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coat-of-plates-msg - 5/10/10


Coats-of-plates, scaled armor.


NOTE: See also the files: armor-msg, p-armor-msg, gambesons-msg, chainmail-msg, helmets-msg, gorgets-msg, armorers-lst, gauntlets-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: gdaub at mcis.messiah.EDU

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re:coat of plates

Date: 1 Dec 1993 14:38:30 -0500



   Sigurd HardTrader asked about some ideas for a coat of plates.  There

is an article in The Compleat Anachronist #2 about making a coat.  Also

you can check out Armour from the Battle of Wisby.  This book has many

patterns from actual coats of plates excavated from the 14th century battle.

I will try to give you some ideas (from memory):


   1) Horizontal and vertical plates:



                       / |  | \

                      |  |  |  |


         |  |  |  |  |          |  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  ------------  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  |          |  |  |  |  |


                     |          |



       This is the style of the coat in the CA#2.  It horizontal plates that

   are curved to fit the body in front, and vertical plates that wrap around

   the sides.  The CA#2 has 5 horizontal plates and 6 vertical plates on

   each side.  The top part is 3 vertical plates, the 2 outer ones curved

   for the arms.   In ABW, the number of horizontal plates ranges maybe 3 to

   maybe 6 or 7; to vertical plates also range in number.  There was no set

   number of plates, so you have a lot of leaveway.  The CA#2 coat will

   take about 20 plates.


   2) All vertical plates:



                       / |   | \

                      |  |   |  |


         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

         ------------|  |  |  |  |------------

                     |  |  |  |  |

                      \ |  |  | /




          This is similar to #1, but all of the plates are vertical.  Again,

       there is no set number.  There will probably be more plates than #1,



   3) Vertical plates in horizontal bands:



                       / |   | \

                      |  |   |  |


         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  -------------  |  |  |  |

         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |


                     |  |  |  |  |

                      \ |  |  | /



           This is sort of a combination of #1 and #2.  All of the plates

       are vertical, but the front is made up of horzontal bands of vertical

       plates.  This increases the number of plates, but might aid in mobility

       as the front can flex both sideways and up and down.


   These are just a few ideas.  There are also coats that have over 100 plates,

and are almost a cross between lamellar and scale armor.  If there is a style

that you are particularly interested in, and you can't find the books for it,

let me know.  I have copies of some of the plans and can give you exact sizes

and counts of the plates.  I hope this has been helpful.





| Gregory Daub                      |  Messiah College                   |

| Administrative Programmer         |  Computing Services                |

| Internet: gdaub at mcis.messiah.edu  |  Grantham, Pennsylvania 17027      |





To: markh at khyber

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 1994

Subject: Re: Seeking Scale Armor Advice


I am very familiar with the second type of armor you have described, in

ffolkes' The Armorer's Craft, I think that you can find a very good description

of the way in which that type of jack was constructed in period.


involved (straight up Jazeraint or scale armor) has several reasons behind it:

1)most of the extant examples that I know of (keep in mind most of the work I

do is with early period armor (Romano-Brit) involve sewn down scales.

that the bond between the bottom layer and the scales will last much longer:

there will be a smaller amount of direct pressure on the garment so there

will be no "pull through effect." plus  I think that the sinew will actually

last longer than something like the standard leather rivet will (which tends to

rust rather quickly I've found).


I too am currently working on a jazeraint (one involving a large number of

small circles based on the roman style of armor known as the lorica plumata)

and in my experimentation and experience with other's armor of that type, I

have found that all too often the fabric will begin to give way around the

rivets, and they will start too pull through.  Sewn on scales have the

advantage of not being able to "pull through" the fac

fabric backing unless it actuall rips or fails in some similar fashion.

For ornamental purposes the one rivet mehod of holding down scales will work

and last, but for continual combat use something stronger is required.


One more thing, if the sewn down scale does come off because the "thread"

breaks you have the advantage of a simple thread break which can be easily replaced, while if a rivet pulls through, then the garment itself is damaged.


I hope that what I have written makes some sense...

if you have any more questions, feel free to ask, I've been working on

different types of scale, lamellar, and other "piece" type armors for some

time and I might have some tips.


good luck,




From: Alan G. <102256.3503 at CompuServe.COM>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brigandine help

Date: 1 Aug 1995 02:39:50 GMT


>Were brigandines ever made with the plates rivetted between 2

layers of cloth/leather...


I've made a rendition of the coat of plates in the Met. From the

outside it looked authentic. Having never seen the original I went

with placing the plates between leather and velvet. Now after a

couple of years steady use the velvet needs replacing but the plates

still hang well from the leather and it still performs well (rides,

moves etc.).


I made a 4 pc vest from the leather to completely cover the plates

from the inside. This makes for a very warm suit. However it has

never chaffed the quilted aketon I wear beneath (talk about hot!).


Do ensure to sand/file the plate edges to prevent cutting of

materials after a little wear. This includes the holes that you



Alan G.



