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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 10:28 am    Post subject: Comparing Brigandines and Plate Cuirasses         Reply with quote

I recently was looking at pictures of how the metal pieces are arranged in a brigandines. As the figure below, this is convincing me to believe that, as the pieces overlap each other, they should theoretically protect better than a typical cuirass of "white armor." I would like the opinion of you. At this time the plate pieces were made of mild steel, such as an armoured surcoat, or were made of hard steel?


any

Has anyone here ever seen a brigandine's efficiency test against sword thrusts and cuts?

If we were to compare on price and accessibility, it is true that Brigandine was a much more affordable armour for ordinary soldiers?

I had read that during the War of the Roses, English noblemen came to spent 3 kg to 5 kg of pure silk to line their brigandines. What kind of armour would that be? A common piece of brigandine or combination of brigandine + plackart, like this?

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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, I often see this set of armour in representations of Richard III's foot soldiers. This armor style in yorkist pattern was used before? They had the similar equivalent between Lancaster? What kind of soldiers could use them?


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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Totally depends on how much money you had, what rank you were, and if your equipment was supplied or you were buying it. There are refs to Lords supplying their troops (The Howard Household accounts fo example) and ED IV supplied his immediate household with brigandines of murray and azure silk velvet with gilded nail heads. Well he would, he was the King. I'm not aware of any remaining brigandines using wool (which seems to be inexplicable popular amongst reenactors) but fustian was used instead of silk and leather was vary popular is Spain and italy.
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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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for price comparisons, its difficult to compare. A top quality brig was more expensive than munition harness, and vice versa.
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: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing that bears noting is that 'mild' and 'hard' steel weren't terms used back in the day. They had either ordinary iron, or steel from various sources, some of which were esteemed as better than others. Armour would not have been tempered to the hardness blades were, but there is good evidence that at least the better pieces were heat-treated. I'm not sure they would have done this with brigandine, though, given the number of plates involved-- it would have been much easier to heat-treat a large piece of metal armour.
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How would it be easier to heat treat larger pieces of armor, you have a harder getting pieces at even temperature and have more risks of cracking for larger plates and would require larger furnaces. I bet heat treating small pieces of steel would allot more reliable. Medieval smiths didn't have electronically controlled temperature ovens. they were looking at a entire piece getting one very specific color evenly throughout the entire piece. More tedious, yes, easier, no. I bet it took allot more skill to heat treat larger pieces of armor than smaller. This is supported by museum evidence. armor smiths started attempting to heat treat a cap helmet quite a bit before try to heat treat larger pieces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHqo4syIqD8 Sir Tobias Campwell showed a cap helmet that a armorer attempted to heat treat during the Hundred years war. He even said that he attempted to heat treat these helmets in a hurry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yewwhjUYEPQ By contrast, it was common for large pieces of armor in the hundred years war period to be made of unhardened, unheat treated, low carbon steel. Also, the video shows something interesting, different countries were advancing in different aspects in armor smithing and lagging behind other countries at the same time at the same time. Sir Capwell stated in one video that English armorers were able to cover more of the body ie, back of the thigh, wrap around and integral arm and shoulders, but their heat treatment skills lagged behind the Italians, which were facing opposite challenges during this period.
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Comparing Brigandines and Plate Cuirasses         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I recently was looking at pictures of how the metal pieces are arranged in a brigandines. As the figure below, this is convincing me to believe that, as the pieces overlap each other, they should theoretically protect better than a typical cuirass of "white armor." I would like the opinion of you. At this time the plate pieces were made of mild steel, such as an armoured surcoat, or were made of hard steel?


any

Has anyone here ever seen a brigandine's efficiency test against sword thrusts and cuts?

If we were to compare on price and accessibility, it is true that Brigandine was a much more affordable armour for ordinary soldiers?

I had read that during the War of the Roses, English noblemen came to spent 3 kg to 5 kg of pure silk to line their brigandines. What kind of armour would that be? A common piece of brigandine or combination of brigandine + plackart, like this?


What I find interesting is how little gap heir is in between two layers of metal. That smith hammer his rivets to the shell impressively flush to the metal Big Grin
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Nik Gaukroger




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
ED IV supplied his immediate household with brigandines of murray and azure silk velvet with gilded nail heads. Well he would, he was the King.


