Advice on buying a helmet

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Jaybells
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Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Hi there, ive been doin re-en for 2 seasons now, but ive been borrowing a helmet from my group, and now crimbo is here i was wanting to buy one of my own.

Ive been on teh Getdressedforbattle website and everything seems to have stopped with no updates and no Sallets :(

But ive been on ebay and found this and i was wanting advice on weather it looks like a good buy or not:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/German-Sallet-Hel ... 3545wt_865

Help is much appreciated ^^

Thanks :D

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Zachos
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

Unfortunately I would say its not a good buy. Even moreso than others, visored helmets need to be exactly the right size for your head. Buying something ready made on the internet is therefore a bad idea, and would be a bad idea visored or not, really, as its impossible to see the extra details like quality of welds and thickness of plates etc.

Really, if you're going to buy a good visored sallet you will have to pay a lot more money than that. I'd save up a bit more and then go to a decent armourer for a nice helmet of a slightly cheaper design.

Maybe something like this:
Image

from this guy: link

Good call on asking before buying. We've all got horror stories of first buys that were a bad idea, so you'll get lots of help. Remember that its better to have less good quality items than more bad quality stuff.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

Ah Mr B, one I would recommend
though not a thing I know a lot about and my main advice would be to ask those who know more than me and I see you are sensible because you asked here before buying.

take advice,
do not hurry to buy,
it is a while till next season.

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Jaybells
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Thanks very much guys, thats a big help :) I'll take your advice and wait, probs till Rufford re-enactment market :D
What would you say about armours though, ive been looking at a variety of them on other sites.

I have a chain shirt, but unfortunatley my jack is far to big for it, i end up looking a bit of a burst marshmellow hoping across the field, do you have any good places to buy an armouring doublet.... tbh i shouldnt be but im in a haste to buy, ive spent the last 2 seasons as a Billman and im wantin to spread me wings slightley to become a man at arms.

Hope im not asking to many questions :)

Thanks very much, thats a lovley helm btw used to use a lobster tail version of one like that, good helm :)
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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

asking lots of questions is a lot better than buying cr&p and having to buy more stuff later, you would only be supporting bad armorers and encouraging them to make more of the same, I do not know if the one on ebay is any good or not BUT it is probably not the best thing to buy.
most people on here have bought things they regret at some time.

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Zachos
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

If you've got any photos of your current kit, then maybe we could give suggestions on what you could keep and what extra you need to make moving on easier and cheaper? If you can sew then that will make the transition much easier, as the soft kit is needed before anything else and needs to fit brilliantly for the plate to work properly. I'll see what I can do about digging out some extant pictures for what you want, as I'm sorting out my kit at the moment to find out what I need for different levels of portrayal. Depending on what you mean by "man at arms" be prepared to spend upwards of 1k over what you already have spent on metalwork alone. And really at that price bracket you're thinking mounted archer.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Colin Middleton »

If you're looking at going the full harness route, I'd budget for £5K+ for properly fitted armour.

Places I'd recomend for armour include:
White Rose (Armour/Munitions/Apparel, depending on what you need)
St George Armories
A Plaisance (This is where I go, but they've got some delays on at the moment)

I've also heard good things about
Matt Black
ASH
Dressed To Kill

But I can't comment directly on any of them, as I don't have any direct experience.

Similarly I have a good feeling about Pleissis Armouries, but I don't know anyone who uses his stuff to coment beyond the fact that I've thinking how nice it looks for years!

Definitely advise spending your money carefully on something that fits well, rather than something that looks pretty but doesn't fit.

Plain and well made looks good to those who can tell, while poorly fitted post looks AWFUL.

Oh, for soft armours, Tuppence (Padded Armour Company) is the best name in the business. Remember that all your armour hangs off of your arming doublet so it MUST fit will or that armour won't stay put. It doesn't need to be thick, you've got plate harness to take the impact and the sleeve joins the body at the point your shoulder articulates from your neck, NOT half way down your arm like on a modern shirt/jacket, etc.

