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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
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Posts: 151

PostPosted: Mon 07 Dec, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject: Steel Sledding Saucers as Shield Projects?         Reply with quote

I recently picked up a Windlass steel dome shield when it was on sale - Thanks, Roger!

...Upon seeing the shield in question, my mother instantly asked if I had bought a steel sledding saucer. It seems they're really not too different in terms of heft or dimensions, actually. Take a look at the links below:

http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-643-steel-domed-shield.aspx

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Flexible-Flyer-Flex...d/21369987

Granted, the Windlass shield cost me $55 USD ($75 with shipping, but far better than paying full price), but paying $30-$40 at the store seems even better if you were up for a project. I've currently got far too many projects to consider another one, but I'm curious if anyone here has actually done or considered converting one of the sledding saucers into an effective shield. They are all advertised as being flexible, so they seem to have underwent some sort of heat-treatment. They may even actually make for great training shields with such a low price point... with a little elbow grease, of course.

I'd also be interested in some more commentary on the use of steel shields in combat. myArmoury has a passage which covers this to a degree, but it's still not terribly comprehensive. These types of shields strike me as more a Renaissance armament rather than one of the middle ages, where a single large piece of actual steel may have been quite expensive or hard to come by. Any thoughts?
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Mon 07 Dec, 2015 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've actually wondered about this myself. I assumed that the steel would probably be too light - I live in the desert, so nobody nearby sells them for me to check one out unfortunately! Given that it's difficult to find big, round, dished pieces of steel, seems like it would be worth looking into. It does say that the shipping weight is 6lb - actual weight should therefore be less. Assuming the windlass shield has a depth of about 2-3" (it doesn't look like a huge dish in the picture, but that's just a guess) then the surface area of the sled is about 30-35% larger than the Windlass shield. 35% larger surface area for less weight suggests the steel is quite a bit thinner. BUT maybe the Windlass shield is overbuilt - I'm just tired and spouting thoughts...

Hopefully someone with a sledding saucer can offer better insight. I would think they could take a beating, but I guess they are just meant for snow so who knows?
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M. Curk




Location: Slovenia
Joined: 21 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well IMHO the sledding saucer is built to carry quite some weight and not bend every single time you use it, so I guess it may be worth a try? Don't have access to one either, but this would be fun to know!

MC
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec, 2015 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a common solution for Captain America shields for cosplay. Obviously that doesn't have much application to sparring, but I would presume that they are likely capable of taking wood and plastic weapons. Steel might be prone to denting them.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec, 2015 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amazon has one for $30 shipped. Looking at the video below, I think I'd like to try one of these for an English target. The marketing photos make it look flat, like a pizza pan. The video shows that it's concave across the entire surface, with a nicely rolled edge. I have just the place to hang it. I don't have an appropriate sword, unfortunately. Sad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wg8Ch6L_-Y

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed 09 Dec, 2015 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Considering the rope holes and the color of saucer sleds, I'm wondering about the historical accuracy of covering a shield with a removable cloth cover. Such a cover could be thought of as an equivalent to today's helmet covers, or perhaps, a cloth covering on a greathelm or bascinet. Granted, it would be difficult to validate doing such a thing historically (and likewise, discount doing such a thing), but it would be an easy way of avoiding having to plug up holes with mild steel inserts or strip the shield of its powder coating. I've actually been thinking of a cloth cover for my own shield, which is purpose-made as a shield.

I also have to believe many simpler shields were painted, considering that inexpensive armor was also subject to painting. If you're going to plug up those rope holes with welds, painting may be the easiest option for making a shield from a saucer sled and have it look the part of a proper piece of armor.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Dec, 2015 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dunno about removable, but permanent cloth covers were very common.
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Thu 10 Dec, 2015 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd use rivets in those holes to secure a leather backing and/or guige like those shown securing the shields of these English cavalrymen in Ireland (ca. 1580) as well as in some earlier 16th c. German/Austrian artwork. De Bry's image of a French targeteer in battle dates to about the same time as Derrick's English cavalry.

I'd either strip and leave bright, chem blue (if not stainless) or simply brush paint over the factory finish--probably the English cross motif as seen on the cavalry image and on the shield displayed at Jamestown. Parade shields often had elaborate paintings.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2015 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a quick question relating to the steel shield- what kind of internal suspension was used for holding the shield historically? In the case of the Windlass shield, two leather straps are used. I was handling mine the other day, and noted that the straps were not particularly adept with regards to precise control / movement. A single strap and a fixed handle would provide far better control, I think. Regardless, I'm curious to know what some here do, as well as what might have been done in the past.
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2015 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The images above suggest that the forearm/fist setup was extremely common if not universal. Scottish targets have the same system.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that seems to be the case. Actually, after looking at the attached images once more, I did note that a fixed handle did seem to be a common device in steel shields. I guess that gives me yet another project to attend to... Razz
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