best relaible helms for the price

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Trading-Dragon
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Trading-Dragon »

Again, it depends what you want it for. Occasionally my group indulges in a fine tradition: mummer's plays, with such illustrious characters as St. George, The Dragon and a magical doctor who revives everyone at the end, complete with cheesy dialogue ("He is dead? Oh dear, that could be fatal!") :D

Now, that of course has got nothing to do with historical accuracy whatsoever. But to fit the setting of the play a suitably medieval look is still required. You will find that especially the younger audience will notice if your kit is odd, for example if the helmet is the wrong shape for the period or if your elbows don't match your knees... :roll: That's because they've learned to recognize the general look and outline of historical gear of war from picture books, drawings and the internet.

GDFB has been a boon to us here because more often than not they portray the right shape for the object they intend to copy. Of course a lot of them are probably not accurate at all but they don't have to be. They just have to play the part from a distance. Important is only that everyone can recognize the Bold Slasher as a 13th century knight (because we decided it'd make a suitable costume) and that the actor playing the part gets to survive until lunch break relatively intact.

I see GDFB kit as very durable and hardworking kit for a serious performer. But not necessarily a living history buff. After all, Mummer's Plays are an entirely different ball game. :|
I've never seen a GDFB helmet fail. And being quite thick you do get a lot of metal for your money. If you don't mind knocking the occasional dent out they last pretty much for a lifetime, if you wish to keep them. Go for it!

And by the way: I am thinking GDFBGlobal here, which is mostly the same but has generally more up-to-date products and a larger stock holding (I think).
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Could a moderator move this to a more approriate forum as it doesn't really have much to do with the nature of this one?
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by gregory23b »

Fox, I don't doubt the efficacy of the helmets as such as I know people who own them, but I prefer to buy my armour from the people making it, there is a direct line to the manufacturer that for armour (for me at least) is important.

As to accuracy, I am not impressed with the Italian sallet thing nor the dodgy swept back teeny weeny 'archer's' skull thing. I want an item that functions and that is in two parts, look and efficacy, if the helmet is merely good at protecting me that is only half the requirement, or vice versa for that matter, it is only a personal preference and has been that way for me ever since I started. There are at least 3 gdfb, including the Australian one that is folding, the Hanwei and the UK one, the latter has a range of kit such as 'pants' that I find dubious and generi-medieval.

Please note I do not spend a lot on armour, very little in fact, because decent (my criteria) armour is not cheap, so quality not quantity, if I could afford it and could justify a fat armour for me I would buy one from Emrys or any of the others I listed plus a few others that are not, until then...
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Adam R »

Yes indeed - better less of the good stuff than more of the poor stuff :)
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Fox »

Thank you for clarifiying, G23b.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

Phil the Grips wrote:"Battle ready" always confused me as a term since it is my understanding that it is illegal to advertise objects as being suitable for fighting or combat.
Yes, its something that has struck me too. I'd personally have labelled something "Re-enactment Ready" if I were going to label anything at all. It's nit picking I know. But Phil you are making the very point that has gnarled at me for a while.

We all know something Labelled as "Battle Ready", should be taken as meaning "Suitable for Re-Enactment", but understandably for some, Battle Ready seems to fall off the tongue more easily & more widely.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Phil the Grips »

Except reenactent often uses sharps, just not for actually hitting each other, so that's a redundant phrase too.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Colin Middleton »

I prefer to see a list of the safety standard, i.e. "meets (Fed, EMA, MSS, L&M, etc.) safety standards". You've got something specific to measure it against then.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Do they have them? I mean beyond minimum requirments are a helemt, jack and gloves? If they did that then they would be on the way towards saying you ought to buy from X because they do such a such grade which is what we expect. That would be a bit naughty.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Fox »

