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Author Topic: A year and a half in the SCA  (Read 1014 times)

AnsalonPaladin

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A year and a half in the SCA
« on: 2017-02-02, 09:59:07 »
Hey guys. Noticed this forum has had decreased activity. I figured I would throw in a status report regarding updates in my SCA experience and my kit building experience as well. *deep breath* There have been a LOT of changes since I last posted here.

So at this point I can definitely see why the SCA wouldn't be for everyone, and simultaneously I can see why it'd be an obsession for some, like myself. Coming from a military background I am well versed in the art of starting from the bottom and working my way up through deeds of arms, and by golly I have already distinguished myself within my own kingdom and to me that sets a precedent to continue to do so.

Some people have trouble feeling like part of the circle, I can say that two things remedy this with ease- 1- willingness to fight regularly and 2- regular attendance to weekly practices. As in any insular nerd culture it can be hard to breach the initial social interaction with these people because frankly...there's a lot of awkward people. I've found being outgoing and straightforward helps a ton. So does having nice kit.

Now, after a year and a half I'm almost a squire, and what a journey it has been. The fighting household I was a part of JUST had a major schism, as my knight and I, as well as our allies, have decided to leave the house during the reign of our leader as king due to his many trespasses against us. In a household held together by three knights this is a great blow to the house (Mountain's Keep) as thousands of dollars in equipment and thousands of hours of experience have been wiped from their slate in one fell swoop.

This kind of intrigue may not appeal to some people, but consider this- this schism in the house will foment a long lasting rivalry that will have kingdom-wide repercussions. Real lines will be drawn, battles will be fought over this, real blood will be shed, and real power will trade hands. While I have a heavy heart over the situation, I must also say that it's kind of exciting to be able to live out the real version of a medieval story in modern times rather than just simply role playing it, and I think that's where the draw in the SCA retains certain people. I'm not simply content with the idea of throwing on some armor every once in awhile and pretending to be something I'm not. If I'm to be a knight some day I feel the need to earn that in blood, sweat, and as I have learned recently, tears.

My loyalty to my knight is unwavering, where he goes I go, and who he fights I fight. This kind of connection is so deep and powerful to me that I cannot replicate it anywhere else outside of the true force of arms. I feel such loyalty, love, and respect for the peers who have reared me and taught me over this time that I now feel a spiritual inclination to follow this through to the end.

Among these times I have been steadily building kit under the osmotic tutelage of people such as Ian Laspina, Rafaello Urbani, Matt Easton, Toby Capwell. Youtube is such a powerful tool. I've learned every single detail of 14th century kit and garb from not only my fellow Scadians but also from near obsessive observance of the aforementioned men's work. Shout out to Ian for being such a well versed resource for people such as myself who seek to attain historical accuracy while also maintaining a competitive edge in a field dominated by people from multiple schools of thought. From hidden hockey armor to full 15th century harnesses, you've got guys out there thriving at all different levels, and it's quite exciting to approach it from an authentic standpoint and still be able to kick wholesale ass.

Now, after having mentioned some political developments and given some shoutouts to major drivers in my personal success so far in the pursuit of the warrior's path, I want to list the changes that I've made since I joined this forum.

When i first joined as AnsalonPaladin I had recently acquired roughly 1400 dollars worth of absolutely useless Greek-themed kit. From my Deepeeka helmets to my hilariously overpriced 350 dollar painted trash can cover of a shield, Medieval Collectibles really got the goods from me. Had I known when I first started out what my objective truly was I think those moneys could have come to much better use...but I have made some marked changes and learned valuable lessons along the way.

