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Re: [SCA-JML] Japanese Armor on Budget

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  • Solveig Throndardottir
    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... The hardest parts are of course the helmet and the gauntlets. I suggest investing money and effort in making a
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 8, 2006
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      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      > In need of Japanese-style armor.Constraints: College student
      > budget.Solution please?

      The hardest parts are of course the helmet and the gauntlets. I
      suggest investing money and effort in making a
      Japanese style kabuto. You can, provided you know what your doing and
      have access to the tools, turn out a
      respectable kabuto for about $20.00. The gauntlets are the other big
      problem, and I will let others talk about
      their solutions. The other parts can generally be made out of
      plastic and lacing cord. Regardless, I am fairly
      confident that I know people with less disposable income than you
      have who are turned out in rather good
      looking equipment.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar
    • b1laxson
      Odd that I should happen to choose to wander by this list today to see the asking of low-budget Japanese armor. Be sure to check this group s link list at:
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 8, 2006
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        Odd that I should happen to choose to wander by this list today to see
        the asking of low-budget Japanese armor.

        Be sure to check this group's link list at:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sca-jml/links/Armour_000977359482/

        As others are pointed out the helm and gauntlet are the harder parts.
        I do not use self made for those put trust to skilled artisans. Notes
        no those immediately below followed by the rest of the kit:


        On the helm:

        I am still wearing an early Konrad helm even though its Normanish. A
        kabuto can be self made and there are patterns out there. However,
        check that the pattern you are using is intended for SCA use. There
        are many "ceremonial" designs that do not meet SCA standards. Most
        notable is the presence of those curved bits on the sides near the
        temples and large crests... those we Marshalls often disallow due to
        the possible damaging of the opponents rattan weapon... which in turn
        puts you and others at risk.

        On the gauntlets:
        There is no proper Japanese gauntlet that I have found/seen that keeps
        up to the SCA-impact sport. You will likely need to get some "western"
        ones. You can however extend your shirt/arm covering to cover them up.


        Torso:
        There are indeed many patterns out there including those under this
        group's link list (see above).
        The larger number of plates/scales reflect a richer/higher samurai.
        There are some examples of Ashigaru "grunts" wearing large plate armor.
        I also made up my own, known to the pleasure or horror of
        Ealdormereans. Given that it is based on large broad plates it is
        fairly simple to make. Only the shoulder tops have 2-way curves. Most
        is just mono curves to go around my body.
        Many real samurai armor have zero coverage on the spine. Some had it
        as an added piece. Some nickname it a "coward's plate." I had the
        misfortune in the mid-90s to fall off a roof. My almost full height
        single rear plate is what I call a "built in spinal board". You rarely
        will get there but I do suggest if the pattern you use is missing
        spinal coverage you add it in somehow.

        Arms:
        You have a few choices here. There are examples of mail covering for
        the arms and of course those famous sideboards. Once again the cutting
        nature of the katana led to armor being poor for SCA-impact sport. You
        will need non-japanese elbow protection.
        Some wear european standard-SCA elbows but a kimono over top.
        I did something else wierd for my own armor and used a closing
        hardshell forearm (which has some precedence) and added one tiny and
        one large plate that articulates to cover the back side of the elbow.
        My upper arms have earned some reputation (good&bad) as among the
        largest wings ever seen in Ealdormere. There is indeed precedence for
        them being that big. The size is such that they are my upper arm
        coverage reaching almost all the way to aforementioned elbow plate
        when my arm is extended.

        Legs:
        Well once again we find that the Japanese cutting weapon style doesnt
        match to well to the smack and impact of SCA fighting. Some wear
        European standard SCA legs&knees covered by baggy pants.
        There is common on the samuri shin protection but the knee protection
        is flexible, thus not upto SCA standard.
        Only rarely is there a picture showing these shin guards coming up
        high enough to offer hard protection to the knee. This is the style I
        adapted with the greaves extending up the side of my knee. Hidden
        under pants is articulated U shaped pieces that complete the knee
        coverage no matter how I move. This leading to an uncommon "ankle up"
        rather than "thigh down" knee armor.
        For the thighs we also run into the samurai and SCA not working
        together. There are even references to samurai taking off their thigh
        guards because they are so cumbersome.
        Thus for thighs I recommend you wear something that gets covered. As I
        was working with plastic this is a series of 4" wide strips cut to
        different lengths, crudely laced together and covered by the same
        baggy pants that cover the knee articulations.


        >phew<

        I probably have my patterns for some of these around someplace on my
        hard drive. If you want them email me directly at b1laxson@...

        The biggest expense for your armor is going to be the choice of
        material. First of all the helmet requires metal as per our Marshall's
        handbook. The rest can be something else.