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Do they have them? I mean beyond minimum requirments are a helemt, jack and gloves?
The EMA guidlelines do go a little further to discuss the minimum specifications and expectations from helmets and armour.
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:If they did that then they would be on the way towards saying you ought to buy from X because they do such a such grade which is what we expect. That would be a bit naughty.
That, however, is untrue. The EMA do not do that. There are plenty of manifacturers who produce helmets that would meet the guidelines.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Adam R »

... back to my earlier point - how many armourers actually test their armour for it's protection? If so how do they do it? Is it actually desirable to have these tests or is it actually wiser to say that armour is costume only and combatants should rely on training to maintain safety (not suggesting armour is not worn though as a minimum standard)?
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Colin Middleton »

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Do they have them? I mean beyond minimum requirments are a helemt, jack and gloves? If they did that then they would be on the way towards saying you ought to buy from X because they do such a such grade which is what we expect. That would be a bit naughty.
On their way perhaps, but still a long way off. The specifications that I know of (off of the top of my head) are things like the curvature of the sword point and the thickness of the striking edge. These match almost all weapons from 'reputable' suppliers. It's not unreasonable to say that helmets must be made of steel (not aluminium) and have a minimum thickness of X. That's hardly the same as saying 'buy White Rose helmets or don't fight.' Also, I suspect that must custom manufactureres will make you items that don't conform to these standards if you ask them to (like LA's aluminium armour, which they always insist is not suitable for re-enactment).
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Fox »

Presumably you're refering to the WotR Fed, Colin.

The NAReS Guidance notes on armour say only the following regarding minimum specification:
The use of ... thin leather, lightweight quilting, sheet steel under 16 gauge etc., reduces the protective value of the armour and should be avoided.
In a similar way the EMA guidelines warn:
Avoid defensive equipment which appears to offer more protection than it does
It goes on to say that steel armour should be at least 18 gauge and also quotes the NAReS figure above.

On helmets the EMA guidelines say that:
The minimum requirement is that a helmet should be able to stop a heavy (accidental!) blow. ... If you plan to accept headshots your helmet must be sufficiently constructed to withstand repeated blows. It should also cushion your head against these impacts.
Aluminium Helms are generally not suitable.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Colin Middleton »

Fox wrote:Presumably you're refering to the WotR Fed, Colin.
More a hypothetical rules set really. Not any group in particular.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Phil the Grips »

Fox wrote: It goes on to say that steel armour should be at least 18 gauge and also quotes the NAReS figure above.
Which is odd since I would give a very great amount of trust to a harness by Jeff Hedgecock, Emrys, Mark Vickers, Neil Carren etc which will drop to considerably less than 18 gauge in places, as did the originals, and yet have considerably more protective qualities than some armour I have seen that professes to be 18 ga. due to quality of make, design, and materials, strong enough to joust in even.

Odd that a well made £15+K historically accurate harness would be banned and yet cheap mass produced imports would be acceptable.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Colin Middleton »

Not really. Like all rules, they are written to be quickly and efficiently applied. It's not like we can test the strength of every peice of armour on the field. (Okay, so testing their thickness isn't that practial, but it is more acheivable.) Given the nature of the world we live in, you can't say "if he made it it's okay, but if he made it then it needs to meet extra criteria", you also can't say "it's up to your judgement, if you feel safe, on your own head be it" without risking legal wrangles. There really isn't a way to phrase it better, without having a standard authority controlling the quality.

The practical implication is that people KNOW that stuff is safe, so won't even question if it's thick enough to meet the standards.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Phil the Grips »

But if there is a rule it has to be stuck by, especially if it it has been written into insurance/risk assesments. I'd be intrigued to see how many people are going on the field in "illegal" armour at EMA events by actually buying better quality kit. I almost certainly did unwittingly as I used DtK kit that certainly wasn't 18 ga, as I wouldn't have bought it if it was!
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Fox »

I think you have the wrong end of the stick, Phil.

First: The EMA Guidlelines are, clue in the question, for guidance; they are not rules; there is no such thing as "illegal" armour in this context, or anything that is "banned".

