Category: Character Kits

Various pieces of armor and weapons put together as a character

Halloween Viking(ish)

Last Halloween I dressed in my full plate armor. It was a hit in the neighborhood. I wanted to wear some of my kit again the next year, but wanted to look completely different. So I decided, instead of 15th century knight, how about 10th century Viking? I started to let my hair and beard grow for the whole year, and this was the result:

viking double

This kit was again a success in my neighborhood, and also won the best costume contest at my work. Yeah, I know it’s not historically accurate. I’m fine with that, and everyone else seemed to be fine with it, too — that is, few people know historical accuracy from fantasy.

I shaved off the beard November 1st, and cut back my hair a few days later. I did really like the look of the long hair and long beard, but it’s such a bother to maintain and live with on a daily (hourly!) business. I’m now back to my normal look.

The Old Adventurer.

Mercenary Color Decision

I’m deciding which color gambeson to wear under my black brigandine for my Mercenary kit. Blue is my favorite color, but the red, I think, looks better in this concept. Without the helmet on, the red is much better for my complexion. The blue makes my face look sickly, the red makes my skin look more alive.

Mercenary in brigandine, plate, gambeson
Mercenary in brigandine, plate, gambeson
Mercenary in brigandine, plate, gambeson

Looking at the two colors side by side, in character, I’m thinking I’ll go with the red for the Mercenary, and keep the blue for the Knight.

The OId Adventurer

Full Raider Kit

Raider Kit

This is my full “raider” kit.

While I was waiting for new/replacement pieces for my knight kit, I started working on a different “character” to gear up as. This raider is sort of Viking-ish. This gear isn’t really of the Viking era (many things are anachronistic), but it does have that feel at first glance.

The helmet is a Viking style, painted black. I’m wearing a chainmail coif (head, neck, shoulders armor) protects my neck where the helmet doesn’t.

The chainmail is over a thick gambeson (padded armor). The fur shoulder/cape is clasped with a penannular brooch.

The shield is something I made myself, and I quite like it. Although, a center/boss grip would be more historical (and more practical), but I don’t have such a shield (yet).

The greaves are padded, similar to the gambeson. The greataxe is explained here, and the one-handed axe is explained here.

This kit is much more comfortable and mobile than the full plate knight kit. I like wearing this (and I can put it all on by myself). Of course, it’s not as protective as having all the steel plates, but that’s the trade off: mobility and self-sufficiency vs. protection and dependent on a squire.

The Old Adventurer

Full Knight Kit

Knight Kit

This is my full armored “knight” kit.

After posting my earlier run at the concept on Reddit’s r/ArmsandArmor and r/LARP subreddits, I took some of the advice and made changes/upgrades to my kit. First off, my goal isn’t true historical reenactment — I’m creating an admitted fantasy character using real weapons and armor. Having said that, I don’t want my kit to be completely ahistorical, so I’m not going over the top with the fantasy.

I kept the visored barbuta helmet. It’s not historical, but it’s not fantastical, and it looks cool.

The blue cape: I added weathering and battle damage (cuts and tears), and pinned a brass penannular.

The pauldrons (shoulder armor): I replaced my original pauldrons with these because the shape of the other ones were impractical. As protection, they were good, but sometimes the chin of my helmet would strike the upper point of the pauldrons. That restricted some shoulder movements/positions, and was annoying.

The gorget (upper chest/neck armor), the breastplate, the vambraces (forearm armor), and cuisses & poleyns (upper leg & knee armor): These are all my original pieces. I do have a pair of plated gauntlets, but they look oddly large on my hands, so I instead went with brown gloves. I’ve put a lot of wear and damage on the gloves, but you can’t even tell it in these pics.

The greaves (shin armor): I replace my original greaves because I felt they were a little too stylized (looked segmented like for bending) for the look I wanted.

The shoes: I cheated a bit with these. Although the shoes are modern, I felt they were similar enough to late medieval laced shoes to pass at a glance — compare authentic to sort of. But multiple people mentioned them as looking wrong, so I covered the laces with leather to hopefully disguise them as boots. Historically, tall boots weren’t worn under greaves; tall boots interfere with fastening the greaves to the shin. Also, if the knight was going to wear sabatons (foot armor), they wore smaller leather shoes like these. I chose to go with modern style shoes instead of authentically made medieval style shoes for two main reasons: 1- they are half the price. 2- they actually have traction with the ground — medieval leather shoes have smooth leather soles, and the lack of traction can be troublesome (especially when wearing 50 pounds of armor). I may in the future just get some sabatons to cover the damn shoes and just completely hide the issue. But until then, maybe this faux boot look doesn’t stand out as wrong.

The chainmail: This is my original riveted aluminum maille, but I darkened it with some spray paint. It looks more like steel now than aluminum. I previously explained why I went with aluminum instead of steel.

The shield: This is the 2mm steel shield.

The swords: This is the arming sword, and this is the greatsword.

Next on my to-do list is to find some interesting location for a photoshoot. These photos are just from my backyard.

The Old Adventurer