Wednesday, 28 November 2012

VBCW on the IOW or Better Red than Red

Huzzah, I finally managed to get some wargaming in. Several friends descended on my house last weekend, to play some Very British Civil War (VBCW). We managed to get two games in (yes two) One of which is written up here, I will add a second report for game two on another occasion.
The first game was played between Grant and myself, against Jon and Edward.

Grant and I, played the role of the IOWSPR (The Isle Of White Socialist People's Republic) Jon & Edward were the PSRIOW (The People's Socialist Republic of the Isle Of Wight) Fortunately the People's Popular Front didn't turn up:0)

We were to attack the PSR in their stronghold of the Lion Brewery in Newport to try and force them out of it. Our force consisted of three rifle sections made up from, mostly, milkmen and bus drivers. Plus command units, and then some special stuff. A steamboat chugged up the Medina to lay down fire on our enemy with its 40mm PomPom. A sniper was holed up in the attic of a three storey house and we also had a rocket launcher and a box of fireworks.

We were faced with a similar enemy 3 sections of rifles, command and a pompom mounted in a truck. 
This was a pretty straight forward game played across my urban terrain. 

The only pic I took of the whole table. The brewery is on the far left.
We used rules written by one of the guys from Edward's gaming group in deepest Norfolk. They work pretty well. They certainly allow for a fast paced game, but I am not sure if that is due to the games rules or the amiable way four experienced gamers set about playing. The rules use cards to identify which unit is active (something I like) and dice rolls to generate how much a unit can move each turn (something I am not so keen on).

Movement initially was fairly cautious, units had no line of sight. Except the odd LMG team deployed on a roof or in our case a sniper holed up in an attic. We did also have the odd advantage, namely a riverboat with the bow mounted Pom Pom. This was the first weapon to cause major damage as it chugged up the Medina it turned its gun and shot into a unit of PSR rifles who were making their way down the alley behind the Police Station. The shot landed in the middle of the squad killing several men, the rest fled.

PSR LMG team on the roof of a dockside Warehouse
This was the only shot the Pom Pom got off however as in the following turn it was destroyed by  another Pom Pom mounted on the back of a Brewery Truck. LMG teams exchanged fire across the rooftops. The sniper caused several casualties.

The central units made slow progress towards each other. Most progress was made on the attacker's right flank. It was all very confusing as they approached Arkwright's General Store. The section leader ordered his men through the store so they could burst on to the Brewery left flank. Unfortunately for him, a section of PSR riflemen had already occupied the shop and the two units opened up on each other over the shop counter. I would like to say that our unit gave as good as they got and then fell back in good order. But that would be a lie: they got shot to pieces and the sorry remains ran for it!

PSR riflemen in the shop SPR rifles on the street. It's going to get messy!

After this clash the battle continued for a while. Notable casualties after this, inlcuded the SPR sniper eventually being picked off by a rifleman. The sniper had inflicted several wounds on enemy troops even those skulking in doorways and windows.

The most spectacular death goes to the crew of the PSR Pom Pom who both bought it when their driver decided to park his truck under an arch, as it 'Looked Good'.
Nicely parked!

At this point we drew the game to a close. There were still some units on both sides. The SPR had a rifle section occupying the Post Office, but they didn't look like making it any further towards the brewery, so they withdrew, leaving the PSR stil in control of the beer.

After the game the usual debriefing/tosh talk took place while we cleared down the table and set up another scenario. Two games in a day, yeah I know. More on the second game next time.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hands On History

Well the reenactment season is well and truly over, and preparations are well underway for 2013. We hope to have some pretty cool gigs next year. Until then we have a load of preparation to do. Kit to make, gigs to plan etc etc. Plus I have lots of gaming projects underway, especially now my son (Nathan 10) has decided that he wants to learn to play 40k. He has started to collect Dark Angels and is making a pretty good go of painting his new marines.

Anyway to keep you going til my next post here is another short film I made towards the end of the season. We spend a great deal of time at events clouting each other with a variety of weapons, but there is so much more to Living History. This footage for this film was shot at Kentwell Hall (where else?) I started off bu just filming LH activities but started to focus on hands. It was Sue Kirkby, who gave me the title for this film and then a focus for all the rest of the footage. It worked out really well, as the focus on hands means we get away from people and just look at what goes during the day. This is just a sample of the things we do, but it gives a nice flavour of Living History and freflects the day to day life we try to portray. 


