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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jun, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Cost of Putting Together a Harness?         Reply with quote

Howdy!
Here is a topic that is pertinent to me at the moment and I think can be useful for many others as well if this post is expanded upon.

Here are the parameters I'm working within.

I'm looking to put together an early 15th Century Harness for a middling knight, specifically interested in an English style.
Prefer a simple look, no fancy decorations and gilding or the such.
It needs to be fully functional; the plan is to do SCA and HEMA fighting in it, but no Battle of the Nations stuff.

I know weapon makers better than armorers, so the best equivalent I can think of is the aesthetics and quality of an Albion or Maciej Kopciuch sword. High quality and historically accurate, but no fancy frills.

I know this kind of stuff doesn't come cheap but from anyone else's past experience, what is an AVERAGE price range for this kind of project? If anyone has price ranges for lower quality or higher end projects, feel free to post as well!

Thanks in advance for the insight!!!



 Attachment: 87.34 KB
Armor.jpg
This is Ian Laspina of Knyght Errant in his armor. I'm going for a similar look.
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Off the shelf", used market, or from lesser known eastern european makers or fledgling armorers you're looking $2500-5000 and your kit will show it.

A full one maker harness based off references or direct copy of an effigy, most importantly properly fitted, will run you 2-5x that if not more. Easily 10-25k or higher the more esoteric you get regarding armor styles. A pure, proper english armor based of a single effigy fit to you will run a lot more than a work "in the style of".

Roughly
Helmet: $500-700
Breastplate: $500-1000
Full leg including greaves: $500-700
Arms with pauldrons: $300-500
(edit) Gauntlets; another $300-500 and usually the first and one thing you want/need custom fitted. Steamshovel hands are the worst in my experience doing armored fighting. Finger Gauntlets also are a no go if you want fingers. Mitten gauntlets and later period mitten gauntlets in the style of finger gauntlets all the way. I've gotten bruised, cut knuckles from mitten gauntlets through gloves consistently in my career as an armored fighter. I'd have broken fingers with anything less. Not only do most makers, even professional ones, go the "scales on leather" route for finger protection despite it's ahistorical nature but even done properly will tear off during anything north of light sparring. Finger shields are a must if you want to insist on hourglass or wisby style gauntlets.
arming coat/jack/gambeson: $100-500 and replaced in 1-3 years of significant fighting
quintessential to your overall kit and the most disposable and abused member of it.
_______________
This is for gear that will pass muster at a battle of nations/Historical Medieval Battle event regarding historical accuracy and fit well enough to fight in.

Full contact fighting puts a harness through the ringer. You don't see many fighters with the latter type of harness doing HMB or BOTN versus historical reenactment and light sparring. Even a full suit of springsteel will get dented to hell after a few dozen strikes from a halberd. It's like getting a scratch on a supercar if you fight in a kit like below
.

Most of my kit for SCA/Adrian Empire combat is off the shelf with key pieces fitted in person and others made to size. But "to the yield" fighting my group does for exhibition blows out straps and leads to significant dents in short order. Just look at the condition of most "lightly used" HMB armor used gear listings and you'll get an idea of what monthly sparring and competition does to your kit. Half of mine is held together with paracord at this point.


Last edited by Tom King on Sun 03 Jun, 2018 2:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might try Stahlgilde in the Ukraine for SCA-style combat armor. I believe they only go up to 16g. , but that's better than costume armor...which I have plenty of. Cheaper than custom-made, and you can request different sizes on various pieces. I've seen very positive reviews. Happy

www.stahlgilde.com

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Cost of Putting Together a Harness?         Reply with quote

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
I'm looking to put together an early 15th Century Harness for a middling knight, specifically interested in an English style.
Prefer a simple look, no fancy decorations and gilding or the such.


Your first step is to buy the incredible book Armour of the English Knight by Tobias Capwell. It is not only the only book on English armor, but it's also probably the best book on any kind of European armor, period.

