Viking Shoulder Armour

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Tiddles
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Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:04 am

Hi.

Is this armour suitable for a well travelled 10th century Viking trader?

Image



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:55 am

No. :thumbdown:

There is no evidence of any armour even remotely like that found anywhere in Western Europe (except on film sets and at LARP conventions). The only armour that we have any physical evedence for are ring shirts (maille) and we have documentary evidence for ring shirts and the infamous reindeer hide armour that no one knows what it looked like or how it was made. If you dont want either of these types of protection (if you can figure out how the reindeer armour was constructed!) but are still worried about protecting your shoulders, carry a shield and learn how to use it effectively. :D


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:04 pm

Thanks Neil.

That is what I thought. I was hoping the Viking trade with the Steppes tribes, the Islamic world and Central Asia would be a passable connection.

I do have a chainmail shirt and I am amazed how heavy it is and how much is slows you down compared to plate armour. I am confident with a shield but prefer to use the Dane Axe.

Having done 15C for nearly 20 years. Going 10C means a hole new history and culture to learn about!

Tiddles.



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Cap-a-pie » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:01 pm

Tiddles wrote:I do have a chainmail shirt and I am amazed how heavy it is and how much is slows you down compared to plate armour.


depends what its made of - if its the thick 16 gauge rings or split washers, then yes, but if you go for maille which is closer to the weight of original stuff then no. Shameless plug in here somewhere. :$
Last edited by Cap-a-pie on Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Cap-a-pie wrote:
Tiddles wrote:I do have a chainmail shirt and I am amazed how heavy it is and how much is slows you down compared to plate armour.


depends what its made of - if its the thick 16 gauge rings or split washers then yes, but if you go for maille which is closer to the weight of original stuff then no. Shameless plug in here somewhere. :$


Was advertised as 16 gauge butted links, at less than £100 seamed like a good deal. Would removing a section from the arm pit are improve the flexibility.
I was considering removing the sleeves completely and replacing with steel or leather shoulder protection.

I have a very think padded gamberson under the chinmail.

Tiddles.



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Cap-a-pie » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:33 pm

Tiddles wrote: Would removing a section from the arm pit are improve the flexibility.
Um well yes, but then it leaves that area somewhat unprotected. If the maille shirt is constructed right and fits properly, you should have no problem with flexibility. It might just need some minor adjustments adding a few expansions. That would be preferable to removing rings, either that or as Neil says, use the shield :)


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Medicus Matt » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:15 am

Tiddles wrote:
I have a very think padded gamberson under the chinmail.


Then just where that and lose the mail. It sounds like you've bought a shirt that's too small anyway.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:33 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:
Tiddles wrote:
I have a very think padded gamberson under the chinmail.


Then just where that and lose the mail. It sounds like you've bought a shirt that's too small anyway.


I think you are right. I decided to forget the gamberson and just go for the mail over my shirt and tunic.
Fits perfectly with no restriction and easy to put on/take off.

The measurements from the seller of the mail saying it would fit up to a 56" chest is some what optimistic.

The reason I got the gamberson was to go under Lamella armour should I ever have the money to buy a set.



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:45 am

Tiddles wrote:I think you are right. I decided to forget the gamberson and just go for the mail over my shirt and tunic.
Fits perfectly with no restriction and easy to put on/take off.

The measurements from the seller of the mail saying it would fit up to a 56" chest is some what optimistic.

The reason I got the gamberson was to go under Lamella armour should I ever have the money to buy a set.


No, forget the mail shirt, wear the gambeson. It'll give you better protection than mail. Mail only stops cuts, which isn't really an issue when you fight with blunt weapons. The gamby soaks up the energy of the blow...much more important in our game. Given the choice of one or the other, I'd go for the padding every time.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:11 am

Depends who Tiddles is fighting with. The Vikings don't do gembesons unless they are under maille.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:25 am

Neil of Ormsheim wrote:The Vikings don't do gembesons unless they are under maille.


Not even if it's faced with reindeer hide?


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:11 pm

Nice idea but trying getting it passed the thenty police........


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:31 pm

I'd just distract Russ by engaging him in a scabbard related conversation. :wink:


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Sir_John_Thomas » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:43 pm

If you have long sleeves or a long shirt, shorten the sleeves and bottom by a couple of inches, it will give you enough spare links to make your shirt a bit larger. You just need 2 pairs of pliers and some spare time over the winter and you'll be ready for next season.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:54 pm

Sir_John_Thomas wrote:If you have long sleeves or a long shirt, shorten the sleeves and bottom by a couple of inches, it will give you enough spare links to make your shirt a bit larger. You just need 2 pairs of pliers and some spare time over the winter and you'll be ready for next season.


