I am not a fighter but my boyfriend was for many years and is
getting back into armor for this upcoming Estrella War. I asked him
to reply to your request for armor information. This is what he had
It's not patriotism that makes me avoid buying the inexpensive
foreign made armor. If I am going to entrust my life to my armor, I
want to make sure that its been made for how I'm going to use it.
Chances are the folks in Pakistan, or other places, who are knocking
together bits of wall hanger armor made from metals of uncertain
history, have never heard of the SCA. Relatively few people in the
world are even aware that we engage in full speed, full contact
martial arts with clubs, often in groups of 1000 or more people at a
There is good armor, and there is cheap armor. In the past 20
years, I have yet to find good, cheap armor. Good armor costs
either time or money. It's up to you which you want to invest. If
you have the time, you can build your own. Talk to the other
fighters in your area, and see who is building their own armor and
ask them for help. Many of them will be more than willing to teach
you how to make your own. If you keep track of the time and
materials you use to make each piece of armor, and multiply your
time by what you consider a living wage, you will probably be
surprised by what that armor is worth.
If you have more money than time, and some people actually do, you
can buy what you need. Not all armorers have Internet web sites
either. Probably your best source of information will again be
other fighters in your area. Visit the local fighter practice and
ask them about their armor, especially if you see something you
like. You will probably find one or more people who make armor
locally for sale. Whether your armorer is on-line or local, make
sure you find out what kind of a reputation he has. I know of a few
who can work wonders with metal, but have a hard time meeting
production schedules. The local fighters will know and will let you
know as well, who can be depended on and who can't. If at all
possible, meet your armorer.
If you can at all manage it, go to a war, and visit the merchants
there. The bigger the war, the better. The competition insures the
best prices, and you can actually see and handle the merchandise.
You can also talk to the merchants about their products, and about
their competition. It's amazing what you can learn.
In the last few weeks I have been dealing with Windrose Armoury
for a new helmet, pauldrons, and gorget. I have been quite pleased
with their products and service. They are not cheap, but their
quality is outstanding.
Good luck to you.
Father Michael (Eskalya))