From: mike at srmdel.demon.CO.UK (Michael Lacy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: (re) Brigandine Help

Date: 1 Aug 1995 20:56:11 -0400


> I'm working on a brigandine, and I had a question.  Were brigandines ever

>made with the plates rivetted between 2 layers of cloth/leather instead of

>just inside 1?  I am concerned that the metal plates will wear on my arming

>doublet, and I thought that an inner layer of leather would prevent this.

>Right now I have a mail shirt to wear between the brigandine and the doublet,

>but I am thinking of going with mail gussets and a mail skirt once the

>brigandine is finished.  Will the plates wear out the doublet where there is

>no mail if I do this?


I have done lots of research on Brigandines, and no, there are no examples

of brigandine plates being sandwiched between layers of fabric or leather

(although later period "jacks of plates" are constructed like this).   And

yes, from my practical experience, they do tend to tear up a fabric arming

doublet. I would recommend wearing a light mail shirt under the brigandine

to protect the padding, as it seems was done in many period iconographical

sources. A leather jerkin would also be a good way of protecting the



Sir Michael DeLacy



From: sirb at hevanet.com (Phred Meyer)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brigandine help

Date: Tue, 01 Aug 1995 22:02:59 -0800

Organization: Sir Blackhand


gdaub at mcis.messiah.EDU wrote:

>    I'm working on a brigandine, and I had a question.  Were brigandines ever

> made with the plates rivetted between 2 layers of cloth/leather instead of

> just inside 1?


Leave the inside open for repair and flexability. Your gambison below may

ware, but that's normal. I have made two diffrent brigandines both with

two layers of cotton duck/denim on the outside. The plastic plates were

fastened with two two-piece leather rivets. To facilitate flexibility and

so they don't bind, the plates overlap the plate below it by about one

half inch. If you make the brigandine knee length you will only need

padding (and a cup) under it.  Leave a gap in the plate pattern at the

waist so you can put on a belt.


Y Blackhand KSCA,OL,OP

Omnia Pecuniae



From: pmartin at postoffice.newnham.utas.edu.au (Peter Martin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Brigandine help...

Date: Wed, 02 Aug 1995 15:06:56 -1100

Organization: University of Tasmania


Gentlemen: I have about 4 different references to armour plates being

in between 2 layers. The one that sticks in my mind currently is this...


   It mentions a stuffed (with wool or other padding) brigandine,

"interlined" (ie inbetween 2 layers) with "busk" which is another name for

whalebone or just bone in general. It's from an inventory in the 15th


   Mail me in 4 or 5 days and I'll try to have the reference at hand.





From: DMKEY at vnet.ibm.com (David Key)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brigandine help

Date: 3 Aug 1995 12:29:32 GMT

Organization: IBM (UK) Ltd, Hursley


gdaub at mcis.messiah.EDU writes:

>   I'm working on a brigandine, and I had a question.  Were brigandines ever

>made with the plates rivetted between 2 layers of cloth/leather instead of

>just inside 1?  I am concerned that the metal plates will wear on my arming

>doublet, and I thought that an inner layer of leather would prevent this.


I am no expert on brigandines, and I have (typically) just taken home a very

good article on surviving brigandines and illustrations of them so this is from

what I can remember about them, and from those I have seen.


1. The outer covering seems to have been made from Velvet or Fustian (Fustian

   is a tricky subject but may be similar to moleskin [that's what it's called in

   England ... actually it's a strong fine woven cotton cloth with a raised nap

   which was used in the C19th for workmens trousers and is still used for some

   hiking trousers etc.] although Fustian was probably half linen and half cotton).


2. There does not appear to have been a second internal lining as you



What I was wondering was ... what you were using as an arming doublet? This is

where I think you have the problem.


Several C15th illustrations show arming doublets made from (probably) several

layers of linen and fustian (as per the Jack and Doublet of fense ... though

probably less of them ... Jacks having typically at least 20 layers). In addition

many of these arming doublets are shown with black/dark strips running down

the collar, body and arms. These are often interpreted as leather (although

they may again be fustian) reinforcing strips ... possibly to protect the

seems/stitching of the main body of the doublet from precisely the wear and

chafing you are worried about.

I can probably get more info if required as other members of the groups

I belong to ... The White Company (1450-1500) and The Company of

St George ... know far more than I do.


I hope this helps


David Key,

Tel. (UK) 01962 818575,

MP 102, IBM Hursley Park, Hampshire, England



From: pmartin at postoffice.newnham.utas.edu.au (Peter Martin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Alternative coat of plates documentation

Date: 12 Jan 1996 05:50:19 GMT

Organization: University of Tasmania


A while back I found some very interesting documention, which then got

intricately hidden by my parents, and then I just found it again.

   What it boils down to is this: There are a million and one examples of

a layer of cloth or leather, with scales/plates on the inside.

   However, in some places in the SCA, there exist coats which have the

plates between a layer of gambo'-type-padding and the outer layer of

cotton or tapestry cloth or such like.

   Wanting to document this, I went to the State Library, and found the

following reference, in which I interpret "interlined" to be plates

between 2 layers of cloth.

   It's only a little reference, but I like it...



   This is taken from "The Armourer and His Craft", by Charles Ffoulkes.

The chapter is "The use of fabrics and linens", on page 87.


