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Breastplates and Boobplates
December 18, 2011 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Fantasy armor and lady bits, from the perspective of an armorer
posted by Artw (88 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
I’m an armorer. I make actual armor that people wear when they hit each other with swords.

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Are you listening?

Armor.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fully kitted in this stuff, they’d be indistinguishable from men. While in combat that’s just fine, but for artistic purposes, we usually like to have our characters clearly gendered.

That is a dispensable artistic purpose, and after all, realism is an artistic purpose too (and so might be undermining the audience's expectations of titillation).
posted by kenko at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


But, I hardly know her.
posted by found missing at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think my favorite part of the article was the "To give a bit of perspective, this would be the male equivalent." bit, where he turned up something that's ... not far off from what a lot of classical armies wore to battle. De rigueur for ancient Greece.
posted by kafziel at 3:24 PM on December 18, 2011


"I intend to set the internet straight."

Heh, good luck with that.
See also: http://xkcd.com/386/
posted by madajb at 3:25 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


De rigueur for ancient Greece.

This hoplite might disagree.
posted by kenko at 3:26 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or whoever wore this.

Anyway, he's specifically talking about armor that purports to belong to late middle ages Europe, hence the talk about plate mail.
posted by kenko at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2011


Related post. And Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor (also linked in the article) is full of much more reasonable examples.
posted by autopilot at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2011


Wait. He's supposedly at the University of Waterloo, and he's spelling it "armor?"

I call shenanigans.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:31 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


In fantasy stuff like that I always imagine that the scant armor indicates just how badass and confident a fighter the woman is -- as far as she's concerned, no one will even come close to landing a blow. And that is indeed how it usually plays out. It also weaponizes her sexuality in a way that often proves advantageous somehow in battle.

Yeah I know that this kind of characterization is mainly invented as a way of rationalizing the injection of T&A into a male fantasy world, but as ridiculous as it may look to an armor expert, it has its own separate effect on characterization which is sometimes quite a bit deeper than what you see on the surface.
posted by hermitosis at 3:32 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


While this doesn't add too much new to the conversation regarding female armour in fantasy settings, it is interesting to get the perspective of an actual armourer.

That said: the boobplate is ridiculous. The author (and creator of the boobplate pictured) mostly acknowledges that, but really, fitting your boobs into a metal "bra" is not practical -- fighting or not.
posted by asnider at 3:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome, so we've tackled this one? Cause I got another gripe with the depiction of women fighters: arm size.

Google Judith Slaying Holofernes and look at the difference between Gentileschi's work and much earlier examples. You need big arms for the murder-make.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: intend to set the internet straight
posted by vidur at 3:35 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's supposedly at the University of Waterloo, and he's spelling it "armor?"

A lot of my professors used American spellings. In fact, a lot of them were Americans. I didn't attend Waterloo, but I did attend a Canadian university.
posted by asnider at 3:36 PM on December 18, 2011


So characters who wear boobplates are bad, but actual women who want him to craft a boobplate for wearing are okay. That's weird.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you really bad ass you wouldn't care what you looked like, if you could encase whole villages in molten glass or slaughter a thousand legions with a single cut, maybe you look like you just got out of bed. Maybe people dress up to visit you.
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Actually, I think the pointless male armor is pretty rad...
posted by heathkit at 3:38 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If your male character is a barbarian with loin cloth, a leather bikini is appropriate. If your male paladin is wearing gothic plate, the women should be too - and no cheating with a stab-in-the-heart cutout or bare midriff.

Under no circumstances are metal floss panties appropriate, not least because what they'd do to your buttocks and genitals.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:39 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Constable Angua had mastered saluting first go. She wouldn't have a full uniform yet, not until someone had taken a, well, let's face it, a breastplate along to old Remitt the armorer and told him to beat it out really well here and here, and no helmet in the world would cover all that mass of ash-blond hair but, it occurred to Carrot, Constable Angua wouldn't need any of that stuff anyway. People would be queuing up to get arrested.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:39 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, real boobplate wearing woman probobly doesn't have to worry about knives and arrows heading toward her chest but you never know.
posted by The Whelk at 3:40 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


OGLAF on breastplates
posted by anthill at 3:41 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


But as he points out, just tripping in boobplate is dangerous. You could easily crack your sternum.
posted by Justinian at 3:44 PM on December 18, 2011


Worth noting the OGLAF is generally NSFW
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:44 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So characters who wear boobplates are bad, but actual women who want him to craft a boobplate for wearing are okay. That's weird.

