Plastic ARmor!!

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jared_sims_ICHEMA
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Plastic ARmor!!

Post by jared_sims_ICHEMA » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:02 pm

I have been recycling old five gallon plastic buckets and turning them into armor, what do you think? I know there is room for improvement, but the cost is very little for effective armor!
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Re: Plastic ARmor!!

Post by Roger N » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:42 pm

Hi Jared!

I can imagine the fun you had making these!

Looking at them two things come to mind: One positive and one negative.

Harnischfechten is problematic for most as it simply is too expensive. If there was a way to provide similar functionality in a cheaper way then it might be a valuable tool to use. However, I am a bit sceptical since I believe nothing works like armour but actual armour. It is about custom design for your body, proper functionality at the joints, weight distribution and many other similar aspects that are crucial for understanding armour properly. Armour is not just about protecting...

The other aspect is looks. In HEMA many of us work hard at building a professional image of what we have decided to dedicate our lives to. This is important for many reasons, as we aim to be taken as seriously as any other martial art, by both other martial arts practitioners, equipment manufacturers, media, the academic world etc. After a lot of hard work we are now finally getting attention from manufacturers and only this last year we have received four different but complete sets of equipment for HEMA.

Wearing armour such as this will associate us with larp and the SCA where these types of armour are not so uncommon. Therefore many will regard your attempts as damaging to what we strive for if you show your armour in public in any form.

It all boils down to giving proper attention to historical correctness, both in functionality and execution of techniques. It is at the core of HEMA, a vital component that separates HEMA from larp, the SCA and Reenactment, even if some of those too share this with us to varying degrees.

I am not saying that it is something you shouldn't experiment with though, but I would advise you to do it on your own, in order to understand harnischfechten and armour construction for research purposes. At the same time I would advise you to not use it for public display, media or in profile images etc. It will cause you to be taken less seriously within HEMA, I believe. Nothing wrong with discussing the project from practical or research perspectives though.

Btw, making steel armour can often be simpler than you would believe. I made a Wisby Brigandine in less than a week using no more tools than a vise, a hammer, an electric drill, a file and a lead plummet. You could do what you have done quite simply too, using no heating at all.
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Re: Plastic ARmor!!

Post by jared_sims_ICHEMA » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:45 pm

Thank you for you insight, I find your opinions to be very important, and I love this opportunity to have this discussion.

Now although these prototype suits may look silly, it is only my fifth design. All the patterns are modeled after specific pieces, from historical sources.
I would never intend to "mock" your art, or passion for the art.

My choice to use plastic, is very simple. It's free, easy to cut, easy to shape (placing pieces in oven @200 degrees F, for about 5-10mins, and then quenching in cold water), extremely durable, and very light weight.

Ultimately, I would like this to be taken seriously, and with some effort, could offer superior protection for anyone wanting to learn the art, at an extremely low price.
Not only can a person, who maybe young, find a way to learn the principles of shaping armour, and the history behind it, they may also continue to create something better.

Plus it's fun! HEMA is fun!
and yes it would be nothing without the efforts and passion of people like you!
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Re: Plastic ARmor!!

Post by Roger N » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:00 pm

Well I don't think anyone thinks you are mocking the Art. :)

But, going for armour that is lighter than the real thing also changes how it behaves, which might be a bad thing.

And although it is easier to work with than steel, it might not be much easier... I used a simple shears to cut the steel plates and it worked quite well, although it takes a bit of work. But the result is very nice. You can see it here: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?s ... =3&theater

Still, if you can make this look good, then it might come in handy for cheap practicing of Harnischfechten. So keep up the good work! With persistancy you might just get there. :)
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Re: Plastic ARmor!!

Post by Jim Edmonds » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:46 am

Well seems you have a good idea for those excess buckets!, In my line of work we end up with quite a few, and I have seen others online who use buckets/rubbish bins etc. for armours..mostly the StarWars kind, but hey if it does the trick and you have the ability to make it work, then do it! good stuff!
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