Date: Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:55 am
Subject: Links: Armor Making

Greetings and happy holidays! I'm sending the Christmas week's Links list early, so that I have some time to myself next week. Following are 30 links dedicated to informing the public about the making of armor--all sorts. Please note that many of these sites have links lists, and thus will lead you to further online study on the subject. Please feel free to forward this list of links wherever it will find a ready audience and also to update your own links list should you have one on your own webpage.

As always, I make no guarantees about the veracity of the sites contents. You get what you pay for :)

Cheers, and have a wonderful holiday no matter which one you're celebrating!

on this perfect day of Yule, complete with full moon.

The Society Earl Marshall's page
(Site Excerpt) The main purpose of this site is to make accurate information
more available to everyone from a central location. Listed here are links
to the Kingdom Earl Marshals and Kingdom Marshallate web pages, along with
reporting information, and a reporting form. Additionally, there are links
to a standard SCA Waiver form, and a Warrant form. The Policies and Rules
for each activity falling under the supervision of the Marshallate (Armored
Combat, Rapier, Archery, Equestrian and Siege Engines) are also available by
clicking on the links

The making of Wisby Plate
(Site Excerpt) These instructions should enable you to construct a suit of
Wisby plates, named from the archeological dig in 1928-1931 at the site of
the Battle of Wisby, fought near Visby, Gotland, Sweden in 1361 against the
Danes. The battle itself lasted the course of several days, during which
time the dead were left in the summer sun. By the time these soldiers were
buried, the armor must have no longer been in any shape to be worn again, as
many were buried in full suits of armor. A large number of relatively intact
suits were unearthed from several mass graves. Wisby plate is primarily
constructed from overlapping plates riveted to the inside of a coat of heavy
fabric or leather.

Chainfire (Maille and Armor makers's webpage)
(Site Excerpt) Welcome to The Chainfire Maille/Armor construction webpage!
The goal of this page is to be a quick reference guide to maillemakers of
all types. Any suggestions/comments are welcome!

(Site Excerpt) Welcome to the Armoury. Here you will find paths to 173
armourers and weaponsmiths and documents on making weapons and armour on
your own. If you are looking for information or products pertaining to
archery, try the Archery Range.

Cariadoc's Miscellany: The Perfect Armor
(Site Excerpt) Suppose you were drawing up specifications for the perfect
armor. It would be easy to make from inexpensive materials using commonly
available tools. It would be light, strong and rustproof. It would look
good. And, of course, it would be period. Hardened leather, also known as
courbouilli, meets all of those requirements. Since discovering how easy it
is to make, I have used it to make forearm and elbow protectors, greaves, a
half gauntlet, body armor, and edging for my shield. I even made a hardened
leather hockey cup, on the theory that the usual white plastic version was
the most strikingly mundane item in my armor bag.

(Site Excerpt) Tools and Materials
(Site Excerpt) One large sheet of poster board, Approximately five square
feet of 15 oz. leather, Approximately one square foot of 5 oz. leather,
Closed cell foam: 1/2 x 1 x 8 inches , Carpet or utility knife and fresh
blades, Edge beveler, Hole punch, Rivets: two packs of 100 each, Rivet
setting tools

Finger Gaunlet (how to make)
(Site Excerpt) ~Day 1~ 9th of March, 1999. 6pm to 11pm, started on the lefthanded gauntlet. measured the all the lames on the finnished gauntlet and made a new pattern. pulled the old furnace door out of the snowbank and traced the center three lames onto it then cut them out. I use a beverly shear to cut out the rough shape then finish the cutting on a bansaw and clean up the edges with a belt sander.