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Guns and fings wot go bang!

We have guns, Mwhahahaha. Some of them have been a long time coming this season, but they finally got here and before the end of the season we managed to get a couple of shots off:0) He is a brief video of our guns going BANG!


Enjoy, we did:0)

Monday, 10 September 2012

Pirate Pics (because I can)

Something that resembles normal service will resume here soon. I am back in the painting models mode, I am writing stuff and my son Nathan has started down the dark path of WH40K, so more toys to paint. IN the meantime here are a couple of photos of my wife, Heidi, and me taken at the Toll House museum in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Where we spent the day pirating. Great fun and an awesome photographer came too.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Busy Busy Busy...

Well it's been a bonkers summer so far. I haven't posted here recently as I am now writing another blog Knights'Tourney Blog  that just deals with the Knights' Tournament of Foote series of events we have been doing for English Heritage. Check it out to find out how genuinely busy my summer has been.

This photo was taken at the event that never was; Kelmarsh the Festival of History. This year sadly, the event was wrecked by a freak storm that dropped a month's load of rain in about 3 hours. This caused several culverts to completely overflow, forming an 8 foot wide foot deep river to snake its way across the best draining event field in the UK.

Our camp was just high enough to avoid being flooded out unlike some of our friends in other groups who has loads of kit damaged by flood water. The Suffolks' Elizabethan Trained Band stuck it out during the day. We got our guns off!

 In the evening went to the beer tent in our kit anyway. Yes it was that muddy BTW. This 'Hardcore' attitude was noticed by several EH folk and may well have secured us some EH Tudor action for 2013. Watch this space...

On the gaming front, not much has happened, not a lot, sod all in fact. However that will change very soon. Two reasons I visited the home of a friend of mine recently, Edward Jackson, the artist who produces all the art work for Alternative Armies' Flintloque game.

We have played some VBCW together before and just being in his workshop/studio/hobbyroom was enough to get me picking up paintbrushes again.

And secondly I just noticed that in the next edition of Wargames Illustrated is the first of my F&IW articles. One of two. The second I have not yet written, so best I get on with it...

So no tarrying here, I'll be back soon.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Battle? At Kentwell? No?

Well in a few days the three week, four weekend event that is the Grand Recreation Of Tudor Life at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk will be over for another year. (1556 to be precise). These days I only manage to play at Kentwell on the weekends, and in my usual way I don't seem to be able to take the easy way.

This year on the third weekend of the event we had a Tudor pageant to celebrate the betrothal of some posh person to another. That bit really was an excuse for us military types to do our thing. Which in this case was to get shot at close range by a whole bunch of longbow men & women.

It was a Tudor interpretation of the Battle of Agincourt. NOT a battle reenactment! Well not one that other battle  reenactors would recognise. It is a play within a play. 21st century Lving Historians, playing 16th century folk, playing 15th century soldiers. And as it's Kentwell it all happens in a slightly different way to pretty much anywhere else I think. This year I was the Constable of France and Yes I did have an outrageous accent.

The battle started with the charge of the French cavalry, which is driven off by concentrated arrow volleys. Or 9 & 10 year old kids on hobby horses with wooden swords attacking the English lines whilst receiving handfuls of willow wands that are 'loosed' skywards. Total mayhem. The best bit is when their commander has to stride up the battlefield to sound the recall. More tricky than herding cats.

Then the grown ups get to play. This mostly consists of myself, my wife (Heidi/Bess) plus, Ant, Lord Francis and El Hoggo all in full harness taking repeated volleys of blunt arrows from some jolly good archers. You see quite a few arrows miss you. The ones that don't you rarely see, especially the ones that hit your helmet.

Arrows are then collected and hand to hand combat ensues. It is hard work making only a few fellows look many but somehow we manage. We did this a number of times. Eventually the English Men At Arms slay the French.

My death was great fun as I was killed by Sir Thomas Erpingham who was mounted on 'Berry' a large and feisty Suffolk Punch who is a novice at this combat thing. Even in the middle of all this silliness I manage to get a 'real' Living History experience. Cavalry must have been bloody terrifying! I felt safe the entire time fighting Will who played Erpingham, an excellent rider who exudes confidence, but even so the rational bit of your brain is doing the maths, which adds up to a very squashed me. So thanks must go to Will and Berry for not squishing me and I look forward to doing it again.

