Gothic Harness

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*Mythos
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Gothic Harness

Post by *Mythos »

You request an overall view of my harness, Eric: so here it is. You can see another view of it in this section under "Knighting the Champion".

http://schiltron.squarespace.com/
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Last edited by *Mythos on Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

ARMOURER ERIC
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Post by ARMOURER ERIC »

Thank you, I saw the pic in the knighting oic but it was small, if you have any more full harness pics, could you please post them?

Eric

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*Mythos
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Post by *Mythos »

I have mailed you direct, Eric.

Dave34

Post by Dave34 »

hi
I only know a little about armour. But i take it the armour worn here is not made for the chap? I ask this cause looking at other photos of gothic armour. there seems to be a lot of arm area bare. and the pauldrons look very small for the breastplate?

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Post by Colin Middleton »

The pauldrons are (if anything) a bit big for a gothic harness. Many German armours just had spaulders. It's the Italian armours that had the really big pauldrons. However, I would expect the cannons to come cloers to the joint, to prevent such a large gap at the elbow.
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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Maybe its Italain gothic, made in Italy for the German market, or the flemish style, or the English style or the French style or the Spanish style.
Their were armourers all over the place copying each other and adding bits an d taking away bits to meet local needs and fashions.
Or maybe it is just poorly fitted.
I don't know, all this fighting stuff is not my forte.
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*Mythos
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Post by *Mythos »

Your observations are correct, Colin. As the chap wearing the armour (for its first outing as a complete harness), I would agree the upper vambrace is a little short: a fact which I discovered a week before this photograph when the pauldrons were delivered from the armourer. This can easily be fixed, and there is no reason why armour should be considered as a finished article until it is satisfactory.

The pauldrons are fine with regard to the Gothic style, I would say, and meet my wish to avoid the need for besegews, which are clumsy and suggest a need to protect an area which could be protected better with reasonably designed pauldrons in the first place.

There is a degree of truth to the view that there is no style that adheres only to one country, but the Germanic style of harness has a strong identity of its own; whereas one could surely say that the English harness of the C15 lacked a very clear identity in contrast.

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Post by john mackay »

The upper cannons do look a little short but am not sure if they are cannons or just spaulders? cant see were the cannon and spaulder meets. am not sure how you can fix the upper cannons if they are too short?

I notice also you have a small plate running round the wrist area on the gauntlets Does this effect your movment when fighting with sword etc?

as for remaining gaps in the arms, mail voiders will deal with this problem.

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Post by *dave34 »

I may have this wrong but I for some reason always thought the armourer had a few consultations with the knight ( client) And one would of thought they would of discovered this issue?
I ask this simply because it fears me to think that someone can pay out large amounts of money and be let down. But as some others have said on this site one has to watch what they buy.

Anyway i do hope you get this problem sorted without anymore cost to your self

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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

My reaction is why pay silly money on something you are going to end up having the sweet blue jesus beaten out of. Better to get a decent guage that will take the knocks for you at the right price.

I mean you would'd take an Aston Martin or a Ferrari on a Demolition Derby would you.

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Post by Skevmeister »

Sir Thomas Hylton,

I disagree with you, lots of people do by the best quality armour for themselves to fight in, as it make the hobby easier.

Lets get this right, good armour COSTS!!, even if you buy it from eastern europe its still costs.

The reason being is that the work to make amour work, takes a lot of waste pieces as you practice, lots of research, space and understanding neighbours (or money to afford a workshop on an industrial estate). Tooling up, all the sanding disks, polishing mops, rivets, leather,heating,lighting.Then take into that the cost of the raw material and labour. A set of well fitting arms, (and I have costed this out,with just a plain satin finish) Would cost a minimum of £200.

You pay for what you get and as many people will tell you, a good fitting armour is worth every penny, as you fight your opponents rather than the armour. Also (and this is pure suppostion on my behalf) armour that fits well will be carried properly and thus risk problems of injury, due to the way that the armour is being carried; or because of the poor fit, due to falling or being pushed over.