If you haven't already done so, check out Ian LaSpina's YouTube channel under the name of Knyght Errant. He's the person wearing the armor you pictured, and his channel is very informative, particularly about the English style.

Quote:
I know weapon makers better than armorers, so the best equivalent I can think of is the aesthetics and quality of an Albion or Maciej Kopciuch sword. High quality and historically accurate, but no fancy frills.


For the particular armor that you have posted, my guess would be between $15,000 to $20,000 to get it right by an armorer who knows how to do it correctly. Having said that, there are elements that you could ditch to make it much more affordable (such as the long fauld, which is complex to make). It'd be best to discuss it with your armor.

My main armorer is Josh Davis of Davis Reproductions, who does incredible work. It isn't cheap, and there's a wait list, but his stuff is worth it.

https://davisreproductions.com/

Some of my armor was made by John Gruber of Surly Anvil, and he also does high end work.

www.surlyanvil.com/

I believe Jeff Wasson did all or most of Ian LaSpina's armor, and he's considered one of the greats in North America.

https://www.wassonartistry.com/

Mark Moore wrote:
You might try Stahlgilde in the Ukraine for SCA-style combat armor. I believe they only go up to 16g. , but that's better than costume armor...which I have plenty of. Cheaper than custom-made, and you can request different sizes on various pieces. I've seen very positive reviews.

www.stahlgilde.com


Since the goal is historical and high quality, I was stay very far away from makers like this. This is purely fantasy and costume armor. I can see much of the "SCA armor" isn't even functional just from the pictures.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom King,
Thanks for the numbers for the individual pieces!
Also, great advice about tailoring the use to the cost. Ya, it would suck to blow a good bit of money on armor just to have it banged up. Do you have any experience with how much repairs cost?
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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Cost of Putting Together a Harness?         Reply with quote

[quote="Bill Grandy"]

Your first step is to buy the incredible book Armour of the English Knight by Tobias Capwell. It is not only the only book on English armor, but it's also probably the best book on any kind of European armor, period.

Thanks for the suggestion! Ian LaSpina suggested it too, I'll have to check it out. I have enough weapons books as is, need some armor literature!

If you haven't already done so, check out Ian LaSpina's YouTube channel under the name of Knyght Errant. He's the person wearing the armor you pictured, and his channel is very informative, particularly about the English style.

And yes! I love his channel, I have him on patreon and everything. I've been using his website and videos to get a feel for what I want.



For the particular armor that you have posted, my guess would be between $15,000 to $20,000 to get it right by an armorer who knows how to do it correctly. Having said that, there are elements that you could ditch to make it much more affordable (such as the long fauld, which is complex to make). It'd be best to discuss it with your armor.

The budget I had in mind was around $8,000. To be honest $15,000 is a bit higher than I was hoping for, haha. Is that still enough to get a decent harness.

Also, like with an Albion sword, I care more about the end product than how historically accurate the production process is. The guy could use pixie dust for all I care if the end product looks and performs accurately.
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
Tom King,
Thanks for the numbers for the individual pieces!
Also, great advice about tailoring the use to the cost. Ya, it would suck to blow a good bit of money on armor just to have it banged up. Do you have any experience with how much repairs cost?


Prohibitively if you want it back to "new". Easier in many cases just to get new gear.

Taking a suit of armor into a serious amount of sparring WILL leave it pretty dinged up. Even your average HEMA light sparring will lead to scratches at the least. Driving your car through brambles/gravel kicking up cranked up to 11. The time and price of refinishing metal, especially to a mirror polish, is either a significant cash or time investment. From personal experience a brush/low (300ish) grit finish will rust/oxidize faster but is far easier to maintain. With a time investment. Dents can always be planished out but if you want something "factory new" a nick in a rebrace means replacing the rebrace. On a 15-30k+ harness that rebrace will be pretty dag gon expensive. If you treat it like an F150 work truck and "welp the seal is broken" after the first true dent that still leaves a visible mark after planishing then it becomes a lot easier to let your armor get a bit rusty and dinged up.