If you want soft armour that will take the whallop, you're after an armoured jack (which you don't wear with full harness) and you may still wear an arming doublet under that!

Best of luck.
Colin

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Zachos
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

A common armour one sees in images of non knightly types is as follows:

Leg armour.
The cheapest version you're looking at is just the knee cop:
link

going up a bit you might see something more like this:
link

or if you've got more money then you could always upgrade to have the greaves as well:
link

Body protection could be something like this:
Simple Italian export:
link

Even simpler for the soldier on a budget:
link

Or a brigandine if you have a bit more money in the here and now:
link

These torso protections can all be worn with a maille shirt underneath or the shirt can be trimmed to something a bit more like a skirt and crop top (only seen like this if the back is fully proected by plate).

Finally a helm of some kind:

"Munitions" visored Sallet:
link

Slightly prettier with brow reinforce:
link

Simpler with no visor:
link

If you put together a budget version of a kit like this:

Image

It should cost you at least £1200, on top of what you already have. I reckon that kit looks really rather nice, and would be proud to own similar. You could then add arm armour, bevor and backplate as and when you have the need/desire/cash, in order to upgrade yourself for a fully armoured "man at arms".

Zac

P.s all armour examples, except brigandine and crossbowmans armour, are made by st george armoury, and prices are based on his and other equivalent armourers prices. Brigandine is made by white rose and crossbowman is from the company of saint george.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by narvek »

Oh, it would probably be nice to qoute a period you're interested in. That usually helps with picking the correct helmet.
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Jaybells
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Wow thanks very much all of you, bit stunned by the amount of replies I wasnt goin for the full harness thingy but its a definite as i get into re-en more and more, i should of stated what i was going for better. Up to 1K sounds to be in my price range, i'll gather my kit slowly but surley, my soft kits fine, ive got a nice padded jack, pair of ankle boots from Time warrior..im well impressed with them, there rate comfy and shirt from Duke henry and a pair of split hoes... yeah thats prity much it lol,

What i was wanting to get my hands on was simple practical protection, im not someone for fashioned armour i love praticality, my main goal for next season is being able to skirmish next, really i want to be just a common infantry man, with probabley a short pole arm liek a glaive..or use a sword, meh both are good.

Unfortunatley the whole job market is brill atm, am 17 NEEDING a part-time job (ive been tryin for a ages i aint a lazy *rse) lol theres so much nice armour out there i want it all i think i may go with a nice simple helm probs a barbuet. Just thought hey its crimbo might aswell buy me self a lid or summit nice for re-en.

I'd like to thank all of you for your advice, education doesnt go a miss especially when it comes to spending money, But yeah thanks very much i'll have a gander through the variety or recommend armours, especailly for the legs.

Actually i dont know if i know any of you, im Jamie i go out with Chris Bruce's daughter ellie... lol i havnt got a name yet so i have to use someone elses.

anyway

Cheers :D
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Jaybells
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Btw Zac, thats some damn lovley armour, i was thinking of buyin a breast plate at some point to go over my chain i think thats a definte, cheers mate :D

Oh and Colin i know you sir, only in passing i was the single Howard on ya Bill-line at Bosworth, on the last battle... the one that went down screamin when i got shot... bit of theatre... i felt like a tit lol
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Nigel »

Colin Middleton wrote: Oh, for soft armours, Tuppence (Padded Armour Company) is the best name in the business. Remember that all your armour hangs off of your arming doublet so it MUST fit will or that armour won't stay put. It doesn't need to be thick, you've got plate harness to take the impact and the sleeve joins the body at the point your shoulder articulates from your neck, NOT half way down your arm like on a modern shirt/jacket, etc.

If you want soft armour that will take the whallop, you're after an armoured jack (which you don't wear with full harness) and you may still wear an arming doublet under that!