And as to gauge. I have had conversations with many other learned people, and that good well shaped armour doesn't need to be thick, and really should be split over what areas, it covers. After all this is how it would have worked when beatend from the billet rather than the sheet. In my personal opinion you need to be looking at 12 Guage for helmets, 14 Gauge for chest protection, and then 16 gauge for everything else (vambrace inners I would have 18 gauge), Lame's I would have 18 Gauge as well.

All of it reducing the weight you carry.

Alixx
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Post by Phil the Grips »

Sir Thomas Hylton wrote:I mean you would'd take an Aston Martin or a Ferrari on a Demolition Derby would you.
If you look at what was done in some elaborate tourney armours historically for fun and sport that's exactly what was done.
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

skevmeister,

not disagreeing with you. Infact I understand that & agrgee with your point of view. & the financial outlay armourours need to make & this understandably is passed down to us the consumer

It just seems strange to spend a lot on something that is going to be put in harms way. Especially something very fancy & flouncy. The dandy in me would love some really supurb armour to be gauped at in. The realist just wants something servicable that fits well & performs equally. I'm sure to ensure this anyone would need to spend a reasonable amount.

I was agreeing with a previous poster though I didn't make it clear. As he was saying how strange it was to spend lots of money & not have something fitting right. But there again I'm sure whether cheap or expensive the fitting to the person must take time & lots of tweeking.

So its simply my personal view point of the strangenes & irony in it all. For I know full well that If I could afford to spend on full armour I probably would. However seeing as I can't afford really nice armour I would try & obtain the best I could for what I could afford, when I could afford it.

Hope this clears it up a bit. As I will not say all of what I think in one post it would take too long & is ultimatly multifasited. & if I did post something that covered all of what I have said about a subject, someone will simply gravitate towards something they don't like & then as has happend & happend often, will quote out of context. Someting very easy to do in a forum style environment. As time & time again I will see people arguing over something that in reality they actually fundementaly agree upon its just the words used will be different.

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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

Phil the Grips wrote:
Sir Thomas Hylton wrote:I mean you would'd take an Aston Martin or a Ferrari on a Demolition Derby would you.
If you look at what was done in some elaborate tourney armours historically for fun and sport that's exactly what was done.
Yes, its odd, strange & exciting.... Beggars belief that anyone would sink a fortune into being bashed & battered about, but on the other hand I can see the fasination & the kudos of turning up in fine regaliar to impress both cohorts & oponants alike.

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Post by Billman »

Well I wrote this before the last posting but I’m damned if I’m letting it go to waste.

I agree with Skev, good armour costs money.

For me it's the difference between a greave that looks like a greave and a greave that looks like a piece of drainpipe with some straps on.

As he said when you cost up all the equipment, consumables and materials and then put labour on that then it all adds up. Let's not forget that this is skilled labour, you don't learn to make good quality accurate armour over night. I take the point of view that the people I buy armour off have mortgages and bills just like me so I shouldn’t begrudge them if they charge a decent amount for labour. If I can’t afford something to the level of quality and accuracy that I would like then I’d rather do without then buy a cheaper but inferior version.

One man’s idea of silly money may be another man’s idea of a perfectly reasonable price given then amount of time and effort required to produce a certain piece.

I don’t think there’s a mention of the cost or the intended use of the harness that started this thread so it may not have been silly money and it may or may not have been bought with the intention of use of re-enactment battles. Some people are quite happy to spend a large amount of money for a harness and take it onto the field as that’s what they bought it for in the first place and are quite prepared for the consequences. To use your car analogy you may not take an expensive sports car to a demolition derby but you may take it races where you compete against the owners of other such cars and where damage is possible but not deliberate.

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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

You can also to take the analogy even further. Buy a very expensive sports car with no intention to race at all, but simply to pose in & for weekend drives through the countryside. Which is why most people buy sports cars. And I can see the logic in that & the previous analogys in Billmans thread.

I supose an expensive suite is simply having its track day when in a battle. But me I can't afford a ferrari, but I probably could afford an (second hand)MX5 or something similar (though wouldn't have room for my kit) but it is a sportscar & I could take it to a track day & i could get a reasonable performance from it. & that's what I know I would look for in a suit of armour. So for me personaly would strike the balance.

