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J Michael Cherry




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 08 May 2016

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 08 May, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Splinted vambraces and greaves and beginner questions         Reply with quote

Hello all. This is my first post on this forum. I apologize if someone else has asked these questions, but I haven't been able to find any posts on the forum in my searches. If they have already been asked, then forgive me for duplicating questions, and please point me to the relevant topic.

I am currently an SCA fencer. I am getting into cut and thrust, and may possibly go into heavy armor from there. To this end, I want to make splinted vambraces and greaves that will work for C&T, but will also be HA legal, in case I decide to go that route. My persona is a viking turned Varangian Guard. I have not quite nailed down the exact time period (I have several hundred years to choose from). I have never made armor before, but I want to try it out. I have tools to cut metal, and have made a sort of anvil from a piece of RR tie (a friend of mine who works with metal assures me that this will work for most things I need. I may eventually replace this with a full anvil). I do not have tools for heating or manipulating heated metal, but I have a variety of ball peen hammers, etc for shaping metal as needed (from my limited research, this seems to be enough for manipulating things that are not large plates of armor)
Here are my questions:
1) What is a good place to buy steel to make armor? Note: I live in Canada, so my Home Depot does not carry the same stock as it does in the USA (I have seen lots of posts saying "just get this from Home Depot, but have never been able to find the steel there). Lowes seems to carry some stock up here. I was just wondering if there were better places to buy from.
2) I roughly understand there are manufacturing differences between hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and stainless steel, but what are the differences when it comes to making armor? I want it to be more durable in the long term than shiny and pretty. I also cannot heat the metal to shape it, so if that is a factor, then I cannot use that type of metal.
3) I have seen various designs for splinted armor, and was wondering which was more period accurate: splints right next to each other, and flat till the edge, with leather underneath the entire thing as this picture seems to illustrate ( https://ecclecticantagonist.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/varangian.jpg ) or with gaps in between and curved away from the limb at the edge, held together with a few belts/leather strips as this one shows ( https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/55/09/ae/5509ae3f41b2a8d72d2841067968dc95.jpg ). The second option seems potentially easier to make and more comfortable, unless I am mistaken, but which one is more accurate?
4) I don't see any examples of Varangians with elbow/knee cops, so did they were protection there? I could do something like the second picture: extending the armor and making a sort of cage around the elbow or knee, but is this accurate? The other question is will I seriously regret NOT having metal elbow/knee protection? ( I would like to avoid serious knee or elbow damage more than holding to perfect historical accuracy)

Thanks for any and all help.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sun 08 May, 2016 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The best place to put this thread is the armourarchive and you wouldn't be allowed to fight heavy combat if you don't have rigid elbow and knee protection.
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J Michael Cherry




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 08 May 2016

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 08 May, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, ok. I didn't see that at first when I was looking at threads. Is it possible for me to move it, or does an admin need to do that?
Good to know. My knowledge of heavy combat rules is limited to say the least.
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J Michael Cherry




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 08 May 2016

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 10 May, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry, Philip I completely misunderstood that the armorarchive was a different website and not a different thread. Thanks for the help!
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Tue 10 May, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To "correctly" portray a varangian guardsman you don't have any historical option for SCA/AE/HMB fighting, but that doesn't mean it has to be an ahistorical mishmash of vendel and lamellar.

I'd suggest hidden armor over ahistoric armor. make or buy SCA legal soup can arms, legs, belly plate, and shoulder cops, then wear them beneath a tunic with an external half sleeved maille haubergeon. pair it with a Helmet with side and face protection hidden beneath maille and you'd have a passibly historical look.
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