Best of luck.
WHAT HE SAID and thanks for the plug colin examples of Debs' work can be seen here www.paddedarmour.com
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

There is however a train of thought that says that the poorer soldiers only wore their armour over their nomal doublets. Very possible considering how much money such a doublet would cost in the period. They still need to fit remarkably well though, and not like what most people consider to be doublets at all. In fact, it should probably be the next thing you should buy, and should cost you quite a bit. (Not sure exactly how much as everything except my gambeson was made "in house" so to speak.)
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Jaybells
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Yeah i do need a doublet, was given one by my group but the thing is to big for me, also im thinking of getting a smaller padded jack, probable also a better idea, i bought it off this lass in my group that it was far far to big for, thought it wernt to bad at £60. :) I recon tho next seaon im gonna go duke Henry and buy one, or have one made for me that fits properly, along with a proper full hoes :D

Hey guys just found this looks intresting... well to me, what would you say?

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... dc3df64336
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Sorry lol i meant Doublet, not a padded Jack of Henry
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Hey Zac back to helmets a second, i like that Barbute on your Dp where did you buy it from? If ya dont mind me asking cos ive looked round and ive only found T-shaped face ones.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

That helmet was made by an armourer who now no longer makes things and his name has just gone completely out of my head. Since that picture was taken I've painted it and now try to wear it as little as possible as I believe barbutes are over represented in English re-enactment. Most English pictures show large amounts of sallets, both visored and not, so I try and wear my sallet as much as possible. I'd love to get a decent visorless one so I can have more options depending on different amounts of armour I'm wearing. I also think that the barbute looks a little goofy when worn with little other armour, as its a full face helmet, which suggests you're going for protection over mobility, but if the rest of your kit doesn't say that as well then you'll look weird.

As for the breastplate, if you can try it on and it fits properly then go for it. Otherwise, wait and get one made for you from a "proper" armourer. You'll probably find pretty soon that you want a fauld as well, so its probably actually not going to be a saving really at all, as you'll either have to buy another one, or get someone to add a fauld to the breastplate you already own.

I'm not aware of duke Henry's work, but be aware that the fashion for doublets and hose is tight. And by that I mean very tight. Attached is a picture of me having gone down to doublet and hose for archery practice. The doublet is about right, but the hose are getting old now and have gone a bit baggy. You can guess how tight they should be from knowing that. Anyway, if you can't get joined hose that fitted its still OK for a person in the lower echelons of society to be wearing split hose, as long as they are tight and come up nice and high, as I'm wearing here: link, as most of the time you should be wearing a cote over your doublet that should come to at least mid thigh. This is because the laws of the time made it illegal for anyone under the rank of knight to show his bottom, weather clad in hose or not.

Hope this helps.
Attachments
Archery in doublet and joined hose
Archery in doublet and joined hose
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Why don't you wear your mail under your jack?
In the 15th century when you see mail it is more likely to be under other armour rather than on top of it.
And if you want to go up in the world and portray a man at arms then you'll need to consider not just the stuff you fight in but your soft kit and any LH kit you have as well, there are already too many knights in shining armour who spend the day wandering around in shabby hose with their *rse hanging out.
The right kit costs but if you know the right people and cultivate the right contacts you might be able to get stuff from fellas up grading or clearing out.
What group are you with by the way?
Maybe we could meet and swop ideas at a future event.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

oh i see so get well tailored hoes :D same type of bad happenings happened to my old shabby pair...they went baggy, i bought an already used pair off another member in my group... and well classic (completley uneducated re-enactor mistake) i put me hoes in the wash and then I TUMBLE DRIED them ¬¬!! obv they shrunk but the knees wer still baggy tho which was amusing... besides the crotch dint fit properly anyway *gloats* lol they seemed to be an ok pair but the crotch piece dint fit the hoes properly at all.