Next weekend is the last weekend at KW for a while, I will be practising my musket drill. The rest of the summer beckons. Five Knights' Tourneys, Armada Soldiers at the Festival Of History, Pirating in YAARmouth and the battle of Bosworth to come. Hopefully I will get time to write. Hell I would even like to play the odd game too, who knows?

See you in the fifteenth or sixteenth century:0)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Why we do it. Kentwell Wool Weekend 2012

I was recently involved in a chat with some folk  from the MSS (Medieval Siege Society) about what the purpose of reenactment is. The question had been posed that it was primarily about educating the public. Various members came back with a resounding feeling that they do it for themselves first, and eductaing the public is a bonus.

Now the problem with being with a group like the MSS is that its size is usually prohibitive when it comes to doing small discreet events. There are many members (which is a good thing when you want battles) and a wide range of standards and approaches to the hobby. The advantage that we have in the Suffolks household is that we are not only members of the MSS, but an independent group in our own right, which means we can go and play in places not available to the whole MSS.

Our household is mostly made up from folk who met at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk. ( I have written a number of times about Kentwell and will do so in the future I am sure) For many of us Kentwell is our spiritual home and has many unique attractions. Last year we were lucky enough to be able to play at Kentwell for Wool Weekend 2011 and this year we were delighted to be invited back. Usually to play at Kentwell a reenactor must go through a lengthy application process, however for this event SFC members are allowed to come even if they are not Kentwellies. Which means we can invite along members from the Suffolks family who have never been to Kentwell before.

So for the second time we were able to occupy the Cott and Barnsward for the weekend. Kentwell is a special place. There are few places like it. I have yet visit somewhere that helps you get into the period as much as Kentwell. The weekend in question is a quiet event with only a small number of MOPs (Members Of the Public) expected, so we can pretty much do as we please. The emphasis is domestic life. Not much military kit is required, beyond that which a household might have - bow, bill and jack perhaps.

I took the time to get on with shaping plates to go in my brig. 180 plates 1400 rivets ouch.

Bess (Heidi) my good wife took the opportunity to show our friend Jen what Felting is all about, Pete tailored, Lorna made baskets, Jon got on with his cruck frame, Francis cooked, Epi spun, Jamie carved spoons, Badger collected wood and wielded the splitting axe. Tom and Sue were with just on Saturday, Tom sewed Sue helped cook (I think) We were joined by Peg & Myal who entertained with pipe and drum.

On Sunday we were joined by Ant, who spent time playing board games. The men all carried out their obligation and practised with Longbows. Both days the kids; Ned, Beanie, Eden & Ella played and helped with one thing or another. Sunday also saw the arrival of Bendy, who took all the photos in this article.

The weather was stunning, the best weather of the year, so far, which meant that both days we ate lunch at one board in the shade of the trees. And in the evening we sat around the fire in the Cott and chatted the evening away.


Frankly it doesn't get much better than this. We were presently surprised by the numbers of MOPs who we were able to spend a good deal of time talking to. We actually had time to work on projects and get a decent amount of work done. Yet we were able to relax and just soak up the atmosphere of the whole place.

We hatched plans and ideas and are now planning a return for another SFC Kentwell weekend in September, with more friends and more space available to us, we are aiming to create a  village feel with more dwellings/households and shops and workshops.

Home fixtures should always provide an advantage to the home team and this one certainly did. If you have never been to Kentwell then do try to visit during the Grand Recreation of Tudor Life in June and July. Or watch out for when the SFC return fro another home gig.

We have an extremely varied calender this year, but other events are going to have to go some to beat this one. Ahh well we will see:0)

Thursday, 24 May 2012


In England in the last few years there has been a terrific event that has happened up and down the country called Museums At Night. In some cases people can stay overnight in some museums, but in most cases various museums are, as  the event name suggests, Open at night.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by my friends Ian and Kitty at Black Knight Historical and they asked me if I would like to do an evening for Museums At Night. It was in Great Yarmouth, 110 miles from here. Bit of a trek really, but the thing that swung it, was that it was to be a pirate for the evening. Winner!