Mark, have you got the reference for this - would be useful for me for something I'm doing. Thanks in advance.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to hand, but its in the ED IV Household accounts, a wealth of info. Don't think its in The Black Book, haven't looked for ages.

have you got the Co St George articles and the Gerry Embleton Books?

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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Mark Griffin




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

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PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What is it you are researching? If that period upper class then a look at 'The Household of Edward Iv'
edited by Alec Reginald Myers might be a good read for you. Its online at Google Books.

Might even have stuff on Brigs in there.

There is also a good section on arms and armour in 'The Medieval Gentry: Power, Leadership and Choice During the Wars of the Roses' By Malcolm Mercer

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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Mark Griffin




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

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PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2016 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tell a lie, probably his Privy Purse accounts.... will dig.
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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Nik Gaukroger




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Mark - some leads there for me to follow up :-)
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
Totally depends on how much money you had, what rank you were, and if your equipment was supplied or you were buying it. There are refs to Lords supplying their troops (The Howard Household accounts fo example) and ED IV supplied his immediate household with brigandines of murray and azure silk velvet with gilded nail heads. Well he would, he was the King. I'm not aware of any remaining brigandines using wool (which seems to be inexplicable popular amongst reenactors) but fustian was used instead of silk and leather was vary popular is Spain and italy.


How many soldiers (exact numbers or expectations) King Edward and Howard House had in their Immediate Households, respectively?

Mark Griffin wrote:
As for price comparisons, its difficult to compare. A top quality brig was more expensive than munition harness, and vice versa.


Let's consider a common brigantine and a common steel plate cuirass. Munition armour emerged at 1500's, no? I think that, at this time, most of the lower-class' soldiers wouldn't wore armour

-----

Heat-Treatment was done at the end of the piece's manufacturing or was done before? If a piece doesn't receive this heat treatment, it would simply be a piece of wrought iron hammered by the smith until was designed to its desired shape??

Philip Dyer wrote:
By contrast, it was common for large pieces of armor in the hundred years war period to be made of unhardened, unheat treated, low carbon steel.


What would necessarily be an unhardened piece? It would be something that wasn't been hammered enough or something done in a casting mold?

Philip Dyer wrote:
Sir Capwell stated in one video that English armorers were able to cover more of the body ie, back of the thigh, wrap around and integral arm and shoulders, but their heat treatment skills lagged behind the Italians, which were facing opposite challenges during this period.


This could explain why Italy already had coat-of-plates - like armour at earlier decades of XIVth century but England didn't had them until 1380's? Implying, of course, that England ever had coat-of-plates/corrazina chest armour, because I think that these parts would be imported from Continental Europe since 1380's ....
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: Comparing Brigandines and Plate Cuirasses         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I recently was looking at pictures of how the metal pieces are arranged in a brigandines. As the figure below, this is convincing me to believe that, as the pieces overlap each other, they should theoretically protect better than a typical cuirass of "white armor."


Not necessarily. The small plates in brigandine overlap, but they're individually thinner than a solid breastplate. So the effective thickness and protective value wouldn't have differed all that much.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There will be people here who know far more than me, but overlapping thinner plates do no react the same as a larger plate of equivalent thickness.

Basically it has to do with the impact forces being spread over larger areas and some other factors that I would have to think hard about to work out, but a very effective modern body armour is 'Dragon skin' http://www.military.com/video/armor/body-armo...4317163001 In many respects similar to brigandines or plated jacks.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's what Humphrey Barwick thought of Sir John Smythe's plan of armoring mounted archers with jacks of mail, light and easy brigandines, or at the least eyelet-holed doublets:

Humphrey Barwick, 1592 wrote:
[A]s for the armours, the best is the Brigandine, the which is but equall with a coate of plate of the best making, which M. Euers or Ewry was armed with, when as the Lord of Grange called Kirkaudie a Scot, and the saide M. Ewry did runne the one at the other, in a challenge by them made with sharpe Speares: but how fell out the same? euen like to haue beene the death of that good and valiant Gentleman M. Ewrye, for Kirkaudy ranne him cleane through the armour, as in at the brest and forth at the back, through both: the~ to what purpose is that arming in that ma~ner? [omitted lines regarding gunpowder weapons against such armors] Why then should such meane armors be allowed, with men of vnderstanding and knowledge? it were most fit that our enemies were so armed: for if it would defend against any thing, it wold serue best against archers, whose force is like vnto that maner of arming.


