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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2004 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sure that weight and resiliance are major factors in the current demand for properly tempered armor, overlooking "historical accuracy." If the suit is to be really used, there are safety concerns. Hardening the armor allows the weight to be historically accurate while providing the safety we want today. A suit of 14-16ga. mild steel would be protective, but would weigh quite a bit more than a historical piece, which generally averaged 18ga. Second, an hardened suit will require much less repair over time. I'm sure that if I made the large investment in a full suit, the last thing I'd want is to have to send it back to the armorer once a year for an expensive repair.
This is probably an academic discussion, since to my knowledge, the vast, vast, majority of reproduction armor is in fact, unhardened mild steel. Only the highest-end smiths really work in high-carbon steel. Even if we take this tiny sample size (Rhodes- 25% hardened, 75% mild) as indicative, I'd venture to guess that the percentage of new-made, hardened armor is actually far, far, lower than 25%. Probably even less than 1%. So, if anything, more armor should be made hardened than is currently.

Regards,
Brian M
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The full contact jousting troop that has done the joust at our faire ( Warhorse Productions ) since I was a kid has been
ridding in the same suits of mixed RM and old A&A pieces for years . 14gauge and 16 gauge mild steel all
and in the nine years we've worked there not one injury has occured due to armour failure . 1000 pound Percherons
running at each other with 160 lbs. of man in 85 lbs of tournement armour on at 20 miles and hour with 14ft
poles with brss caps on the end . Four shows a weekend . All we've ever had to do to these harness is pound dents
and replace strapping . The one suit thats in use that began to fail very quickly ( cracks began to appear very soon
after the harness took the field ) is a stainless steel suit made buy a guy down state . Stainless is very hard and
does not take repetative impact at all well . Is it perhaps just possible that a steel that is "tough" ( the stress
generated by repetative impact will not cause cracks but rather dents ) verses a steel that is "hard " ( the concept
behind tempering armour was to make it better able to resist the odd blow that did manage to land as the users
we're involved in battles which we're not that frequent , trying very aggressively not to get hit and this is not
MOST user of today , they have fight practice every tuesday and a weekend long event every other weekend and
get hit constantly . They have a hard enough time staying out of thier own way much less anybody elses' )
might better suited to the repetaive novice skill level of the average user ? Beat on "hard " and it will crack
and most users ( who will never move beyond novice skill ) will beat on it rahter than use it in an historically accurate manner ( boatloads of training in WMA) beat on " tough " and it won't crack ( catastrophic ) but dent and can
be reshaped . Is it really a matter of the curious newbie who knows nothing about WMA being told "well first thing
you'll have to do is go out and get a $12000 dollar harness and then you can begin training " ( how do you get
new members?) or does the construct of the harness grow with thier skill ?
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My interests predate plate armor but nevertheeless-
Highest quality custom european sword- $2000-$4000
Hightest quality maile- $15,000+/-.
Plus I would need gambesson and all the other stuff. . .
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually i've just realised that my last post is getting some what off topic from what Harlan started . So what we know at
this point is you guys will buy a production sword ( wheather its MRL or A&A) and treat it like art ( hang it on a wall ,
put it in a rack with others for display ) without all its "parts " if you will ( scabbard , belt ) but that armour has to be
custom made , complete and whole to be displayed or treated like art . Why does this double standard exist ?
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Nathan Cole




Location: Philly, PA
Joined: 08 Dec 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hard question.
I think some people have touched on a major concern. Even a merely decorative sword can be taken off it's hanger and handled. Little sparks of power jangle up ones arm when holding a sword Wink With merely decorative armor it can only be looked at or hefted not experienced. If the armor doesn't fit it can't be experienced even as poor quality armor.

