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Re: Hard over soft armor

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  • Stefan li Rous
    Mike asked:
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 29, 2010
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      Mike asked:
      <<< I had a question about the "hard over soft" rule for Armored Combat protection. Although each kingdom does seem to have different standards, would a traditional steel coat of mail over a thick padded gambeson meet those requirements? Or would you still need additional armor on the elbow joints, kidneys, ect? >>>

      Others have answered the SCA legal requirements. You don't see mail used in SCA as the main body armor. It would be nice to see it used more.

      There are several reasons for this.
      1) Mail is beneficial mostly against edged weapons. One of the reasons that clubs and maces were used was that they kill and damage by concussion and the blow itself. Plate armor tends to spread the blow better than mail.

      SCA weapons are much more like clubs than edged weapons, so much of the advantage of the mail isn't being used.

      2) Mail by itself will protect from an edged weapon, but as mentioned above, it doesn't deflect or absorb the force of a club well. This is why you need to wear a gambeson underneath the mail. Unfortunately, much of the US is rather warm compared to Europe and particularly late-period Europe during the "little ice age", so that padded gambeson can get rather hot. Making the gambeson out of natural cloth, particularly linen, and being careful with what you stuff it, can help.

      3) Making mail can take a long time. I started my mail shirt when I joined the SCA 20 years ago. It still isn't finished because it has no sleeves. Partly because I hadn't figured out how to go from vest to sleeves and partly because I don't have the time I used to have. Commercially made, even riveted mail, shirts are now becoming much more affordable than they were. Not cheap, though.

      If you wish to try your hand at making mail, you might wish to look at these files in the COMBAT section of the Florilegium:

      chainmail-beg-art (24K) 11/ 2/00 "Chainmaille Tutorial for Beginners" by Culann Mac Cruimeinn.
      http://www.florilegium.org/files/COMBAT/chainmail-beg-art.html

      chainmail-msg (132K) 1/ 8/08 Making chainmail. Mail armor. References.
      http://www.florilegium.org/files/COMBAT/chainmail-msg.html

      chnmail-clean-msg (6K) 10/18/01 Cleaning mail armor in period and today.
      http://www.florilegium.org/files/COMBAT/chnmail-clean-msg.html

      merch-chainml-msg (24K) 4/29/06 Chainmail merchants and supplies.
      http://www.florilegium.org/files/COMBAT/merch-chainml-msg.html

      Stefan

      --------
      THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
      Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas StefanliRous@...
      **** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org ****
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