Category: Armor

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.



This is something I’ve been anticipating with excitement: a brigandine cuirass. I ordered it back in May 2021, and it just arrived to me in January 2022. I ordered it from Steel Mastery. They have a long wait list (3-4 months) just to start on it, but this is the first piece of armor I’ve bought that was actually crafted to my personal measurements.

Steel Mastery has good customer service. They answer emails quickly, and are friendly and informative. They made me comfortable laying out a few hundred dollars for something I won’t see for several months.

If you don’t know, a brigandine is steel plate armor (it’s not “studded leather”). The interior is many metal plates (about the size of a credit card) riveted to the outer wool. This is the interior (Steel Mastery sent me this photo of them working on it):

Brigandine inside

It weights 15 pounds, and it fits snugly and comfortably. It’s tailored so I can wear it over a thick gambeson or with only thin clothes. It feels good. It is flexible to some extent (more flexible than a solid plate cuirass of the same size), but I can’t bend over and touch the floor; I can bend forward about 90 degrees.

I’m testing and thinking about how I want to wear this — over a gambeson, over mail, over gambeson and mail, or just over clothes. I’m not sure yet, but I do have some plate pieces to wear with it (shoulders and greaves).

An interesting note: It’s noisy when not on my body — it jingles. But when worn, it’s quiet and secure.

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

Full Armor With a Little Flair

Full armor with shield

I’m now trying to add some colorful flair to my armor. Blue is my favorite color, so that’s what I’m starting with. I’ve added a short blue underskirt to keep the mail from noisily scraping against my cuisse (upper leg armor). I’ve added a simple blue cape to my back.

This is the first time I’ve photographed my shield with my full armor. So I’m also holding a one-handed sword, this time. Also to note: I’m wearing my original sallet (helmet), and I have dagger sheathed and belted on my right leg. Having the dagger on my hip gets in my way — I’m constantly banging it with my arms, and it interferes with my range of motion wielding my sword.

This is all just experimental, to find a good look balanced with comfort and mobility.

The Old Adventurer

Plate Armor Over Mail Haubergeon

Full suit of plate armor over mail haubergeon

In Dungeons & Dragons, we sometimes called this “half-plate” or “plate mail”. That is, plate armor over mail — this was the second best armor behind “full plate”, which was more plate-encased, and tailored specifically for the warrior. I’ll have to be satisfied with this, as full plate armor is pretty darn expensive (in both D&D and the real world).

The Old Adventurer