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Thread: My new Byzantine pauldron and armoured sleeve

  1. #1
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    My new Byzantine pauldron and armoured sleeve

    Ages ago - it must be years - I mentioned on this forum that I had made a Byzantine klivanion and was working on reconstructing some lamellar sleeves for it based on contemporary ikons of military saints.

    Well, it's finally done - well, one sleeve at least. (I'll be doing the other one as I get time).

    The sleeve is based on several ikons. The clearest rendition is at http://www.culture.gr/2/21/218/218ci/00/l9-1.html . The pauldron is from several ikons as well, but the best rendition is at http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/byz...byzim_12a.html

    Hope you like it.
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  2. #2
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    About time

    Looks good.

  3. #3
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    Wink

    Ah, Dan. Such fulsome praise. I'm speechless.

  4. #4
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    heh

    How is the shoulder pauldron attached?

  5. #5
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    Very sneakily. I have no idea if it's correct, though there's a Khazar pauldron (it's at http://www.geocities.com/normlaw/khazararms , but unfortunately the site is temporarily unavailable - you should be able to see it if you follow the links, though) that has at least one part of the attachment I used.

    First, at top dead centre of the pauldron I put a hole (the Khazar pauldron has a metal "loop" rivetted on, but it serves a similar function.) Two laces from the shoulder of the klivanion come up through the hole and are tied off (in a bow).

    That holds it to the klivanion itself, but there's a danger of the thing flapping around when you move your arm, so I also put a small U-shaped bracket under the pauldron, in about the centre (held on with blind rivets). Then I passed a lace from an unoccupied hole in one of the sleeve scales up through the bracket and back down through the corresponding hole in the adjacent scale.

    It works amazingly well - the thing covers the shoulder very well, and follows the arm around as if it was glued there. Very happy.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Very nice indeed.

    I was under the impression though that the flaps on the arm are usually interpreted as probably being leather or linen pteruges rather that iron lamellae?

  7. #7
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    Yes, but it's exactly that - interpretation. There have been no archaeological finds, so all interpretations are perforce speculative.

    I think in some cases they may well be leather or padded fabric.

    But in others, the representations look much more - to me at least - like various forms of lamellar. And unlike the steppe races, Byzantine lamellar seems overall to have been of iron rather than leather.

  8. #8
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    That's so cool! I love the Byzantines...
    When wrestling is ended, the owners and the winner camels return home with proud and happiness while spectators are delighted of having an exciting day.

  9. #9
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    My goodness! I want to make that...
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  10. #10
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    Well, here's how - at least the sleeve. It's made of three panels of leather to which are attached steel lammelae - some by rivetting (at the top), but most by laces (which also connect the panels to each other).

    Note that you need a layer of leather bordering at the bottom to hold in the sharp corners of the bottom plates.

    The sleeve is attached by a strap to a buckle on the shoulder of the klivanion. The pauldron goes over that. It is laced to the shoulder through a hole at its top (you can see the "bow" in the photo above), and to the sleeve through a small bracket rivetted to the back of the pauldron (the lace goes through the two middle unused holes in the upper row of lames).

    I need to replace the leather, however. It's a little too thin - should be stiffer so it holds the cusp shapes at the bottom of each panel better as the laces pass over it.

    It's only a theoretical reconstruction, but it seems to work well (which is usually a good indication that I've got it right).

    BTW, the lames need to be considerably more curved than the ones on the torso of the klivanion, because of the smaller radius of the arm.
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    Last edited by Steven Lowe; 12-30-2005 at 04:09 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks a bunch, Steven! Now I have to figure how to show more metal than leather...
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  12. #12
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    Um . . . sorry Odysseas, I don't understand. In this design you can hardly see anything but metal.

  13. #13
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    Have you done any destructive testing on this design? How much protection does it seem to offer?
    When wrestling is ended, the owners and the winner camels return home with proud and happiness while spectators are delighted of having an exciting day.

  14. #14
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    I posted it before I realized it was just the sleeve. I meant to show mostly metal and not the red leather on the vest. Guess I was way too excited.
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  15. #15
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    I was aiming for something like Tim Dawson's version in Levantia, if I could make it. Can't find an image right now.
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  16. #16
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    Alina, I haven't yet had a chance to test it out in combat - I've only made one sleeve so far. Once I've finished it, I'll be wearing it in our usual (steel weapons) combats, so it should get a good work-out.

    Odysseas, Tim and I go back a long way - to 1986, actually.

    My klivanion (corselet) is a variation of his original version, but with the plates in adjacent rows off-set from each other instead of directly above each other. I'd pointed out to him several ikons showing these characteristics, and he kindly worked up the lacing pattern for me.

