Successful field test

I took Barnet and Aedon down to the Fynnon Gath practice yesterday and wore my new greaves. They worked great! Barnet seemed to think one was rotating a bit. I'm not sure if it was or if it's just that one of them has a twist in it that I couldn't get out. In any case, there was no binding or pinching, and the rest of my leg harness seems to work the same.

There's a fairly large overlap between the demigreave and the greave, and the demigreave is significantly wider than the greave. It makes me want to rebuild that. Really looking at the leg harness I kind of want to rebuild the whole thing. The articulation isn't pretty, and the lames don't dissapear like they should. Having another leg harness would give me one to get chewed up on concrete and a prettier one for events. Anyway, the arm harness has to be higher priority.

I trimmed the belts on the leg harness a bit and saved myself 4oz. Switching to the steel greaves I lost about 3lbs, so my total harness weight loss so far is 11lbs 12oz. My weight loss has been 20lbs. I managed to hit my goal of 30lbs lost between me and my armour!

I did the first rev of the vambrace pattern over the weekend, basing it on the Chartres arm harness I was working on a couple years ago. I dug up a bunch of other Black Prince pictures and was frustrated to find that there's realy very little detail in his vambraces. They're depicted as slightly tapered, seemless cylinders. So it's possible that they were really cylinders, and slipped on like my present vambraces. Since such a thing isn't depicted elsewhere and no extant examples of that style have survived as far as I know, I'm skeptical if that's really how they worked. It seems more likely that they were two pieces and hinged like the Chartres arms, or used an applied hinge like many other 14th century arm harnesses.

I've been kicking around a few dream pieces I'd like to get down on virtual paper.
1. A great bascinet. David brought over a nice armour book which had a good mid 15th century German effigy with two sweet great bascinets. They show more details than any of the King Renee examples, and they're contemporary with Renee. The face is protected by what looks like twisted square stock, which would be fun to black smith, though I'll have to find a good way to not let that chew up people's weapons. Maybe it can just be sanded lightly. I'm thinking I can do this in a few pieces of 14ga 4130. I still haven't seen the top back clearly, so they could be done like some jousting helms, with rivets along the top back edge, kind of like great helms have. If I'm being honest, it's more likely that it was all raised in one piece.
2. Raising a Norman conical. I have a piece of 12 guage just itching to be made into something like this, and I'd love to do it. I think I'll need to make better tongs first so I don't drop it and burn the crap out of myself too many times.
3. New gauntlets. Lighter, hourglass, 14th century style.
4. A new buckler with my device on it. I'm thining of doing it in 0.032 4130, repouse-ing the gryphon and the crescent, russetting the chief so it's red, and blackening the bottom. It would probably work best as two pieces so the dovetails in the middle work out well, and it would let me make the piece a little bigger, since the size of the forge might limit the diameter. I'm thinking of rivetting the pieces to some thicker stock so they don't warp like crazy in the quench. The dovetails would curl like doritos otherwise, I'm pretty sure.
5. A new surcoat. Mine are all ratty and sad.

For now at least, finishing the arms is top priority. I want to use them at Gulf War. Next I'm thinking gauntlets. At the very least I want to replace my ugly shield glove with a finger gauntlet. Realistically I'm not sure I can get that done by mid March on top of the arms.

I'm having some trouble reconciling some of the projects I want to do with my persona's time line. There's some super sexy mid 15th century stuff, like these great bascinets and some beautiful finger gauntlets in Churburg. But the rest of my kit is late 14th century. Some of it is so late 14th that few people will notice the 50 year mismatch, but I know it will bug me. I hate doing things this way, but I might have to do some research to find a way to justify doing what I want. Maybe it will show me a good comprimise.


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