   It quotes an inventory of Edward IV, of 1470: "Item a doublet of

crimson velvet lined with hollande cloth, and interlined with busk"

   The book explains: "This may only be an ordinary doublet, or it may be

some kind of 'coat of fence' or 'privy coat' lined with plates of steel,

horn or whalebone. These "busks" of steel are found as late as the


                          Cormac the Traveller.



From: lobel at is.nyu.edu (Sheldon Lobel)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Help with Armor

Date: 4 Jun 1996 22:20:48 GMT

Organization: New York University


Robert W. Pastor (rpastor at grouper.pasco.k12.fl.us) wrote:

: Can anyone point me in the right direction for armor patterns. I

: would like to make my own armor (both leather and metal) for heavy

: fighting. I'm brand new at this and need some advice, patterns,

: techniques, etc.


If you're new to armouring, simple scale or brigandine provide

very good solution for body, thigs and the upper arm:

cut pieces three by two inches. place so that three is height, two is

width. punch three holes aproximately as shown:



| x      x     |  

|              |

|              |

| x            |

|              |

|              |


With leather or very strong fabric cut out a poncho so that it's a little longer than your waist.


Attach plates on to the poncho, either by riveting or tyeing, overlapping so that the upper plate covers the top holes of the lower and the left plate covers the side holes of the one to it's right.


Arange plates so that they allow your arms to move when you wear the



For thigh protection use similar fabric to make a skirt in two halves (a

left and a right rather than a front and back) - essentially, two

rectangles of fabric (each wide enough to cover the leg) attached to a

belt. Attach plates as above.


For upper arms, make two rectangles of fabric which will cover shoulder

and upper arm. attach plates as above.


Depending on the relative attractiveness  of the fabric and plates wear

with one or the other showing.


For forearms, make splints aprox one inch wide and a length that would be appropriate for your fore arm. punch three holes (one at each end and one at the middle). attach to a backing wide enough to encircle your arm. Do same for lower leg.


If you don't know what you are doing I recomend purchasing knee and elbow cups as well as gauntlets and helmet.


For more information (including explanations that require more

draftsmanship than possible in this medium) feel free to write or call.


Silk Road Designs


1802 Ocean Parkway, apt D16

Brooklyn, NY 11223





Nahum Kuzari



Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:21:55 +1200

From: Peter & Helen Lyon <lyonesse at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: [Lochac]  Plates for Brigandine

To: lochac at sca.org.au


Assuming you are after a brigandine rather than a coat of plates, they were

definitely in use by 1361 as there are two (#24 and #25) in "Armour from the

Battle of Wisby 1361" by Bengt Thordeman; #24 is front fastening, #25

fastens at the sides. This book was reprinted a few years ago by Chivalry

Bookshelf. The book is a rich source for CoPs as well.


Peter Lyon



Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 01:16:38 +1000

From: "woodrose1" <woodrose1 at optushome.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Plates for Brigandine

To: "'The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list'" <lochac at sca.org.au>




Still in business after all these years, apparently.  Saw this site around

1999.  You download their drawing program, draw up your bits, specify the

materials, qty's etc.  and "add to basket".  When I first saw the site I

thought -- lorica segmentata, Wisby plate, Spangen patterns...

Worth looking at for fun value at the least.  


Rudolf von der Drau

De-lurking (Suth Moot was so much fun, think I might start playing a bit



-----Original Message-----

From: Simon Miller <condotierri_au at yahoo.com.au>

Was wondering if anyone knew of a source of metal plates for making a

Brigandine vest for body armour?


Failing that a decent diagram of what size, how many and where to stick them on backing?





Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:42:05 -0700 (PDT)

From: Matthew Mole <matthew_mole at yahoo.co.nz>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Plates for Brigandine (Simon Miller)

To: lochac at sca.org.au


<<< Was wondering if anyone knew of a source of metal plates for making a Brigandine vest for body armour?


Failing that a decent diagram of what size, how many and where to stick them on backing?


Simon >>>


For diagrams see the CA0069 (9/93) The Development of the Coat of Plates. It has the best explanation and diagrams that I have found anywhere.





From: Matthew Mole <matthew_mole at yahoo.co.nz>

Date: April 14, 2009 7:39:11 PM CDT

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Difference between Brigandine and coat of plates.


Coat of plates

Earlier period larger plates worn for war. Originally worn by higher class nobles as a reinforcement to mail. Difficult to say when it appeared as early examples are hidden under long surcoates.



Smaller plates usually for lower class soldiers (brigand, brigandine, footsoldier) but also used by higher class people due to its flexibility. Commonly in 15thC manuscripts worn by archers and other common soldiers. In Italy light weight brigandines appear as a civilian defence against daggers.





From: "K. Marsh" <maelgwyndda at yahoo.com>

Date: August 19, 2009 11:59:39 AM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] Lamellar


Some folks have asked me lately about where I got my lamellar plates.  They are sold by Calontir Trim and here is the link: http://scintillaflaminia.com/test/armor.php">http://scintillaflaminia.com/test/armor.php


I recommend the fluted 20 gauge plates for most portrayals.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org