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Author Topic: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV  (Read 8741 times)

Sir Patrick

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Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« on: 2015-06-15, 01:50:36 »
I'm about 90% sure I'll be able to make DOK this year.  Now I know it's not until October, but as I would still need to get a civilian kit together from scratch, I'm wanting to get a jump on my military one.  Disclaimer:  I know my kit has some problems.  What I'd like to do is tweak out the big ones that woud keep me from participating in DOK.  I'm shooting for a 1330s English knight impression.  I've poured over effigies & brasses and I've seen everything from all maille to Crecy-looking articulated limbs with bascinets during the decade, so I think I'm pretty safe (but would love your input, nonetheless).

My kit is pictured below.  The helmet is a sugarloaf undeneath the crest (which I know won't pass muster for DOK).  The rest of the armor is all Merc Tailor cops, vambraces, greaves, besuages, and roundels.  Sword is a Del Tin 5140 (I know it's about 20 years too soon for this kit, but hoping to get a pass on it).  Legs are padded chauses, to just below the knee.  Maile is all butted (100% made by me as a place-holder).

Known issues:  The sword as mentioned before (suspension sucks too since we're being honest).  Footwear (I'm using some army surplus East German jack boots).  Maille on the body is just sleeves and does not cover more than my chest/upper back.  Wearing it with a COP would probably be OK, but since nobody really sees what's under my surcoat...

My budget for this upgrade isn't going to be huge, so if I change out a major component (like a sword), I'm probably done.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #1 on: 2015-06-15, 15:36:48 »
The biggest thing that stands out to me visually is your arms.

You're current arm setup is kind of in between what we see as the normal arm configurations of the time.  It seems like most common at this point in time from effigies is just a mail arm defense.  Some guys are lucky enough to have a full floating plate arm harness over their mail.  But what I don't see is a stand-alone articulated shoulder defense with no upper arm defense and a stand alone vambrace.  The most common configuration I see of guys who are starting to supplement mail with plate (which is what I think you're going for) is a simple elbow cop or rondel at the elbow, and just a rondel at the shoulder, not a full articulated shoulder like you're wearing.

The easiest thing to do to visually correct your arms is to either remove the plate altogether, or just wear your elbow cops, and see if you can take the besegue off your shoulders and just wear it as a rondel on the shoulder instead.

The other big thing I see is that you should ideally have a full hauberk on, with full sleeves.  Hands should ideally have maille mittens or possibly visby style segmented gauntlets.

The plate for your legs look pretty good.  Again ideally you'd probably have maille on underneath your plate.  There are several examples of men-at-arms with plate on their legs like yours but no plate on their arms, or just the pieces I recommended above.

Footwear's easy to fix.  You can get inexpensive 'good enough' footwear from Viking Leather with the vibram soles.  They make a great entry level period-ish shoe.

Also please keep in mind that DoK is a very worthwhile experience for newcomers to just do a soft-kit which can be had from a place like Historic Enterprises for a fair price and will pass DoK standards.  Last year Doug came out for his first DoK and did soft kit only, and I think he'll tell you it was still very much worth it.

But if you do want to bring the hard kit up to snuff I think re-configuring your arms would go a long way (and should be free!).  A hauberk would really go a long way too and would cover you for torso defense, arm defense, and technically even upper leg defense.  Lower leg plate bits are good to go.  Replace your shoes.  If you don't want to wear  your sugarloaf then a coif would be the most inexpensive head defense, but if you're going for 1330 you could probably still wear a sugarloaf (not 100% sure).

Honestly though as far as Living History goes,  the DoK standards are not very restrictive.  You could probably come in your kit exactly as is and it wouldn't be turned away, but if I were in your shoes I would make my best effort to at least fix the visual since the primary goal of a timeline event is education.  Once we start having to explain away all of our kit to the public (or worse, aren't even familiar with what's wrong with our kits) then we begin to defeat the purpose of an educational historical timeline event.

The most important thing you can do, is whichever route you choose to go, you should attend DoK either way!  For selfish reasons, I'd like to finally meet you, and secondly you will really gain a lot of experience and see if LH is something you enjoy.  DoK is a great place for someone new to the idea of LH to see if it's for them.

« Last Edit: 2015-06-15, 15:42:42 by Ian »
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #2 on: 2015-06-15, 16:28:55 »
Thanks for the input, Sir Ian.

Quick question:  The besagues aren't connected to the spaulders, just pointed to my maille at the shoulder. If I lose the spaulders and vambraces but add ailettes will that work?  On the other hand, would adding a floating rerebrace to the current setup be OK?  What can I say, I like plate ;). Getting a hauberk is doable so that should be no problem. Leaning more toward gaunts over mittens.
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #3 on: 2015-06-15, 16:42:26 »
Thanks for the input, Sir Ian.

Quick question:  The besagues aren't connected to the spaulders, just pointed to my maille at the shoulder. If I lose the spaulders and vambraces but add ailettes will that work?  On the other hand, would adding a floating rerebrace to the current setup be OK?  What can I say, I like plate ;). Getting a hauberk is doable so that should be no problem. Leaning more toward gaunts over mittens.

I would wear the besegue as a rondel on the point of my shoulder.  Ailettes are probably a little more common earlier than your period.

