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Evan H.




Location: Canada
Joined: 22 Jul 2015

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject: Question about kettle helm for HMB         Reply with quote

Hey all, I've recently joined a local HMB group and would like to start considering my armour composition. I'm still on the fence about the helmet, since I happen to be a fan of many different designs.

I was wondering if anyone has used a kettle helm with face grill and aventail, and if so what they think of it? I know its unusual but im going for transitional armour and i feel it would work well with my group's regional and chronological setting.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!



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Niall M Black




Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 29 Jul 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm sorry this isn't very concise.

Firstly, what are your chosen time period and geographical area?

Secondly, which BotN group?

Thirdly, are you really sure you want an open face helmet in a brutal full contact fight?

You MAY have extra visibility and breathability over a fully enclosed faceplate or visored bascinet. But I believe that certain stiles of open face helmet were/are banned or being considered not allowable. Certainly, I'm unsure about barbutes and kettle hats. I know bargrills are only allowable in certain circumstances and even then... I'm not sure they're still allowed at all. Best to ask someone better informed on your local public discussion page for your team/region. If not the BotN UK Fed (Public Forum) page on Facebook is unlikely to reject you. I know some of them and squired for a couple in Croatia 2014 and I am good mates with a few. Some(!) of them really know their stuff so if you have no luck locally (wherever you are) try there. They should be more than willing to help Happy Just wait til you have a few replies first. Then draw your conclusions.

If you like any other style of helm I'd say go with that... Knights may have worn Kettles in the late 14th/early 15thC with open faces and full maille coifs with aventails and padded pellerines. I should know I own a blue and yellow 14 gauge Kettle hat that I use for 14thC pulled blow! It took a beating last weekend. Excellent for projectiles and vertical glancing strikes... not so much blunt force trauma directly to the face.

I know you'll have a grill... but really, there's a reason I want a 15thC South German Sallet or a 14thC British Sugarloaf Greathelm.

It's all about what's practical and what's actually going to protect you.

And no they didn't give a damn about reset broken noses and shattered teeth or even a splintered something to the eye in the mid Medieval period but you might.

I hope this helps somewhat,
best of luck,

Niall

(Team UK - Scottish contingent)

I'm only here for a sword scabbard. Honest guv.

The swords and funny costumes caught my eye...
The homemade authentic kit including the butted maille intrigued and interested me
But, truly -

It all began when the 'Scot's' showed me their hand forged Bearded axes... Wink

2 years down and never looked back save for my bank balance!
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest getting someone to make a perforated steel faceplate or a face form faceplate if your what to stick with kettle hats for rebated steel combat. Just image the grisly consequences if someone connects manages to stab you and slip into the bargrills and connects their long steel bar into your eye with force. Eek!
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Niall M Black




Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 29 Jul 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jul, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Evan - I second what Philip said, or does he second me? (Hmm! :P)

Philip Dyer wrote:
grisly consequences if someone connects manages to stab you and slip into the bargrills and connects their long steel bar into your eye with force. Eek!


If you have not heard of 'half-handing' you may wish to look into it. It was a technique specifically designed to do just that. Stick the sharpened crossguard or the point of the blade into the smallest of gaps or weaknesses in your opponents armour. These included eye slits, shoulder joints, wrists, waists, necks, throats, hip and crotch joints. Also a favourite of the day as an anti-plate/anti-helm tactic was using the sharpened crossguard as a warhammer to perforate and skewer their skull.

These techniques are NOT allowed in BotN for obvious reasons. However, many fighters and the Russians specifically are good at exploiting armour weakness in BotN. Especially in 1v1. They will deconstruct your armour around you and (potentially) break your body in the process. Wrists, fingers, arms and temples/catches on visors are all favourite striking zones.

Also, there's a reason straight arm thrusting is NEVER allowed in rebated steel combated of any form (save perhaps HEMA/medieval fencing) using weapons like those used in BotN. It does not mean that accidents do not happen or people do not sometimes cheat or bend the rules.

Yes kettle hats are awesome! I completely agree! But how awesome? I would say that your love of kettle hats should not overshadow your love of your current facial configuration and the use of your eyes!

However, feel free to make your own decisions... but I would strongly advise against it unless you have ABSOLUTE confidence in the design, manufacture and quality of the grill you will be using. If you have seen it be used in combat and it has been tested thoroughly to a high standard... ONLY then, once both conditions were met would you even begin to consider it! Or at least, that's what my thoughts would be!

Happy fighting and best of luck in future Buhurts Wink

I'm only here for a sword scabbard. Honest guv.

The swords and funny costumes caught my eye...
The homemade authentic kit including the butted maille intrigued and interested me
But, truly -

It all began when the 'Scot's' showed me their hand forged Bearded axes... Wink

2 years down and never looked back save for my bank balance!
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John Hardy




Location: Saskatoon SK Canada
Joined: 31 May 2014
Likes: 18 pages

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jul, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
I would suggest getting someone to make a perforated steel faceplate or a face form faceplate if your what to stick with kettle hats for rebated steel combat. Just image the grisly consequences if someone connects manages to stab you and slip into the bargrills and connects their long steel bar into your eye with force. Eek!


You might want to look at Armstreet's offerings either to buy or for ideas along this line. Armstreet makes "open face" style helmets such as Viking spectacle helmets that are SCA legal.

The way they do it is by adding a mail aventail such as the one on the kettle helmet you pictured on your original post. They make the open helmet to original specs. Then they attach steel plates to protect the back and sides of the neck and the face to SCA specs (the face plate is perforated for breath and vision). They paint the plates black to make them hard to see, and then attach the mail neckguard and facemask over top. The result is an authentic-looking Viking, Celtic, or Mongol / Turkish open helmet that appears to just have an early-style mail "curtain" for the neck and face but really with tournament combat grade steel neck and face protection...

I've always thought that one of those face grills would be absolutely awesome to use ... If it had a polycarbonate shield like the ones used on motorcycle or riot helmets tucked in behind the grill to catch any "leakers"...
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