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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Fri 25 Aug, 2006 2:26 pm    Post subject: My Late 15th Century Harness         Reply with quote

Hey, I figured everyone would enjoy seeing a pic of the wearable pile of shaped scrap metal I had. Notice the dents in it already? Cut-high1, parry-hang 5, cut-hang 9, parry-7, recover sure does get tough... lol. Those darn aluminium swords!!! The close-helm is a curassier's, different story, but I liked the imagery of it.

update: I have also now uploaded 8 more detail pics on page 6!



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Last edited by Torsten F.H. Wilke on Wed 30 Aug, 2006 12:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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J. Bedell




Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri 25 Aug, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really love 15th C. armour, and can't wait to get my own! Your harness looks amazing, and sounds pretty effective. Who made this for you, it is very nice. Does it hurt much, or at all when you are hit?

-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Fri 25 Aug, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice. I especially like the arms! The helmets is unique as so many chose armets of barbutes. Is this based on italina export styles? Looks good, hope to hear it continue to protect you! The more you wear it the easier recover gets Big Grin ! I used to wear bits or all my armour around the house.... man when I answered the door did I get funny looks!!!

RPM
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since my lengthy replies got booted twice, here is the short version. I particularily like the form and proportions of this harness. Can't say that about many other re-creations. Bought it ready made, don't know the actual craftsman. Doesn't hurt. Gets hot. Total about 70 lbs without mail. Fits my 6 ft 170 lb frame with ample room for padding. Moves well, but no ballet. Best for mounted combat with lance, flail, or broadsword. Late Italian export style definately, 1460-1480 most likely. Early Italian export was like the Warwick suit. Helm transitional between great bascinet and close-helm, great visibility and ventilation, two piece hinged like close-helm, not so manueverable. Pieces double layered in important target areas. Blade length is 36 inches FYI. Fully articulated arms, squared off neck-defences, greaves covering fully past the ankle bones, all later century features. This style merged with late german high-gothic style and Italian bellows visored sallet to give us the Maximillian style suit around 1500, the epitomy of functional armour. Stronger, 25 percent lighter, vastly more manueverable. Thanks for the comments, guys.

Last edited by Torsten F.H. Wilke on Mon 28 Aug, 2006 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice armour. Cool

Any maille voiders on your arming clothes ? It does look like even without any the areas vulnerable seem limited to elbow joint and the armpit area. I also assume maybe the back of the knees or the part back of the thighs.

I don't wear it often but I sort of like the 14th century transitional maille and plate or just a hauberks for earlier periods.

If I'm not mistaken the level of protection was as high as later 15th or 16th century armours but the use of full hauberks or haubergeon under plate was heavier and " HOTTER " than plate alone. Also the later plate being easier to move in with minimal loss of range of motion.

As a general comment and not just as a reply to your topic post:

I'm interested in understanding the relative plus or minuses of, wearing / protection / comfort, of maille alone, maille with some plate (Early transitional ), transitional maille & plate and plate only ( With exception of limited areas covered with voiders. )

Oh, is there a limit on the size of a post ? Or maybe some " glitch " booted your first two attempts to post a long reply ?
One thing I do with a long post is " copy " it so that I can " paste " it should the " submit " process go wrong.

After a failed " submit " clicking back one page on my computer will bring me back to the text before I pressed " submit " retrieving it. ( If this happens I save the text somewhere as a draft before I try again just in case the problem repeats itself.
I then retry later or the next day as server issues may make posting impossible for a short time. )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Torsten F.H. Wilke wrote:
Bought it ready made, don't know the actual craftsman.


It looks like the MRL Gothic Suit of Armor.
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, you are correct in your areas of vulnerability assessment. There are no mail patches on the gambeson yet. I'm hoping to have a historically accurate set of arming things made by a very knowledgable friend who has worked with top museums. The transitional armour sure is cool, especially the fabric covered stuff. The knight in shining and velvety armour, lol!

One thought about mail under the plate; a mail layer sure would seem to promote ventilation. Heat seems to get trapped by plate over padding, due to lack of airflow. The tighter the fit of the suit, the worse the heat problem. Yet, a tighter fit in a well designed suit results in better performance in the areas of mobility and weight (emphasis on designed well). Someone back then should have discovered a high performance, breathable open cell type padding material. Like the insides of a loofa sponge, maybe.

The posting problems I encountered seem to be time limit issues for in-activity. I guess the 'puter doesn't understand that typing a post in itself is not a true sign of online in-activity. I have now resorted to previewing occasionaly, to let 'puter know I'm actually doing something.

And, Mr.Thibodeau, I couldn't agree more with your post quote!!!