If you want to plate up your arm, to keep it in context it would have some implications.  The guys wearing floating plate arm harnesses in the 1330s are also the guys who are already wearing cuisses and sabatons and open faced bascinets.  See, the trouble with effigies is you have to keep the individual components in context with each other.  So you can't just pluck an arm harness of one knight and a leg setup from another in the same period, because even though they're contemporaries, the individual pieces typically imply other pieces.  So if you want to go with plate arms, not just elbows and rondels on the shoulder, you're probably going to probably want to wear cuisses,  sabatons and a bascinet to be consistent.  You're also now shifting toward the end of the decade, and would be cutting edge even then, if not transitioning more toward the 1340s.  The rabbit goes deep my friend :)
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #4 on: 2015-06-15, 17:58:41 »
Deep indeed!  OK so I'll lose the spaulders and vambraces and move the beasuges to the shoulder points. Gotta love the free solutions :). On footwear, are ankle-height OK for a martial kit, or do I need taller boots?
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #5 on: 2015-06-15, 18:24:28 »
Deep indeed!  OK so I'll lose the spaulders and vambraces and move the beasuges to the shoulder points. Gotta love the free solutions :). On footwear, are ankle-height OK for a martial kit, or do I need taller boots?

Ankle height is just fine.  I wear simple turnshoes with my harness.
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #6 on: 2015-06-20, 02:54:42 »
Question regarding cotes/tunics:  Wool or linen?  It looks like it's around 75 in the afternoons and 55ish at night at Ft. Campbell.  I'll probably do a cloak or hood as well. Speaking of wool, what kind works best?  Does 100% or an 80/20 blend used in suiting/jacketing work, or should I look for something else?
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #7 on: 2015-06-20, 13:00:48 »
The DoK standards specifically are pretty lax for clothing.  Natural fibers are what they want, and synthetics are discouraged.  This will not apply to other events and groups, so depending again on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, this will change.  This is why DoK is so great for people new to LH, the barrier to entry is low.  If you intend to move beyond DoK in the LH world though, you want want to consider exceeding rather than meeting the DoK standard.

If you want to go a more historical route, than you want to restrict linen to just your braies and shirt for medieval England. There is virtually no documentable evidence that linen was used for outer garments during this time based on extant garments, fragments of garments, inventories etc.   If you want to get techincal, arming cotes are technically not an underwear layer and are usually made of linen or fustian (a blend of linen and cotton), but we're talking about civil clothing here.  Wool is the go-to fabric for any class of society.  The higher you go up the more silks you'd be wearing as well, but everyone wears wool and you can't go wrong with it.

The number one reason I hear for people trying to justify linen outer-garments is temperature.  I think this is mainly because the word wool evokes in people the image of heavy thick fabric only suitable for blankets and sweaters and heavy coats.  This is nonsense.  Wool comes in a huge variety of weights and thicknesses ranging from heavy thick fulled wool to very thin and light suiting fabrics (that are often much thinner and lighter than the standard weight linen everyone uses).  So you would want to wear the appropriate wool for the occasion.

Wool also looks a heck of a lot better than linen for outer clothing.  Look at linen funny and it gets wrinkles everywhere that require and iron to get out.  Wool drapes much better than linen and doesn't have that problem.  Wool when fulled properly can also become virtually water proof (or at least very water resistant).  It also dries much faster than linen when it does get wet.

But seriously, if you're just looking to attend DoK and not become a living history fantatic, in general linen is a heck of a lot cheaper than wool clothing and may not be worth the investment (or time if you intend to make).  Oh as far as suiting wool, there should be 100% wools out there in suiting weight, but if you can't find them you can use a blend.  Just remember that synthetics near campfires equals bad news. :)
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Sir William

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #8 on: 2015-06-22, 15:53:56 »
Naturally, if you're going to plumb the depths of the rabbit hole, you might as well find out where the bottom is.  ;)
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #9 on: 2015-06-22, 15:56:49 »
Do I want the red pill or the blue one...?
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #10 on: 2015-06-22, 17:51:23 »
Naturally, if you're going to plumb the depths of the rabbit hole, you might as well find out where the bottom is.  ;)

Spoiler alert.  The hole is most definitely bottomless.  ;D
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #11 on: 2015-06-22, 23:06:58 »
Says the man hand embroidering 5 rows of chainstitch around his hood cape. That level of commitment requires a long liripipe ;)
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Ian

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #12 on: 2015-06-22, 23:37:55 »
That level of commitment requires a long liripipe ;)

That was a genuine LOL right there...
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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #13 on: 2015-06-24, 13:23:36 »
Naturally, if you're going to plumb the depths of the rabbit hole, you might as well find out where the bottom is.  ;)

Spoiler alert.  The hole is most definitely bottomless.  ;D

Are you referring to my wallet this week, Ian?? Because you are most certainly correct. :(
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Help Me Get Ready For DOK IV
« Reply #14 on: 2015-09-11, 03:37:44 »
Civilian kit is essentially done!  Brais, hose, shirt, cote, super tunic, hood, and coif by me. Shoes by Garb the World. I am sick to death of sewing!  Had a snafu with my new mail coat so won't be able to armor up. Still looking forward to a great time.
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