[SCA-AE] Changes to armored combat regs
duane at velocity.net
Wed Feb 7 16:33:50 EST 2007
Hello List Denizens,
I'm going to weigh in on this one. Period shields were made from
iron/steel, wood ( not plywood) or wood joined together with iron/steel
bands. The wood based shields may or may not have been covered with
cloth or leather. The iron/steel shields mostly fell in to the parade or
ceremony class and were for the most part (except bucklers) not used for
combat because of the weight and/or expense issue.
Notice there is no mention of aluminum, titanium or other modern alloys
such as stainless steel. These did not exist in-period.
If you want to ban plastic shields based on non-period materials
argument, then aluminum, titanium and stainless must go as well.
So what's wrong with plastic if aluminum and titanium are allowed? I
don't think there's anything wrong with them unless weight is taken in
to consideration. But if you're going to pull the non-period weight per
square foot argument then aluminum and thinner titanium shields must go.
Some plastics are not up to the job. Not all plastics are created
equally. Stiffness or the ability to absorb a shot without deforming
may be an issue. However, if you are allowed to fight with one-handed
weapons without a hunk of flimsy plastic hanging from your arm, surely
having a bit more protection in the way of even flimsy plastic is a step
in the right direction, is it not?
As far as I can see, the only reason to get rid of plastic shields is
that some of them are ugly. I am not referring to the ones made from
ABS sheet, but the ones made from ribbed plastic drums. No matter how
many times I look at these they just plain look wrong. But that is my
personal opinion and makes for a weak argument given all the other
"funky", non-period things that would be allowed on the field.
In short, you cannot play the authenticity card or the weight card
unless you want to look at other materials as well. The flimsiness card
may be an issue, but can be negated if the armour worn under the shield
is sufficient and the shield is reinforced sufficiently to allow it to
do its job without being a safety hazard.
So I have to wonder why they (plastic shields) are being singled out?
Given all the other non-period stuff I see fighters wearing on the
field; I honestly have to say that I have no clue as to why.
On to other stuff -
While plastic is not period it does make a good substitution for
whalebone in armour. Since buying and selling whale products is illegal
in most countries, we cannot get whalebone to use in our armours.
(Whether or not you believe in the reasons for not hunting whales is
irrelevant - currently you cannot get whalebone.) So why not use a
similar material? Plastic is light and cheap and works well in the
intended applications. At no time was exposed whalebone used in the
Middle Ages (at least to my knowledge). However, whale bone was used
under leather and/or cloth in the form of splints and plates. I have
been known to use the stuff myself. In the shop I refer to it as Saudi
Arabian Whalebone and I use it as such.
Rattan is not period for Western Europe. However the use of whalebone
wasters/tourney clubs was. More often then not these would be covered
in silver foil. Again, you can't get whalebone, so what should you use?
Plastic or rattan. Both work and are reasonable substitutes. The SCA
favors rattan. When rattan is covered in silver tape I can see the
similarity to silver wrapped whalebone or even wooden tourney weapons.
I can't see it when other strange color combinations are used (pink and
florescent blue spiral wound weapons come to mind), but that is my
personal opinion and not a rule. (At least for heavy combat)
So there it is. Can't pin this one on the authenticity police because
for all the reasons I've stated above, a lot of other things would have
to change as well.
So now for the big question, do we really want period shields? Here's
some things to consider: except for steel bucklers most period shields
go away in a matter of a couple of dozen blows. Who would want that?
They are expensive to make correctly. (My cavalry shields for the Battle
of Hastings re-enactment came out to $125.00 each without labor costs
included.) and some of the shapes available don't work well for fighting
from your knees.
I'm sure people could list a myriad of other reasons as well. These are
the ones that immediately come to mind for me.
So what to do? I have always thought period looking was a good
compromise. Cover your aluminum and plastic with canvas. Nobody will
be able to tell the difference. ( Unless they are ribbed! )
Alexander Caithnes - Armouring Laurel
>From: sca-aethelmearc-bounces at lists.andrew.cmu.edu
>bounces at lists.andrew.cmu.edu] On Behalf Of Broom
>Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 1:28 PM
>To: AEthelmearc list (SCA)
>Subject: Re: [SCA-AE] Changes to armored combat regs
>> My apologies if I offend.
>Can't see how you could, but there's always a way...
>Liked your post, Eirik, except I'm curious about one statement you
>> I'd say that makes a strong argument for allowing an aluminum shield
>versus a "period built iron shield".
>I'm unaware of any such iron shields - and dubious that a mere human
>could carry one. Iron-bound edges on wooden shields, perhaps (or bound
>with other metals)...
>Just a pedantic quibble - and I'm eagerly awaiting someone to prove me
>' | Broom IAmBroom @ gmail . com
>' | cellphone: 412-389-1997
>' | 30 Huston Rd, Oakmont PA 15139
>'\|/ "Discere et docere", which means:
>'/|\ "We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work
>//|\\ is the same." - Carlos Castenada
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