That wasn't my takeaway at all - I got a clear message of "For realism, it should be the same as men; for an acceptable bow to gendered imagery we can have boobplates; steel bikinis are right out."
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:45 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and I could overthink a plate of boobs.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:46 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Google Judith Slaying Holofernes and look at the difference between Gentileschi's work and much earlier examples. You need big arms for the murder-make.

I don't understand. It's not like they did battle.
posted by cmoj at 3:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fully kitted in this stuff, they’d be indistinguishable from men. While in combat that’s just fine, but for artistic purposes, we usually like to have our characters clearly gendered.

So we can’t just look at what real women wore and expect to get very much of value for our modern designs.


Something about this is bothering me. If the artistic purpose of clearly gendered characters trumps realism, then surely other purposes (commercial?) could also trump realism. Why bother beanplating boobplating?
posted by vidur at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2011


Well the depiction of female warriors in the fantasy tends to give them unrealistically skinny arms. I've got to put my back into deboning chicken, I can't imagine how hard lobbing off heads left and right is.
posted by The Whelk at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


So characters who wear boobplates are bad, but actual women who want him to craft a boobplate for wearing are okay. That's weird.

A male-created female fighting character wearing boobplate is a bit different from a modern-day woman wearing one for fun.
posted by Auguris at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


BREASTPLATE
NO PANTS
THE BEST LOOK IN THE WORLD
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:55 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's pretty much I address the peasantry yes.
posted by The Whelk at 3:58 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


A male-created female fighting character wearing boobplate is a bit different from a modern-day woman wearing one for fun.

But what if that modern-day woman is choosing to wear one based on the male-created female fighting character literature/media that is constantly bombarding her? Can we allow her to make free choices about what she wears if those choices are informed by the ubiquitous patriarchal titillation?
posted by rebent at 4:06 PM on December 18, 2011


Can we allow her to make free choices about what she wears if those choices are informed by the ubiquitous patriarchal titillation?

Yes. When there is any doubt at all, we default to "People can make the choices they want to make, without patronizingly examining all of the inputs we believe are going into that choice." Or, to put it another way, we generally shouldn't be talking about allowing adults to make choices.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:09 PM on December 18, 2011 [18 favorites]


Actually, I think the pointless male armor is pretty rad...

A little too much bare leg, if you ask me. For full effect, he should have, like, one greave, or a tiny thigh-covering on one side, or maybe knee protection (although that might give you the wrong idea*). I would suggest a strange little pouch tied to his leg, but that would make him look a bit like a Rob Liefeld character, and we can't have that.

* Or, to be fair, the right one; I am not judging.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:10 PM on December 18, 2011


A lot of my professors used American spellings. In fact, a lot of them were Americans. I didn't attend Waterloo, but I did attend a Canadian university.

I'm sorry, but if you're going to be reasonable and point out the obvious gap in my logic, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the thread.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:13 PM on December 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


For full effect, he should have, like, one greave, or a tiny thigh-covering on one side

That's actually fairly close to the armoring used by murmillo-style gladiators, iirc - helmet, loincloth, manica on the sword arm and greave on the opposite leg.
posted by elizardbits at 4:17 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"5.2 Go for the eyes Boo"

Space hamster!!!
posted by HopperFan at 4:21 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


While stupid boobplate and thongplate nonsense is defintely too common, there is one giant balancing factor out there. I know it's not medieval or what is traditionally thought of as fantasy, but the coolest suit of full coverage, battle-worthy armor is worn by a female character: Samus fucking Aran.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:24 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Minature gigantic space ham-star! Thankyouverymuch.
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm sorry, but if you're going to be reasonable and point out the obvious gap in my logic, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the thread.

