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Nolan Miller




Location: United States
Joined: 30 May 2020

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2020 1:56 pm    Post subject: Help with creating an authetic setup         Reply with quote

(Apologies in advance for length of post; hopefull I'm not violating any rules or being a menace!)
Hello learned people of myArmoury!
I am a newbie to this wonderful world of arms and armor, and started putting together a functional kit (I think this is the right term) to wear to events a few months before the current...situation took place.
As I looked to buy the right gear, I also tried to do thorough research as to achieve a good level of authenticity. However, the more I look at what I have put together, the more I have apprehensions that I may have set myself up for a level of embarrassment.
So after countless nights of furiously refining Google searches and cycling through video after obscure video of historical content, I decided to turn to you lovely people for guidance!
In short, I was aiming to create a good starter setup for a 15th century Scottish Mercenary. I focused more on the lowland/border regions because I donít think Iím bold enough to pull off a Gallowglass and I couldnít seem to find good resources for other warriors from the Highlands for the time. Just as Iím starting my journey in real life, so too did I focus on making a somewhat simple setup to start out with- not exactly a common spearman, but definitely not a well-equipped Man-at-Arms; something in the middle. So here is my current setup; please pick it apart as you see fit!

Woad blue Bonnet over Secret Helmet- This was my attempt to be a little more distinct from other generic mercenary types. I figure that a morion or burgonet would have worked just as well, but seeing as I wasnít putting any specific national symbol on my equipment, I figured this could be a subtle nod toward my place of origin.

Blue ďGambesonĒ- I use gambeson loosely because honestly, I have no real idea what it actually is. Itís a short sleeved blue garment that *kind of* looks like a gambeson? Itís not particularly thick or snug, but I bought it more for comfort underneath the armor I was wearing then any real protection. The garment is a tad big but that has yet to be an issue. The color is a bit darker then I would have liked (think a slightly faded navy blue) but I figure I may be able to treat it to make it lighter if this is a real issue.

Cuirass(?)- This one is where my biggest concern lies. I ordered this breastplate/backplate set after doing what I thought was a good amount of research and was initially pleased with how it fit. However, a friend with a bit more experience pointed out that, even though it rested in an alright place (with a small, integrated fauld that sits just a bit above my navel) it was slightly flatter that what is desirable, and more glaringly there was a noticeable gap between the breastplate and the backplate.

Like, he didnít even realize I was wearing a backplate from the images I sent until I told him.

My first instinct was to pass it off as munition armor; it was the best I could afford (which isnít a lie), I would purchase better armor after I made a name for myself, etc etc. But I wouldnít want to use this excuse if the armor was just plain dysfunctional. I believe part of the problem lies in the hole placement on the leather straps, and figure I can add holes with a punch or an awl. But would having this kind of armor have a negative effect on authenticity? Or was having less than perfect armor something that was not uncommon?

Apart from the clothes Iíll wear underneath, thereís everything I have. I apologize if this information is a bit bare bones, but I didnít want to write an entire essay in the forums about some nerdy kidís endeavors in making a historical setup. I can try and provide more info as needed.
What do you guys have to say about all this? Is there anything I need to add or remove? Something I got so wrong I may as well lock it away from the world? I would love some feedback from more experienced folks!

Warning: This user is as bright as rusted steel
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,535

PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forget about everything until you get your soft kit sorted. It is more important than your armour so don't skimp.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just checking Nolan that you are looking at 15th rather than 16th century kit? A burgonet or morion is more of a 16th century choice, with the Sallet or kettlehat being more a 15th century option.
Anthony Clipsom
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Nolan Miller




Location: United States
Joined: 30 May 2020

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 01 Jun, 2020 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you both for the insight!

Dan, that's some great advice. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the shiny things and forget about the essentials! Do you have any good resources for starting a good Soft Kit?

Anthony, I'm also grateful for you catching that. I had intended a 15th century kit, but I think I got mixed up a bit. A friend was the one who reccomended the secret helm/skull cap and bonnet; is this appropriate for 15th century, or would this also be closer to 16th (or maybe even further than I had hoped)?

On a semi-related note, I also managed to punch some holes in the leather straps of my breastplate and the cuirass is starting to feel a little less like I'm wearing a sandwich board warning about the end of the world.

Once again, thanks for the help guys!

Warning: This user is as bright as rusted steel
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun, 2020 2:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
A friend was the one who reccomended the secret helm/skull cap and bonnet; is this appropriate for 15th century, or would this also be closer to 16th (or maybe even further than I had hoped)?


I'm not a clothing historian but the style of hat over steel skull cap is probably more early 16th century. However, they probably could have been worn in the late 15th. Watch out for the style of bonnet - the really baggy ones would be later. You're looking for something in the style of a Tudor bonnet. Again, these seem to appear late 15th/early 16th century.

Anthony Clipsom
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