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Author Topic: new member, new harness  (Read 14062 times)

Sir Rodney

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #15 on: 2015-09-23, 03:37:34 »
any smiths you suggest?

Yes, but he's recently retired from armouring.  Allan Senefelder (aka The Mercenary's Tailor) made great (SCA type) gear.  Search the Armour Archive, myArmoury, this forum and other armour forums to find his stuff for sale used.  I have a couple of his pieces that I will never sell which tells you what I think of the man and the quality of his craft.

I'm not too familiar with many US based armourers except the really high end guys who do amazing work for (rightfully so) amazing prices.

There seems to be quite a bit of good stuff coming out of the Ukraine lately although I have no first hand experience.

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Sampf

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #16 on: 2015-09-25, 18:43:55 »
I did the same as you at the start no need to worry
 My breastplate is from Allan although unfortunately he is out of business, I still have not been able to find someone to match his ruggedness and amazing prices  :(
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Sir Rodney

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #17 on: 2015-09-26, 02:33:09 »
I must be getting old as I completely forgot two solid US armourers for the SCA crowd.   :o

Windrose Armory out of Arizona

Icefalcon Armory out of New Jersey

I've have very positive dealings with both.  They are well established and offer good quality for the price.
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westcoastgio

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #18 on: 2015-09-26, 15:55:32 »
so, I gotta ask, what does Ice Falcon do at 400$ on a set of arms that the other internet armorers I have found don't do at 200$?

I have zero problem with saving up and spending extra, as long as I know what I'm getting for the money.

Ian

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #19 on: 2015-09-26, 18:06:38 »
Without seeing a direct comparison, the things that have pretty significant effects on pricing are factors like materials (spring steel vs mild steel vs stainless steel), level of finish (mirror polish vs satin polish vs rough from the hammer), proper historical line and shaping, techniques used (hot work required or just cold hammered), construction method (raised, welded, riveted), reputation of the armorer, decoration (brass edging, engraving, etching, bluing, blackening, gilding etc), heat treatment and hardening...

For example, you can get helmet-looking object that will protect your brain with a serviceable finish in 14g mild steel, cold-worked and riveted construction for $150.

You can also get a historically shaped helmet, in a good finish, heat treated and hot raised from a single piece of 1050 spring steel, with brass edging and engraving from a well known custom armorer for $4,000
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westcoastgio

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #20 on: 2015-09-27, 00:08:31 »
I am well aware of the things that can bring up price, and when it comes to my helmet, I will be going deep into my wallet.

however several internet armorers offer articulated 14c style arms from just under the pauldron to the wrist for around 200 dollars. Icefalcon starts way higher in price for similar arms, and from the pics look like they are only from the elbow down. I hear alot of recommendations about IceFalcon, but was wondering what I would get for the extra money.

Mike W.

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #21 on: 2015-09-27, 00:25:07 »
From what I understand of armor. Spend the most amount of armor on greaves and helmets. Greaves moreso since they require a very exact fit.
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Ian

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #22 on: 2015-09-27, 02:19:49 »
Unless I can see specifically what you're looking at for $200 I can't tell you why it's at that price point.  I can only tell you from experience, arms that cost $200 (regardless of whether they are articulated or not) are typically not very refined in historical shaping, and will almost certainly be made of mild steel.  Icefalcon's catalog doesn't provide enough information, but looking at his photos he seems to really like working in stainless steel or aluminum.  He also has a very high reputation within certain sport combat circles.
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Sir James A

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #23 on: 2015-09-27, 15:04:55 »
Unless I can see specifically what you're looking at for $200 I can't tell you why it's at that price point.  I can only tell you from experience, arms that cost $200 (regardless of whether they are articulated or not) are typically not very refined in historical shaping, and will almost certainly be made of mild steel.  Icefalcon's catalog doesn't provide enough information, but looking at his photos he seems to really like working in stainless steel or aluminum.  He also has a very high reputation within certain sport combat circles.

Agreed on everything Sir Ian has said. I'll also add:

* Thickness affects price (18g is actually thinner than 16g and some Indian armors are 18g), and also that the actual functionality of the articulation CAN affect price.
* Cheaper armor won't have a full range of motion, or in some cases, some of the plates are riveted solid and don't move at all when they should.
* STYLE of the armor will also affect the price, floating arms are generally cheaper than articulated, and gothic/fluted is generally more expensive than italian/english

As Ian said, without specific links, no way to know what we're comparing
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westcoastgio

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #24 on: 2015-09-27, 16:54:23 »
Unless I can see specifically what you're looking at for $200 I can't tell you why it's at that price point.  I can only tell you from experience, arms that cost $200 (regardless of whether they are articulated or not) are typically not very refined in historical shaping, and will almost certainly be made of mild steel.  Icefalcon's catalog doesn't provide enough information, but looking at his photos he seems to really like working in stainless steel or aluminum.  He also has a very high reputation within certain sport combat circles.

Agreed on everything Sir Ian has said. I'll also add:

* Thickness affects price (18g is actually thinner than 16g and some Indian armors are 18g), and also that the actual functionality of the articulation CAN affect price.
* Cheaper armor won't have a full range of motion, or in some cases, some of the plates are riveted solid and don't move at all when they should.
* STYLE of the armor will also affect the price, floating arms are generally cheaper than articulated, and gothic/fluted is generally more expensive than italian/english

As Ian said, without specific links, no way to know what we're comparing

fair enough. When I brought up http://www.illusionarmoring.com Sir Rodney broke down a pros and cons list. I was hoping someone could do similar for Icefalcon, or supply a bit of info behind their reputation.