Aw.
posted by asnider at 4:29 PM on December 18, 2011


Explain to me why men's plate armor in computer games and movies is virtually never a peascod style breastplates complete with that wonderfully manly beer belly prow look about it? So where is the web angst about the unhealthy message we're sending to 14th century men at arms, or how their stomachs are just big helicopter landing pads or so forth? I mean, seriously, the ratio of angsty hand wringing the issue of booby armor gets on teh interwebs verses the effect it has on women in the real world is mind boggling.

I'll grant that maternity leave just lacks the raw sex appeal of beating on steel with a hammer, but this is getting to be an unhealthy fixation.

For the record, the lion's share of the women I know go with some sort of Corrazina style breast plate - so much for the patriarchy.)

And don't get me started on the helmets in Skyrim.

posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:29 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Samus thing is balanced out by the "Zero Suit" nonsense Nintendo is throwing at us lately.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:29 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that "zero suit Samus" thing is real bullshit for sure, but Samus's armor is no less awesome just because Nintendo's marketing department won't let her wear it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:33 PM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can I get a Previously?

This is a good article
posted by Navelgazer at 5:15 PM on December 18, 2011


So characters who wear boobplates are bad, but actual women who want him to craft a boobplate for wearing are okay. That's weird.

It seemed to me as though having made one for somebody kind of unnerved him, actually. He said he "constantly worr[ies]" about her falling and cracking her sternum. That sounds more like "well, you're an adult, if you really want to do this we can" than "oh yeah sure, that stuff is a great idea" to me. As a craftsperson, one makes things one does not love but is paid for sometimes.
posted by Because at 5:32 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


In the future fantasy armor will be a transparent force field which only works on skin that isn't covered by other clothing. Since the force field generator itself will cover some skin, that will be the only point on the warrior's body worth attacking, like Achilles' heel. The most important military innovation in centuries will be the realization that the armor field generator works when inserted into a body cavity.
posted by localroger at 5:56 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Milla.
posted by crunchland at 6:38 PM on December 18, 2011


I'm still worried about that real woman's sternum.

Also, I don't know about you, but mine squish just fine into a regular chest plate. Squishiness is part of the package.
posted by jb at 6:48 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Just look at Sauron, one of the most epic suits of armor ever worn; If this guy lifted his arms too high he’d poke his eyes out with his own pauldrons."

If I ever rejoin World of Warcraft, I've got to find a way to use this as an insult.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:09 PM on December 18, 2011


Nerds and Male Privilege
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on December 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Check out the Daedric Armor in skyrim. The Female version (scroll down) differs only slightly. The Dwarven Armor is unisex I believe. Of course there is still the Armor of the old gods if you wanna sex it up a bit.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:18 PM on December 18, 2011


Wait. He's supposedly at the University of Waterloo, and he's spelling it "armor?"


..probably using an iPad.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:28 PM on December 18, 2011


Awesome, so we've tackled this one? Cause I got another gripe with the depiction of women fighters: arm size.

Google Judith Slaying Holofernes and look at the difference between Gentileschi's work and much earlier examples. You need big arms for the murder-make.


Nonsense, Slackermagee. My ex-girlfriend, a knight in the SCA who can knock big men off their feet, has pretty ordinary arms. Female martial artists aren't typically known for gigantic biceps, unless they're also doing steroids for bulking up. The author of The Iron Rose, a treatise on how women can succeed in a hard-style, full-force fighting sport, doesn't recommend bulking up arms anywhere in the book; she emphasizes proper use of core strength to accomplish what men typically use their arm and shoulder strength for.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:48 PM on December 18, 2011


Arm size is one of those less obvious features that often get sexualized in depictions of female fighters. Usually it's ridiculously small, skinny arms paired with gigantic breasts. Martial arts' physiques are not being referenced there.

