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Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:26 am
by RyanA
Hi!

Looking to start some dark age re-enactment and a bit lost on all the kinds of gear you can get. I have an idea of what I would like, but looking for advice as on a tight budget. This is for viking/saxon era stuff.

I want to get a full faced helmet with a chainmail aventail, or a coif to wear underneath, as well as a chainmail shirt and clothes/shoes. Some vambraces and greaves, probably leather, and some kind of cloak with a fur shoulders. As well as belt with axe holder and other accesories. Already have an axe sorted and am making my own shield.

Any advice? My budget is £100-200.

I've had a look at some helmets in my price range, not exactly what I want, but how do these rate on the historicalaccurasometer?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Mask-D ... 35d1b3de2b
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Medieval-viki ... 4d16b86c23
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Helmet ... 4d16b0f1c9
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Mask-H ... 416cf3a58c
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Mask-H ... 1c33a8d35a

And a chainmail

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chainmail-Shi ... 2322c2bed1

Shirt

http://www.thevikingstore.co.uk/larp-co ... 2444-p.asp

Trousers

http://www.getdressedforbattle.co.uk/ac ... 08730.html

Cheers
Ryan

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:38 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
For clothing, I would recomend Thorhilds' Stichery (unless you can make stuff yourself - then it's MUCH cheapear) -
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/141267599385964/

For other soft kit likes shoes, belts, a pouch etc (again, unless you can make it yourself) look at Merchant of Menace -
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Merch ... 02?fref=ts

Don't buy maille until you can try it on. Are you based in the British Isles? If so, look at Cap a Pie maille. It's more expensive but a much better buy than garden wire maille. https://www.facebook.com/#!/capapie?fref=ts

For a helmet, avoid the spectacle helms, they are very restrictive as to what you can see and when you can use them. There has only been one found in the Viking era and it's right at the start. Definitely avoid the all round maille aventails as they are about 3 - 400 years too ealry (migration period), also avoid the brass decorations. Look at GDFB helmets, they are relatively cheep but quite good quality, again I would recomend try before you buy and always go for the heavier guage steel - justin case. Most combat societies try to avoid head shots but most helmets still have dents in them.........

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:14 pm
by RyanA
Awesome, thanks for the advice! I am from England, the midlands, so I've got a pretty good reach around everything. I'll have a look at the soft kits you linked, definately want some comfortable shoes so not gonna skimp on those. Is there a problem with the sizings of mail normally?

As for the helmets, I do really want a full faced helmet or something with spectacles. Do some clubs restrict those helmets though? Will definately avoid brass though, and the aventails. I think I'll just get a helmet without attachments and use a coif underneath. Out of my original picks though, that really only leaves this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Medieval-viki ... 4d16b86c23

For my first kit, I don't want to spend a lot of money, a bit further down the line I'd get better quality stuff, but do you think that helmet would be good as a beginner one?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:24 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
I'd still go for a simple spangenhelm. It covers everthing from 6 to 15th century (somewhere in the social scale). The Vikings (my bunch) restrict the use of the spectical helms (and certain other tyupes of kit) on authenticity grounds, for example, they are never allowed at Hastings.

As for the maille, you get what you pay for. The Vikings have not banned butted maille but recomend riveted wherever possible. Remember, you dont actually need the maille to be convincing. The butted maille aslo tends to suffer more from maille moths with large holes appearing in it on a regular basis. Save up and get better stuff later. In the mean time, get a hand axe and use that instead of a sword - great fun and a lot cheaper (and more authentic too!).

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:32 pm
by RyanA
What's a maille moth?

So for the riveted chain mail, this kind right? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALUMINIUM-LAR ... 258fb5a5c7

As for the helmet, the listing says this is a norman helmet, but it looks similar to a spagenhelm (to a newbie like me) Would any of these do the trick?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Norman-Nasal- ... 35d150d14a
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Norman-Nasal- ... 4d16f0e2a4

Alternatively I could get one of these spectacled helmets and take the spectacles off? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Mask-D ... 35d1b3de2b

I do already have a lovely axe sorted out though! I'm using a heavily blunted cold steel norse hawk
http://www.coldsteel-uk.com/store/Norse-Tomahawk.html

Got any alternatives to that though? Something a bit less shiny and clean lookin'?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:31 am
by Neil of Ormsheim
Maille moths are tiny little moths (too small to see with the naked eye) whose caterpillars eat large holes in maille shirts ( :wink: ). They are usually blamed when people find that their armour is falling apart.

DO NOT GET ALUMINIUM MAILLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks wrong and falls apart even faster than butted steel maille. Save up and get proper riveted steel maille. Trust me on this - after 28 years doing this, I know!

