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Techniques Of Medieval Armour Reproduction: The 14th Century Paperback – September 1, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Paperback, September 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581600984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581600988
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,801,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first joined the SCA about 2 years ago, and took an immediate fancy to the armorer's craft. In the two years that I've been there, I have never fought in anything that I didn't make myself. I began studying armor construction at about the same time I started, but didn't really get started on making anything decent until about a year ago, and this book was extremely helpful in getting me get turned in the right direction. The second half of the book provides a very useful manual for making specific pieces; for example, I absolutely love the thoroughness of his description for making a leg harness. The first half of the book, however, was the most useful; descriptions of the tools, applications, hammerwork techniques, polishing, strapping, padding, and the like were all covered in very thoughtful detail, which makes this book an excellent source of reference that I use quite often. I don't have any particular gripes about this book, but I will say this: this book is intended for historically authentic designs, so a bit of alteration might be required contrary to the design schemes presented if you're in the SCA. However, overall, I don't feel that that is enough to bring this book down to four stars, especially since I believe that historical authenticity, rather than SCA armor, was his goal when he wrote this book; overall, it ranks at a very solid five (although I would really like to see the author do another on SCA armor design).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the stellar reviews listed here. For a beginner or someone with general interest this book is certainly a great reference, but for someone who would actually like to try to make their own armour I found this book lacking in several respects. My two biggest complaints were regarding the lack of materials on raising (there is a great description of dishing with many photos and good technical advice) and on thermal treatments.
The author gives a short description of raising and then states that it is an advanced technique and beyond the scope of this book. Raising was used extensively to make many medieval helms and is a MAJOR technique for making certain types of reproductions - by giving this process just a cursory overview the reader gets no real useful understanding of the raising process or how to even start (or how much effort is involved). I was hoping to see an example, such as a Norman helm, raised from a sheet, step by step, including a discussion on the pros/cons of working cold with anneals vs. working hot.
The other area which is sorely lacking is the chapter of heat treatments. While the various methods used historically are mentioned and the science and metallury involved is well described, actual techniques and how-to's of working cold with anneals or working with metal hot were sorely absent. It would have been really nice to see several example projects done with a variety of different techniques.
In summary: This is a well written book and clearly the author is well-versed in the history and technical aspects of armor making. The methods that the author wishes to cover in detail are clear, valuable, and educational. In this sense this is probably the best or most comprehensive book on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This book is incredibly informative for someone like myself when I got it. I had just began to make armour under a master's tutelage. It's considered required reading by most armouring groups that I know of.
However, it teaches you slightly less than you might realize, and certainly teaches some biases. For example, Price's personal views are clearly reflected in the book, not as his opinions, but stated as fact. When read by itself, this isn't something noticable, but when coupled with "The Armourer and his Craft", by Charles ffoulkes (inexpensive book, and definately a must read for armourers) it's quite dramatic at times.
However, having said that, I agreed with Mr. Price on a lot of his opinions. There are conflicts of interest though, when he states repeatedly some of the basic tenents of armouring, yet contradicts them with some of his personal choices.
Another beef I have with the book is the way in which pictures of armor that are CLEARLY reproductions are toted as being EXTREMELY well made, when quite frankly, they aren't, and certainly shouldn't be used as guides. (For example. dish your cuisses folks.. don't just curl them). Some of these nuances aren't apparent until you immerse yourself in images of the real stuff first, to develop your "eye". If you try to develop your "eye" with repro work, your best work will never compare to the originals.
I'm not claiming mastery, or that I'm better than anyone that's gotten their stuff pictured, I'm just saying that you need REAL reference pics of REAL armour. Aside from that, the book REALLY holds your hand and builds a very strong learning foundation. It's also a great place to refer back to as you go through the various stages of making your armour. It's certainly inspiring, I just recommend caution, and suggest that you keep asking questions, and getting second opinions rather than take the whole book at face value.
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Format: Paperback
Brian R. Price's work Techniques of Medieval Armour Production: 14th Century is a "must own" for anyone seriuoly iterested in the craft of armouring. Clear, concise, it offers the reader execellent text and photographs that bring the art to life.
Well laid out, the book traces the history of armour, and its current "revival" amoung Medieval Societies. It also discusses (in depth)necessary tools, hammer methods, riveting, measuring, design layout, modifications for modern considerations- basically the entire gamut of the craft.
Photos are rich in detail, and text supports well the photos shown. The reader is taken through the processes needed to learn the craft, and then projects for the beginner are offered.
Truly a book wrtten with an eager craftsperson in mind.
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