When I started fighting in the SCA my kit was allllll messed up. Now I'm proud to say its developing well. There are indeed deficiencies that I find myself fighting regularly. My coat of plates is too small and exposes my belly. I fought in last year's Blackstone Raids in Ripley West Virginia and took a spear to the gut with such immensity that I blacked out and doubled over. For a few moments I wondered if I had suffered internal damage, but once I regained my breath I was able to discern that I had just gotten the sh** knocked out of me. My spaulders are pointed to a gamboissed mantel and by god it's the worst possible way to attach your shoulders. They will flop freely during bouts and start to run to the rear, eventually they no longer even cover my shoulders and look hella goofy. The best way to mitigate this issue is to sew in reinforced leather grommets to your shoulders and point them very closely, as well as pound them out to make them fit a bit tighter. Also weight plays a major role. 16 or 14 gauge one size fits all Indian steel (that's my word for it) isn't going to sit as well as lighter gauge spring steel that's custom fitted to your shoulder...but alas, price points must be met. I still don't wear period footwear as I spend most of my disposable income on actual armor, so Cherry Red Doc Martens are still my go-to until I can get some estivaux style boots. Such is the way of the poor man. Along with that, in a society where many people forego period armor as to be light on their feet heavy gauge plate cuisses are sometimes not ideal, ESPECIALLY when you don't have a proper arming doublet vest such as the one Ian portrays in his videos. Mine is suspended via a belt and it's hell on my back, hips, and legs. I get the job done out of sheer Infantryman tenacity but I don't recommend it. The stupid leather greaves I originally bought as part of my faux Greek kit have actually come in use tremendously, as I painted all my kit to match and they look like proper painted plate, are light and form fitting, and serve the purpose of not allowing my shins to get broken by rattan clubs.

I have a great helm made by Erik Joseph of James River Armoury that I'm convinced could actually take a bullet. It's based on the Richard Pembridge design and slightly tailored for SCA combat by having inch large oculars rather than the tiny slitted ports common in period great helms. It serves its purpose of protecting my dome but it's pretty shitty to fight in. It weighs about 14 pounds without an aventail and sits squarely on my shoulders, or rather my gorget really, and so it completely prevents head movement. This is incredibly problematic when I get in to A-range style fighting, as head movement is key in voiding shots. When I attempt to move my head in close range brawls as is natural to me, my head moves independently inside my helmet. This causes my vision to go out the window and more often than not I find blows coming in from places that were I to be properly armed I would've seen. Thus I am currently commissioning two different helms. One, an Anglo-Varangian kettle helm and the other a custom designed Griffon bascinet with wings on the side of it because I'm a fancy bitch.

I have a Corrazina inbound from Forge Of Svan, by god it had better fit me or that's 300 bucks out the window. Then again, where else are you going to find a Corrazina for 300 bucks that you didn't have to build yourself?

Clearly crafting talent is a HUGE money saver in this industry, as I have learned. However, due to my almost complete lack of fabricating ability I am relegated to commissioning pieces from other people. I have had moderate success in this, but I've also been burned obviously...multiple times.

I have a ton of projects going on all at once, because frankly, I'm having a baby in September and I need to get all of my armoring needs out of the way before they arrive so that my disposable income will be more suitable for them. So anyways, that was a very long winded and tangent-ridden update. I hope someone can even begin to find the time to read it. If you have any questions obviously don't hesitate to ask as I would be very glad to provide my two cents on anything regarding the subject.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-02, 18:29:19 by AnsalonPaladin »
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #1 on: 2017-02-02, 10:08:04 »
Me almost a year ago in kit
« Last Edit: 2017-02-02, 10:08:56 by AnsalonPaladin »
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #2 on: 2017-02-02, 10:10:40 »
Me in May of 2016 on the right looking fat as hell
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #3 on: 2017-02-02, 10:21:25 »
A shot that demonstrates the deficiency in my spaulders and the changes in my choice of color (and lack of unflattering surcoat)
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Lord Dane

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #4 on: 2017-02-04, 23:36:23 »
Very cool. Thanks for adding. Forum has been lax as of late for some time. Wish more would engage like before.
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Sir Rodney

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #5 on: 2017-02-06, 06:01:42 »
Great to hear from you AP!

Your travels, trials & tribulations are the fabric of your SCA experience.  Most everyone I know in the SCA has experienced situations not too dissimilar from yours.  Remember that fresh wounds sting the worst and that old wounds heal.  A similar rift took place in my Barony during the late 80's / early 90's.  People aged, moved on, had children, grew wiser and, in the long run, we all came out better for it.  The process took 20 years, but who's counting.   ;)

Don't fret about your kit.  Everything will come together in time.