Second: This sentence uses the phrase "should". The guidelines make a clear distinction between should and must; i.e. what the EMA would, in general, recommend, and what we might expect from member groups, except in exceptional circumstances.

Third: 18 gauge, which is only 1.2mm, is intended as an overall measure of thickness; that this may be less in some places, where plates overlap, or are specifically shaped, must be assumed as part of any practical definition.
The next practical measure less than this would be 20 gauge, less than 1mm.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by darrelltemplar »

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:12G! By the Lord you must have some neck muscles upon you!
actually i have terrible joints and my neck clicks about 20 times along with the rest of me when i get up in the morning, i guss the real reason i dont mind it is i have never owned another helmet i used to wear a barbute but got annoyed with the awful ringing noise when you get hit, through the the thick steel on my great helm theres a sort of dull thud and thats it you dont feel anything
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by darrelltemplar »

i must say im rather amazed at the discussion and feedback its nice to see so many people bother to read what i write!

but on the note of testing armour i only use what is tested and reccomended by my group leader max thomas as hes a former trader and maker of good quality kit. However i must say i feel tremendously sorry for any new groups starting out as they may not know who trust and whats good gear - certainly everyone suffered the problem at some point but i would say that the best way to test armour is exactly that - test it give it a good wack and see what happens far better to test gear whilst training with friends than on the field and ensure that the trader agrees if it cant take a hit as promised hes having it back

and on the subject of the ema it is a great shame they cannot ensure every person doing reencatment has done this due to the sheer number of people and lack of marshals (this is not to knock the ema i do not balme them for lack of marshals man power has been a pain to all warriors throughout hsitory) but i would say that anyone who has not tested gear is a being a fair bit silly
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by gregory23b »

"ay that anyone who has not tested gear "

unfortunately testing to some extent can:

damage an item so it is no longer useable, if you give a hard enough whack to a lid, it can be compromised, so what happens to the lid afterwards?

Each piece of kit is in theory unique so how do you apply a safety test, based on what? A small dent, a large dent, how much your head moves etc.

In most cases it is ok, but in the case of swords for example, you often only know something is wrong when they snap etc whether they have been tested or not.
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by glyndwr 50 »

This subject about how safe is armour and how to test safety is most interesting .One historical fact comes to mind in regard to this .Robert the Bruce killed Henry de Bohun with one blow of his battle axe to the helm of de Bohun .And if history is to be believed the single blow of the Bruces battle axe cleaved the helm and killed the English knight instantly.This being the case ,could it be a case a case that armour was a trade off between weight and strenght .Lighter armour has less weight whereas heavy armour ( as used in jousting ) gives strenght but has weight .The average Knight was lighter than a fully kitted out soldier of W W 2 .
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Fox »

glyndwr 50 wrote:The average Knight was lighter than a fully kitted out soldier of W W 2 .
Reproduction full 15thC harness for re-enactment (like mine) typically weighs somewhere around 6 stone. I was chatting to one of the interpretors at Leeds last weekend; he gave another MoP the same estimate for the armour he was wearing (which was much more expensive reproducion than mine).

A modern soldier, I'm told, can be carrying anything between 60lbs and 120lbs, depending on the situation, but around 80lbs, about 6 stone, is apparently typical.

There certainly seems to be an equivelence between the weights carried by soldiers through out history; that probably has something to do with the basic mechanics of the human frame.

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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Adam R »

I believe war harnesses of the time were lighter than modern reproductions - thinner sections and tapered thicknesses and lighter mail out balanced the thicker front sections I believe - think this was from a chat to one of the technical guys at RA a while ago. As a matter of interest my harness is almost bang on 6 stone too :)
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Re: best relaible helms for the price

Post by Colin Middleton »

My harness weighs in at 31kg (just under 5 stone), but lacks proper voiders and sabatons, the helm has no visor and the arm harness are open on the inside, so 6 stone (ish) sounds right to me. AFAIK if you're wearing better reproductions, they tend to come in around this weight, and similar to those of the period (there are stats for a 16th C one on Valantine Armouries).
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