I'll make sure to get me sen some decent soft kit, ive also always liked the long doublets/coat thingys i think they look much much nicer.... but i dont know weather coverin my *rse would be a good thing, i dont think my lass would liek that very much lol

Atm i just wear my black shirt un-tucked with a belt round it, from talkin to a guy called Dave Rushworth he said that the more Military style was to have it that way, still covers my *rse any how :)

Oh and really i wasnt going for the kinght in shining armour look, i was wanting really to go for; now youve educated me a bit more :), either un-visored or visored salet... or eitehr just go for a kettle helm, bevour, chainshirt with breast plate over the top, probs some arm protection, maybe cheap pain of spaulders and some arm braces, also get me self some knee cops, but i may buy my self some thy high boots just abit of added protection to the lower leg.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Jaybells »

Oh and im part of the Howards... unfortunatley dont know our next event, for some reason the group is leaning more towards FULL living history type of thing... maybe the occasional battle but there wanting to do more and more at Murton Park Viking Village... not to keen on it all myself.. its great though i get my own house there and a full village to our group, even though the Howards are gettin really thin on numbers recently, anyway i'll stop drifting, i love to go to all the main events like Bosworth and Blore, but especially Tatton thats the nicest event in teh year i think, i did Tewkesbury 08 but i didnt think much to it, to big an event and the field was far to crowded.

So yeah if we wer to meet up, chances are mainly, Tatton, (maybe Tewkes), Bosworth, Blore Heath, (possibley Kelmarsh multi-period) and if im helping out there, maybe Berekley Skirmish.

Im Jamie Ireland btw i dont know if were already acquainted.

Cheers guys :D
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Zachos »

I'm not too sure who Dave Rushworth is, but I'm afraid to say that a black shirt untucked with a belt to hold up your hose is a HUGE re-enactorism and has never been evidenced in any contemporary account, painting, or extant find. All evidence so far says all shirts are either bleached or unbleached linen (white or natural linen colour), and that they are always worn underneath a doublet which holds up the hose. Hose being tied to a belt is possibly right for the 12th century (don't quote me on that though. Not my period), but after that the next time you see it is on re-enactment fields.

The minimum you should be wearing for a "living history" presentation of a 1470s soldier is thus:

Boots
Hose
Braes (underpants. Your choice of split or joined hose dictates the style of braes)
Shirt (untailored, white linen, with no collar or ties)
Doublet (tight with slightly puffed shoulders on sleeves. Hose pointed to doublet. Doublet can be with or without sleeves, although with is probably more common)
Cote (looser, with quite a few different styles. The fuller the cut the more pleats you can have, which shows greater status.)
Belt and pouch (you really shouldn't wear these unless you are also wearing your cote, and should never wear the pouch into battle)
Hat or hood. (not necessary for someone of your age, but definitely useful when it gets cold in the evening.)

That soft kit will set you back quite a bit, and I don't have mine to a state where I'm 100% happy with it, but its really the minimum we should all have if doing living history presentations.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Sophia »

For good soft kit you will need to talk to either Debs Lough or Jackie Phillips (Cloaked and Dagger'd) who can be seen at TORM or ILHF in the spring or alternatively buy Sarah Thursfield's book "The Medieaval Tailor's Assistant" and learn to sew,

Ask around in your group and see if there is anyone who can advise/help. If they are heading toward more LH then they will probably be focusing on soft kit being very accurate. Please remember that accurate soft kit when out of armour is as an important a part of your portrayal as your battlefield kit.

Finally - if you are prepared to invest in kit then also get some really good handmade turn shoes - Plantagenet Shoes or Ana Period Shoes. Again talk to people in your group about what styles are best.
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Chris, yclept John Barber
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Chris, yclept John Barber »

Jaybells wrote:Atm i just wear my black shirt un-tucked with a belt round it, from talkin to a guy called Dave Rushworth he said that the more Military style was to have it that way, still covers my *rse any how :)
Zachos is right: untucked black shirt is a big no-no in every way.

