helmets-msg - 1/8/17
Helmets. SCA and period.
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.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: dahleen at badlands.NoDak.edu (Lynn S Dahleen)
Subject: Re: Helmets
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 22:46:31 GMT
Organization: North Dakota Higher Education Computing Network
The helmets sold through museum replicas are only 18 guage and therefore
not suitable for SCA combat. However, the type of helm you are
interested in is reasonably easy to make. If you need a pattern, I would
be happy to send you one. As for the modifications of the face plate,
I riveted bands across the lower part of the face (anchoring them to the
check pieces) and then hid the "non period" modification by dropping
leather (decorated with a nice viking motif) off the face mask. Chain
mail will also work for this, and there is some nice archeological
evidence for dropping mail off the face mask (as well as off the rest of
the rim of the helmet). As for the back, You can simply drop a steel
plate off the helmet rim so that it covers the back of the head from
check plate to check plate. Again you can hide this modification with
leather or mail (which, if you make it long enough to cover the cervical
vertebrae (sp?) will make the marshals happy). Alternatively, you can
rivet one inch wide steel plates vertically around the back of the helm.
There is again archeological evidence for this. The only modification
you will need here is that for strength, you may need to connect these
plates with a strip of steel along the bottem. Oh, also, the check
plates will need to be riveted solidly to the helm. In the originals,
they were often hinged to the helmet cap.
As for decorations, I have found that copper, bronze, or brass
(the latter of which is less desirable as it wasn't common in period)
plate (18 ga) cut into a long strip for the crest and the nasal, decorated
with a simple knot pattern by making little dents in the back with a nail
(repose') really adds a nice touch. I have also cut out decorative eye
brows for the early period look on one of my helms, but it didn't take
long before they got rather dented up and you could see every rivet under
them. The helmet I use now has eye brows made of solid bronze, and they
seem to work quite well (until the rivets holding them on rust through
and they get knocked off which happens occasionally). Oh, the repose'
work gets flattened as well rather quickly, but the pattern is still
quite visible, and still looks good.
Shields are best decorated simply by painting. Although thin
metal (20-18ga) designs (ie ravens, or other viking like motifs) are both
period and should last OK if riveted on.
Hope this is helpful. If you want more info, please feel free to
Email me. The account I usually read is lhorvath at badlands.nodak.edu.
Subject: RE: BG - Re: helm mass
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 98 21:58:10 MST
From: "Rollie W. Reid" <carcassonnais at geocities.com>
To: <bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG>
As someone who has both worn a few helms over the years and made a few
over the years, I feel qualified to respond on the question of helm
The problem with comparing football helmets with SCA combat helms is
the use of the helmet. The NFL is working hard to make sure that
players do not use their helmets as weapons. A light helmet makes a
less effective weapon. SCA helms are never used a weapons because we
do not tackle our opponents. They outlawed the head slap many years
ago, and SCA combat is trying to deliver a head slap with a stick.
The whiplash question is a valid one, but the nature of SCA combat
makes it unlikely.
There are simply too many differences between SCA combat and any other
activity that requires a helmet for the comparisons to be effective.
One more thing. A lightweight helmet will have to be replaced more
often, and the advantages of an overly light helmet are slight in SCA
combat. A 14G helm, like a bascinet, correctly made is the best
investment and the weight is not too bad.
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 16:54:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: tracey sawyer <tfsawyer at yahoo.com.au>
Subject: [Lochac] Instructables - how to make spangen helm
To: list border <borderlist at sca.org.au>, common list
<The_Common at yahoogroups.co.uk>, lochac list <lochac at sca.org.au>
For those who want step by step instructions to making their own spangen helm.
Instructables is a good site for all sorts of 'how to' projects
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 10:07:33 -0400
From: William Faleston <faleston at gmail.com>
To: Merry Rose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>
Subject: Re: [MR] armor questions from a non-fighter...
I don't know the armourer in question so I can't give any advice there, but
I can answer some general questions. The terms aventail and camail are
interechangable. Both refer to a curtain of maille that is attached to the
helm. You may be thinking of a coif, which is a hood of mail that goes under
The tricky thing here is that the helm shown in your link is an early period
Norman/Norse helm. Typically these did not have an aventail. That didn't
appear until bascinets came along. Until then, you wore a padded coif, a
maille coif, and then your helm over it. I'm not an expert on early period
helms, so I don't know if there were exceptions to this, or how common they
Often when I see an early-period SCA helm with a maille attachment, I
interpret that as a way to portray a simple Norman skullcap with no sides,
which would not be legal for our game. The mail attachment makes it look
like they are wearing a coif under a skullcap. It's a pretty convincing
The slatted back is a Good Thing according to everyone I've ever talked to
who wore one. The "leather attachment for camail" probably hangs at the brow
line. I would think that while the maille would cover the slatted back, it
would probably still allow plenty of air to flow through.
The question of whether you really must/should wear a gorget under an
aventail is a sticky subject among many fighters. Make sure your husband
discusses this with a marshal or two before making a final decision.
If I've gotten anything wrong here, someone please correct me!
William de Faleston
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 1:48 AM, Alexandria Stratton <kyrilex at yahoo.com>wrote:
<<< I'm shopping for a helm for my husband, Brocc (it will be a surprise!).
I am considering something like
One of the options is a 'leather attachment strip for camail'. I am thinking
they mean aventail. Brocc has expressed an interest in the aventail (he's been told there's no need for a gorget if he has the aventail).
The slatted back looks neat, and looks like it would be cooler to wear. I
Wonder about padding, though...is it pointless to have the slatted back if it's
Blocked by padding or covered by the maille?
I also wonder about a camail (the maille hood)...is there a point to mail
Worn under a helm?
Does anyone have any experience or opinions on any of these questions?
Does anyone have any experience with this seller?
-- Isabelle LaFar >>>