The article that homunculus linked to above does an excellent job explaining the problem with some of the common defenses/dismissals to complaints about sexism in nerd culture.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:32 PM on December 18, 2011


And, from experience, holding a sword or drawing a bow with a good weight on it? Yeah you need deltoids.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


These days what annoys me even more than boobplates is armor with high heels I mean plate armor with stiletto or platform heels is just ridiculous.
posted by happyroach at 10:59 PM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, well, only the most successful cat burglars wear high heels. It's true!
posted by P.o.B. at 11:31 PM on December 18, 2011


That nerds and male privilege link would be a pretty good base for it's own fpp homunculus. I'm sure I've seen a couple of other articles that cover the same area too. You'd need the bingo card too though, alas.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:56 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think fatuglyorslutty.com ever got a fpp link either.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:08 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread seems as good an opportunity as any to ask: straight guys, what is up with the midriff thing? I can see where constant display of female characters' breasts, legs, butts (minus the creepy that's-what-women-are-for ubiquity) might be a turn-on, but what on earth is the deal with every other woman in fantasy looking like she's six feet tall and inadvertently picked up a top marked petite? My working hypotheses are either that it's so dudes can use their evolutionary psychological instincts to meticulously rate the quality of her womb through the skin, or to check she has a navel and thus isn't a clone out to take their money and leave them for a bad boy.
posted by emmtee at 12:21 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Never underestimate the sex appeal of a potential belly button raspberry. pbbbbbt!
posted by smidgen at 12:37 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


emmtee, I assume it's because otherwise the woman could be hiding - GASP - FAT in there. Full-length shirts can be deceiving!

Alternately, it's to check which side they are on in the great inny-outy war.
posted by belissaith at 12:47 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think almost anything can be sexualized, emmtee. My theory on the bare midriff thing is that when big boobs became something anyone can buy from a surgeon, fashion changed to baring the midriff as a way to focus on another attribute that sets apart the "ideal" woman from the others.
posted by straight at 12:47 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the future fantasy armor will be a transparent force field which only works on skin that isn't covered by other clothing.

Adam Warren to the white courtesy phone please.

straight guys, what is up with the midriff thing?

A well turned out stomach is just sexy and nice -- don't pretend it's just straight guys who think that either.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:44 AM on December 19, 2011


Sorry, but what the hell?

He's comparing Red Sonja to Conan and saying that while both are nearly naked, Conan isn't "meant to be armored", while Red Sonja is wearing a plate bikini. They're both barbarians, and the traditional fantasy barbarian is barely clothed. I don't see why Red Sonja shouldn't be half naked, but Conan can be half naked.

Same goes for the night elf. Night elves do not wear heavy armor, as they're more about stealth than open combat. Again, this happens for both sexes. Male night elf demon hunters also wear next to nothing. Night elves are supposed to evoke a sort of "civilized tribalism", and they are deliberately half-naked and tattooed to give off a Papuan warrior vibe (while the visual design and ornamentation is more celtic/asian fusion).

That's not to say dumb plate bikinis don't exist, it's just that the two cases given by the author are not good examples of that.
posted by unigolyn at 4:55 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a reason why they call the genre fantasy role-playing.
posted by crunchland at 5:04 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread seems as good an opportunity as any to ask: straight guys, what is up with the midriff thing?

It accentuates the hourglass of chest/hips, mostly.

The bare skin probably also helps a bit, but the hourglass thing is the main reason.
posted by unigolyn at 5:04 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those are all really good answers to an utterly incoherent early morning question, so thanks!
posted by emmtee at 5:13 AM on December 19, 2011


Y'know, this has raised an interesting side question for me.

Actual armor -- as in, I've-seen-it-with-my-own-eyes-in-the-Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art armor -- often features a pronounced male codpiece. Sometimes these codpieces are rather obvious and prominent.

So -- to what purpose? Someone upthread said that women's boobs can squish into a breast plate -- well, can't a guy's junk squish (well, maybe gently) into a pair of armor legs? Wouldn't sticking your junk into a separate pocket like that make it more of a target? At the very least, wasn't it uncomfortable? Why would you do that?

