Sources for Painted Armour ?

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valen
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Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by valen »

I was at Tewkesbury a few weeks back, and there were a startling number of people in beautifully painted helms & cuirasses. Some even had rather detailed paint on spaulders. Does anyone know of sources for how common those sorts of paintjobs were, or example paint ? Someone on armourarchive.org pointed me at http://tethys.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/realon ... 002071.JPG which was interesting, but doesn't look as fabulous as more recent reproductions...

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Fox »

There are a couple of painted sallets on display in the Armouries in Leeds.

They don't look the best quality of manifacture to my untrained eye.
They're quite an unusual design; I have in my recollection that they're German, but don't bet on it.

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by SirRustbucket »

It'd be nice if someone could support the appearance of painted armour at Tewkes historically. I have my doubts though, just a gut feeling. I love painted armour but it just doesn't fit anywhere reliably.

I suppose the latest craze for it stems from ever more people buying mass-produced import armour and trying to 'individualise' their kit? Just a thought.
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Alexander »

There are some nice examples in this and that topic on myArmoury.com. From what I understood many painted pieces have had their paint removed during the Victorian era. I believe back then they had this idealised view of knights in shining armour, so they cleaned the pieces thoroughly...

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by valen »

Does seem that the Germans were big fans of painting sallets, but...everything else is pretty rare. I can dream though.
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Nigel »

There was a good article on the subject in military illustrated years ago.

Also a discussion on here which I am sure if you trawl back far enough on here you will find.

Concensus was if I recall it was pretty common
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by cloudy-cola-corp »

in a book i have there is a picture with someone in painted armour however it is plain black and noted at the bottom that they think it is just for rust prevention

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Mark Griffin »

Churburg has some nice painted bits and there is quite a bit in the Rustkammer in Vienna. Yes there was lots of it but as what we have left are isolated bits and bobs its a bit difficult to see how they fitted into an overall scheme. Did the painted 'black' sallets go with a similarly adorned harness for example?

Would have been a pretty funky harness with this scheme all over...
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

It's a bold fashion statement that only a select few could carry off.
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Mark Griffin »

I will take that as the challenge I'm sure it was intended to be :-)
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by gregory23b »

"Some even had rather detailed paint on spaulders."

That would need looking at and comparing with reality.

Many reenactors paint their harness based on colour schemes seen in MSS such as the mispronounski (for earlier) and seem to over egg the pudding for later periods, the Wallace and Tower painted sallets are quite crudely painted, the 16th Lion/appollo face is in keeping with 16th c painting styles. As for fully painted harnesses with designs on them, you had best ask the reenactors concerned where they obtained the references.

If you are going to paint your sallet, two things to remember:

Keep it simple and crude
Use thick varnish based paints, ideally there should be a gloss finish, not a matt one, despite the modern aesthetic, it is hard to achieve a matt finish with the water proof paints (used on metal and stone etc) available at the time. Check the brush strokes on the painted sallets in questions, you will be surprised.
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Mark Griffin »

One of my fave painted bits is a rather hidden away morion from Venice in the Wallace collection. Painted with a toothbrush by the looks of it but done by someone who knows what they are doing so that rather helps. The finish is as gregory says, very thickly varnished indeed.
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by valen »

Bah. It really seems that it really isn't appropriate to paint an armet, or a 1430s cuirass..

Oh well. Maybe someday I'll find a vial of this mythical gun-metal bluing potion, and be able to stain the armour something less shiny.

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Mark Griffin »

Nice cuirass.

This company does blueing,blacking and browning.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000TTIHH0/?ta ... amp=211189

Works flipping well if you are careful and take your time.

But true blueing in the period is a heat treatment of course. First, dismantle your cuirass...
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Fox »

I used the Birchwood Cassey Permablue on my late 14thC plate; it went a very satisfying bluey-browney-black, which looks pretty much like some of items I've seen that were more naturally forge blacked.

If you think it's a cure for the armour going rusty, you're only half right.

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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by Mark Griffin »

absolultey on the rust. I do have a covemtry sallet that was black/browned, still a lovely colour but its well looked after. I also have properly blue items that have got bits of rust on, grrrrr
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Re: Sources for Painted Armour ?

Post by cloudy-cola-corp »

if you blue it with heat and then quench it in oil it rusts much slower :)

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