Wanting to assemble beginners armour

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Wanting to assemble beginners armour

Post by SirRustbucket »

Greetings all! :)
My apologies if I posted this thread on the wrong board - I'm new to this place.

Basically I'm only just starting out with medieval re-enactment after dabbling with a celtic group a few years ago. Gosh, the kit is so much more elaborate and expensive! :o I'd love to make what I can myself (mostly because money is an issue and partly because I just like building things) but there's limits to what is possible for me, especially when it comes to armour.

I'd like to think that I'm avoiding the beginner's trap by not buying a shiny new sword (too expensive anyhow) and for starters I borrowed a pair of old shoes which I patched up with a rubber repair sole and a cork insole. I have been told that it'll do. My group is mostly made up of some local enthusiasts and college friends and to be honest we're probably a bit rubbish (thank goodness for the anonymity of the internet) but I'd like to make as good an effort as I can. We're mostly about the fighting, I'm afraid, so although I'm sewing civy soft kit right now I'm wondering where to get some basic armour and weapons from.

Time period is the Battle of Crecy (1346, right?) and we're trying to portray the retinue of a fictional knight on the English side. I'd like to go for a general man-at-arms look. It's probably all I can afford. I am currently very busy quilting a padded jack - type garment over which I intend to wear a Wisby (spelling?) type coat of plates that has been given to me. I also have (again, borrowed) a helmet, looking a bit like some kind of great helm made of one piece with a visor. Is that at all suitable for the period?

Now, here my problem:

There are some things which I hope to assemble in the near future: I have heard nasty stories about someone having his elbow shattered, so I'd love to reinforce my jack somehow on the joints. Can I buy or have made single pieces of armour that I can just strap, sew or buckle onto the jack? Like shoulder and elbow pieces? or might it help to have some sort of shield, if they were still used in the period (I know some of the group have them, but I am not so sure).
Lastly, I want metal gauntlets before everything else. The problem is that I cannot spend a terrible lot, at least not all in one go. What should I buy first, can anyone recommend something suitable to defend the limbs with that goes with a coat of plates? I have heard good things about Lancaster's Armourie (seen the website) but it all looks a bit steep. It's sure it's well worth it but I don't think I can splash out quite that much money just yet.

For any helpful advice I'd grateful.

Thanks muchly,


Laffin Jon Terris
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Re: Wanting to assemble beginners armour

Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

Hello SirRustbucket!

My advice for a budding novice armourer is to head over to the Armour Archive (www.armourarchive.org)

Check out the discussion area there, you'll find a wealth of information on what type of armour would (and wouldn't) fit your requirements. Most of the folks there are SCA members so don't be surprised at talk of plastic armour at times- however, a LOT of the people there do know their stuff and are very serious about getting stuff right.

You can indeed get away with separate elbow and shoulder defenses for that period, simple "Hourglass" gauntlets are what you'd need to protect your hands.

Well don on not just buying the first/shiniest sword you see, next you need to avoid buying the first armour you see too!

Best of luck!

Knowing is only half the battle.

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Re: Wanting to assemble beginners armour

Post by SirRustbucket »

Thanks for the link, that's a really interesting site. Some of the pictures folks have posted are brilliant and that's given me some inspiration. I have though about making armour by cutting pieces out with a jigsaw and apparently there is a gentleman at one of the big markets (I went to TORM already) who sells forming tools and things like that. But it all sounds very involved and quite noisy. Unfortunately I only have my kitchen counter for a workshop, so armouring is right out for a little while.

Is there anyone local (UK) that can supply shoulder and elbow pieces for people on a budget? Seems like there's plenty of purveyors for such items in the US but I am a bit apprehensive about ordering from abroad. What if it gets lost in transit?

By the way, are the SCA like LARPers? I once went along with some local LARP enthusiasts to an event in Derby. Nice fantasy costumes. I liked the campfire atmosphere, too. But the fighting is just...very far removed from the real stuff. :wtf:
The Thrifty Knight blog:


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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: Wanting to assemble beginners armour

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

hi sir rust,
it was probably me you seen at torm selling tools, next I am at the history boot camp where people can use one of my forges and other tools
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
visit my place and have a go

Posts: 243
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:53 pm
Location: London

Re: Wanting to assemble beginners armour

Post by GuyDeDinan »

Hi Sir Rustbucket, whereabouts are you based?
As a resident SCAdian on these forums, I would argue we are not LARP, we do have an internal awards and rank hierarchy, but that is predominently built up through actual service and accomplishment - the skills acknowledged are ones that have been learnt through hard graft and research. It's very much a hobby society, you would meet anyoen from dabblers with a generic T Tunic, through to craftspeople producing museum quality reproduction costumes. Combat is decided by whether or not a hit that actually connects would be deemed a kill shot, not whether or not your persona is some replicant of Sir William Marshal or a peasant - it is full contact and unrehearsed, the safety element being the representative wooden weaponry and armour standards. We have a first-person element through a 'persona' which is a useful framework to explore such skills, costuming and history of a part of the period you are interested in. Structurally, the society is organised on a fictional medieval fantasy basis, which is what first ocmes to mind when comparing to LARP, but that again is a framework to allow the thousands of members to interact.

A more frank FAQ of what we get up to is here - http://thamesreach.org/frequently-asked ... amesreach/

Happy to answer other questions.
SCA Thamesreach (London) - www.thamesreach.org

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