Last edited by Torsten F.H. Wilke on Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Hopkins, you're powers of observation are profound. The purchase of this harness was complete happenstance. I had not tinkered with armour stuff since I was a kid, even though I never passed up the opportunity to view museum pieces. The interest is genetic. I am descended from the von Wilke family ( the "W" pronounced as a v in German) on my father's side, and from the De Beaumont family on my mother's side, Huguenots in the 1500's. That relates me to much of European nobility for better or worse. While working in the Atlanta area a short time ago, I saw a picture of replica armour in the local Weekly. I drove down to the business and bought the harness on the spot, impulsively. Now I have gotten into researching the medievil stuff again, found this wonderful website by Nathan and Co., and have fine people like yourself giving me valuable information. I surely will learn volumes, and what a cast of characters... lol
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does it really weigh 70 pounds? Seems rather weighty? My full suit was only in the high 40's w/out helmet or mail.

RPM
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Torsten F.H. Wilke wrote:
Jean, you are correct in your areas of vulnerability assessment. There are no mail patches on the gambeson yet. I'm hoping to have a historically accurate set of arming things made by a very knowledgable friend who has worked with top museums. The transitional armour sure is cool, especially the fabric covered stuff. The knight in shining and velvety armour, lol!

One thought about mail under the plate; a mail layer sure would seem to promote ventilation. Heat seems to get trapped by plate over padding, due to lack of airflow. The tighter the fit of the suit, the worse the heat problem. Yet, a tighter fit in a well designed suit results in better performance in the areas of mobility and weight (emphasis on designed well). Someone back then should have discovered a high performance, breathable open cell type padding material. Like the insides of a loofa sponge, maybe.

The posting problems I encountered seem to be time limit issues for in-activity. I guess the 'puter doesn't understand that typing a post in itself is not a true sign of online in-activity. I have now resorted to previewing occasionaly, to let 'puter know I'm actually doing something.


Here is an NON-Historic pattern of how I would design a gambison to give some ventilation using eyelets. ( see graphic ).

You may be right about the ventilation but somehow a hauberk by itself over a gambison seems fairly hot in spite of the ventilation: I assume that as the rings heat up to body temperature or worse heat up due to sunlight , it radiates the heat back to the body. Although with maille and plate you may get some ventilation and less humidity build-up than plate alone.

At least in a dry climate. Razz Cool



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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall, I haven't weighed the suit entirely by itself yet. The figure of 70 lbs is a good estimate though, probably within 5 lbs. The helmet did weigh in at about 7 lbs. The sword about 4 lbs, not that the sword counts. I personally packed the shipping crate, and verified the weight. It came to 153 lbs with sword, stand, and newspaper/bubblewrap packing. The 4ft by 2.25 ft by 2ft crate was on the light side, made from 6mm luan plywood and 1.75 in by 0.75 in fir ribs nailed. The stand was not particularily heavy-duty, maybe around 40 lbs. The suit seems to be in the 1.2 to 1.5 mm thickness range, depending on where you measure. A 45 lb weight for this suit would be far too light, even my body tells me so. 65 to 70 lbs falls within museum verified historical weights for that time period.
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, I have a mechanical engineering background. The main culprit for heat build-up is due to the insulating properties of the gambesons. The fibrous padding material creates a dead air space perfect for retarding heat transfer. The fabric lining and outer cover only help keep that air dead, even during motion. Heat transfer happens by material contact or radiation. The only way for air to have an acceptable heat transfer rate is by movement, and lots of it. Think of a car radiator. The padding material itself is also a poor heat conductor. Not much heat transfer going on there. Dead air is an absolutely poor heat conductor. The odd thing is, that if the mail or plate get scorching hot, the gambeson helps keep that heat off of you! Insulation works both ways. Only on very hot and sunny days would the radiative heat from the mail or plate become a source of significance, at least by the numbers. Think of the sahara, lol. Just remember, the human body is a very efficient heat engine, it just doesn't like core temps over 99 deg...

Oh, and your design is great! It could stand up as armour in its own right.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Torsten F.H. Wilke wrote:
Oh, and your design is great! It could stand up as armour in its own right.


Oh, the actual design includes solid rivets and small sections like giant staples: The idea was to make a metal reinforced gambison with improved cutting resistance and durability i.e. surface cut damage would be limited and such a gambison should be more durable used as stand alone armour and if under maille would add some backup metal to resist a cut.

Or if worn over maille would also have some ventilation.

I reworked the graphic removing the extra metal to not confuse the point of using eyelets in my first post.

Now there are NO known similar historical designs and I don't mean this design of mine to mean that there would have been, but I sort of wonder why things like this were not thought of ? Would seem an obvious way to improve fabric or leather armour at little cost in metal used and extra weight. Eek! Question Laughing Out Loud

Oh, and thanks for the kind words about the design and welcome to the site.



