Page 1 of 2

saxon style shield/axe?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:58 am
by dbob.culley
where would i find one to buy good quality but cheap

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:45 am
by Vermin

Re: saxon style shield/axe?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:13 pm
by Medicus Matt
dbob.culley wrote:good quality but cheap
The two are usually mutually exclusive.

I know you're new to this so I'll make the same point to you that's already been made.

Join a group, THEN you'll know what their requirements are in terms of kit standards. There is no point spending money on a weapon until you know that it's going to be acceptable to the group that you end up training and fighting with.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:42 pm
by WorkMonkey
To reiterate

DO:
Decide time period - join group - let them tell you what kit is acceptable - Purchase kit according to their rules


DO NOT:
Buy kit when you haven't decided a specific time period you want to do. What is good for 6th C Saxon is not good for 11th C Saxon.
- Buy kit when you don't have membership with a group, they will not necesarily let you use it. Most groups operate some sort of training or weapons regime, you will not always get to use the weapon you want.


And do not buy an axe, the axe does not feature very much as a weapon of war in the anglo saxon period apart from brief appearances at the start and end. If you absoloutely have to buy a weapon then get a spear, that's prerry universal, unless you're with Regia inwhich case it needs a blob on the end. You will also never find kit that is both cheap and good. Unless you have friends who will make it for you as a favour.
You can make a shield yourself for about £30, but again, I wouldn't do that until you have a group lined up, different groups have different regulations concerning shield construction.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:17 pm
by Trading-Dragon
I would also like to add that an axe is very demanding to fight with since they are extremely top-heavy. You can get them made from brushed aluminium or have them specially made with shaped cut out of the axe-head to reduce weight but they're rare, expensive and look knaff.

For a beginner I'd say swords, spears and seax-alikes make the best weapons.
Spears are cheap and fun to use, especially if someone is kind enough to teach you a little staff-work with them. They also look really good in a shield wall.
Swords are universally intuitive to fight with and anyone may learn the basics with just a little qualified instruction and diligent training. Unfortunately they are also universally expensive.
Seaxes and other types of long knives are the poor man's sword and a good sidearm for anyone.


I'd also like to urge you not to buy weapons as soon as they become available. Most groups have a few spares available as certain types of 'nactors hoard weapons and other treasures like dragons.
If you want to fight, you need a good helmet and some sort ofperiod-looking hand protection first and foremost. Weapons you can usually borrow but nobody has a helmet spare, much less a gauntlet. And i'm pretty confident that few groups will let you do anything without some sort of safety gear.

A wise investment might also be a bit of plastic riot armour from your local army/navy surplus store. What you want is a forearm guard with an elbow cop attached, the kind that comes with velcro straps. You can wear these comfortably under your tunic/shirt and they keep you from cut wrists and life-crippling shattered elbow joints. I recommend them.
But again, as usual, check with your group first whether they are comfortable with such gear.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:20 pm
by WorkMonkey
How would you be able to fit riot gear under your tunic arm :?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:21 pm
by Trading-Dragon
Oh yes - and most importantly, get your soft kit sorted first. Someone else probably told you already - but one can't say it often enough...even to some old veterans, who should know better. :?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:23 pm
by WorkMonkey
I wear all my tunic arms tight on the forearm, I dont think I'd be able to get anything underneath them :shock:

Re: saxon style shield/axe?

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:09 pm
by Lady Willows Retinue
dbob.culley wrote:where would i find one to buy good quality but cheap
As the previous posts suggest, your first job is to find a group to join.
However, from your earlier posts you are ony still 14yrs old. Idoubt any group would let you take part in combat, nor would they let you loose with a shield, let alone an axe.
I think you would have to resign yourself to being a civilian/artisan for a couple of years yet - but there's still a lot of scope for fun in that.

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:24 pm
by chrisanson
WorkMonkey wrote: You will also never find kit that is both cheap and good. Unless you have friends who will make it for you as a favour.
are you saying i'm a mate or i'm cheap? monkey face

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:55 am
by Nigel
RIGHT HO A a good shield will be at least 50 quid and expect to get it broken at some point

local to you contact tim mainprise through kynges on here he makes simply put the best shields alongside medicus but hes a grumpy old man who wont

then get a spear

but before any of this find a group

oh and ignore any idea of extra moderna rmour under your tunics etc personally speaking if you ahve to do that you shouldnt be playing the game

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:29 am
by Daniel Ezra
I agree with all the rest. Find a group first. Don't buy a stitch, or ounce of kit until you do, and find out what they expect.

