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I have a question for you guys, do any of you guys have experience with making medieval armor? Because I am planning to make some plate scale armor, and I am wondering what gauge steel I should use, (I would prefer enough protection from combat without being too encumbersome for me with my light build) I looked at 16 gauge steel but it seemed too heavy when I picked it up. maybe 18 gauge would work? any ways here is a sketch of the layout.

42356.jpg

the plates would be about 2 inches by 2 1/2 each (50.8mm by 63.5mm)

I hope it isn't too much of a problem to ask here. :unsure:

(p.s. I don't actually plan to take it into full combat, its just another project of mine that I could use in reenactment if I so choose.{I am actually looking into the s.c.a.} )

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I don't have any experience making armor but I have quite a bit making stuff out of steel at my day job(I'm a super-hero/knifemaker at night) A square foot of 18 gauge cold rolled steel weighs 2 lbs(approx 1kg). The total square footage of how many plates you need should give you an idea about just how much the armor will weigh. Hope that is some help to you.

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Karter,

 

My SCA fighting armor is American Bison rawhide. It weighs about half of what 18 g Lamellar plates would, and is just as protective.

Most of the guys I know use aluminum plates. 20 g steel, that is fluted is ok as well, but 18 g needs to be fluted as well. Hardened leather is very good as well, but pretty heavy.

 

18 g steel is going to be pretty heavy, depending on your size, and how much coverage you want.

 

1252317150_EJhoW-M.jpg

 

Mark

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No experience with the Lamellar, but I have made a chainmaille shirt. That was 14 gauge if I remember correctly, and weighs in at around 50lbs. Stuff gets heavy fast ;)

 

John

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I'm laughing a bit over here, because this is exactly how I got into knifemaking - asking armor questions, making my own lamellar scales, and wondering how ancient armor was hardened. They all said "go ask the knife guys", and I've been a knife guy ever since.

 

 

Good luck on your project. FWIW, there are better lacing patterns than the one you show, but I can't recall the links right now.

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16 gauge is highly recommended for armor being used, but anything else will work so long as it isn't for combat. In fact, I would use 12 if its being used heavily, since 16 is the minimum for combat, or atleast that's my knowledge of it.

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16 gauge is highly recommended for armor being used, but anything else will work so long as it isn't for combat. In fact, I would use 12 if its being used heavily, since 16 is the minimum for combat, or atleast that's my knowledge of it.

12 gauge sounds a bit heavy, and I am a lightweight, to gain in perspective I weigh approximately 137 pounds :lol:

the design I'm thinking of is a sleeveless "tunic" of scale that goes to about knee length, over my gambeson, (yes I made it too, out of linen and padding, its a tough S.O.B. on its own)thinking more of something that fits between the first crusade to end of the middle ages.

Edited by Karter Schuster
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Hi :)

I wore that type of armour some time ago. I would avoid any modern material (like plastics, aluminium etc). I think it is important to consider the fact, that every segment (scale armour is made of fish-like scales sewn to some undercoat) overlaps the other, so if you have segments each 0,8mm thick, together they will form an armour 1,6mm thick, which is not that bad for today's reenactment (of course you need to wear some padding underneath).

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"thinking more of something that fits between the first crusade to end of the middle ages."

Not sure of what nationality you are looking at. But Mail would suit this time frame and be suitable for your gambeson.

Though more time consuming to make (butted or riveted) needs little in the way of tools.

Andrew

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"thinking more of something that fits between the first crusade to end of the middle ages."

Not sure of what nationality you are looking at. But Mail would suit this time frame and be suitable for your gambeson.

Though more time consuming to make (butted or riveted) needs little in the way of tools.

Andrew

kind of more of a Germanic style more than anything, and mail is just too... usual. and plus a majority of crusaders were simply too poor to afford mail, mail was very expensive. now that I think about it iron/steel scale would possibly be pushing those limits of a medieval infantryman's budget, but its what has been used. people would even make scale from horn, it wasn't the best by a long shot but it was better than nothing. plus mail is just too tedious for me, I have amazing concentration when working on my projects, but even chain mail would push my limits.

And who couldn't say that scale armor just looks cool :lol:

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What is that stuff called with the heavy rings bound to leather? They are not linked, I don't think, just realy heavy large, like 1" plus inner diameter 14 GA plus thickness bound to a leather hauberk. It might be mongolian for all I know... but if it suits, it might be lighter and stronger than 18 ga scales.

 

Like this: (guess it is called "Ring Armor")

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/27500/27596/ring_armor_27596.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_armour

 

or this, but heavier, closer and forged rings.

DSC02412.jpg

Edited by Mike T Smith
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I have heard of ring armor, I actually thought of trying it a while ago, but I like the look of scale lamellar and it would hold up to a thrust a lot better than ring armor.

I have decided on 18 gauge, since it would be less encumbering than 16, but still hold up reasonably well.

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And are you expecting a lot of knife thrusts, day to day? :lol::lol::lol:

 

I like the look of brigandine, myself. In use, armor is always a trade off between mobility and protection. No armor will protect you if you are lying flat on your back with a big brute sitting on your chest. Likewise, how much armor do you need if you can run faster than the guy who wants to hurt you?

 

If you've ever seen Robin and Marian (an ancient movie, I know) there is a very nice depiction of scale armor. The guy looks like armadillo turned upside down, with the open end of the scales pointing up. It doesn't look quite as cool, but it's supposed to give better protection against thrusts and penetration.

 

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I too have always wanted to make some armor. Some research is in order. For instance, according to Wikipedia, there are no extant historical (western) examples ring mail, yet it's in most of the books.

 

Don't forget to take some process pictures, I want to see them.

 

Geoff

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Karter,,

 

Scale armor is a bugger!!! Not comfortable, hard to move in, if a scale breaks off, it sucks to repair. I have made a few!!

 

Have you looked into a coat-of-plates. There were many examples recovered at Wisby. I have made many of these, from all different materials. They were used in the transition period, late 12-1300's. Many fighters in the SCA use them.

Lamellar armor is very comfortable to move in. For the weight, it is the best protection.

 

Ring mail, doesn't work great for SCA style combat, unless you are using very thick leather.

Chain mail is heavy as hell!!!! Does not protect well vs blunt weapons.

 

Loved thet movie Robin and Marian!! Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw!!!!!

 

Here is a pretty good vid for making Lams

 

Mark

Edited by Mark Green
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thanks for all the advise guys, and mark, those videos were a good source of help.

as for the movie, I have to say Sean Connery is one of my favorite actors, but I have not seen it yet, guess its the next one on my list. :lol:

And just because a movie is old, does not mean it has lost any of its luster. And there are so many fantastic movies that people ignore because they are... "outdated" <_< (so what?!)

the reason for my pattern is that its one that I have already used to make a leather upper arm/shoulder guard, and the pattern seemed to work out fine.

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