I know I am not able to buy armor because of the price concern and pickiness. I have made myself a coif and shirt of butted mail because I can't afford to buy mail and most of the cheap stuff is junk. I want to start making reasonably accurate rivetted mail since good rivetted mail is even more expensive. Mail armor is more timeless and look great worn but less arresting when on display. I have some reasonably nice ebay great helms and a greek helmet. Part of my problem with plate armor is what type to buy even If I had the money. I think at this point I I were buy a serious armor it would be gothic german but there is so much variation. Cost and space prohibit the collecting of armor of many different types. At least until I inherit that ancestral castle WTF?! Yeah right. Also a suit of armor seem less complete without a good sword or pole-arm. A sword can be complete by itself.

Pax vobiscum,
Nathan
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan,

I think part of the conundrum lies in the fact that most of us start with swords then look back at all the money we spent on junk. In my case I certainly wish I had just started with A&A or Albion and stayed there instead of wasting money to move up to them over time.

That's why I "demand" higher quality on the armour path. I don't want to throw good money after bad buying entry level stuff I'm not going to want in the not too distant future.

"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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Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Part of the reason could be it's a "personal" thing; in other words, you want to feel some type of connection with the piece(s). With a sword it's easier, even if it is a production sword, because it's more of an extension of you, your hand, your body rather than something that actually resides on your body. If you don't have the feeling that you could wear the armor, even if you don't plan on actually wearing it, then you tend to lose interest.
Plus, there are maintainence considerations; to put together a gothic type suit from the pieces you guys sell probably uses, and this is just a guess, about 144 square feet of steel, right? That's a LOT of steel to take care of! It seems to me that no matter how many times I scour rust spots off and re wax my armour, a few days later there's more rust! (Damn humid climate!!!!!! Mad , hopefully that changes when I move to Arizona) Anyway, when compared to a sword, the maintainence of armor can seem rather daunting to most people, so they opt for a sword.
Hope this helps Happy

Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This question seems very subjective. And as such there is no single or simple answer. We are collectors, and as such we buy stuff we like as opposed to stuff we need, and why somebody likes something is very hard if not impossible to answer.

To answer the question with a question: Why do we care to know why people want custom harnesses to display as art but a bare sword will suffice?

It may have something to do with recognition of the piece, and this is what is desired for any piece of art: recognition and appreciation. A sword is easily recognized, and anybody can point to it and say "Hey this is a sword you have on your shelf! Can I see it?" Where as, how many people can look at a bevor (by itself) and say "Wow! That is high gothic (for example) bevor from Germany, dated to early XVIth century! Amazing! Can I put it on? You are so lucky to have that!"

A full harness is going to be recognized by most (as what it was used for), and as such it will be appreciated to some extend.

The fact that is custom made may have something to do with the fact that it could be used (fit the owner) if necessary. This is a very important mind set, I think. When I consider a purchase, I want my stuff to be period accurate and fully functional, even if I never want to use it, but the THOUGHT that it is usable makes me feel that my money was well spent. Plus, let's admit it, we can brag about it more to anyone willing to listen.

My random thoughts,

Alexi
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Custom fit . The vast,vast majority of armour produced especially of plate was "off the peg ". Worked great everybody
used it . Even Henry VIII . The renoun suit for fighting on foot in the lists at The Field of the Cloth of Gold was never
worn by Henry because of last minute rule changes and the tonlet armour he used for the tourney was cobbed together
last minute out of parts from the armourers shop . Gratz armoruy 99% munitions of the peg armour . Why the custom
fit mythology ?
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Space has been mentioned several times . So its all or nothing , a helmet or a set of gauntlets to highlight a display of
swords just won't do it is what you guys are saying ?
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Space has been mentioned several times . So its all or nothing , a helmet or a set of gauntlets to highlight a display of
swords just won't do it is what you guys are saying ?