The relatively simple forms of late 14th century european armor are why it's so popular for BOTN/HMB/HEMA/SCA community while economies of scale seem to influence most mid 15th century armor (sallets and placards with fauds etc.) while 16th century armor is prohibitively expensive due to complexity; an armourer who can craft a 1560's era harness will need hundreds of hours of time to produce it rough forged let alone grinding to a satin or yet mirror polish.

I think Tobias Capwell sold the harness I posted for somewhere in the ballpark of 50k a while ago. Could be some fanboyism in that since he is one of the foremost experts in the field but he probably barely or didn't break even on commissioning it.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

$8k is plenty to get you a very nice harness. There are certain things that are complicated to make which raise the price (such as that long fauld I mentioned) but not every harness needs all of those details.

Iím going to slightly disagree with Tomís advice about damaging the armor, though it depends on how the armor is used. I canít speak for SCA, as Iíve never done it, but you mentioned HEMA, and thatís how I use mine. I have a very high end high gothic harness, and Iíve been fighting in armor for almost two decades now. It is not banged up or dented, though I have to buff out scratches, fix rivets, replace leather straps, and replace the gloves of my gauntlets with moderate frequency. Iíve had more repairs to my arming doublet than any metal part of my armor, though. HEMA doesnít bash directly on the plate as often as other combat sports, but rather thrusts at the gaps. The major damage comes from wrestling, which scratches the polish a lot, but isnít the same as having a blunt object bash on it repeatedly. Mild steel certainly gets bent, but if you go high end (and $8k can get you really good stuff), us heat treated spring steel, donít have a lot of decorative elements that can be damgaged easily, and you take care of the armor, youíre going to find that it will last a very longtime for HEMA use. Mine isnít pristine anymore, and you can see scratches all over it when youíre close up, but considering how much Iíve fought in it, it still looks really good from several feet away.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2018 12:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom King wrote:
Full contact fighting puts a harness through the ringer. You don't see many fighters with the latter type of harness doing HMB or BOTN versus historical reenactment and light sparring. Even a full suit of springsteel will get dented to hell after a few dozen strikes from a halberd. It's like getting a scratch on a supercar if you fight in a kit like below
.

Keep in mind that that photo shows Toby's armour after he had spent several years wearing it in jousts and tournaments (ie. being bashed in the head with wooden clubs wielded by large men on big horses) ... but yeah, those other sports which you are talking about are very rough on bodies and kit.
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with both posts above
But a hema fight with feders or primarily using harnischfechten techniques/ground fighting will still scratch up a harness at the least. Pricy to get fixed professionally, annoying to do personally. Preventative maintence can keep a lot of it at bay but if you've ever fought in the rain or fought in the heat rust definitely happens. Heavy grinding will eliminate most cosmetic scratches but establishing an even finish is difficult without practice and progressively getting a finish to anything above wire brush or 300 grit buffer is ridiculously time intensive.

Not to mention every time you grind out a nick you're decreasing the thickness of the armor in that spot.

Jousting is ironically better on your kit than fighting on foot full contact (an easily replicable encranche usually takes the lions share of legal hits) ... but you've got to tack, feed/fodder, stable. etc. a horse so you aren't exactly coming out ahead monetarily. And a horse trained for jousting isn't easy to come by as several friends of mine who tried their hand at a jousting company came soon to find out and aren't that good as horses for mundane equestrian riding.

BoTN/HMB/Adrian/Anything that involves steel on steel fighting will result in nicks and deep scratches at the least. Mild steel dents but can be hammered out, spring steel does the same but it's harder to do it both ways. and Stainless/Titanium has a nasty habit to crack and be 2-3x the price.

Also strapping gives out annoyingly fast, yet is relatively easy to repair if you have a leather supply store close by. To dry rot, moisture, and sheer simple tearing out.

Short answer is full contact steel list fighting is really brutal on gear. There is definitely a happy medium usually well south of a true blue historic recreation for fighting in, 2500 to your initial limit of 8k definitely well within it as far as initial investment. For proper display, recreation, and reenactment you do get into the 15-50k USD range for a perfectly recreated reproduction.