    The lames are rivetted top and bottom to the leather panels (Tim has concluded that this construction technique came into use in the mid-late 11th century - previously they'd been held with laces). Then one pair of holes in the middle of each lame is used to hold the lame onto the panel and the other is used to connect the panels to each other (see pics).
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  17. #17
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    There's a secondary lacing pattern on the back. It goes through the bottom holes in the plates, in case the front laces get cut, and to hold adjoining panels together and keep them from opening up like "venetian blinds" when you bend over.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks... the more pics the better. But, any information how I could make it like Mr. Dawson's? I can't find the link to his site.
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

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  20. #20
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    Thanks! I'll be sure to study that again!
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  21. #21
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    Ok... it seems that you both have the same basic design (except for the sleeves) but you have red leather all over- Mr. Dawson has black leather, which you can notice only if you try hard...

    Now, where can I find leather, and all those scales... And specific instructions, since I'm hardly a DIY kind of guy...

    Just curious: The leather panels are laced together? With what? Is it durable enough? I hope I don't have to wrap it around my torso every time...
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  22. #22
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    Oh, and how did you make the scales? And the leather, how do I get such a leather?

    Sorry for bombarding you, but I've got a craving for anything Byzantine!
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  23. #23
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    Odysseas, sorry I didn't reply earlier. I've been on holiday.

    I got someone to cut the metal into strips for me with an industrial guillotine, then I cut the scales to length and shape with a pair of metal "snips" (like scissors), and used a friend's industrial punch to make the holes.

    However, I'd recommend you get them professionally laser cut - a lot less work (though somewhat more costly), and making the holes can be included in the process. And all the plates will be identical. You'll need to make your own plates for the bottom row, however, and perhaps for the shoulders, as they are not the same as those of the rest of the torso. Or maybe you could cut them from the laser-cut ones.

    I used approximately 0.8mm steel (I cheated and used stainless). Keeping in mind that almost all the plates overlap (at least on the torso), any place you get hit is protected by two layers of leather and two layers of metal. So that's about 3mm of leather and 1.6mm of steel in all.

    I used (blue) shoelaces to do the lacing, but for my next one I'll be using home-made laces made of woollen thread turned into laces using a lucet (do a google search on 'lucet' and you'll see how they work. Or perhaps googling "french knitting" would get you better results). It's a long process making the laces this way, but I'm a glutton for punishment.

    The laces are plenty strong enough, but they tend to fray on the edges of the holes in the plates, and need to be replaced every now and then. Next time I'll make the holes in the leather smaller than the holes in the plates, so the laces are in contact with leather, not metal. I expect the lucetted laces to be strong enough, too. They might be even stronger - I'll find out when I try it.

    Here in Australia (and I'm sure in Greece as well) there are shops that sell leather and shoelaces - particularly to people who work leather (making shoes, purses etc) as a hobby, and for people who ride horses (there's a lot of leather in saddles, reins etc). The leather I use is about 1.5mm thick, though I think the sleeves would have been better with 3mm leather.

    Tim's design and mine are almost identical except for one small detail - the plates in adjoining rows are directly above each other in Tim's, while mine are offset by half the width of a plate (as in scale armour). Tim kindly worked out the lacing pattern for me after I pointed out to him examples of klivania with offset plates.

    I've prepared a drawing of how the sleeves are put together, and I'm working out drawings of how the torso plates work. However, I'm unwilling to post the torso lacing pattern on the Net, as Tim Dawson worked it out, not me. However, message me off the forum and I'll send them to you privately.

    I see you live in Athens. May I ask you a favour? I was at the Byzantine Museum in Athens and wanted a book called (in English) something like "5,000 years of Greek Jewelry", but didn't have any cash, and they wouldn't take my credit card. Is there any chance you could see if they still have the book (there are some very nice Byzantine examples in it) and how much it would cost?

  24. #24
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    Ah, holidays... how far they seem now with all the exams coming up... No need to apologise, Steven.

    Anyway, back to reality. Thanks for all the tips, I think I'll find a way to have them laser-cut... Hope it doesn't cost that much.

    I'll be pming you with my email address to send over those diagrams... Thank you once again for the effort.

    Sure, my route takes me from the Byzantine museum quite a lot, and it's only a 15 minute bus ride from here. I passed out of it less than an hour ago, if I had known I'd have checked!

    You want me to buy it and safekeep it until you come visit our fair country again, or would you trust me with S&H (the S&H costs are on me ) I certainly don't trust me with S&H, never done that before, but I can try. I don't want any money for the book, just a nice cheap bastard sword waster if you can come by it- they're pretty difficult to get here.
    War is brutality; Duelling, is art.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
    -Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"

  25. #25
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    Hi everybody,

    here is a picture from the Tomichov psaltire (sp?) from 1360. It depicts bulgarian heavy cavalry wearing lamellar armour, scale coifs and kettlehats - quite an interesting combination. Note, that the lacing on the lamellar is going upwards - the visible part is from the middle of the lamelle upwards, unlike the most byzantine sources.


    And here is a photo of the frescoes of Dragalevo monastery. This is again a bulgarian soldier, wearing some kind of scale armour, made from sqare-shaped plates.


    Greetings,
    Medka

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