So last Friday I found myself doing a 220 mile round trip to go and play at being a pirate at the Toll House Museum in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Apart from having to suffer what passes as A roads in Norfolk I had  a great evening. The Toll House museum is the oldest building in Yarmouth, a little gem of a place. Solid stone, heavy doors, shuttered and barred windows, brilliant.

We saw hundreds of folk, from little pirates to interested adults. And got to talk about all aspects of piracy and a whole lot more. Piracy as a reenactment period is a tricky one. The Golden Age of Piracy was only about 25 years and 'doing' pirates when you aren't on a ship is pretty tricky. The Toll House I think was probably the next best thing. I would love to do more piratey things, if I could get some more of my crowd into it, but we are soooo busy that might be a tad tricky. Still it would mean an excuse to buy new swords, shame:0)

My thanks must go to Black Knight for the invite; Ian Flint for the Dragoon pistol, might let you have it back if you are nice to me:0) The Toll House staff for making me most welcome and the brilliant public of Yarmouth and its environs who came out in force to hear tales of Edward England, Edward Teach, Calico Jack,  Mary Read and Anne Bonnie. I hope to be back next year:0)

Cheers Cap'n Swallowtail Timmy

Ohh and a nice man from the Norfolk Museum services took some great photos too...

 Scary aren't I?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Wet Start to 2012

Well the season is underway and it is about to get busy. we started off with a wet Easter weekend. All of us at Kentwell Hall, and then Ned (my son) and I went to Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire for a two day medieval event with the Suffolk Free Company.

This was the SFC's  first official outing as an independent group, and it went very well. We provided Living History for a tourney event. The Suffolks are made up from a nucleus of a dozen or so members then we have Suffolks' Family members who are part of our larger group when we go out independently, but are in their own households when we are back with the MSS. We were joined by a new member at this event, Diccon ( to be known from now as 'Turnabout Diccon')

I spent the weekend beating plates for my brigandine into shape. There are 180 plates in total and now I only have 45 to shape. We provided an interesting camp for those who braved the weather, with cooking, wool crafts, arming, fletching, leather work, tailoring, some traditional games and even some frame making for a medieval house. Very busy for a small group.

We also provided bodies for the tourney, a lord to host the whole thing, then 8 combatants to for the main melee at the end of the day. Lots of fun. The tourney chaps were Mark Vance's guys I went out and did the Tourney with last year. We got on spledidly and were quite happy for us to hit 'em pretty hard. Having been the Blue Knight last year I had to pick his side this year even though it meant dying several times.

Only down side to the weekend- The weather. God's teeth did it rain? So much so that on Easter Monday I let Ned stay in bed and read comics. It is on days like that, that I think  it is important to remember that the kids don't get a  say about going to events. It would have been miserable for him outside so we didn't bother.

Event finished and EH were most pleased.

Move onto Mayday - Pensthorpe in Norfolk. A SFC Elizabethan event for Black Knight Historical.

 We tried something new at Pensthorpe, our Alehouse, The Golden Lion. We had a good weekend in Elizabethan kit. We had the chance to try out our new cassacks which will help our Trained Band look. We wear the blue of Essex, rather than the red with white trim of Suffolk (we decided we would look too much like the Cardinal's Guards in red) The alehouse worked very well, and will be used at other events, it will provide a focal point for our camp at the Festival of History in July.

Me with musket parading in front of Good Queen Bess on the Saturday.

The Suffolks make a Royal Bow on the Bank Holiday Monday. Yes it was that wet.

We all like to try new things at events. The Green man above is made entirely from Marchpain (marzipan) by my very talented wife, Heidi/Bess decided that this weekend she would try Subtlety making. Bloody good job she made of it too:0)
So two events in: Common themes for the year so far: Good friends, Good fun, terrible weather. Hoping that the next events are heavy on the first two and very light on the third. We had a good weekend despite the weather, gained a new member and avoided another:0) Roll on Wool Weekend at Kentwell Hall in May.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

Well it has been a tad quiet on the blog front recently, for which I apologise. However I have been rather busy working on a variety of different things. All of which prevent me from logging on here.

The reenactment season had already begun and I spent the Easter weekend at two different events at Kentwell Hall and Kenilworth Castle. Both good events for completely different reasons.

At home I have two or three different projects that I will post some pictures of in the next few days.