Then again, if this was only to be found on ceremonial armor -- the equivalent of "dress whites" in the navy or something, where you have a ceremonial uniform that you don't actually fight in -- then that WOULD make sense, because it'd be a way to call attention to "Lo, I am manly!" So then I guess the question is -- IS this something only found on ceremonial armor?

Anyway. Just some questions this prompted.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 AM on December 19, 2011


Also, I don't know about you, but mine squish just fine into a regular chest plate.

So, legitimate question here about, uh, the rubber meeting the road. When I take a blow to the part of my chest where the curve of my breastplate matches the curve of my chest and it's just 1/2 inch of gambeson and then me in there, IT STINGS LIKE HELL! And that's just undeveloped upper torso real estate - not some place where I'm keeping a bunch of nerve endings, lymph nodes* or other glands. So, uh, isn't some room in there a good idea?

*The most pain I've ever caused a fellow human being in the name of fun was when I nailed a friend in the mostly unarmoured arm pit, in that big bank of lymphatic tissue. For a little while there I was afraid an ambulance was going to be in order.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:47 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


In fantasy it doesn't matter what the armour looks like, because you have healing potions. However, for those doing real life re-enactments then the functionality is hugely important, and that is where the usual fantasy standard breaks down, hard. What this post aims to do is bridge the gap between the two in order to increase the immersion aspect when indulging in your favourite fantasy media.

As far as videogames are concerned I feel there is not enough option, if the best suit of armour (stat-wise) has a bare-midriff plus bikini then that is what you are going to wear, there is no covering option, which is unfortunate.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:14 AM on December 19, 2011


By and large I think the giant armor codpieces are for tournament (where all kinds of wacky shit went on*) or worn very late when the guys who were of rank and title could stand in the back and tell everyone how big their dick was.

That said, if you look at this piece of pure function-following sexiness (the helmet is not original equipment) you'll note there is pretty minimal armor over the crotch, but that we are missing pieces that attach to the bottom of the fauld. In every other place where you wouldn't want an arrow, lance or sword to be stuck into, there is a stop rib that directs things away from said squishyness. In the case of the crotch, each lame of the fauld is over the one above it, which is going to catch things that come down (catching things is not, typically, what you want) but in doing so, it will direct the point around the waist and not into the crotch. One assumes the missing bits would be of similar design.

The other thing worth pointing out about the avant harness is that the front of the breast plate sticks out a couple inches past the front of the helmet in a big lazy dome. I'm a 310 lbs. barrel chested type who was not born into the estate where my raison d'etre was to train for battle and my stomach does not really proceed my nose at all. This suggests to me that the people who made this harness thought that some extra room in there was important for some reason and just squishing them in there is probably suboptimal in much the same way that men's and women's jeans aren't the exact same pattern.

This is not to say that dual delta rocket nosecones makes any kind of sense (unless you are of rank and title sufficient that you can stand in the back and tell everyone how big your boobs are).

*In Rene d'Anjou's book of the tournament there is one guy whose helmet crest is, near as I can tell, the severed head of John the Baptist, being held by the hair from an arm attached to the helmet itself. (He's by the left leg of the red gallery in a red and yellow surcote facing the guy with a red hound crest. If that head doesn't swing free by the hair, I'm sad.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:30 AM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's comparing Red Sonja to Conan and saying that while both are nearly naked, Conan isn't "meant to be armored", while Red Sonja is wearing a plate bikini. They're both barbarians, and the traditional fantasy barbarian is barely clothed. I don't see why Red Sonja shouldn't be half naked, but Conan can be half naked.

I think the issue is: why the hell is the bikini plate metal? That implies that it's for protection, which makes no sense.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't nomadic barbarians be wearing more animal pelts? Metal seems like something they would steal, not make.
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on December 19, 2011


I may be crazy, but I have this wild notion that the "designers" of fantasy female armour are not particularly concerned with how realistic or effective it would be in a non-fantasy arena.
posted by Decani at 9:46 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


By and large I think the giant armor codpieces are for tournament (where all kinds of wacky shit went on*) or worn very late when the guys who were of rank and title could stand in the back and tell everyone how big their dick was.

I kind of suspected, but thanks for the exhaustive comment!