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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's beautiful Torsten, thanks so much for sharing. This armor must be your pride and joy!

Awesome!

Bob
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Torsten,
The only reason I ask was that a person I knew had the Windlass suit of similar type and it weighed in less and I was curious if they had changed something. There also are a number of suits that fall within the range (50ish) I mentioned below sin helmet. If you like I could make you a list of historic suits w/ weights. In the end the completeness of the harness plays a large part as well, my suit is w/out sabatones and rear faulds and some other little parts of places I do not get hit on alot. I do not think 70 pounds is out of the question though by any means just did not remember this suit to be so.

RPM


Last edited by Randall Moffett on Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:18 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bob, thank you for the comment. Being my very first real suit (I attempted stuff as a kid! It worked, kind of.), yes I really do like it! Unfortunately, as for pride and joy goes, the harness has to compete with the Rahal Racing Champcar sitting in the garage. And no, I'm not kidding! I really love racing...

ps; I certainly wouldn't mind a reverting back to medievil ways for the most part...
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, very interesting. I did inspect another style of suit there, but it didn't seem to be made as well. It was thinner also, scarily so. How long ago was the suit you were talking about made? My harness has pieces which were definately made by their finest craftsmen. At least it was all the important ones! Some of the pieces were not of as high a caliber, but I am being somewhat picky. The suit will be shown to Mr. Hurt shortly, and I look forward to getting his input. A correct Maximillian suit by him would be my next project, as his time permits. Anyway, I will try to get the harnesses's actual weight in the near future, and post it. Can you post any pics and specs of your stuff? Any historical info will always be greatly appreciated. Do you have any interesting Family history?
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Aug, 2006 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Torsten,

I do have some pictures of my suit but since I moved (from LA to York England) it may take a few days to get ahold of them. My suit basically is full legs, the cuisses are only basic covering the front and a small part of the outside, has a breastplate, backplate, faulds on the front only (I always planned to add rear ones and tassets just never did), full arms with fully enclosed vambraces but guttered rerebraces with a small set of spaulders. My helmet is a sallet with bevor (I think the helmet is about 5-6 pounds and the bevor is 21/2ish).

If I am going to use the armour I definatly avoid thin stuff. I work mostly from 1.2mm up to about 2mm but at times have worked up to 3mm's. My suit is mostly 1.2mm to 2mm. I think the faulds, backplate, rerebrace, cuisse, greaves, inner plate of vambrace and bottom section of bevor along with sallet tail are 1.2mm. The breastplate, outer vambrace plate, couters, polyens and bevor upper plate are 1.6mm, sallet visor and top are 2mm. I find if it gets hit less you can go to 1mm or a bit less but I avoid it as it only takes once and then you get to do some nice restoration work and for teh weight difference between 18 and 20 gauge it is not worth it.

I was just looking at a Max suit in the Stores at the R.A. a few months back. I got some cool pictures of the inside as well. VEry nice suit. I look forward to hearing about how your suit is going.

I have a few pictures of great bascinets of the same era from some armour collections here in the UK, ( which as I said before is cool yours has as people often avoid them which is sad as they are nice helmets, I have a mind to make one but at this time I am on armour making forced vacation).

As for family history, my family was aborder family from the lowlands. I am currently gathering some info together, so far it has been very interesting. Two signed the ragman roll, fought with Wallace and Bruce (were rewarded with lands grants), the climax perhaps being part of the cavalry at Bannockburn. They have a hundred plus years doing really well till arkenholm where they get somewhat squashed with the Black Douglasses, although only a few years later I found one Moffet, (a true and right knight as the describe him) in the financial records of Scotland. Fun stuff,

I will pm you the suit info or post them here once found.

EDIT--- Could not find pictures of it but convinced one of my brothers to get some pictures. Whole suit weighs 44 pounds in total according to my note from 2002---

RPM


Last edited by Randall Moffett on Thu 31 Aug, 2006 3:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
Joined: 01 Jul 2006

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 28 Aug, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, great info. I would love to see the bascinet pics, since they seem to be far and few between. Also, by "guttered" rerebrace do you mean half-round? By the description, I'm assuming your suit is a "German" style gothic, maybe without all the high-gothic fanciness. Were other countries at the time also making that style of armour, or were they strictly imported? What would your relatives have been using for armour? It's too bad photographs don't exist of those times, lol!

ps; You really have me wondering about the weight issue now. Procuring a personal scale will be necessary!
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Aug, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just got a visual of seeing a medieval knight getting into his race car! Laughing Out Loud

Nothing wrong with having "two" Pride and Joys! Nothing at all wrong with that!

Congratulations on both!

Bob
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