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J Freeman
Master of Chat

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2010 :  19:24:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings all, new to the forum, the exiles, and HEMA in general.

As an incipient member here, I was starting to think ahead to getting my equipment basics, and would appreciate guidance.

Vis--vis a fencing jacket, I've one exile (Spike, I believe) porting a Gambeson, and thus wondered if either of the following would be an acceptable (and cheaper!) alternative to the usual black fencing jacket:
http://tinyurl.com/2uqrnjz
http://tinyurl.com/35g58ko

I've also heard it said (or perhaps misheard) that the key aspect of a hat/fencing mask was protection of the neck, rather than skull/face, so I wondered if a gorget would also suffice?


Have settled on the following for an entry level sword: http://tinyurl.com/3y2bjol
Nothing to shout about, but hopefully servicable and a vaguely similar profile to the Oakeshott XIIa I own that first attracted me to HEMA.

All advice most welcome!

bruno
Master Chat Remedy

United Kingdom
279 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2010 :  22:10:32  Show Profile  Click to see bruno's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Fencing jackets are not that expensive in comparison to those knights store things. 107 (inc VAT) for the black one most of us use.
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Full_Body_Coaches_Plastron.html

I have the leather covered one...
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Leather_Faced_Full_Body_Coaches_Plastron.html

With hindsight, I wouldn't have bothered with the leather faced one, as the leather facing doesn't add much more protection against a long sword, and I always wear a chest protector under the plastron when sparing (hmm all that extra sweat).
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Male_Masterguard.html

The material needs to be very tough, as steel blades get quite rough edges and will tear pretty much anything. My Leon Paul jacket has a couple of nicks in it, but I'm pretty much happy with it, cotton or canvas would have been torn to shreds. I have no idea how tough the knights shop things are, but the second one doesn't look that robust. My concern with the first one is that it opens at the front and might admit a blade. Spike probably has better experience than me on that.

As for mask, necks matter as much as skull and face, but they all matter! I wear a gorget when sparing, one of these....

http://revival.us/brigandinegorget.aspx

Fencing masks are ok-ish, they'll stop you getting your eyes poked out and your head sliced open, but I've been KO'd sparing with a longsword when I was hit on the side of the head. There is nothing between the side of your skull and the mask, it just transmits the blow straight to your bonce. The head protection of choice seems to be...

http://thatguysproducts.com/masks.html

... he also does gorgets, but there is an 8 month waiting list!

I think that the Hanwei blade you've found is far too short (40"), you want something around 45-48" long overall. The blade par-excellence that the Exiles seem to have standardised on is...

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/maestro/sword-practice-liechtenauer.htm

which is 47" long. You will have some problems when facing off against a blade that is over half a foot longer than yours.

Bruno Nicoletti
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Mark Lancaster
Forum Admin

United Kingdom
1651 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2010 :  10:32:35  Show Profile  Visit Mark Lancaster's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Jonathan,

If you become a member then there's an entire member section on the forum for equipment advice and recommendations.

Generally, though, I agree with Bruno. Check out http://www.southernswords.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=21_56&products_id=67 for a sword. It's longer (although not ideal) and cheaper.

We're looking at cheap alternatives to the fencing jacks at the moment - will let you know.

Mark Lancaster
Secretary
The Exiles
www.the-exiles.org.uk

Primoris - Fiore training book
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J Freeman
Master of Chat

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2010 :  14:38:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi both.

Yes, I'd admired the Liechtenauer from a financial distance - also the E(s)pee de guerre http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/maestro/sword-practice-epeedeguerre.htm
Which would be a better replica of my own Oak. XIIA

However, nothing Albion produces is particularly suitable to a london student budget... ...but we can always dream. Same issue for the 300$ head protection.

Thanks for the other Hanwei link, Mark, if all else fails then I can settle for those.

I've also heard of "Lutel" swords as a reasonable mid-level piece, could anyone link me to some of their products? Could only find web pages largely in Czech - not my lingua prima.

Thanks for the fencing jacket link, Bruno, those do seem a bit more affordable than others (minus leather) although I'd be grateful for any news on cheaper versions - or any thoughts from members who've used a gambeson/aketon or some such for training.

Would have filled out my membership form last Sunday, had certain members not forgotten to bring one *wink*
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bruno
Master Chat Remedy

United Kingdom
279 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2010 :  15:34:20  Show Profile  Click to see bruno's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
That The Epe de Guerre is a bit short and a bit on the heavy side for a long sword. You are aiming for around 47 inches and about 1.6 kg weight.

Lots of other folks use the Practical Hand And A Half, which Mark pointed out, for Fiore. I think it is a bit short

Bruno Nicoletti
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J Freeman
Master of Chat

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2010 :  16:51:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Understood. Hehe, although I am blessed (and cursed) with lanky arms!
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J Freeman
Master of Chat

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  12:20:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What do most members do for a sword bag? Obviously transporting a sword through public is not easy at the best of times!

Bruno, as for the under-jacket plestron you kindly linked, it made me realise I still have my old Kendo "Do" (Bamboo breastplate)! It occurred to me that it would probably serve well for a similar purpose, having been designed with the similar ideas in mind...

Thoughts on the following for face protection? Seems similar to Bruno's link, but no 8mth waiting list. These are currently being endorsed on S.F.I.: http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=30_131&zenid=813862ac5b8096df55a0d33be17a7e58

Edited by - J Freeman on 10 Oct 2010 15:15:11
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bruno
Master Chat Remedy

United Kingdom
279 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2010 :  16:53:00  Show Profile  Click to see bruno's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Golf bags are perfect, I use a 20 quid one from Argos, http://tinyurl.com/2bulafg

That windrose thing looks interesting, but i've not seen one in action. I think Mark L has seen one or two of them in the US.

Bruno Nicoletti
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Alan E
Topic Master

520 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2010 :  09:53:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use a wheeled golf-bag (also from Argos). A bag-padlock on the zip whilst traveling, means that you can demonstrate the contents are not quickly accessible.

I agree with Bruno that 'something' under the jacket is advisable (for all sorts of reasons). A Kendo Do would be lots better than nothing.

I have seen the Windrose lids used in US (but not examined them in detail). They look fine, are a bit more of a 'helm' than a 'mask' (solid top is higher and probably slightly hotter than a Tindale mask). Still needs a gorget though.
Edit: Seen the thread on SFI: Apparently the Windrose helms have no suspension mechanism, so you would need to make your own (a simple spider should suffice) or (as they suggest) pad it (which would be much hotter).

Edited by - Alan E on 11 Oct 2010 10:09:03
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J Freeman
Master of Chat

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2010 :  16:37:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hanwei H&H sword & L. Paul F. jacket arrived yesterday. Will pop to Argos for a bag in the next week or so. Methinks head gear will have to wait for the near future whilst I save for a while...

Have trouble getting the jacket on with the "Do" underneath, would it be unacceptable to wear it on the exterior? Obviously it will bear the brunt that way, but then, that's what it's for.

Thanks all, for your advice!
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