This helmet - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Norman-Nasal- ... 35d150d14a - would be fine but might be a little on the light side. The Olmutz or Wenceslas helmets here - http://www.getdressedforbattle.co.uk/ac ... gs-p1.html - would be a better bet. Remember, your head cannot be replaced if accidents happen so take good care of it!

Even heavily blunted, I doubt that your axe would pass muster - Talk to people like the Merchant of Menace about getting axes that are trully combat safe. Alternatively ask your group about where to get fighting axes from and what the safety specs need to be.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:37 am
by RyanA
You mean like...real live tiny moths!? Inside my shirt!?

Oh god T_T I have an irrational fear of moths. Think I'll just not get any mail at all!! Do vikings use padded armor and gambesons?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:43 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
Maille moths are not really real. They are just a fictional excuse for maille falling apart. Within The Vikings, gambesons and other forms of padded armour are only aloud under a maille shirt (most of the time).

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:28 pm
by RyanA
Thank god :D Don't know how I'll be a mean viking when I'm afraid of tiny little flappy things though!

Do you have to wear a gambeson underneath chainmail or can you just have chainmail over a tunic?

By the way, found an axe http://www.medieval-arms.co.uk/detail/i ... 53B360A17A :D

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:37 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
I usally don't bother with the gambeson as I get far too hot, far too quickly if I do. I do wear it, however, if taking part in a multi society bash (along with arm guards) as I cannot garuntee the minimum safety training other societies provide.

Wearing maille directly of a tunic is fine. Especially if, like me, you have an integral, 'built-in', gambeson fitted under the skin. (i.e. - I really ought to try to loose weight!)

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:41 pm
by RyanA
Gotta have a bit of extra padding for those cold winter months! Haha :D Glad I can save a few pennies and not get a gambeson though!

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:43 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
As with the maille, I would not recomend buying any weapon until you can try it for heft and balance. That axe looks nice but you cannot tell what it feels like in the hand from just a picture (it sounds like its going to be heavy, therefore difficult to control safely). Have patience and wait to try before you buy.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:38 pm
by RyanA

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:04 pm
by Medicus Matt
Are you a member of a society? If so, take advice from them before buying anything as different groups have different standards but no group I've been a member of would let you outside wearing some of the stuff you've posted links to.

If you're not a member of a society, consider joining one and take their advice.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:01 pm
by RyanA
Hi!

Not part of a group yet, but looking at http://www.vikingsofmiddleengland.co.uk/index.html as it's the only one close by!

I take it some of the stuff was too machine made and historically inaccurate then? XD

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:18 am
by Neil of Ormsheim
As Medicus Mark said - join a group first before shelling out loads of money on stuff that you then find you cannot use.

As for the things you flagged up, the helmets from the Czech Republic tend to be bomb-proof (they are sometimes a little more 'agricultural' in their combat in Eastern Europe) but that particular one looks more fanatasy than based on a particular find.

The belt is WAY too wide. 3/4 - 1 inch wide is the maximum to look at.

The armguards are stupidly expensive. Aquire and shape a couple of ould mousemats and use them as armguards worn under a tunic - there is no evidence of armguards for the main Viking period in this part of Europe.

And if you are looking for a group - try here - http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/membership/groupdb/ Each of our groups has access to lots of the most current authenticity guidelines that we use.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:35 pm
by RyanA
After talking to Vikings of Middle England and thanks to your advice, I've decided on my gear! Also found a nice german shop on ebay where I can get some of this stuff I've found on English websites at half the price!

Tunic - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mittelalter-T ... 84b9fcb2ff
Trousers - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mittelalter-W ... ash=item84
Shoes - http://www.merchantofmenace.co.uk/produ ... cts_id=318
Belt - http://www.ebay.de/itm/Wikinger-Gurtel- ... 3cd61d0442

Still searching for Winingas, waiting for helmet and chainmail. How's this stuff looking?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:38 pm
by Medicus Matt
The shoes are good, as is the buckle and strap end on the belt. Everything else is horrid.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:36 pm
by lucy the tudor
I agree, don't buy the top or trousers- have words with VME members, they can put you on to traders who can make you something much more suitable for their needs. Have you been to an event yet?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:58 pm
by Flinty
Please don't buy that soft kit. The shoes are ok though.

Have you been along to meet a viking a group yet? They can show you in person what you should be looking at, you'll learn loads. Handle loads of different weapons and see what chainmaille is suitable. You'll also have to learn how to drink. A lot.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:21 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
Ditto. And, if you can afford it, get the shoes from Merchant of Menace with the extra sole - they will last much, much longer and be able to deal with modern surfaces better.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:36 pm
by RyanA
Really? What's wrong with the tunic and trousers? o_o Never before have I seen such outcry against clothing o_o

How aboooout....