HI Allen
From your last few posts you sound slightly annoyed that peoples understanding of their own tastes differs from yours. To pick up a few of the points you make, a helmet on its own may look good on display, but I suspect a lot of people are interested in these things as functional as well as pretty, so they might want to put it on occasionally. The fit may not have to be custom, but head sizes do vary by a fair bit. Also when I've tried on helmets, aside from the fit problem, I've distinctly noticed the weight. Maybe I've got a weak neck, but this is supposed to be fun (it is for me anyway). Another problem, which I admit may just relate to me, is that holding a sword I feel kind of good, whereas catching sight of myself in casual western dress with a helmet on I think I look like a right prat (I'll grant that I might get away with the gauntlet and maintain a little dignity, although it gets a bit 'Michael Jackson' if you're not careful). The point you make about the scabbard etc. is reasonable to a degree, but I've found that I can make reasonable (not good) scabbards, shields etc. myself, so they don't need to be purchased as a set. Most of all though, for me, as for several who've already spoken, is the cost. I'd love to have turn of the millenium rivetted maille outfit, but I'm pretty sure I never will, whereas one day I might be able to get a really decent historical reproduction sword (e.g. Albion next gen, TEMPL, or similar).
Regards
Geoff
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Custom fit . The vast,vast majority of armour produced especially of plate was "off the peg ". Worked great everybody
used it . Even Henry VIII . The renoun suit for fighting on foot in the lists at The Field of the Cloth of Gold was never
worn by Henry because of last minute rule changes and the tonlet armour he used for the tourney was cobbed together
last minute out of parts from the armourers shop . Gratz armoruy 99% munitions of the peg armour . Why the custom
fit mythology ?


Hi Alan,

I am not trying to propagate mythologies. The custom fit armor was mentioned in several previous posts so I decided to include that point, that custom fit armour is much more comfortable, if not more protective. I did not intend to state that ONLY custom amour is functional.

Now, I think everybody will agree that there is armour and there is armour. If 99% of the people used "off the peg" armor, then 1% used custom made, highest quality stuff. There are examples of such harnesses.

The fact that the majority of period plate armor was of the "one-size-fits-all" variety does not mean that the modern collector has to avoid custom orders. We are all more ar less fascinated with knights as warriors, but these were the minority of the medieval army. We can purchase whatever we like because we can afford (more or less) items that only the nobility could have had. And I think that most of the modern collectors like identifying with the nobility (the well off nobility I might add), as opposed to the commoners which used what ever armor they could find or were given.

Again, sorry for the confusion

Alexi
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Space has been mentioned several times . So its all or nothing , a helmet or a set of gauntlets to highlight a display of
swords just won't do it is what you guys are saying ?


I am sure many people do what I do, and mix swords with axes, maces, helms, daggers, and books to allow interested visitors to comment on whichever aspect of the hobby interests them the most.

I have a mere suspicion, not based on fact, that sword/armor hobbyists may divide naturally into the reenactors like the SCA, who are forced to skip exact replicas for safety reasons, and those of us who feel that they want replicas that are as close to the original as possible. People who prefer role playing can't use historical reproductions, if they want to retain all of their appendages. So the inherent dangerousness of real weapons limits our ability to be equally interested in both swords and armor, unless we are satisfied with just displaying our collection rather than using it.

I collect firearms too, and that hobby divides fairly naturally into people who like pretty guns that sit in displays, versus the ones who like to shoot their guns. I fall on one side of the divide for guns, and the other side of the same divide for swords and armor - I shoot the guns, but display the swords and armor.
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Custom fit . The vast,vast majority of armour produced especially of plate was "off the peg ". Worked great everybody
used it . Even Henry VIII . The renoun suit for fighting on foot in the lists at The Field of the Cloth of Gold was never
worn by Henry because of last minute rule changes and the tonlet armour he used for the tourney was cobbed together
last minute out of parts from the armourers shop . Gratz armoruy 99% munitions of the peg armour . Why the custom
fit mythology ?


Perhaps lack of education.

Many of the people on these and similar forums have invested significant time educating the rest of us about swords and exploding sword myths.

I've not travelled that road for armour.

After all this is a sword and weapons forum.

"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




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Space has been mentioned several times . So its all or nothing , a helmet or a set of gauntlets to highlight a display of
swords just won't do it is what you guys are saying ?


Yes and no.

