how to weather/age plate armour

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seesinsilhouette
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how to weather/age plate armour

Post by seesinsilhouette »

hi can anyone suggest a way to convincingly weather and age plate armour to remove that "highly polished" look. also any clues into how to give a satin effect on shiny plate?

many thanks

michael

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Chaucers Closet
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Chaucers Closet »

I've always used a grinder with a rubber backed sanding disk, gives a nice satin finish.
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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

there are many ways, we often have to age metal but normally small chunky bits that can be put in a modified cement mixer with some sand or in a vibro burnishing machine or etching in acid.
none of them would be so good for you.

the method that I would suggest is using a garryflex block or similar or a cloth and some scouring powder and in either case round and round in small circles, let it rust just a little can also help and when you have got it how you want then protect it with oil or wax.
for a satin finish just go in one direction rather than in circles and avoid rust.
garryflex blocks will be on sale next to the forge at midfest this weekend and you can try them out first if you want
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Ranger Smith
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Ranger Smith »

Bleed on it or stick it under a hedge for a while as this will certainly take the shine of off it. :twisted: :twisted:
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Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Why do you want it to be "aged"? People did have new things in them olden days too, you know.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Colin Middleton »

This satin effect is caused by polishing with too corse an abrasive, or just not polishing it enough. There is some evidence that good armour was polished to a mirror finish though.

Another option is to put oil, wax or some other coating on it. This will control the rust, but also take the 'shine' off a bit.

As to weathering it, let the weather at it. Swet, rain and greesy fingerprints will quickly rust your armour if you don't do something about it. Then you can just treat the rust, or polish it away.


This is a very odd question. Why do you want to do this?
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seesinsilhouette
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by seesinsilhouette »

Firstly, thanks for all your advice. There are two reasons why I posed the questions. The first is as I gradually build up my collection effectively piece by piece I want to maintain a more uniform finish to the armour overall and as it has been collected over time obviously some pieces are naturally more weathered than others. I want to capture the same well used feel overall rather than a highly polished look.

The reason I posed this question on this forum is I have no pretentions of being an expert in this field and knew there would be vastly more knowledgable people here who could help me learn more.

The reason I asked about the satin finish is purely out of curiosity as I just aquired some poleyns which are finished with a satin surface

Thanks again

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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by wulfenganck »

seesinsilhouette wrote:Firstly, thanks for all your advice. There are two reasons why I posed the questions. The first is as I gradually build up my collection effectively piece by piece I want to maintain a more uniform finish to the armour overall and as it has been collected over time obviously some pieces are naturally more weathered than others. I want to capture the same well used feel overall rather than a highly polished look.

The reason I posed this question on this forum is I have no pretentions of being an expert in this field and knew there would be vastly more knowledgable people here who could help me learn more.

The reason I asked about the satin finish is purely out of curiosity as I just aquired some poleyns which are finished with a satin surface

Thanks again
Hi Michael,
thanks for clarifying, of course the different look of parts of of your armour might be spoiling the whole appearance....but then: wouldn't it be a nicer look to "pimp" your armour, i.e. the older armour instead of "downgrqadiung" the look?
Why aging the armour and therefore having more work after an event to keep it clean and free from rust?
Because every little bit of moisture - be it rain, morning dew, sweat or any liquid being spilled occassionally - will leave stains and a little bit later rust.

Why not instead having it as highly polished as possible, because that was on of the main reasons to have it mirror-polished "back then" (the other may be simply the fashion of the period), as it prevents rust a lot better?

The more armour you get, the weaker the possible backstory gets of a "simple" men-at-arms that can't afford a highclass-shiny-bling-tin; that is, once you're covered in plates it's logical to presume a certain status and wealth and I think those guys would have spent a lot of work in maintaining good (= functional AND good-looking) armour. This is a bit of an ever-occuring zombie-discussion: do we have to much armour on battle-displays or do we have the wrong type?
I think the latter is correct: the ratio between guys wearing a complete armour and the guys wearing a simple kettle-helmet and a mail-shirt/breastplate seems sometimes wrong to me. Of course I'm writing for continental events, therefore I'm leaving out archers, AFAIK there were practically none in battle ecxept England and some french efforts.

Anyway, my idea would be to pimp your armour with polishing and of course better buckles and belts etc.
Regards
Wolfgang

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Colin Middleton
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Colin Middleton »

I'm doing the same as you seesinsilhouette, building my harness up a bit at a time. Once I've got everything, it will then go back to the armourer for a full refurm and re-polish (get all the dints knocked out, check over all the joints and plates and give it that uniform shine) and then degrade slowly from there are one harness (obviously I'll have to pay for the clean-up job, but that's life). Might this be a viable aproach for you, or are you buying differnt bits from different sources?

Best wishes
Colin

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Spurious
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Spurious »

Paint it? Paint is a good alternative to bare metal.

seesinsilhouette
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by seesinsilhouette »

thanks again folks, youre advice is most welcome. Colin in answer to your question, i am sourcing many of the pieces from various place but i realy like the sound of your plan :)

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Colin Middleton
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by Colin Middleton »

Spurious wrote:Paint it? Paint is a good alternative to bare metal.
Be careful on that. I know that they painted helmets in the MA, but I can't recall any painted arm or leg harness or a painted breastplate.
Colin

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seesinsilhouette
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by seesinsilhouette »

yup i agree, its a good idea but not really to my taste. thanks for the suggestion anyway. i think im gonna polish the bejeezus outta everything that i currently own and let nature and the next few events run their course! :)

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mickjam
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by mickjam »

You could try gun blueing mixture,available from gun shops on the web,its great for giving armour a patina.
Be careful its poisonous.

seesinsilhouette
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Re: how to weather/age plate armour

Post by seesinsilhouette »

yes, im familiar with gun bluing as my "other" hobby is building replica film props and the blue can give a lovely finish. alas, theres no way a man of my (lack of) status could every have afforded such things. work from the bottom is where im at! :)

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