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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Midriff armor?         Reply with quote

I recently purchased an armor cuirass consisting of a breast/back plate that is leather-hinged at the shoulders---all one-piece, with buckles at the sides. It cuts off right about ribcage length on me, which is fine. I knew this when I got it. I quite like it, and it goes very well with my other polished armor pieces. My question is: Was this sort of 'shorty' armor ever used historically? I am assuming that this is a pure fantasy cuirass, and I'm okay with that. Just wondering. Historically feasible or not?....McM


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Terry Thompson




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tobias Capwell had a 15th cen "Heroic" styled armor that had a cropped breastplate, but it's quite a bit longer in length (like a globose), and it is also meant to be worn over a brigandine. Having one's belly exposed makes about as much sense as Red Sonja's maille bikini.


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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I see your point there. For me though, it actually works pretty good. I'm short-waisted and basically built like a Hobbitt...so... Laughing Out Loud . The back plate is actually bigger than the breastplate. Wearing it with my maille and a wide belt really feels pretty protective. This is NOT combat-grade armor, mind you. Strictly costume or 'larp' armor. As for the photos you posted, it kinda befuddles me why anyone would have a cuirass made with no belly protection. Might as well have a big 'bulls-eye' on it with the instructions--'Place spear or other pointed weapon HERE.' WTF?! .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump


Last edited by Mark Moore on Sat 17 Jun, 2017 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yet another pic...this time, with maille, a wide belt, and tassets. The belt is right at waist-level on me. Not great coverage---but not terrible. Razz Laughing Out Loud .....McM


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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And another pic. Big Grin .....McM


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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The belly has to BEND. If you want it armored, you need mail or something articulated.

Matthew
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Midriff armor?         Reply with quote

Mark C. Moore wrote:
Was this sort of 'shorty' armor ever used historically?


Breastplates often end at about elbow level. Height is often a little under 40cm/16", and less than this is the shoulders don't extend much above the middle of the neckline. Short breastplates (with low shoulders) are often little over 30cm/12" high.

A variety of breastplates, many with measurements, can be see at http://www.allenantiques.com/Armour-Breastplates-Collection.html which includes some fairly short ones.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an excellent range of movement in this particular cuirass--side-to-side, and up-and-down. I can bend all the way over, touch my toes, do jumping-jacks, and pretty much anything else. I have no trouble pivoting my torso as far around as possible, given my current back-ache problems. (It SUCKS getting OLD!) I'm just mainly interested to see any more historically based cuirasses of this type---short-waisted, midriff design. Every time I put it on, I find myself liking it more and more. In fact---If I could have it reproduced in a thicker gauge of steel, I might go back into the ring. (SCA) Wink My wife is looking over my shoulder as I type this, saying: "No, you old dumb-ass.'' Laughing Out Loud Hey---If it works........ Big Grin ........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jun, 2017 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding reference, Timo! Thank you for that! Big Grin .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark C. Moore wrote:
I have an excellent range of movement in this particular cuirass--side-to-side, and up-and-down. I can bend all the way over, touch my toes, do jumping-jacks, and pretty much anything else. I have no trouble pivoting my torso as far around as possible, given my current back-ache problems. (It SUCKS getting OLD!) I'm just mainly interested to see any more historically based cuirasses of this type---short-waisted, midriff design. Every time I put it on, I find myself liking it more and more. In fact---If I could have it reproduced in a thicker gauge of steel, I might go back into the ring. (SCA) Wink My wife is looking over my shoulder as I type this, saying: "No, you old dumb-ass.'' Laughing Out Loud Hey---If it works........ Big Grin ........McM

Right, and if it extended to far below the ribcage it would begin to hinder that freedom of movement or even prevent it altogether. A cuirass should sit more like a bolero than a bomber jacket - a lot of costume or cheap replica armor and the stuff you see in movies (and even some particularly unscrupulous "composite" suits displayed in museums) extend so far down that they would actually stop you from bending at the waist or even lifting your legs, which would of course be somewhat counterproductive when you're expected to fight on foot or (even worse!) ride a horse...

This is why plate-armoured people in historical portraits and paintings look so long-legged, BTW. Happy

PS. Besides, when you're fighting on foot, the majority of attacks will tend to come from above and hit your upper body. The abdomen is not among the easiest targets to reach on an opponent.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko, you pretty well said it all when you stated--'should sit like a bolero'. Wink That's exactly what it does. It's extremely comfortable. When I get time, I will suit up completely for a few more pics. Maybe in the 'Show us your Kits and Harnesses' thread. To be honest, I can't see why cuirasses of this type were not more prevalent on medieval battlefields. When I wear this in conjunction with a gorget and pauldrons, it feels pretty sufficient. I realize that a square shot to the gut with a spear or pike would probably be bad news...but...that's what shields are for. Wink Not that I'm going to actively test that theory! Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Henry O.





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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As other people have mentioned most solid breastplates did only come down to around the bottom of the ribcage to preserve mobility. With the main exception of "peasecod" breastplates from the 16th century which could sometimes get quite as I understand it.

You do probably want strong, flexible lames, brigandine, or mail to protect your belly though. Even for medieval medicine wounds to the intestines would have been exceptionally lethal.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The company (Mytholon, based from Germany) that I bought it from, sold through Medieval Collectibles, offers a broad-waist armored plate belt. I can see it fitting neatly under the breastplate. I may give it a shot. For no more money than they ask....what the hell. I have several pieces of their armor, and I must say---I'm impressed. My armor is strictly for costume purposes---but---this stuff is tough as nails. The polish isn't that great, but I steel-wool my polished armor down to a satin-finish anyway. Wink I expect a set of legs from them on Monday.....We'll see how that goes. Big Grin .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Graham Shearlaw





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PostPosted: Mon 19 Jun, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henry O. wrote:
As other people have mentioned most solid breastplates did only come down to around the bottom of the ribcage to preserve mobility. With the main exception of "peasecod" breastplates from the 16th century which could sometimes get quite as I understand it.

You do probably want strong, flexible lames, brigandine, or mail to protect your belly though. Even for medieval medicine wounds to the intestines would have been exceptionally lethal.


By the 16th century we're seeing more armour meant to resist gun shots, and not get in to the long hand to hand fights of years past.
The armour is striped from the arms and legs and moved over the chest and head.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Jun, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well...this is only 18 ga. Ren-fest armor, so I wouldn't want to get shot with even a strong BB-gun! Laughing Out Loud If by that last part, you mean it can be taken off over the head in one piece...yes, it can be put on and removed without unbuckling. Like putting on a steel t-shirt. Happy ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Graham Shearlaw





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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jun, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was more meaning that limb armour was abandoned but the same or greater weight of metal was used to protect the vitals.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jun, 2017 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, yes. I misunderstood you. You are correct. Still, this particular piece is quick-on/quick-off---at least for me. Happy ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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