And I have a related followup -- I get that it's dress armor, but would you know if the codpiece was...functional? (Meaning, did they actually insert their schlongs into the codpiece part, or was it just decorative?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:49 AM on December 19, 2011


Oh, I have to stop reading the comments on that Nerds and Male Privilege article.
posted by lovecrafty at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2011


Codpieces were just decorative, in either cloth or armour. They were increasingly popular in tudor england. They started out as a piece of concealing cloth, as hemlines of tops rose, leaving just the undies at the front (male hose was in two leg pieces, bit like stockings today). They then evolved to emphasise, rather than conceal, culminating in a full metal codpiece, rather similar to a strap on dildo.

Generally, the actual junk was tucked out of the way in the linen undies, though there may have been some who ahem, liked the extra roominess.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think there are some joined hosen where the codpiece covers a gap in the front, but in that sense we're talking a triangle of cloth rather than any of the more fanciful constructs. There was still another layer (or two) back there, but it was better than having to unlace something.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:31 PM on December 19, 2011


Justinian writes "But as he points out, just tripping in boobplate is dangerous. You could easily crack your sternum."

This seems like a really low risk, when was the last time you fell and landed on your chest? Usually you catch yourself with your hands.
posted by Mitheral at 9:34 PM on December 19, 2011


When was the last time you were in a swordfight? The owner of the boobplate in question wears it in situations that, while not life-or-death combat, could surely result in her getting knocked to the ground both hard and unexpectedly.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:46 PM on December 19, 2011


This seems like a really low risk, when was the last time you fell and landed on your chest?

Snowboarding on Black Friday. Had to go to the emergency room. Nothing broken, but I'm still in pain. Not as bad now, but it first hurt worse than the time that I did broke a rib.

But with all silliness aside, I don't think I would've been hurt as badly if I had been wearing breastplate or boobplate. Distribution of force and all that. F = m/A, yada yada yada...
posted by BurnChao at 1:34 AM on December 20, 2011


Justinian writes "But as he points out, just tripping in boobplate is dangerous. You could easily crack your sternum." This seems like a really low risk, when was the last time you fell and landed on your chest? Usually you catch yourself with your hands.

Huh, I thought he was implying the danger was more like "sword strikes protruberant boob, curve of boob guides sword direct to center of chest, force of sword is this shifted straight to sternum, sternum cracks."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on December 20, 2011


The original article says:
I worry constantly that she’s going to fall hard and it will crack her sternum, even with the padding.
before enumerating the force deflection problem.
posted by Mitheral at 7:01 AM on December 20, 2011


I stand corrected. Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on December 20, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: And I have a related followup -- I get that it's dress armor, but would you know if the codpiece was...functional? (Meaning, did they actually insert their schlongs into the codpiece part, or was it just decorative?)

ArkhanJG: Codpieces were just decorative, in either cloth or armour. They were increasingly popular in tudor england. They started out as a piece of concealing cloth, as hemlines of tops rose, leaving just the undies at the front (male hose was in two leg pieces, bit like stockings today). They then evolved to emphasise, rather than conceal, culminating in a full metal codpiece, rather similar to a strap on dildo.

Generally, the actual junk was tucked out of the way in the linen undies, though there may have been some who ahem, liked the extra roominess.


GODDDDDAMMMITTTTT!!!!!

There's FINALLY a question on Metafilter about my hobby research specialty - medieval underwear - and someone beats me to the punch with an unflappable (heh), complete answer.

Obviously, I'm spending too much time at work doing work. What's that, Mr. Boss? Sure, I'll see you in your office... Just gotta finish typing this... Bring my ID badge and computer password?
posted by IAmBroom at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2011


I stand corrected. Thanks.

It's pretty easy to visualize with a thought experiment. Would you rather fall forward onto a flat surface (analogous to correctly fitted plate) or onto a wedge pointed upward into the center of your chest, as with boobplate. All that force is transmitted onto a small area over your sternum. CRACK.
posted by Justinian at 11:01 AM on December 20, 2011


Needs crumple zones.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on December 20, 2011


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