Of course we don't know whether the suite of armour in the initial post which looks fancy is actually an DB9 or is it an MX5...?

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Post by Colin Middleton »

A well fitted harness of armour is like a pair of hand fitted shoes. You don't know why people pay the money until you try it. I'm in the process of replacing cheap, stand-in parts of my harness with the properly fitted 'expensive' versions. The last peice that I replaced were the greaves, because they were chewing lumps out of my feet and making walking hard. New will be arm harness, which leaves me with brusies everytime I fightin in it. Then I will replace the gauntlets that pinch my thumbs, and finally get a nicer helmet (that just to look flash as the old one was White Rose and still wears wonderfully).

The other reason to pay a bit more for your armour is that it wears well. When you compare the dints in my expensive armour with those in the group in cheaper armour, you can tell that mine will last 2 or three times longer than theirs.

So, my expensive armour is stronger, doesn't hurt to wear and I'm actually more agile in it as I'm "fighting my opponenent, not my armour".

Buy the best QUALITY that you can, the the most fancy!
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Post by *Mythos »

An interesting conversation here.

My approach to this harness is that it is a parade armour: it is expensive enough that I do not wish it dented. Like the people of the time who could afford this level of armour, I fight in something else.

As regards fitting, I have sourced the armour from the Czech Republic (gauntlets), Poland (cuirass and leggings) and England (gorget and pauldrons). This has enabled just one fitting for the main armour pieces and none at all for the gauntlets. Chancy? Yes, but the outcome is surprisingly good, albeit there is some tweaking to be done at the end of the season. The whole came together just before this picture was taken , and would not have been posted here were it not for a direct request to do so.

So why has this individual brought a truly international harness together in this fashion?

1. The problem of getting an English/Welsh armourer to find time to start work on a harness within a year.
2. The reluctance of British armourers to commit to this level of decoration: most would agree that such work ties them up and it is more remunerative and faster to produce munitions armour, or at least something with which they are familiar.
3. Costing: the harness in question is expensive enough, especially as I already possess another harness; but to commission a similar set of armour here would have cost me many thousand pounds more.
4. Speed of production. Gauntlets, 1 month. Harness, 4 months. Gorget/pauldrons, 6 weeks. It is unlikely this could be matched in England or Wales.
5. Difficulty of getting down to England for fittings. Strangely, it is not that much more difficult for a Scot to fly to Poland for a fitting than it is to get down to England. The convenience of being near your armourer is clear, but if you do not have that option you may as well look more widely.

So a number of the points made in previous discussion are correct, but it is an unusual harness because of its multi-national origins.

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Post by Skevmeister »

Mythos,BTW Nice Armour I like it very much. But again, what you did is not unlike visiting armourers in Germany and Milan. Was it for the final fit that you went to see them? It was chancy but the results obviously paid off.

Thomas, I see what you where saying.
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Post by gregory23b »

Sir Thomas, good armour is armour that:

a) looks right for the period, in style and fit
b) functions like armour, ie protects the individual

They apply to anything from jacks to full metal harness.

Good is not simply being able to protect the body, a slab of metal strapped to your chest will do that well enough, but it is not harness.

Also as part of the forward looking aspect of our hobby, we should be looking at getting the kit to look right and feel right and work right. There is plenty of old crap out there that is generi-medieval that matches no period, but is good value.

Many people want the immediate bling without the incumbent other stuff that should come with it, really good clothing and spares, staff, excellent and numerous accessories etc. Very often we see quite shabby looking 'knights', a shame really.
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Post by *Mythos »

Thank you, Skevmeister.

The fitting in Poland was at the stage when the leggings had been completed only, and the helmet was on its way. Obviously, detailed measurements had been sent initially, and I reckoned that the leggings were the easiest section, which was least likely to go wrong. This proved to be the case, albeit they are quite complex.

I was not happy to have the pauldrons and gorget done in my absence, as they are the most important items in terms of bringing the whole harness together. Hence, the decision to have those items fitted by St George Armoury once the cuirass and helmet were complete and in my possesssion. I felt satisfied with this decision, as all too often the bevor/gorget is seen to be ill-fitting and not secured adequately to the breastplate. The fact that the pauldrons are slightly short will be amended by one extra lame: a simple job for Mark, the armourer.