Nice idea Sir John :)

It was long sleeved and I have reduced it to elbow length. The shirt comes to about halfway down my thighs.
Where would I put in the extra links and would there be enough in the spare bits?



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:13 am

Tiddles wrote -
Where would I put in the extra links and would there be enough in the spare bits?


Front and back straight down the centre line of the shirt. Make sure that, if you insert the rings as pannels you get the orientation right or they will lock up and jam. This stops the shirt from moving with you and makes for extremely embarrasing attempts to take it off. (I have seen it done! :$ ) Start at the top of the shirt and work down and, if you run out of links, leave a split front and back at the bottom - this aids wide striding movement!


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Cap-a-pie » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:21 am

if you want a good beginners guide to maille i can recommend the following link,

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.bar ... r/mail.htm


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Biro » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:33 am

Or instead of splitting the full front and back, you may be able to get away with a lot less - depending where it is tight..

My current hauberk was only tight across the back when i moved my arms forward (If you follow) - so it only needed two slits on the back - where my shoulder-blades are. I added small, triangular wedges at the top and bottom of each slit to widen them, and then simply filled them in with strips of mail.

So rather than widening the whole thing, it gave the extra movement only where it was needed and without adding too much extra weight (ie the front and around the waist were no bigger - since there was no need! (even if my waist is always growing!)

*Edit - just noticed the above link already shows what I mean...



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Medicus Matt » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:44 am

As Biro says, depends on where it's tight.

Your post indicated that arm movement was a problem. Are the arms themselves to tight under the armpit? Increasing the diameter across the chest by either splitting the whole shirt or just inserting strategic gores might help relieve the tension under the armpit, as would opening the armpit and inserting extra links but you may find that you need to increase the arm diameter itself by inserting mail gores at the shoulders, tapering down the arm.


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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Tiddles » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:15 am

The shirt is tight all over when warn over the Gamberson.

So I am guessing widening the body or maybe using thinner padding like my 15C arming Jack.



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Biro » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:37 am

Tiddles wrote:The shirt is tight all over when warn over the Gamberson.

So I am guessing widening the body or maybe using thinner padding like my 15C arming Jack.


Sounds about right...

I had the same problem, and my solution was to get a thinner gamby (I have 2 now - a thinner one for mail and a thicker one for rain) - but I still had to do the extentions I mentioned on the shoulder-blades - and also add 'cups' to the elbows to remove the restriction it still had with bending the arms.



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Benedict » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:29 pm

Biro wrote:I had the same problem, and my solution was to get a thinner gamby (I have 2 now - a thinner one for mail and a thicker one for rain) - but I still had to do the extentions I mentioned on the shoulder-blades - and also add 'cups' to the elbows to remove the restriction it still had with bending the arms.


Why not just wear the mail shirt? Optionally have a couple of wool tunics underneath for padding - or just summerweight linen ones. The debate on when under-armour padding/separate gambesons appeared is still rumbling on, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence for padded under-armour before the First Crusade (lots of people in a world where padded armour is normal) and it is definitely attested in the early 1100s.

It does help if you're part of a group/society that's used to just wearing mail shirts. The more padding you have, the less you feel blows (and you get fewer bruises). However, if you know you need to hit them a bit harder to get a reaction, it's easy to get a bit carried away and start hitting squishies a bit too hard...



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Re: Viking Shoulder Armour

Postby Biro » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:07 pm

Benedict wrote:
Biro wrote:I had the same problem, and my solution was to get a thinner gamby (I have 2 now - a thinner one for mail and a thicker one for rain) - but I still had to do the extentions I mentioned on the shoulder-blades - and also add 'cups' to the elbows to remove the restriction it still had with bending the arms.


Why not just wear the mail shirt? Optionally have a couple of wool tunics underneath for padding - or just summerweight linen ones. The debate on when under-armour padding/separate gambesons appeared is still rumbling on, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence for padded under-armour before the First Crusade (lots of people in a world where padded armour is normal) and it is definitely attested in the early 1100s.

It does help if you're part of a group/society that's used to just wearing mail shirts. The more padding you have, the less you feel blows (and you get fewer bruises). However, if you know you need to hit them a bit harder to get a reaction, it's easy to get a bit carried away and start hitting squishies a bit too hard...


Could be an option for Tiddles, but not me. Our society H+S rules are very strict on gambesons being mandatory for combat. (Also, we do early 13c so there's definately evidence for it). To be fair though, there's also 13c evidence of mail without gambies... Go figure. :crazy:




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