Further: If you are trying to do this on a tight budget, your kit will be low status. No posh bits, unlikely to be embroidered, or have braid etc.
So NO SWORD.

Swords are the mark of a high status warrior. He would have posh kit, plus two spears, a lang-seax, and a short knife.

There are two many swords used by re-enactors of this period. Contrary to what has been suggested I would ask your new group about using axes, as these were tools as well as weapons. Nowadays re-enactment axes are reasonably cheap.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:14 am
by Medicus Matt
Nigel wrote:
local to you contact tim mainprise through kynges on here he makes simply put the best shields alongside medicus but hes a grumpy old man who wont
8)

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:08 am
by Trading-Dragon
WorkMonkey wrote:I wear all my tunic arms tight on the forearm, I dont think I'd be able to get anything underneath them :shock:
I suppose it depends. I've been graced with really thin, cat-like arms. Plus, I made the sleeves of my tunic just a little bit wider to fit the riot gear under it.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:26 am
by Trading-Dragon
Nigel wrote:
oh and ignore any idea of extra moderna rmour under your tunics etc personally speaking if you ahve to do that you shouldnt be playing the game
And personally speaking (as a trained nurse): if you ever had to comfort one of your mates who was crying his eyes out because bits of bone were sticking through the bloody mess that was his right elbow, then you might think differently about it, too.

And i'm sorry if this comes about as a bit snappy - I feel a rather strongly about it.

Anyhow, i'm not demanding that every 'nactor takes plastic armour on the field. You can do whatever you want, so long as you are capable and safe. But for an untrained newbie who has never done it before and can't even judge the physical demands of re-enactment combat, some riot gear might be a good idea.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:28 am
by dbob.culley
:P lol

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:37 am
by Medicus Matt
Body armour is one of those 'marmite' subjects. Some people won't take the field without it and others don't see the need for it.

If you fight with a group that uses shields, doesn't go in for any sort of poncy sword on sword duelling and where people are taught to keep control of their weapons and to deliver blows safely then I don't think you should need it. But then I've always fought with groups where targetting blows to the joints and lower limbs isn't allowed.

Accidents happen and I don't think anyone should be banned from wearing any sort of protection that they want as long as it doesn't compromise their appearance. I'd rather someone wore a bit of arm armour under their tunic that was invisible than an anachronistic leather vambrace on top of their tunic, a practice which seems to go unremarked upon by many early medieval groups.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:42 am
by John Waller
Nigel wrote: oh and ignore any idea of extra moderna rmour under your tunics etc personally speaking if you ahve to do that you shouldnt be playing the game
Over the past season several members of the society have been trying out modern football shin guards. - Conquest website!

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:44 am
by Medicus Matt
John Waller wrote: football shin guards. -!
Under their tunics?
Funny place to keep your shins.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:15 pm
by John Waller
Medicus Matt wrote:
John Waller wrote: football shin guards. -!
Under their tunics?
Funny place to keep your shins.
I think shins are covered by 'etc'.

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:17 pm
by Nigel
John Waller wrote:
Nigel wrote: oh and ignore any idea of extra moderna rmour under your tunics etc personally speaking if you ahve to do that you shouldnt be playing the game
Over the past season several members of the society have been trying out modern football shin guards. - Conquest website!
SMARTARSE

And if you cared to ask those individuals are no longer with us

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:13 pm
by Tuppence
what workmonkey said - don't buy ANYTHING until you've joined a group and preferably not then unless you have a member of the group with you.


What Matt said about the two (cheap and good) being generally mutually exclusive - unless you're extremely lucky, cheap usually equals tat.


Wearing modern body armour is a personal choice, but it shouldn't be necessary with re-enactment fighting if you're in a group that pays attention to it's safety and training standards. Although I could be being complacent due to only having been in groups with excellent safety records (apart from Nige's concussions - but they often have nothing to do with fighting - most recently it was the tent).
And accidents can happen even if you have modern body armour - if it shatters (which is possible) you don't want to know what can happen.



Oh, and buy your shoes an your soft kit before you even think about buying anything made of metal that's not attached to a belt (or similar).

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:49 pm
by Trading-Dragon
If you feel keen you might even consider asking your new group if anyone would care to show you how to make your own clothing/shoes/etc.

