High quality re-creations of medieval armor
December 7, 2007 4:36 PM   Subscribe

A few examples of high-quality re-creations of medieval armor. Much of this is created using historical techniques (youtube,) by men (slightly NSFW) who can only be called masters. But it ain't cheap.

I've linked to the sites of only a few reenactment-grade armoring greats. There are many more, such as Ugo Serrano (warning, bad myspace page) and Chris Gilman, both of whom do work for movies.
The answers to all your armoring questions available at The Armour Archive. [Note 1: The British "armour" is often used in the reenactment community to separate medieval "armour" from modern "armor" esp. in search engines.] [Note 2: Stay away from the armour archive off-topic forums if you value your faith in humanity.]
This post inspired by comments to this thread which had me thinking "these people need to see some REAL armor."
posted by agentofselection (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post. If you're good with your hands or not too choosy you can DIY.
posted by QuietDesperation at 4:53 PM on December 7, 2007

Very nice! I was thinking the same thing about the dog armor thread. It did not occur to me to make a post out of it. These are going into my bookmarks. Have you heard of myArmoury.com? It's got quite a bit of information on both arms and armor, though it's a lot heavier on the reproduction arms side of things.

Alas, the only armor I could dream of is a well padded gambeson or jack. Though maybe some day in the distant future I'll try my hand at Armour Archive's patter for a Coat of Plates.
posted by Mister Cheese at 5:03 PM on December 7, 2007

Armour comes fast, nice and cheap. Pick two.

That being said, for much of what I do (SCA) there is a pretty hard limit to how much time / money I'm willing to spend on something that I'm going to let people beat with a stick.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:04 PM on December 7, 2007

Ooh, myArmoury.com--good addition, I forgot about that one. A coat of plates is a really easy, protective, and pretty cool looking project, and having all those models from Wisby gives several well-documented patterns. As for livesteelarmor.com, he does have lots of info on his site, but I'm leery of some of it. For example, the armorer seems to think that ALL edges on all armor must be rolled, which is kind of silly. A lot of his armor ends up looking kind of gorilla-shaped because it is often very overbuilt for safety. Compare to some of the guys doing full-impact competitive jousting in more slimmer, historically styled plate and I just don't think the enormous joints, etc. are necessary. For additional DIY info, check the essays and patterns on the armour archive, and try a few searches in the armour design and construction forum.
posted by agentofselection at 5:31 PM on December 7, 2007

P.S. I think Dr. Capwell's black and gold harness from the "examples" link is probably in the top 5 sexiest pieces of armor I know.
posted by agentofselection at 5:37 PM on December 7, 2007

Not related in any way, so I feel comfortable recommending any armor/history buff to visit Arms & Armor in Minneapolis. The owner runs The Oakeshott Institute, a new museum housed in the first building architect Cass Gilbert designed in Minnesota. The collection of swords is amazing, as it was the lifelong pursuit of collector and author Ewart Oakeshott. I'll try to get links to all of this stuff for everyone later, but note that Monty Python's Terry Jones just lectured at Augsburg College on his new (and well received book) "Who Murdered Chaucer?" and then visited the Oakeshott.
posted by Arch1 at 5:45 PM on December 7, 2007

Oh, and the reason I know about them? They are a real armory and yet make the swords and things for the Globe Theatre, as well as for most of the movies that go for authentic period pieces.
posted by Arch1 at 5:46 PM on December 7, 2007

Nice youtube series from the French maker. I love watching craftsmen make things of quality.
posted by maxwelton at 5:46 PM on December 7, 2007

Related.... www.higgins.org
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 6:01 PM on December 7, 2007

[Note 1: The British "armour" is often used in the reenactment community to separate medieval "armour" from modern "armor" esp. in search engines.]

These people need a mace to the face.
posted by vbfg at 7:28 AM on December 8, 2007

Wow, I love the incongruity of using modern metalworking machinery to make medieval armor. It's particularly cool that most of this armor is meant to be worn, not just stand in a corner. How long does it take to get used to walking around in full armor? I imagine it takes some practise to maintain your balance and move efficiently.

Do modern armourers only copy historic pieces or is armor design evolving? It would be neat to see how armor would have continued to develop if firearms had never been invented.

And that black and gold harness linked above is to die for. They need to make a movie just so this guy can be in it.

posted by Quietgal at 5:34 PM on December 8, 2007

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