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P. F. Benson




Location: Canada
Joined: 25 Nov 2011

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject: Gothic Plate Kit         Reply with quote

Hello to you all!

I've been reading these forums for a few months now and I am blown away at all of the knowledge here, and it is shared so freely! Today I built up the courage to make an account so I could hopefully learn some things and begin to assemble my own kit. Vikings were my first choice- and I calculated about $1600 CAD for a kit I am satisfied with (though I couldn't find a helmet that quite suited my fancy, even amongst the Kievan Rus). Naturally the helmet is a problem, so I looked at other things and found the Gothic Plate. I have seen pictures on this site of beautiful suits of armour, with a dainty little chain-"skirt", would anyone know the approximate cost of a complete suit of Gothic Plate?

Much appreciated!

P. F.


EDIT:

My apologies, the style of armour I am referring to is the late German, with Sallet helm and Bevor

"High sang the horns, helms were gleaming, shafts were shaken, shields them answered."
-The Lay of the Völsungs
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 11:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are my ten cents:

There are some important questions to ask here. Do you want something historical? Tailored to you? For SCA combat? For Ren Fairs/Halloween/etc?

I mean, a cheap Get Dressed For Battle suit is $1,299.95 at Kult of Athena, though it is a joke as far as historical accuracy goes, would no doubt fit you poorly and make you the cliche bumbling man-in-a-tin-can, etc, etc. Basically, I and most of the people on these forums wouldn't be caught dead in it. (Note: I own not a single piece of armour... but it's only a matter of time. Wink ) However, it could work fine if you just want something to fill that corner by the fireplace and look cool or use it as a costume for Ren Fairs and Halloween. Probably would require a fair amount of work to make it workable for anything else, even for LARP or something.

Another method, the one a lot of people go for, is to slowly build their suit piece by piece, finding and/or modifying what they can from off-shelf GDFB/Windlass and other commercial armour manufacturers. This may not yield the best results, but it is cheaper and easier than finding an actual armourer to make a tailored suit just for you. Prices are obviously going to vary a lot depending on what pieces you find and buy, but so will the quality of the suit. I played around looking at various pieces, plotting and scheming, and if I recall correctly got prices between $2,000 and $6,000 for a not too incredibly historical munitions quality suit.

Last and most expensive is to talk to an armourer and have him/her/it make you your own special suit. I can't give specific examples, but I believe I recall one guy talking about his gauntlets costing $2,000 by themselves. Obviously, this represents the upper tier of armour price and quality, and not a lot of people can just go out on a whim and order one for fun. If you want to go for this sort of thing, the sky's the limit on prices. There was a company called Mercenary Tailor that made "cheap" tailored munitions quality armour that probably could have gotten you a simple suit at $10,000 or so, but they folded, despite being the cheapest around for that sort of thing.

I would not be surprised if someone pops up saying their suit of gothic plate cost upwards of $60,000, or even $100,000...






Sorry if I sound discouraging here. You can probably scrape together something from the middle category that would be in your $1,600 price range that would suit you for whatever it is you want to do. The last category is more for the guys who really really want to practice WMA as athentically as humanly possible, those who desire exacting historical accuracy, and people with way too much money. (If any of the latter are reading this, please consider a nice donation to someone in need of such armour money, like myself. Wink )

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,492

PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really depends on what you want.

Display or to wear?
Historically accurate or just armor?
Harden or just milled steel?
Going to spare in it?
Full kit or just core?
Can you travel for fitting?
What are you considering for arming clothes?

All of these things matter and some of them can easily shoot your budget. Just like with everything else, the more you want high quality and accuracy, the more its going to cost. You might be able to pull something together for $1200 or so but you can also easily spend $25,000 or more.

Here are some generally accepted "value" options:

http://kultofathena.com/armor-full.asp
http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-654-german-go...asset.aspx

Some exceptionally good but much higher priced options:

http://historicenterprises.com/armour-full-it...th=101_133
http://historicenterprises.com/armour-full-ge...th=101_133
http://historicenterprises.com/armour-full-ge...th=101_133

There are a host of options in between! Big Grin

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,492

PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some good armorers working out of Canada...so that can be helpful. I'd also recommend taking a long look at some of the European shops for this stuff. Much of the US production, with the exception of the high end artists, seems to be heavily influenced by SCA needs and requirements which do not often lead toward historical accuracy. Vendors have to go where there is a market.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,197

PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
There are some good armorers working out of Canada...so that can be helpful. I'd also recommend taking a long look at some of the European shops for this stuff. Much of the US production, with the exception of the high end artists, seems to be heavily influenced by SCA needs and requirements which do not often lead toward historical accuracy. Vendors have to go where there is a market.


In Canada there is François L'Archevêque who does very high end quality work.

Note: His site design has changed and he mentions that he has had trouble with his files and lost 5 years worth of archived messages and that he has a new e-mail address. ( Just though I would mention this if people have had trouble reaching him )

http://flarcheveque.wordpress.com/

Some interesting things on his site like the results of crossbow bolts on plate:
http://flarcheveque.wordpress.com/

Other interesting stuff including Gothic Helms:
http://flarcheveque.wordpress.com/gallery/

e-mail addresse: franklemalade@hotmail.com

François L'Archevêque
3397 chemin Royal
Beauport, QC
Canada G1E 1W3

Note: I have seen his work up close and he is very much a stickler for period accuracy.

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




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,492

PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To piggyback on Jean's reply just a bit, this sure looks to be some absolutely brilliant work:

http://flarcheveque.wordpress.com/gallery/#wpcom-carousel-186

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sun 27 Nov, 2011 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently heard Eric Dube, another excellent armourer from Quebec, had to leave armouring for a while due to repetitive strain injury. He did very nice 15thC work for a very fair price. Francois L'Archeveque does terrific work at reasonable prices too. Peter Fuller in Calgary does brilliant work - mostly museum quality reproductions but isn't in the middle of the road for prices. Also, he is currently doing volunteer work in Japan, rebuilding homes lost in the recent tsunami. You would be lucky to get on his production list in the next year. AFAIK, there are no other historically accurate, properly fitted quality armourers in Canada. There rest make SCA or low end re-enactment harness. There are lots of them in Canada and the US.

If you want something that fits you, appears to be historically appropriate to the time and place that interests you... you are looking at $15K and a year or two wait from a good North American armourer. There are lots of guys in Eastern Europe that can make excellent harness for half that. Eek!

I am paying an American artisan $2K for fitted Milanese legs. (which may arrive someday in the nebulous future) I could get very similar legs for a quarter of that from a particular Ukrainian armourer in something like six months from the date of order, including shipping. Its crazy cheap to support those folks if you just want to get fair to good quality kit quickly.

The real questions are: what are you after and why? Figure that out first, then start shopping.
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P. F. Benson




Location: Canada
Joined: 25 Nov 2011

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Much appreciated gentlemen! Yes this would just be to "run" around in, I won't be wading into battle anytime soon. Monsieur François looks like a master craftsman! I had no idea we Canadians had people like him among us haha

Looks like I'll be sticking to my Viking kit then, thanks again guys!

"High sang the horns, helms were gleaming, shafts were shaken, shields them answered."
-The Lay of the Völsungs
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