Part of the appeal of re-enacting is that folks suddenly discover an interest in arts and crafts they didn't even know existed!

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:05 am
by nathan
As other have said, group first, soft kit first, you won't be able to train until 16 and fight before 18 (each group is different, that's a best case) so why worry about an axe and shield at 14.

Just to make your life more complicated, it's either rawhide or leather to rim the shield (metal is a no-no) so your veganism is going to struggle here, pleather will _not_ work, it's not strong enough (i experimented with all sorts of stuff never found anything that would work you need thick leather or rawhide).

HTH
N

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:41 am
by Trading-Dragon
How about some really thick veg-tan leather instead of rawhide? i was thinking at least 3mm +.

My usual method of making round body shields is to staple the rawhide on with an industrial stapler for ease of construction and then cover the whole thing in pliable leather. Looks neat and is easy to make!
But I'm starting to wonder whether I'd get away with just really thick leather for the rim. It's be cheaper than rawhide.

GOOD rawhide can be quite pricey. Doggie chew bones are knaff (usually). Too thin and often splinters.

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:48 am
by Medicus Matt
Trading-Dragon wrote:How about some really thick veg-tan leather instead of rawhide? i was thinking at least 3mm +.
It's still not brilliant for vegans though is it? :wink:

I prefer to use thick veg tan (which should be the ONLY leather used in an early medieval re-enactment context, nothing else looks right) for shield rims, less stinky, doesn't require soaking for so long etc but it has to be said that it's not as resistant to blunt weapon impact as rawhide.

I've just edged a gladiatorial semi-scutum with some 3-4mm thich rawhide from LePrevo and , now it's dry, it's like iron. More than twice the price of the equivalent bit of leather though.

Industrial stapler? Why?
I just hold mine in place with clothes pegs all the way around and then drill and stitch (don't like tacked rims. The tacks drop out and some poor sod will eventually stand on one).

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:14 am
by John Waller
[quote="Nigel
SMARTARSE
[/quote]

:D

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:44 pm
by Simon_Diment
John Waller wrote:
Nigel wrote: oh and ignore any idea of extra moderna rmour under your tunics etc personally speaking if you ahve to do that you shouldnt be playing the game
Over the past season several members of the society have been trying out modern football shin guards. - Conquest website!
That comment is years out of date! :roll:

After returning to the fold in 2003 it was mentioned so I bought a pair, tried them on under my hose and then they went carefully back into the bag and have never been used - even the low profile stuff sticks out like a sore thumb.

None of the current membership use any form of modern padding/protection, although I do know of one person who wears a plackart under his aketon so it's not seen - but this is out of necessity to protect the enormous abdominal scar he carries after life saving surgery.

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:12 pm
by Trading-Dragon
Medicus Matt wrote: Industrial stapler? Why?
I just hold mine in place with clothes pegs all the way around and then drill and stitch (don't like tacked rims. The tacks drop out and some poor sod will eventually stand on one).
Don't like tacks either, that's why I used to quickly staple on the rawhide so it never EVER comes off again, then cover everything in thinner leather for a slightly more 'A' look.

I'm actually rather curious about stitching on the rawhide. I tried it on my heater shield but the thread just keeps snapping. I used really thick waxed linen thread, the kind you make bowstrings out of. Haven't tried artificial sinew yet.

How is that actually holding up in combat? I'm a little worried that if the rawhide eventually gets cut, it's all going to unravel. How exactly do you stitch it on? And might it be a good idea to treat the thread with glue afterwards to help ward against it all unraveling if it snaps?

BY the way - a bit earlier I thought about finding a way to toughen up veg-tan leather and make it a bit more durable. Discovered something neat: if you take some PVA (the kind that is waterproof when dry) and thin it down half and half with water, then soak your leather in it for a few hours it becomes super hard and stiff when dry. The only drawback is that it can't be waxed or dyed anymore and feels and looks noticeably 'shiny' and plastic like...

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:39 pm
by Tuppence
same principle as blind stiffening - downside is it makes it more brittle, and looks obviously modern.

if you ever had to comfort one of your mates who was crying his eyes out because bits of bone were sticking through the bloody mess that was his right elbow, then you might think differently about it, too.

Should have said this earlier, btw, but could anybody reading this please avoid making comments such as this to Nigel.

Brings up far too much bad memory stuff, and avoiding it makes my life hugely simpler.

(Ps - using this particular post as an example of type - no way the person making it is to know about stuff that's going on, so not having a pop there).