According to Barwick, brigandines decidedly did not protect as well as plate and could fail against the couched lance and the gun. Of course, this was in the context of pistol- and perhaps arquebus-proof hardened plate armor for the elite. I'm not sure about Barwick, but Smythe personally owned at least one suit of Greenwich armor.

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Josh Warren




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Comparing Brigandines and Plate Cuirasses         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I recently was looking at pictures of how the metal pieces are arranged in a brigandines. As the figure below, this is convincing me to believe that, as the pieces overlap each other, they should theoretically protect better than a typical cuirass of "white armor."


Not necessarily. The small plates in brigandine overlap, but they're individually thinner than a solid breastplate. So the effective thickness and protective value wouldn't have differed all that much.


This bears repeating.

By the time they were making brigandines like the one depicted in the photos above, breastplates were being made quite thick indeed. I do not think that the brigandine was the equal of the solid steel plate cuirass.

Non Concedo
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Mark Griffin wrote:
Totally depends on how much money you had, what rank you were, and if your equipment was supplied or you were buying it. There are refs to Lords supplying their troops (The Howard Household accounts fo example) and ED IV supplied his immediate household with brigandines of murray and azure silk velvet with gilded nail heads. Well he would, he was the King. I'm not aware of any remaining brigandines using wool (which seems to be inexplicable popular amongst reenactors) but fustian was used instead of silk and leather was vary popular is Spain and italy.


How many soldiers (exact numbers or expectations) King Edward and Howard House had in their Immediate Households, respectively?

Mark Griffin wrote:
As for price comparisons, its difficult to compare. A top quality brig was more expensive than munition harness, and vice versa.


Let's consider a common brigantine and a common steel plate cuirass. Munition armour emerged at 1500's, no? I think that, at this time, most of the lower-class' soldiers wouldn't wore armour

-----

Heat-Treatment was done at the end of the piece's manufacturing or was done before? If a piece doesn't receive this heat treatment, it would simply be a piece of wrought iron hammered by the smith until was designed to its desired shape??

Philip Dyer wrote:
By contrast, it was common for large pieces of armor in the hundred years war period to be made of unhardened, unheat treated, low carbon steel.


What would necessarily be an unhardened piece? It would be something that wasn't been hammered enough or something done in a casting mold?

Philip Dyer wrote:
Sir Capwell stated in one video that English armorers were able to cover more of the body ie, back of the thigh, wrap around and integral arm and shoulders, but their heat treatment skills lagged behind the Italians, which were facing opposite challenges during this period.


This could explain why Italy already had coat-of-plates - like armour at earlier decades of XIVth century but England didn't had them until 1380's? Implying, of course, that England ever had coat-of-plates/corrazina chest armour, because I think that these parts would be imported from Continental Europe since 1380's ....

basically, it was very common in the hundred years war period for breast plates to be made out steel similiar to modern mild steel. You had to drop allot of money to get high carbon, heat treated armor back then. That, and the difficulty to covering just large area of the human body front and back in steel... is why full mail shirts weren't abandoned promptly by the wealthy even with the development of the breastplate, the aketon and mail played in keeping the most powerfull blow, like from a lance , arbalest, or early gun shot, from penetrating. The shrinking of mail under plate was a gradual one, not a quick one.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn't wear a brigandine against couched lances. Brigandines do not glance a blow anything like as well as a plate cuirass, and they do not carry impact energy around the ribcage like a globose breastplate or a peascod; they would soak up a lot of it, though, and spread it quite a bit. It would be interesting to find out how much energy was actually transfered into the wearer's ribcage.
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Michael Beeching





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PostPosted: Tue 19 Apr, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps this has already been asked or answered, but:

Given the "mechanical dynamics" of how a brigandine or breastplate react to impact (given the same materials and same heat treatment; proportions and thickness will be independent factors related to the individual armors themselves), would there be certain situations where one would be better than the other?

As per the examples given above, the brig's flexibility allows a high-speed projectile or implement to better take purchase, and thus ultimately deform and pierce the armor. However, under impact from a weapon like a hammer or mace, would the flex actually help mitigate concussive force from the impact in relation to plate armor... at least within a certain threshold?
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