Firstly, black is a difficult colour for dyeing. With the dyes available at the time, you can get black with almost no fastness, so the colour changes to rusty brown on the first sunny day. Or you can get a black which stays black, but rots the cloth away and the garment falls apart quickly. Or you can get a colour-fast stable dye which doesn't rot the cloth if you're very rich - it was a very expensive option. If you could afford it. you'd buy an item that colour to go on top of other stuff to show off your wealth, not hide it away by using it on a shirt.

Secondly, your hose point to your doublet or petty-cote. You can't wear your shirt untucked unless you are wearing them pointed to a belt, which is wrong.

Finally, the fashion for the time was to look smart, and wear clothes shaped to show off your fine figure. Like the fine rump you say your girlfriend admires. An untucked shirt covers that up completely, so ask her whether she prefers to see your bum clad in formfitting tight garments, or a flapping 'skirt'.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

A book I'm reading has an interesting take upon black cloth which was becoming more popular as the middle ages wanned.
Basically although expensive it was becoming (with increased trade and expertise) cheaper. If you could wear something that was really black it was a sign of considerable wealth (more than a baggy arsed hose wearing billman would posses) but there were lots of "black but not quite black options" avaliable.
So it is more a case of being very, very unlikely rather than beyond the realms of possibility. After all Philip the Good wore black all his life (it was a colour assicated with morning by the end of the 14th century)
Coversely really, really white cloth was also a sign of wealth (as it meant that you could afford to do absolutly no work that would get you dirty and that you could replace it as soon as it did get grubby), which was why successive Dukes of Savoy wore only white.
Now yellow is a nice easy to make and undistingushed colour as is blue.
If you look at images of art that feature the "lower orders" they certainly don't have clothing as well fitted or tight as those worn by courtiers, but is this because they aer being depicted as ruffians and beasts or because they needed to wear more pratical, harder wearing clothes that allowed them to bend, lift, chop, hammer away, etc.
Late 15th/early 16th century art does show men with hose attached to their belts and a german bishop suggests that this practice originated in Florence and was to do with Italains all being raving poftas just itching to undo their belt buckles, bend over and take it like a man, but this doesn't mean that it did, was common or took place.
It could mean that by wearing your black shirt with your hose tied or tucked into your belt you're saying (to the medieval world) I'm a mad rich homosexual from Florence desperate for some cottaging action, take me big boy.
(And if that is the case, then who am i to judge.)
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Colin Middleton »

Hi Chris, I think I remember you, but I was a little distracted that day! Thank you for self-lessly saving me from that deadly shot! :D

Wear your coat to mid thigh length, then you're decent and not flashing al the other girls (anything less is the MA equivalent of a builders bun :sick: ) and your lass can enjoy you to herself.

Be careful buying clothes off of the peg, fit is very important and very had to get right at a guess.

I'd not say that doublets should be tight, so much as fitted (i.e. they don't squeese you, but they do follow the lines of your body, unlike modern clothes) and it's very important that the shoulders of the doublet aren't down on your arms like modern clothes (I've probably said that already, but it's important enough to say 3 or 4 times), or the body will try to go up as your arm does and you really want your hosen to stay where they are. If you catch me at a show (or come to one of our practices), I'll explanin what I mean about the doublet better.

Best of luck.
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Chris, yclept John Barber »

Colin Middleton wrote:(anything less is the MA equivalent of a builders bun :sick: )
Can you provide provenance for the builder's bun? I hope it contains bacon. Did it include brown sauce?
Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives - it's 1183 and we're barbarians.

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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Colin Middleton »

sorry "builders bum".

They put these keys too close togeather you know! :$
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by jellie-kat »

Seriously, it's ok! Let him cover his *rse. I don't want to see it!!
Actually, on the question of covering things...are balaclavas authentic too?? Cause he could invest in one of those if he wants :devil:
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by Colin Middleton »

:D

Next you'll be saying that you want him wearing his hood backwards!
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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Post by jellie-kat »

Ooooh now there is an idea... :lol:
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