Buying for the sake of decor is nice justification with my wife but in truth has nothing to do with my purchasing decisions.

"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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Harlan Hastings
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"After all this is a sword and weapons forum."

I thought these forums were for the discussion of arms and armour ....

Gee whiz, did I miss another memo?!?!? Eek! Razz
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harlan Hastings wrote:
"After all this is a sword and weapons forum."

I thought these forums were for the discussion of arms and armour ....

Gee whiz, did I miss another memo?!?!? Eek! Razz


No, you're absolutely right. This forum is for armour, too. The other guy missed the memo Happy

We have a lot of articles about armour in our features section, too. The site is definitely not limited to weapons.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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Amy Christensen-Waddell
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
HI Allen
From your last few posts you sound slightly annoyed that peoples understanding of their own tastes differs from yours.


Hey Geoff,

Actually, I hope Allan doesn't mind my chiming in here, but I don't think it's so much annoyance, as frustration in trying to understand for Allan, as both an armorer and a collector of just about everything sword and armor related. Have a few Jaeger bombs with the man and you'll know what I mean. Laughing Out Loud

We've been doing a lot of talking about swords and armor, and the marketing of these products. These are not really products that you slip a woman in a bikini next to and send the ad off to Corvette Monthly - it's a very complex thing. Okay, you could do that, but I think it would hit upon a market outside of the educated collectors who appreciate historical relevance and quality. There are a few of us who have been going back and forth on it, and I suggested that Harlan and Allan pop on here to gain some insights from you guys - the people who know and love this stuff. And I figured with armor included in the photo gallery, and discussed in some posts, it would be an excellent place for them to get some thoughts from folks, since this is one of the most educated forums out there.

The main points I've taken in from this are great ones - the customization issue, the maintenance, and the cost. They all make sense. And I remember the days when swords were going through two of those issues, and actually, to a point, the customization one as well. We're all learning in this field, and it's been one fascinating education.

I myself would never wear armor, but love having it as a display piece in my home. Always have. Howy and I have had a full suit in our living room for years, though now it's here in the office. At home it's mostly helms, gauntlets and the like, alongside the swords. It just looks great - and that's my only motivation. Aesthetics. The houses of most of our staff also have armor on walls, on display stands, over fireplaces... So though I can understand what you're saying in these posts, I can also see from the point of view that armor doesn't have to fit - it just has to look good. The question is - where are there others like me?? That's also something we're trying to figure out.

Please, keep the input coming if there's more to be stated - it's all great stuff! And we appreciate the learning experience!

Amy

Amy Waddell
President/CEO
Albion Swords Limited, LLC

I wrote to the FBI to see if they had a file on me. They wrote back, "we do now..."
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Geoff Wood




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amy
I take your points and I hope my post didn't give offense (particularly to Allan, whose name I spelled incorrectly -- Sorry !). I've probably a head start over most folks in looking (and sounding) like a prat anyway, helmet or not. The most serious point for me remains the one of cost for something that could function as an original would have done. Taking my maille example, the MT haubergon is already 400 and that is butted, which I'm sure looks great, but which I'm told would not function in protective terms as would rivetted maille. Now obviously the latter would be hugely (and rightly, I'm sure) more expensive because of the labour involved. If I'm only interested in appearance rather than function I could probably go for plastic, or go really down market and metallic spray paint a thick knit woollen pullover and keep it in a dark corner. I can understand people keeping armour for aesthetic reasons, as they do for swords with wallhangers. That is a perfectly sensible and and I'm sure satisfying type of collecting. As for me, I know I'll never use these things. It is just that it is important knowing that I could. Maybe that is daft. Dunno.
Regards
Geoff
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2004 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the sort of thing we're looking to get insight on . What constitutes "being able to use it " ? Does this mean strictly
custom( theres no shortage of folks offering that service so it seemed to us that what would fill in the gap between
the pacific rim cheapies and the custom makers was a line of quality built munitions armour that we could modify
some before shipping to suit the customer needs if neccessary ) or is there more to it .
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