Firstly I have been blackening my 15th century armour. I have completed my Barbute (helmet) and have nearly finished the right leg, right gauntlet and left arm. Some bits need reassembling. This summer I will be the Black Knight, and just hope it doesn't get too hot.

Secondly I have been working on my Brig, armour rather than pirate ship. this is a huge task. It will have 180 plates of steel riveted to black velvet by 1400+ rivets. The armour plates are being shaped at the moment to fit my curvy form. this project I hope to have finished by the end of June. So time is pressing.

Thirdly my gaming energies have had to be redirected. I was working on a 40mm pirate project for Salute 2012. Unfortunately (for the South London Warlords and gamers), a good friend of mine is getting married mine on the same day as Salute and I am performing the ceremony, in a strictly secular way. The wedding is to be a Steampunk affair and this year instead of building wargames scenery right now I am building full scale Steampunk scenery so it can be used for photos on the day. there will definitely be photos of that, but I cannot reveal anything until after the event as the happy couple have not seen any of it yet:0)

So here a couple of photos of toys that won't be at Salute 2012:0( They might make it in to a WI article about Blackbeard though, If I can get it written.

Sash and Saber 40mm pirates. Smashing. Lots more to come. And new scenery too. Watch this space.

Right I am off to try to finish a F&IW article for WI. Only a few weeks late.
Reverend Timmy

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Top Medieval Re-enactorisms

Last weekend was the AGM of the MSS (Medieval Siege Society) and I ran a session about Reenactorisms. This was not a lecture more an open discussion. The following is kind of what we talked about, however I didn't have any notes, just a powerpoint presentation I made which had nothing much to read, so I will fill in the gaps. The talk was not intended to point fingers at anyone in particular it was really to promote discussion and thinking about what we do, say and wear.

It is hard to define exactly what a reenactorism is as there are many different types which I will identify in a moment. Basically a reenactorism is an
inaccuracy, an unfact that has been introduced into the common understanding of a period through Historical Reenactment. How they come about varies, some are unavoidable, many we could really do with losing.

Why is this important? Well, as reenactors we are in a position of power. Members of the Public (MOPS) will often believe what ever they are told by the person in funny clothes as being completely true. These inaccuracies that are shared over and over at some point become accepted as being true.

This doesn't only happen in Reenactment of course, my favourite example of this is actually from TV land. The TV series Not The Nine O'Clock News is guilty of this. One well known sketch featured Gerald the Gorilla.

In this sketch, Mel Smith's character (The Professor) described a family group as Flange. Gerald corrects him as says that it is a Whoop of Gorillas it is Flange of Baboons. Both words were just picked as the sounded funny. Thirty years later, in the world of zoology, the accepted collective noun for a family group of baboons is now, a Flange.

Next came the PIKEY EXPERIMENT. This started as a humourous conversation between two reenactor friends of mine at Kentwell Hall. It was 1535 and we had a number of Landsknechts on the manor. Whilst talking to some MOPs they explained that the term Pikey was first used to describe Landsknechts who arrived in a town, camped where they wanted, stole what ever they needed, behaved in an unpleasant manner, then leaving the area in a state of ruin when they go. The Pikey part coming from the fact that they were famous for using pikes in combat and when folk saw the pikes approaching they just referred to the soldiers as 'pikeys'. Now whilst it was quite amusing at the time what surprised us was that in less than 10 months another reenactor friend of ours was at a presentation about medieval warfare where this description of a pikey was given as 'fact' almost word for word. What surprised us was how fast something can get into the real world and how powerful the costumed reenactor can be.

Necessary Evils.
Some reenactorisms are unavoidable, necessary evils. These are things that have occurred for a variety of reasons but they are deemed crucial and will never change. I believe then when we are in 3rd person events it is our duty to inform MOPs that this is the case so they do not get the wrong idea. Here are a few examples (I am sure you might come up with more)
Fire Baskets: It is highly unusual for us to be able to have fires properly. Our fire baskets and other devices to support a fire 18" off the floor are not, on the whole, authentic. They are protecting the ground and what is below.
Bevoirs and Gauntlets: The proportion of plate armour worn on most medieval battlefields is totally wrong. Far too many combatants wear far too much. There are very few images of ordinary fighting men wearing bevoirs or gaunlets. However as soemone pointed out to me very early on. A bevoir costs a fraction of reconstructive jaw surgery. And MSS H&S rules insist that stout gloves are worn by all combatants.
Being under canvas: I pretty much get asked at every LH event whether everybody in the middle ages lived in tents? Getting across to people, that the tent is just the vehicle that enables us to take our hobby on the road, is really important.