Arming clothes are another thing. Only a few makers produce them properly, mainly copies/inspirations from the charles de blois pourpoint for your period in question, and they wear out very quickly after consistent fighting. For indian repros that economically make sense like my current jack you're looking at $100 and a season or two before it's coming apart at the seams and blowing out tie points. For a higher quality arming coat or jack from a maker like age of craft you're talking ~$300 and about twice the longevity if you're fighting in ernest multiple times a year, if not month.
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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great discussion on what effects different activities have on armor. Personally, I won't be doing any great amount, if any at all, of full contact steel fighting. Most likely HEMA and SCA. Also, I'm in the Army, so for at least the next couple of years I won't have time to fight in it very regularly.
I actually wouldn't mind, after a while, having the armor looking "used", to me it just means that you've actually done something with it rather than just look at it. And besides, cleaning my swords and guns is relaxing, so imagine/hope cleaning armor would be the same. However, I don't want to invest an EXTREME amount of money into something that could possibly be beaten into an example of modern art. I hadn't considered that part!
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Everyone who buys their first harness regrets not spending more time and money on getting their soft kit right. I'd suggest paying a great deal of attention to your soft kit before even considering the rest. Don't skimp and do plenty of research. This is more important than the metal stuff.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2018 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, would you mind elaborating on the last point, "This is more important than the metal stuff"?
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2018 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would crush me to spend that kind of money on plate without historical maille.
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2018 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Dan, would you mind elaborating on the last point, "This is more important than the metal stuff"?

Not Dan, but he's entirely right. Everything else is dependant on it.

A common mistake is that most make them far too thick, basing their product or inspiration on muster rolls and assise of arms statistics of thickness of batting or layers. A standalone cloth defense isn't designed to be worn under armor, or over armor, as it greatly diminishes agility and movement. A gambeson under maille is far more ahistorical than one above it. Mainly for protection against arrows

An arming doublet in both structure and purpose is entirely different. Tie points, not strapping or belts, hold both the arms and legs. The armor is attached to you, not to itself. A proper arming doublet is both the most disposable and most essential part of a suit of armor. If you fight regularly the tie points will tear out, seams will rip, and it'll get dirty. I definitely don't recommend white unless it's of a material that can be bleached or dry cleaned.
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Everyone who buys their first harness regrets not spending more time and money on getting their soft kit right. I'd suggest paying a great deal of attention to your soft kit before even considering the rest. Don't skimp and do plenty of research. This is more important than the metal stuff.


Amen.

Not squaring away your arming garments first will cripple even the highest end armor. It must fit, it must fit well, and it must function correctly or anything you put on top of it will fail to perform no matter how well it was made. A good armorer is likely going to want you (or at least highly encourage you to be) in a good soft kit when they measure and fit you anyway. Keep in mind that the really good, in-demand armorers may have queues up to and exceeding one year. Be prepared to play the long game and exercise patience. This can give you a good opportunity to get all the 'under armor' components where they need to be before you show up for fittings, but communicate with your armorer so you're on the same page.

I would also add that the mail that goes with your armor should not be treated as an after thought or secondary to the plate components. It should be held to the same standard as the rest of your armor. Modernly, we tend to focus almost entirely on the plate components (why? because that's the sexiest part of course!) but in reality this system was designed from the inside out, and each layer affects the next layer. Depending exactly on your period of focus, in an English harness there will be some sort of mail under your plate (be it sleeves / paunces or a haubergeon). Treat the mail components like every other component of the harness. If you're spending $15k on armor, don't buy cheap Indian mail that wasn't made to fit anyone. Just like bad arming garments, it will severely degrade the functionality of the plate that goes over it. The mail should fit your body, it should work with your arming garments and your plate armor as a integrated system. Right now, I believe the most cost effective but highest quality mail is coming from people who are using Indian rings to start with and then properly tailoring them. There are more and more people who are doing that kind of work now, and its far superior to an Indian made garment, but much more affordable than paying someone to make all of the rings by hand the proper way (which, no joke, can cost more than the rest of a plate harness with all the labor involved, so it is still prohibitively expensive even when cosndiering $10k+ plate armors).

