Selecting the Right Armor / Armor Resources
As one can see, there is a great variety in the types of armor
available, the pieces one can use, and the time periods and
geographical locations to which that certain bit of armor belongs.
With all these variables, selection of armor can be daunting to even
the most avid practitioner of medieval combat re-creation.
To help you decide which armor is right for you, consider the
What is my role as a fighter? If you tend to do a lot of
scouting and dashing ahead to cut off enemy movements, then you may
want to think twice about equipping yourself in a heavy, loud, hot
harness of full plate armor like Herr Lantze on the right. Likewise, if you tend to stand at the
front line, and take and give hits quite a bit, then you may suddenly
appreciate the protection of at least a brigandine. Think first and
foremost about the role you tend to play (or would like to
play) as a fighter when considering armor options.
How concerned am I with authenticity? If this is a big
issue for you, then you will want to think hard about the region and
time period upon which you focus, and decide accordingly. However,
while authenticity is important, it needn’t be the end-all be-all of
your decision-making process. Few people will look askance at you if
you do some modest mixing and matching.
Where do I usually get hit? Everybody has spots that
habitually get left open. While this can be remedied to a point with
good training and technique, there is also a reason that
medieval warriors wore armor: nobody is perfect. Everybody gets hit.
If you have armor on the place in which you get hit, then your day
will be considerably better. Do you get hit in the arms a lot?
Perhaps you should look at getting a pair of bracers. Do you keep
getting legged to death? Invest in some greaves. Armor the parts that
need it first, before you start adding pieces for extra insurance.
What is my budget? Here’s the kicker. Armor is expensive.
Even the cheap stuff is expensive. It can be made, but it requires
some trial and error, as well as specialized tools in some cases. If
you have a low budget, get together with some of your fighting
friends and experiment with a few leather pieces. If you have wads of
money to burn, feel free to get a custom-made harness of 16th century
Gothic plate armor. Fit your armor to your budget as well as the rest
of your criteria.
There are hundreds of books and thousands of websites devoted to
armor. Whether your interest is in studying to make your own armor or
simply buying it piece at a time from armorers here and there, there
is a wide variety of resources available to you. Below are a few
places to start looking:
Research & Construction Techniques:
Armour Research Society: Far and away one of the best sources of information and research in the area of armor.
Higgins Armory: Home of Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng, this museum is a fantastic place to go in order to see some top-notch pieces. Also the home of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild.
The Arador Armor Library: This
place has a wonderful array of articles to browse and some good,
solid no-nonsense history behind its statements. While not everything
you read on the internet is true, this page can probably be trusted.
Bladeturner Armory: Full
of great patterns and articles. Be selective in which
patterns/articles to pay heed to. The good ones will generally stand
Therion Arms: Not only
does this site have a decent selection of its own product, but its
resources section (the “Links List”) is extensive and covers armor,
weapons and much more.
Tailor: Decent, affordable, mostly authentic armor. Good choice of name, as well.