Tunic - http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... -3523.html
Trousers - http://www.getdressedforbattle.co.uk/ac ... 08720.html

I did sort of roam past when they were at the church, most where in fairly plain tunics but one or two had this stuff with borders. I thought of those trousers too because they got the tight bit at the bottom for easy winingas-ing!

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:54 am
by Neil of Ormsheim
With the german stuff.

First the tunic - the colour was not easily doable in the Viking period. You would have to be stinking rich to get a colour that strong. The neck-line. I know of no finds or illustrations of a v-neck anywhere in the period. The 'border'. That was a very obvious machine made braid of the a most garish design that no authenticity bod would allow within 100 yards of the public.

The trousers - according to the website, they are around 500 years too modern. I believe it said 'Lanschnecht' beside them - thats 15th century, not 10th. The colour was, again, too strong and the buttons at the bottom were not right either.

As for the GDFB stuff.......

The tunic design is better, the colour do-able, if expensive, assuming the tunic is wool. If it is linen, forget it. Linen is MUCH harder to dye using traditional methods than wool and the colour in linen tends to wash out very easily (This is why so many 'peasant' costumes from around Europe feature white(ish) linen.). Again, however, I would avoid the braiding at the edges. It looks too machine made.

The trousers - the design is better. As for colour, see what I said above.

Have a look here - http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/resourc ... /index.htm It might give you a little more help.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:20 pm
by RyanA
The shirt and trousers are both cotton! Looking at that site, it doesn't say that cotton isn't allowed, so I'm guessing that's safe? I've seen plenty of pictures of 'vikings' with braided edges on their tunics. Are only certain types allowed?

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:58 pm
by Neil of Ormsheim
Within the Vikings, cotton is allowed as a substitute for those who cannot find affordable linen. Cotton should, however, be treated as if it were linen - in terms of colour/weave etc. As for edging, the Vike go for tablet braid, embroidery or a mixture of the two. If these are not possible, then no edge decoration is allowed. The tablet braid and the embroidery need to be done by hand, the machine made stuff just does not look right.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:39 pm
by RyanA
Been searching for more tunics and found these.

The border on this one doesn't look particular machine made, kind of like a tablet braid?
http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... -3293.html

Fairly plain tunic.
http://www.larp-fashion.co.uk/medieval- ... een?c=1029

Also found a better belt, much less gaudy.
http://www.larp-fashion.co.uk/accessori ... 3cm?c=1020

And some winingas
http://www.larp-fashion.co.uk/medieval- ... aki?c=1028

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:14 pm
by Annie the Arrow
Can I ask why you are looking at Larp clothing.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:19 am
by RyanA
I've already looked on all of the reenactment sites I could find!

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:15 am
by Neil of Ormsheim
The 'fairly plane' tunic is much better if a bit on the short side. A tunic like that should be around knee length for most of the viking period. It would also benefit from some form of neck closure (e.g. ties or a small broach). Is the tunic wool or linen/cotton?. The belt is still a problem, the decoration on the buckle and strap end are not clear so I could not say if it was right or not. Why not get an undecorated belt with authentic buckle and strap end and add decoration/belt plates later?. The winningas look fine - are they wool (better) or linen/cotton (will keep falling down)?

I know that you say that you are on a tight budget but.......... Trust me, after nearly 30 years of doing this, it pays (in the long run) to wait and save and buy better but only have to buy once (for each set of kit). Again, I would recommend someone like Thorhilds Stichery for cloth kit. Her stuff is high quality and is as right as current authenticity ideas allow. I would also recommend Merchant of Menace for belts etc, his stuff is, again, as right as we currently think it can be. I know that we all seem to be shooting your ideas down in flames but we are trying to help you avoid making (possibly) expensive mistakes.

Re: Looking to get some viking gear

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:23 pm
by RyanA
I know, and I do really appreciate all of your advice! You're all the pros here and know what you're talking about! I have decided to save up a bit more and get some mild steel riveted mail rather than butted. I'm still stubborn on the full face helmet though :lol:

I'm thinking, with that tunic, that I could use a brooch on the neck or add some button type device myself! I think both the tunic and winingas are wool. On those belt pictures, there's one of a close up of the belt on a table, the buckle and the strap end look authentic enough I think, but I've also looked at buying a plain leather belt and adding the frills myself, that would be quite a bit cheaper and look a bit different.

Also still waiting on a reply from Thorhilds :<