Price...

I prefer not to disclose the price of my harness, mostly because it's not relevant (I also purchased it piecemeal, over the course of several years, so even if I added it all up it may not be accurate for a 2018 quote). I'm not trying to be difficult. I say that it's not relevant because there are a lot of factors and variables that go into the price. Materials will make a tremendous difference; mild steel vs hardenable alloys, and then any heat treatment that goes along with hardenable alloys will affect cost etc., I've seen very nice armors done in mild steel. One thing that should be given consideration too is the benefits of a naturally harder spring steel that is not heat treated. It can save cost and still provide benefits over regular low carbon mild. Depending on how much maintenance you're willing to do on the armor regularly, the benefits of a harder alloy and its up front cost may be worth it to you. Mine is hardened 1050 for reference. Decoration? I know you mentioned that you're not interested in too much embellishment, but the sky is the limit on decoration, and a plain armor (like mine, which has minimal decoration) is going to incur a lot less extra cost than an armor that includes engraved brass bands with detailed wriggle-work or gilded elements etc., The finish of your armor is another factor, do you want a satin polish? mirror? a special treatment like bluing? Those are vastly different amounts of labor and will alter the price of the armor considerably.

So, if you opt for a mild steel harness, with a low polish, no decoration, no hardening, but good shaping by a competent armorer, it will set you back far less than a person with a highly decorated, mirrored or blued armor, hardened in 1050 spring steel in a later period style. The prices will be wildly different yet both will be good armors depending on your goals and planned uses. Any of those variables can be adjusted independently to manipulate cost (within historical reason). The lower end armor will need more maintenance over time, as a mild steel harness will accumulate damage if being fought in much more readily than a spring steel harness. Higher levels of polish will also need more maintenance to keep them even. All of these things may factor into your decision. You do get what you pay for in the armor world, and I would always recommend buying the best that you can realistically afford.

Armorers shouldn't be afraid to give you quotes so don't be afraid to ask for them. They will be the best to give you hard numbers for the things you're interested in. You can spend in that $8k range you mentioned and get a perfectly serviceable armor with good lines, you can also spend upwards of $30k-$50k on an armor. I would probably feel most comfortable telling you to prepare for a number between $10k - $20k depending on exactly what you want.

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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Everyone who buys their first harness regrets not spending more time and money on getting their soft kit right. I'd suggest paying a great deal of attention to your soft kit before even considering the rest. Don't skimp and do plenty of research. This is more important than the metal stuff.


To be sure! I'm trying to decide between getting the arming set from Historical Enterprises or take the long route and work with my grandma on making it (she's an amazing seamstress). Building this harness will take a while, so we'll have plenty of time to get it down when I can visit home.

Unfortunately, I don't see much research material for arming doublets and hose. My grandmother and I made my gambeson that I use for HEMA, and it was hard enough getting real research and patterns for it.

I've seen the pattern that Ian LaSpina links on his YouTube video on the subject, does anyone else know of any other patterns or quality producers of arming cloghes for the late 14th and early 15th?
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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:


Amen.

Not squaring away your arming garments first will cripple even the highest end armor. It must fit, it must fit well, and it must function correctly or anything you put on top of it will fail to perform no matter how well it was made. A good armorer is likely going to want you (or at least highly encourage you to be) in a good soft kit when they measure and fit you anyway. Keep in mind that the really good, in-demand armorers may have queues up to and exceeding one year. Be prepared to play the long game and exercise patience. This can give you a good opportunity to get all the 'under armor' components where they need to be before you show up for fittings, but communicate with your armorer so you're on the same page.

