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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, I've looked through the resources you linked below.
I had looked at a lot of the effigies before, but I couldn't find any for Scotland.

So how does this sound?
Gambeson,
Mail Coif, flat riveted, blackened.
Mail Hauberk, long sleeves, down to knees, flat riveted, blackened.
Mail Chausses over hose with leather shoes, down to the feet, flat riveted, blackened.
Early Bascinet.
Poleyns.
Couters.
Surcoat.
Sword with thick sword belt.
Thin belt over surcoat.

Is that good? is a coat of plates possible in that time period?

Thanks again,

Owen
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Gábor Benko




Location: Hungary
Joined: 08 Feb 2015

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Owen!

I think the kit which you have wrote down is quite good for the period, I think. Maybe the mail coif is "too much", considering, that most of bascinets have an aventail, which makes a coif pointles, because the aveintail's mail gives your neck, throar and sholuders protection. According to my knowledge, the coat of plates is also possible for the period

Good, luck, and good work Owen! Happy

"Usque ad finem"
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Randall has noted, narrowing this down to 15 or 20 years is the best preparation. There is no evidence for blackened mail, it should be burnished. Also demi-riveted mail (half solid, half riveted rings) is the norm for the first half of the century, though all riveted construction is in use. And I agree that a coif with bascinet is not normal if an aventail is used, but this is not always the case. A mail pisane can always be added to the ensemble, and even be worn with or without an aventail.

A pair of plates is certainly possible. Certainly by the 1330s separate mail sleeves and paunces could be worn with a pair of plates, reducing the weight of a full hauberk or haubergeon.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you opt for the earlier date range, it should be noted that most visored bascinets have rounded skulls, and the side-pivoted visors are what some describe as "shovel" form, due to their simple curvature.

BL Add MS 10294 fo.81v from 1316 is typical.



 Attachment: 22.85 KB
BL Add MS 10294 fo081v.jpg


ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Gábor Benko




Location: Hungary
Joined: 08 Feb 2015

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, and I've lmost forgotten, but Mart's post reminded me. you could add ailettes to your set. Happy
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not sure I'd use an aventail instead of a mail coif until 1335 or 1340 or later. They appear in Ed II's account but coifs still seem more common for decades. Before that I'd go mail coif. As Mart said you have some choices.

I'm not sure that the mail bits are used that way still. The wardrobe accounts just are not clear on how they are used or if they are used with plate in this fashion. It could be bits of mail given to the commoners, or reinforcement to mail habergeons and such. I have found pretty clear accounts all the way into the mid 15th of using full hauberks or haubergeons with a full plate harness... now that aside I am thinking of doing it myself for my late 14th harness. It seems a logical use but I wish there was real clear evidence. There is evidence for their use but the question is how...

Mart,

I might have some evidence for blackened mail. I'll keep you posted. I need to find the original text first.

RPM
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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help guys Happy

I had read that mail was almost always lacquered, and that it was not uncommon for it to be blackened. I could, of course, be wrong as I am pretty new to this. Do you know where one could acquire that particular type of rounded visor for the basinet? I don't think I have seen one of that kind.

I've had my eye on these GDFB ones on KoA, but I don't know that they are accurate for the period, can you perhaps take a look?
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Bascinet+
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...net+Helmet

The houndskull there seems similar to the one in your avatar, Randall, but I don't personally know that I've seen it in effigies or manuscripts.

Again, thanks for all the help, I appreciate being welcomed into the community like this.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally I'd avoid that one. It has too many features that make it look 'off' to me. Looks like they are morphing a sallet visor on a bascinet. The one in my avatar I made over a decade ago when I realized few people made anything but custom helmets of this nature. That one was based on the Holkham Bible and the Taymouth hours so 1310-1335ish. The earlier ones seem to be rounder and perhaps a more simple visor. I have made several more recent ones since then. They are an interesting helmet type.

Second one is later than what you are looking for by a few years I suspect. I'd go 1360 and after.

I cannot recall any lacquering of mail from what I can remember. I came across a translation that called it a black hauberk so I am looking to see what it originally says.

RPM
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2015 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Japanese sometimes lacquered kusari, but I've never seen anything like that in a European context. Any reference you find will be welcome, Randall. Certainly we see many late 15th century miniatures showing blackened armors, including the mail, but nothing from the 14th century or earlier in the art that isn't tarnished silver, like the examples in the Peterborough Psalter.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4937/14860/

Texts confirm that mail was polished and tumbled to remove rust.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about this one? is this the type of rounded visor you were suggesting?
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...with+Visor

Also, what are your thoughts on this one?
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Bascinet+
Seems kind of anachronistic but I might as well ask.

For the mail, do I want to have full sleeves that come all the way down to the wrists? And with or without the attached mittens? Could you recommend a model?

For the Sword, what do you think of this:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+War+Sword

I'd prefer a longsword to an arming sword, as it is relevant to my German Longsword training.

Regards,

Owen
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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, just saw this today, is it historically accurate?
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...-+14+Gauge
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had that klap bascinet before, it's not a very pleasant one. The way it sits on my head feels weird and the shape is bad.
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owen Healey wrote:
What about this one? is this the type of rounded visor you were suggesting? .....


I frankly don't see anything available at KoA which looks like these early bascinets.

Quote:
For the mail, do I want to have full sleeves that come all the way down to the wrists? And with or without the attached mittens? Could you recommend a model?


Look at English and French effigies from the period. There's quite a variety in use: sleeves with attached mittens, long sleeves ending at the wrist, 3/4 open sleeves with mail "vambraces" (musekins?) worn beneath, half sleeves, no sleeves at all.

The earlier the decade, the more likely you are relying solely on mail for defense of the arm and hand. By mid century you can find full plate arms and plate gauntlets in use. In between, there's all kinds of variation: mail over scales, leather, splints, plate rerebraces with leather vambraces, mail upper arms with aketons only on the forearms, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Mart has it. To be honest the first one is far to late and the middle one is not a very good recreation but is trying for the right period. You might be able to modify it though.

The sword's pommel seems more 15th than 14th to me.

The third helmet is better.

As Mart said the 14th century has many variations not just for mail but all sorts of things.

RPM
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 3:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

About the sword, are you looking for a sharp or blunt? Depending on what you want, these are some of the swords I would recommend for your period:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...rust+Sword

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Half+Sword

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tard+Sword

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...ord+of+War
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Owen Healey




Location: Canada
Joined: 29 Jan 2014

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll go for the 3rd helmet then, and for the mail I'll get three quarter sleeve and wear something on the arms, as I can't find many good full sleeve riveted products. Would splinted leather vambraces do the job for the period?

As for the swords I'm on a student budget and so the Del Tin $475 are a little out of my price range for now, but I'll see what I can do. I'd like to get a blunt sword so I can use it in training.

Does a heater shield suit the period? Would wool be a good material for a surcoat?

Regards and thanks,

Owen Healey
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might want to look around for a helmet that better suits what you are doing. For not much more than that you can get a decent one from some armourers.

Might be that I am off but likely worth looking first.

RPM
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2015 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only thing I got to say is it better to err on the side of wearing slightly outdated armor than try to justify armour pieces which are in dispute in which they are first come up, armor was expensive and wasn't just thrown away and this applies the lower in status and wealth persona you are trying to portray.
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