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helmets-msg - 1/8/17


Helmets. SCA and period.


NOTE: See also the files: armor-msg, p-armor-msg, gorgets-msg, rattan-msg, tournaments-art, weapons-msg, axes-msg, chainmail-msg, a-treating-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



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

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.



Tarrach Alfson



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>


Conor here,


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



Tracey Sawyer



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 helm.


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!


In Service,

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

this: http://www.jamesriverarmoury.com/customnorman.htm


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 >>>


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org