Congratulations on the news of a baby in just seven short months!   :) 

My experience with two children is that they will turn your world upside down, in a wonderful way.  With a 4th grader and a 6th grader, I rarely make fighter's practice and hit one or two major events a year.  My life consists of getting someone to school, football, baseball, wrestling, tennis, band, softball, basketball, volleyball, orchestra, badminton, a birthday party, or a sleepover all while trying to hold down a job, remembering to hug my wife and not lose my mind!  The SCA has definitely taken a back seat these last few years, and that's OK.  It makes the events that I'm able to attend all the more special.
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #6 on: 2017-02-21, 21:06:16 »
Got some new gear recently. A kettle helm, a new gambeson, some steel arms that I'll probably never wear, and the corrazina I mentioned before. Only about 880 bucks in all, but given the fact that these are all purchases made in the last month it's definitely facilitating some Spartanesque living for the time being (=
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Sir Rodney

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #7 on: 2017-02-22, 05:57:59 »
Got some new gear recently. A kettle helm, a new gambeson, some steel arms that I'll probably never wear, and the corrazina I mentioned before. Only about 880 bucks in all, but given the fact that these are all purchases made in the last month it's definitely facilitating some Spartanesque living for the time being (=

Sweet!  Is the kettle helm for fighting, dress or both?
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #8 on: 2017-02-27, 23:25:42 »
Oh it's definitely for fighting. It's a spangen design so the top is 14 gauge with 4 additional 14 gauge bands reinforcing it. Making it...7 gauge? If metrics weren't so cruel...It's got an aventail over the bar grille, and it's pretty sick nasty looking. Truthfully it's out of period for 14C kit but it blends in surprisingly well, passes the 10 foot rule if you will. It was made by Bareena Kaif, the only Indian Armorer I trust on the planet. The guy is killing the industry right now. I got it for 255 bucks WITH riveted aventail. Other than padding it incorrectly and getting my nose smashed the other night it's a fabulous helm. Will attach a pic of new kit for reference. I am in the red continental kit with the Saint George shield at a local practice tourney here in Richmond.

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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #9 on: 2017-02-27, 23:28:39 »
Additional shot of myself and my pregnant lady to showcase my German inspired painted kit and how the spangen kettle design falls out of period for the Corrazina.
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Sir Rodney

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #10 on: 2017-02-28, 02:45:38 »
Quote from: AnsalonPaladin
It was made by Bareena Kaif, the only Indian Armorer I trust on the planet. The guy is killing the industry right now. I got it for 255 bucks WITH riveted aventail.

Wow, that's an awesome price!  8)

Quote from: AnsalonPaladin
Additional shot of myself and my pregnant lady to showcase my German inspired painted kit and how the spangen kettle design falls out of period for the Corrazina.

True, but only members of this forum and half a dozen other forums would pick up on that.  To the general public, you're killing it.  Hell, in the SCA you're already in the top percentile for kit!  :)
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #11 on: 2017-02-28, 03:04:48 »
I think it's pretty nifty for only having collected kit for going on two years now. I saw the Order Of The Marshal fight in the summer of '15 at the VARF. Was super intrigued even though I didn't talk to a single one of them. Went home and researched them and found this forum- then that unlocked an interest that progressed into a full blown obsession. You should look at my youtube recommended list, it's hilarious how few subjects are covered. Medieval history, medieval kit, SCA  and HEMA, military history, and gaming. So in the span of about a year and a half I've started to amass a nice little collection. I have enough kit to outfit three fighters right now and I'm working on a Varangian guard kit (hence the kettle helm) perfecting my 14C continental kit and transitioning it into an English kit, and a Crusader kit for Pennsic Crusade.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #12 on: 2017-03-11, 03:17:56 »
Got a fighting video?
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Bayard_Davis-Munro

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #13 on: 2017-03-14, 16:07:11 »
It's good to see the update. I am debating talking to the SCA folks near me again. But my problem is work schedule.  At least it was a few years ago when I approached them ;) maybe new blood has taken over and will be more accepting to the fact I have weird hours on occasion.

If all else fails, I have other options as this board has proven.

Plus I am with Thorsteinn , do you have video of the fights? Or a link to a YouTube channel with them?

Thanks!

AnsalonPaladin

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Re: A year and a half in the SCA
« Reply #14 on: 2017-03-17, 16:54:19 »
I don't tend to have anyone come with me to take videos, so I don't have many of myself specifically.

But here's one when I first started the SCA. I'm the guy in the super hodge podge "viking" kit. Funny fact about the spangenhelm I'm in- it split both of my eyebrows during various fights. So now I have scarred up eyebrows. I hated that helmet. I hated everything about that kit.

« Last Edit: 2017-03-17, 16:54:58 by AnsalonPaladin »
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