Helm design and construction for SCA Heavy Weapons Combat
(Site Excerpt) In it's most basic function, the helm must prevent the skull, cervical vertebrae and throat from actually being struck and therefore being cut or crushed, or allowing the head to damage itself on the inner surface of the helm. To do this it needs only to be able to sustain repeated blows from rattan without caving in or contacting the skull. Fourteen gauge steel is generally a safe minimum thickness for two reasons, after forming it requires less maintenance than the legally required sixteen gauge steel, and in the case of very heavy blows with S.C.A. legal greatswords is the thinnest mild steel that will reliably not cave in. Additionally the helm needs to protect the brain, spinal cord and spine from too rapid an

Coat of Plates Pattern
(Site Excerpt) The patern is available in CAD (Computer Aided Design) formats .DXF and AutoCAD r12 .DWG as well as a Windows Meta File and a MS Word 7 .DOC file. I recomend using the CAD files for a number of reasons. They are fully editable, infinitely zoomable and scaleable, and may be printed with infinite detail on any size paper or plotting (dependand upon the printer) and they are accurate at a MINIMUM of 6 decimal places.

Higgins Armory Museum
(Site Excerpt) The Higgins Armory Museum, with 8,000 objects on 5 floors, is the only institution in the Americas dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of arms and armor. Step inside this rare glass and steel Art Deco building and discover over 2,500 years of human history, including the romance of troubadors, live swordplay, and medieval pageantry. A visit to the Higgins will spark your imagination with the fact behind the fairytale! The Higgins Armory Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary year in 2003, with 75 events and programs that illuminate the culture of the Middle Ages.

Photos from the Arsenal in Graz, Austria
(Site Excerpt: a few of the many photos available) (graz01.gif): Cannons, mortars, armour for foot-soldiers
(graz02.gif): Helmet and breast armour of heavy cavalry armour
(graz03.gif): Horse's armour; infantry helmets hanging from the ceiling; heavy cavalry armor in the background

Armor Resources (Midrealm)
(Site Excerpt) For those interested in learning more about armour in general or in how to construct armour, we offer the following selection of links to help in their research. Links are listed in alphabetical order on this page according to subcategories.

Anglo-Saxon And Viking Age Helmets
(Site Excerpt) Head armour of the period consisted of helmets sometimes including a mail coif. Helmets were made in a variety of ways and from several materials, with the single objective of deflecting or completely withstanding a blow from a sword. Only a few examples of helmets have been found intact. The group of Valsgarde and Vendel period helms are the largest group of helmets to survive the last thousand years. Others are the helm from Sutton Hoo; the Benty Grange helmet; the Morken helm from Belgium; the Jorvik helm; and the Wenceslas helm from Czechoslovakia.

Arms and Armour Glossary of Terms:

Padded Jack (c. 15th Century Style)
(Site Excerpt: note that the pattern link is provided but little information) Padded Jack (15th Century Style) Made from Hemp Canvas (Inner and outter shell) with 8 layers of heavy linen for padding.

My Past Armour Projects and Patterns
by Craig Nadler
(Site Excerpt) Please note that I make armour is a hobby not as a business. I publish all my patterns on my web site in an effort to encourage more people to get into armouring.

Royal Armouries National Museum of Arms and Armour (UK)

Period Patterns, Notes from an SCA Marshal
(Site Excerpt) First, my qualifications to make these statements: I have been an authorized SCA heavy weapons fighter for just under twelve years now (as of January, 2002 CE) and a marshal (Middle Kingdom) and a chirurgeon for seven. I have fought in tourneys and wars in seven kingdoms, against opponents from all the kingdoms, and both fought and marshaled at most of the "major wars." I have seen and fought against everything from the traditional Tu-Chuk bikini and kidney belt to Maximilian plate armor. I am male; I have trained both male and female fighters. I have also played briefly with a live-steel group. Some of what I'm saying applies to them as well.The most important thing is to make sure your armor fits properly. In my experience, more injuries are caused by ill-fitting armor than almost any other source.

Late 13th Century Armour Adapted for SCA Combat
(Site Excerpt) Though the 14th century is usually associated with the 'transitional' period in European armour study there are several examples that show armourers were beginning to experiment with rudimentary plate defenses from even the beginning of the 13th century. Most notably plate appeared at the knee and elbow joints and on the front of the shin. The knees appear to have been developed first and show up in the early decades of the century. This is probably due to the fact that knees are very vulnerable joint since it takes very little pressure to break the knee cap and incapacitate a fighter. By the end of the century it is possible to find examples of poleyns that would cover enough of the knee to be SCA legal.