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Post by Skevmeister »

Mythos,

Well if that is the only poblem you have with it then, all the craftsmen you used to make it; deserve the title craftsman.

Alixx
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Post by *Mythos »

That is true, Alixx, and more often than not the true craftsmen are the ones who are not doing the work so much for the money, as for the satisfaction of a finished product of which they can be proud.

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Post by john mackay »

SIR Thomas

I must agree with the others but i understand your view. When i was thinking of getting a full harness the one thing i had to think about was using it on the field. But once i had it, the first thing i done was let a good friend of mine have the first blows this got me out of the new car thought,
I always beleave you get what you pay for, cheaper armour may look the part but may not fuction right or may fuction but look wrong etc

On the other hand there are people i know who have the mass produced armour, and are still buying cheaper options and seem happy with it, mind you they dont use it or maybe parts of it on the field! so i think it depends on what you want your armour for that will make the diffrence between the Lada and Ferrari :lol: But it is a very good and important subject about Armour, Thanks

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Post by KinnieKat »

I am slowly learning to make armour, although most of my own will be made by Matt as I want nice armour. To me nice doesn't mean having lots of fluting or over the top decoration, it's more about having a good authentic shape, the metal having been work hardened, it fitting correctly and it being easy to maintain. The last being a requirement of Matt's in the hope I will be able to knock any dents out rather than him.

Looking at original pieces, a lot of people on the field spend a lot of money on armour that only vaguely represents medieval pieces. Being able to reproduce originals takes time, skill and materials for the practice pieces, all this must be taken into account with the price.
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Post by Skevmeister »

Mythos, thats what I do I only make armour for me and my missus at the moment as I can't be arsed with being chased so I go and do a bit when I can be bothered as I want to get it right. And doing as little welding as possible (and eventually doing what ever welding is required using the forge) I do it as a hobby rather than anything commerical. And whilst I am no where near Martin and Duncan at A Plaisance, Jir Klepac, Matt B, I am getting better, and that is more down to getting my 'Eye' in which means that know I can look at a piece of armour and see what work went into it which makes me appreciate good work even more than just the good looks.

Which comes back to the point I made in my first post, that even at minimum wage a good well shaped, well fitted pice of armour is going to be expensive, as all the shaping and treatment to avoid it excessive dinting requires work. And then teh dints are small and can be tapped out.

I have to Vambrace halfs which I stand on to demonstrate how strong you can make the thinnest steel. Like I say I make the inner halfs out of 18Gauge to keep the weight down.
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Post by Chris, yclept John Barber »

Colin Middleton wrote:The other reason to pay a bit more for your armour is that it wears well. When you compare the dints in my expensive armour with those in the group in cheaper armour, you can tell that mine will last 2 or three times longer than theirs.
That'll be impressive, then. My plate legs were a lot cheaper than yours, and they've seen regular action for nearly 20 years... :D


(Incidentally, my legs back up Skev's comment about the fact that there's a lot of investment in time, research, and development in a good armourer's skills. They were amongst the first pieces made by Dave Hewitt of White Rose, and his work nowadays is of a far superior standard. But along the way, he had to learn by producing munition-quality goods. Since he had the commitment to quality even then, the legs will easily reach 20 years hard use.)
Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives - it's 1183 and we're barbarians.

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Post by Colin Middleton »

*Mythos wrote:The fact that the pauldrons are slightly short will be amended by one extra lame: a simple job for Mark, the armourer.
I'm a little confused Mythos. When you say 'Pauldrons' do you mean just the shoulder covering, or the whole arm (or just the upper arm)? The comment above imples that you're meaning at least the upper cannon (bicep armour) too.
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Post by john mackay »

That's what I asked before I think there is no upper cannons ? Which will make it easier to fix

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Post by Colin Middleton »

Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:That'll be impressive, then. My plate legs were a lot cheaper than yours, and they've seen regular action for nearly 20 years... :D
Smart a***! :P

Anyway, they're still White Rose armour! :lol:

I'm thinking more of the armour that Adam & Simon are trying to turn inside out!
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