        For the "sam-like green" I used 3/16" ABS plastic obtained in a 4'x8'
        sheet from PlasticWorld near Steeles&Dufferin. I am actually thinking
        of trying 1/8" (2/16) the next time. Cost of the plastic was around
        $350 - $400 IIRC. This sheet provided enough for torso, legs and arms.
        Switching to 1/8" would also reduce the cost.

        Some patterns you will find on the web use a much lower cost of
        plastic barrels. Quite suitable for starter armor.

        A standard CDN Tire heat gun is sufficient to heat up the plastic,
        provided you also learn to apply water to the outer layers when the
        heated area gets to 'melt' before the heat goes through. By cooling
        off the outside the heat already placed on the inside has time to
        migrate deeper into the plastic. Alternating heat and water you can
        make plastic of even 3/16" bendable. While holding it in shape dose it
        in a tub of water.
        The only real restraint I found is that compound/saddle curves...
        curves that bend in two different directions like a bowl... where very
        hard to do. Also the longer pieces, like the 12"+ front torso plate,
        where hard to heat the whole bend line at once.

        It should be added that large curve plates are very good at
        deflection. At Trillium Baron Cynred commented that my armor was "very
        skippy". He repeatedly told me not to take his spear thrusts as it was
        sliding off... which really is what armor is supposed to cause happen.

        >phew<

        Brian Goodheart the Green
        Green, not just for Europeans


        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Kathy Dickson <akabara17@...> wrote:
        >
        > In need of Japanese-style armor.Constraints: College student
        budget.Solution please?
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > Express yourself with gadgets on Windows Live Spaces
        > http://discoverspaces.live.com?source=hmtag1&loc=us
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Kaneki no Ryuto Akimitsu
        ... budget.Solution please? ... On the nature of Gauntlets that work for those of us of heavy fighting calibur, or some such poo-hockey... The pattern by Sir
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 11, 2006
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          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Kathy Dickson <akabara17@...> wrote:
          >
          > In need of Japanese-style armor.Constraints: College student
          budget.Solution please?
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > Express yourself with gadgets on Windows Live Spaces
          > http://discoverspaces.live.com?source=hmtag1&loc=us
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >


          On the nature of Gauntlets that work for those of us of heavy
          fighting calibur, or some such poo-hockey...

          The pattern by Sir Hadi works if you don't mind having a mitten to
          cover your whole hand at once. To give credit where credit is due,
          his is constructed with leather. In some kingdoms, this works.
          Being as most of my fighting injuries happen to my hands, I
          personally do not suggest it.

          My modifications to Sir Hadi's pattern, as strange as that may be,
          are mostly lacing and plastic. Yes basic barrel plastic and camping
          cord lacing. It works for me; mind you, I am covering the whole
          thing in a mitten and attaching them directly to my kote.

          This makes a very striking spike to most 'Purists'. They like just
          the pieces on the back of the hand, where that leaves the fingers
          open. If you do your research, they you will see that even full hand
          pieces were toggled to the kote in later periods.

          My biggest tip:
          Research, make a pattern, research some more, try western gauntlets
          out, research, make a second pattern, and then be ready to scrap all
          but your research in the pursuit of something that works for you.

          On the subject of a budget:
          Surplus stores usually have a whole barrel for less than $10;
          sometimes as much as $20. Even so, you can make a whole set of armor
          out of one barrel. Plastic is my suggestion.


          That's my two koku for the day.

          Kaneki no Ryoto Akimitsu
          - Goshi of Uroko
          - Eldren Hills, Ansteorra
        • Maddalena Alessandra
          Armour on a budget, If you decide to go plastic check with any farmers in your area raising horses or cows for plastic feed barrels (50 gallon). They might
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 11, 2006
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            Armour on a budget,
            If you decide to go plastic check with any farmers in
            your area raising horses or cows for plastic feed
            barrels (50 gallon). They might give you a good
            deal(free even) since they are commonly considered the
            leftover container and as such useless/trash. Note
            you might possible need 2 depending on you armour
            style.
            I am currently replacing some of my armour with
            plastic for weight reasons

            Best of luck,
            Baronessa Maddalena Alessandra Godwin
            Blue Sapphyre for Gleann Abhann

            --- Kaneki no Ryuto Akimitsu <sokkaiya23@...>
            wrote:

            > --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Kathy Dickson
            > <akabara17@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > In need of Japanese-style armor.Constraints:
            > College student
            > budget.Solution please?
            > >
            >>
            > On the subject of a budget:
            > Surplus stores usually have a whole barrel for less
            > than $10;
            > sometimes as much as $20. Even so, you can make a
            > whole set of armor
            > out of one barrel. Plastic is my suggestion.
            >
            >
            > That's my two koku for the day.
            >
            > Kaneki no Ryoto Akimitsu
            > - Goshi of Uroko
            > - Eldren Hills, Ansteorra
            >
            >




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