Sword Hilts of the Border Reivers (Scotts basket hilts) Written and Illustrated by Frederick Somers Dixon
(Site Excerpt) While the elaborate basket-hilt broadsword of 18th and 19th century Scotland is familiar to all, its simpler, utilitarian ancestor isn't nearly as well known. The superior protection afforded by a sword-guard enclosing the hand became increasingly desireable as the use of steel gauntlets declined during the 16th century. Apart from that, the origins of the basket hilt are obscure and hotly debated. Scottish and English historians tend to claim it as a native invention of their respective nations, although English documents of the period often refer to the style as 'Irish hilt', hinting at a Gaelic pedigree.

Armor Making (a chart which shows productivityof an historical armourer's guild)

Apprentice Armourer's Illustrated Handbook for making Maille
(Site Excerpt) Making mail is easier than pulling your own teeth, more time consuming than Differential Calculus, and more fun than doing the dishes. (Seriously.) This handbook is intended to provide a simple, systematic approach for making Mail Armor. While many books describe the use of mail and may show a picture of a person wearing it, the materials and processes for making mail have not been well addressed. This handbook contains clear illustrations and lessons-learned, so that anyone who has the curiosity can indulge in a new hobby.

Anvilfire Armoury Sword and Helms Page
(Site Excerpt) We get a lot of questions about armor at anvilfire. Probably more questions about swords than any other. We have now posted our first sword article and promise more in the near future.

A Coppergate style helm for SCA Conbat
(Site Excerpt) Based on tree ring analysis of wooden items found near the helmet, the earliest possible date for the original helmet is AD 586. The wood planks lining the pit in which the helmet was found could have been felled no earlier than this date. Other data points to a somewhat later date for the construction of the helmet. Radiocarbon dating of twigs found next to the helmet result in a date of AD 700 plus or minus 70 years (Tweddle, 880). Based on the form of the helmet, art-historical evidence, and the nature of the decorations, a relatively narrow date of AD 750-775 has been assigned to the manufacture of the helmet. (Tweddle, 1082) Other archaeological evidence strongly indicates that while the helmet was constructed earlier, it was probably discarded somewhere around AD 900.

Brigantia Iron Age

Patrick's Patterns
(Site Excerpt) These patterns and instructions are compliments of Patrick Woolery and are used with his permission. Please contact him prior to reproducing these patterns or instructions in any manner or media.Char-Aina, Cup Hilt, Elbow, Gauntlet, Knee, Shield Basket, Vambrace

Armourarchive Pattern Collection
(Site Excerpt) This is a collection of patterns for you to experiment with. All the patterns are located elsewhere on the net as well, but their creators have granted the archive permission to place them here so you don't have to go tracking them down. In most cases, these are simply pictures with brief notes. You should probably have some previous armouring experience before you tackle these projects. Check the essays page for instructions on methods, and if you get really stuck... post a message on the armouring message boards, and somebody is sure to point you in the right direction.

Making a 14th or 15th Century Armor Jack Copyright 2001, Nicholas Andrew Cioran
(Site Excerpt) Arming jack, arming doublet, and pourpoint are just few of the many names for the garment worn beneath the plate harnesses of the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Just like a house built upon the sand is weak, so is such a harness without a proper garment beneath it.

The Construction and Use of Llamelar By Lord Robert' de Tyre Esquire, OW OQF OPF MKA Robert L.Coleman, Jr.
(Site Excerpt) This class is offered partly in response to a cry I've heard far too many times over the seventeen years I've been involved with the SCA; "There isn't a style of armour protective enough for use in SCA rattan combat developed prior to 1350 CE." It is my observation that this mindset is limiting, given the plethora of pre-1350 armor styles used in Western Europe. Mail was not the sole form of defense; harnesses of scale, lamellar and brigandine forms were used along with mail or sometimes in addition to it.

Primary Sources dealing with Medieval Military History
An exhaustive list of links and books on the subject.