Although I think I figured out the price disparity.... Icefalcon is using stainless steel, all of the other smiths I have been looking at are using regular steel.


Ian

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #25 on: 2015-09-28, 00:26:53 »
You had mentioned earlier in this thread that you were interested in Living History.  Icefalcon caters more to the SCA and ACL crowd.  Strict adherence to historical shaping and using more appropriate material analogues for period metals are not really what he's after.  Those two things are pretty important in Living History.  I'm not knocking Ice, he's just building armor for a different group of hobbyists with different goals.  As far as his reputation goes, he's a great businessman, always makes good on his orders, does right by his customers, he's an all-around stand up guy.  I've ordered mail from him on several occasions, but have never used his plate armor. 

If Living History is really what you're interested in, I'm here to tell you that LH quality armor is much more of a long-game, involves lots of research and planning, and typically sends you down the custom armorer path.  Most people don't really jump into a fully armed impression when they dive into more serious living history circles.  I'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to fully understand your intentions, because our advice is really dependent on that more than anything else.  I'm also here to tell you that I find LH to be incredibly rewarding and satisfying when all the hard work, time and effort you put into your impression comes together.

You also mentioned the armet / closed helm look.  Armet puts you in a mid to late 15th century Milanese harness, a Close Helm starts to take you into the 16th century.  Both of those styles of armors come with very specifically stylized harness components, so you'd definitely want to go with a custom armorer if you want a LH quality Milanese harness.

I could list a bunch of North American and European armorers completely capable of getting you in either of those style kits, but you really want to spend a lot of time studying things like the proper arming garments and soft layers appropriate to the specific decades contemporary to the harnesses you're interested in.

If everything I typed just disappointed you, but you still want to fight in armor, you can certainly get into a harness that is safe for proper armored Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) that doesn't need to be as strict as a living history level armor.  There are several guys here on the forums who do armored HEMA with no interest in doing strict living history.  But the strict living history harness will generally also be suitable for armored HEMA (just not the other way around, and with some caveats).  If LH is your thing, then welcome to the Dark Side. :)
« Last Edit: 2015-09-28, 00:54:57 by Ian »
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Sir Rodney

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #26 on: 2015-09-28, 02:52:23 »
I am well aware of the things that can bring up price, and when it comes to my helmet, I will be going deep into my wallet.

however several internet armorers offer articulated 14c style arms from just under the pauldron to the wrist for around 200 dollars. Icefalcon starts way higher in price for similar arms, and from the pics look like they are only from the elbow down. I hear alot of recommendations about IceFalcon, but was wondering what I would get for the extra money.

As Ian mentioned, Icefalcon does a lot of work in stainless steel and imports a lot of Indian mail.  As I've only purchased mail and SCA specific weapon components from Andre, I can't comment on his armour.  I do know that he's well respected in the SCA and BOTN circles and his armours will pass the specific requirements of each sport.

My knee and elbow cops are from Windrose.  They call them Flared Edge Elbows.  They're currently charging $75 for a pair of stainless elbows.  I paid less 10 years ago for a mild steel pair.  To follow my previous format:

Pros
- They can take a relentless pounding by rattan
- They look pretty
- They are easily drilled for pointing to your arming garments
- Windrose is honest, hard working, and charge a fair price for their wares
- Prompt shipping on items in stock (I have no experience with their custom wares)

Cons
- They are relatively heavy (mild steel)
- They will rust without proper care (again, the mild steel version, which they don't appear to offer anymore)
- They are of welded construction (non historical)
- One size fits most
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westcoastgio

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #27 on: 2015-09-28, 06:16:56 »
@ Sir Rodney, thank you for the pro and con break down, that really helps with figuring out where to throw my money.

@ Ian, my main interest is gonna be fighting. To my knowledge there are no LH groups in my area, and that is the largest factor keeping me from the dark side. ;) that being said, I want two things, to have a harness that has at least some historical authenticity, and to know where and how it isn't historical. honestly I am amazed at how wrong I was on alot of armor related stuff that I thought I knew.

when it comes to the armet and close helm, truthfully I am not sure what the differences are. I just know that they look to me like a classic knight, and that is the aesthetic I am aiming for.

Henrik Granlid

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #28 on: 2015-09-28, 16:08:25 »


The difference is in the way they articulate/open, and of the two, the close helm is the simpler version and possibly the sturdier one due to not having hinges.

The left is a close helm, pivoting on the same large rivet as the visor, whilst the right one is an armet, with hinged cheekplates locking in place, sort of cupping the face from the sides.

You'll find Armets mostly on Italian armours from ca 1420 and a bit into the 16th century, whilst you'll find close helms primarily on German early 16th century armour. The differences can either be subtle or very clear, both in the shaping of the helmet as well as in the shaping of the armour and you're going to have to find a painting or existing piece of armour that shows us what you want.

One kinda bad thing, however, is that these are helmets that are nearly exclusive to full plate gear, I.e. Not something often or ever seen with brigandines or padded jacks or similar defenses. If you want to go the armet route, you're going to need to spend a lot of money other than on the helmet in order to get the look down.

However, if you're lucky, you might find some tournament harnesses that use Armets with lots of covered areas (since in the sca, the helmet is often your first piece). But I do not know any off the top of my head.
« Last Edit: 2015-09-28, 18:34:12 by Henrik Granlid »
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westcoastgio

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Re: new member, new harness
« Reply #29 on: 2015-09-30, 04:17:51 »
I have no issues paying more to avoid Brigs and COPs I want the full plate look.

when I think of knights I think of the very head shaped helmets, like the Armet and Close helm, and that is a what I want to own and wear