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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,689

PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Smith wrote:
AFAIK, there are no existing specimens of this, besides what we have on "effigies" and such like that. Talking to people, everyone agrees that it is one of the most wasteful designs people can come up with. With medieval tools, try cutting out several tiny little rectangles, out of the existing pieces (talking about between the center and the "arms"). There is no good way to get them out of sheet steel, without being incredibly wasteful. From what I have seen, there have been very few re-creations of this armour for the above reasons.


That might be a good illustration of the economics of armor supply. Take this imaginary scenario: the local medieval Warlord wants to equip his retainers with armor for an upcoming battle. For the same amount of time and money he can provide 60% of his men with type A that will prevent 80% of blows from causing serious injury, or he can equip 10% of his men with type B that will stop 95% of the blows. So which is better? Man for man, type B is better, but for the overall situation type A is better. Our warlord does not need a degree in economics to figure this out.

Economics theory is everywhere these days. (Not that I'm one of them).

Having said all that, the Chinese mountain type does look pretty tough - I'm no expert on any armor, but it looks like it would ward off blunt force trauma reasonably well. And it looks that even if a spear point found one of the joints at the right angle, it would still have to tear several pieces out to cause any serious penetration, maybe pretty hard to do. Only a test would show, right?

Thanks, I learned something new.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2008 12:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
Are you familiar with Chinese "Shan Wen Kai" (Mountain Pattern Scale) armour? It is called this because the shape of each interlocking piece resembles the Chinese character "Shan" or Mountain. It is a form of Scale, but apparently moves like Mail...


As far as I'm aware, it's nowhere near that flexible--the interlocking scales essentially turn the finished armor into one rigid plate, and it can be quite heavy. I recall downloading a PDF document on the construction of this kind of armor a few years ago and will try looking into my old files to see if I can find it.
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J. Hinton





Joined: 02 Mar 2008

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Someone mentioned (two years ago, on the first page) using a chronograph for bow shots, but might be hard to find one to use. If no one has mentioned this yet, I would suggest taking it to a paintball field. Chronographs are standard at nearly every field to calibrate safe firing speeds.
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,301

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
As far as I'm aware, it's nowhere near that flexible--the interlocking scales essentially turn the finished armor into one rigid plate, and it can be quite heavy. I recall downloading a PDF document on the construction of this kind of armor a few years ago and will try looking into my old files to see if I can find it.

I have made some preliminary reconstructions based on Mr Stone's suggestions and found that the armour flexes a little on the concave side but locks rigid if flexed on the convex side. It also locks when the armour is impacted (shock hardening). It seems to be a reasonably practical construction for large armour panels but wouldn't be much use on the limbs. As has been said it is also very time consuming and wasteful of metal plate. Bronze would be ok since the offcuts can be remelted. As far as historical accuracy goes all we have is the similarity between the chinese character for "mountain" and the shape of the individual scales.
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