I would also add that the mail that goes with your armor should not be treated as an after thought or secondary to the plate components. It should be held to the same standard as the rest of your armor. Modernly, we tend to focus almost entirely on the plate components (why? because that's the sexiest part of course!) but in reality this system was designed from the inside out, and each layer affects the next layer. Depending exactly on your period of focus, in an English harness there will be some sort of mail under your plate (be it sleeves / paunces or a haubergeon). Treat the mail components like every other component of the harness. If you're spending $15k on armor, don't buy cheap Indian mail that wasn't made to fit anyone. Just like bad arming garments, it will severely degrade the functionality of the plate that goes over it. The mail should fit your body, it should work with your arming garments and your plate armor as a integrated system. Right now, I believe the most cost effective but highest quality mail is coming from people who are using Indian rings to start with and then properly tailoring them. There are more and more people who are doing that kind of work now, and its far superior to an Indian made garment, but much more affordable than paying someone to make all of the rings by hand the proper way (which, no joke, can cost more than the rest of a plate harness with all the labor involved, so it is still prohibitively expensive even when cosndiering $10k+ plate armors).

Price...

I prefer not to disclose the price of my harness, mostly because it's not relevant (I also purchased it piecemeal, over the course of several years, so even if I added it all up it may not be accurate for a 2018 quote). I'm not trying to be difficult. I say that it's not relevant because there are a lot of factors and variables that go into the price. Materials will make a tremendous difference; mild steel vs hardenable alloys, and then any heat treatment that goes along with hardenable alloys will affect cost etc., I've seen very nice armors done in mild steel. One thing that should be given consideration too is the benefits of a naturally harder spring steel that is not heat treated. It can save cost and still provide benefits over regular low carbon mild. Depending on how much maintenance you're willing to do on the armor regularly, the benefits of a harder alloy and its up front cost may be worth it to you. Mine is hardened 1050 for reference. Decoration? I know you mentioned that you're not interested in too much embellishment, but the sky is the limit on decoration, and a plain armor (like mine, which has minimal decoration) is going to incur a lot less extra cost than an armor that includes engraved brass bands with detailed wriggle-work or gilded elements etc., The finish of your armor is another factor, do you want a satin polish? mirror? a special treatment like bluing? Those are vastly different amounts of labor and will alter the price of the armor considerably.

So, if you opt for a mild steel harness, with a low polish, no decoration, no hardening, but good shaping by a competent armorer, it will set you back far less than a person with a highly decorated, mirrored or blued armor, hardened in 1050 spring steel in a later period style. The prices will be wildly different yet both will be good armors depending on your goals and planned uses. Any of those variables can be adjusted independently to manipulate cost (within historical reason). The lower end armor will need more maintenance over time, as a mild steel harness will accumulate damage if being fought in much more readily than a spring steel harness. Higher levels of polish will also need more maintenance to keep them even. All of these things may factor into your decision. You do get what you pay for in the armor world, and I would always recommend buying the best that you can realistically afford.

Armorers shouldn't be afraid to give you quotes so don't be afraid to ask for them. They will be the best to give you hard numbers for the things you're interested in. You can spend in that $8k range you mentioned and get a perfectly serviceable armor with good lines, you can also spend upwards of $30k-$50k on an armor. I would probably feel most comfortable telling you to prepare for a number between $10k - $20k depending on exactly what you want.



Thanks for coming in on the conversation! It's always cool when one of your YouTube hero's posts on your forum post!

Thanks for the insight on the time frame. My wife and I are running on O-2 pay with student loans, this will definitely take a little while to put together, haha. But good advice to take the time to get the soft kit together!

Yes, I was planning on a breast and backplate, for aesthetic and weight reduction purposes, and also to avoid having to purchase an entire shirt of tailored mail.

I'm opting for heat treated spring steel on everything, but plain on everything and a satin polish.

Are there any issues with ordering armor from different armorers? I've been looking at Piotr Feret's work on platener.com. After talking with him, his prices are in line with what I want to spend. I imagine buying all the leg armor together and likewise with the arm armor. Are there any concerns other than making sure different parts are sized correctly for each other?
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 420

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2018 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
To be sure! I'm trying to decide between getting the arming set from Historical Enterprises or take the long route and work with my grandma on making it (she's an amazing seamstress). Building this harness will take a while, so we'll have plenty of time to get it down when I can visit home.

Unfortunately, I don't see much research material for arming doublets and hose. My grandmother and I made my gambeson that I use for HEMA, and it was hard enough getting real research and patterns for it.

I've seen the pattern that Ian LaSpina links on his YouTube video on the subject, does anyone else know of any other patterns or quality producers of arming cloghes for the late 14th and early 15th?

Making or commissioning nice reproductions of late 14th/early 15th century men's clothing is not something to undertake lightly. That said, here are some things to get you started.

Books and Articles
==================
Stella Mary Newton, Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince
Adrien Harmand, Jeanne d'Arc (1929) http://lerozier.free.fr/harmand.htm {yes, it is in French}
Maurice Leloir, "A Mediaeval doublet," Apollo: The International Magazine of the Arts Vol. 23 No. 135 (March 1936) pp. 157-160 {the good thing about this is that it is by a French scholar but in English, it also has a different pattern than Harmand's}
Tasha Kelly's modern pattern for the Charles de Blois
Jessica Finley's scholarly article on the Luebeck jacks
Tasha Kelly's scholarly article on the Charles VI coat

Sources
=======
Late Fourteenth Century Arming Garments I: Caps http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=157815
Late Fourteenth Century Arming Garments II: The Upper Body http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=158477
Late Fourteenth Century Arming Garments III: The Legs http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...o#p2572643
Sir John Smythe on Arming Garments http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=182287
Avoiding the 'Diaper' Look http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=164027
How Heavy were Doublets and Pourpoints? https://bookandsword.com/resources/fashion-in-the-age-of-datini/how-heavy-were-doublets-and-pourpoints/

Tasha Kelly, La Cotte Simple http://cottesimple.com/articles/
Jessica Finley has some posts and videos on her YouTube page, FŁhlen Designs https://www.facebook.com/fuhlendesigns

Bertus Brocamp's Lendenier theory:
==================================
Ian Laspina, The Arming Girdle (Lendenier) with Commentary http://knyghterrant.com/index.php/2016/04/06/...ommentary/
Robert Macpherson, Dusting off the Cobwebs pages 68, 69, and 72 http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...start=2345
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Reading list: 5 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 301

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2018 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Thanks for the insight on the time frame. My wife and I are running on O-2 pay with student loans, this will definitely take a little while to put together, haha. But good advice to take the time to get the soft kit together!

Well, you'll be an O-3 by the time you have your armor anyway, so you'll be just fine! Happy

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Are there any issues with ordering armor from different armorers? I've been looking at Piotr Feret's work on platener.com. After talking with him, his prices are in line with what I want to spend. I imagine buying all the leg armor together and likewise with the arm armor. Are there any concerns other than making sure different parts are sized correctly for each other?


There are pros and cons to ordering from one versus multiple armorers. It's possible you can get a full harness produced quicker from multiple armorers if they're all working on different things simultaneously. Some armorers are better at or specialized into one specific piece more than another (not unlike the way many actual late medieval Milanese armoring shops were set up). There are also plenty of good armorers out there who excel at virtually every component, and going to a single person like that might ensure an even quality and stylistic cohesiveness throughout the entire harness. I would (and it sounds like you're already thinking the same thing) at the very least go to a single armorer for an assembly that really needs to work together well, like an entire leg harness or an entire arm harness. I would not suggest getting sabatons from one guy, greaves from another and cuisses from a third or you're asking for trouble. The only exception would be if the the next a armorer had access to the previous piece to use when building the next component, but even then I'd much prefer a single person or shop make the assembly to avoid issues.

Pour through the sources Sean listed above too. If you're going to do this right, do it right on every layer. It sounds intimidating, and it is a lot of work (and money), but I promise you that it will be very rewarding; not only when you're standing there in your completed harness but the entire process.

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