Combat Compromises:
Some Medieval reenactorisms have occurred as some form of compromise on the battlefield.
Women on the battlefield This topic has had much debate recently about this very subject in the MSS. Not whether women fought in open battle, there is some (not much) evidence of women fighting on the field in the middle ages, very little evidence of women fighting in English battles and even less of them fighting in our part of the middle ages. However we have yet to find any credible evidence that they wore anything else than men's attire to do so. In the 21st century in our inclusive world it is only right and proper that women fight on our battlefields (in several cases they are some of the meanest opponents you will find) afterall we have women in combat roles on the real front lines around the world. These women also wear male attire on the battlefield. I think discussions about how women should be dressed may run and run. It all boils down to practicality and how much you want to get things right.
Nine foot polearms Excessively long polearms do appear on various battlefields around the country. We have the some in the MSS but not too many. I am not talking about spears here, which by nature are pretty long, I am talking about bills and similar weapons. This has really come about because we are not able to really use a bill in the way it was intended to be used. So in many cases they just get used as pokey sticks, and the longer the pokey stick the better. MSS members who fight with bills who are reading this should consider getting their short shaft comp test done, then they could chop their bill down to an appropriate size and join the growing numbers who use them in a similar manner to a pollaxe.
Two hand weapons Sword/knife, sword/axe, axe/axe I believe Non medieval weapon combos have come about for a number of reasons. Firstly some real weapon combos are not great on the battlefield (well not as good as they would have been) Sword and bucklers aren't as effective as they should be as the buckler can not be used as it is intended. Few combatants would acknowledge a hit from a buckler, especially heavily armoured ones, so the use of parrying knives has become very popular sometimes in combination with a buckler and sometimes the buckler has been disposed of. This far more like a 16th century weapon combination. Other two hand weapon combos I am sure have come from the worlds of film and Warhammer. They look cool and are good fun, but are there many examples from the 15th century of these combinations? hmmm.

Right getting past that lot we now get onto the real crux of the conversation. In particular order then here are some of the Top Reenactorisms that made it on to my list

The Bells, The Bells I am always amazed by the number of people who insist on wearing bells on their person at all times. Why do this? Well in some cases people might wear bells when on a pilgrimage; Cool, if you are going to do this set up your camp as a pilgrims encampment, have a priest or two, do religious type things etc. Some others might wear them as they are part of their attire as they are musicians or mummers; Again Cool, Perform a mummers play within your camp, learn some period music and dances, other wise stop it:0) Attaching a bell or two to a toddler good idea, not to grown ups, they don't appear as part of every day clothing.

Glasses Right I am no expert on this subject. I put it in as I was asked to. The basic MSS Kit Standard suggests that wire rimmed glasses are ok at a push. Well they aren't! If you wish to know more about this ask GOCB If you don't know Nick The Grumpy Old Charcoal Burner go here GOCB WEBSITE Nuff said!

Magic Hose This is a simple one really
Your hose shouldn't stay up by themselves. they need to be pointed to a pourpoint or petticoat. There were no fitted waist bands in the Middle Ages, no hose held up just by a belt and no hose made of lycra. A chap in hose and shift like that above is not properly dressed for the Middle Ages, alright for a trader in the market but is it ok for us? Hmmm

Fox Tails Many folk have worn one at one time or another (me included) But why? The possible reasons that have been offered and laughed at mercilessly include: Archers use them to wipe their arrows clean. Seriously? They help to keep you clean by attracting fleas and lice, which can then be drowned or smoked out. Oh yeah? Some women might have used them for feminine hygiene, yuk!Traders sell them so they must be OK. Hmmm. The only evidence that I have heard of for this item suggests that a woman wearing one is a lady of loose morals and a man wearing one is cuckolded, neither status is desirable really is it?

The Christmas Tree Not too bad these days, but we still see some folk who seem to want to wear all of their small personal belongings hanging on their belts. Everything from pouch, knife and rosary, all fine (although most women would have worn her pouch/purse between layers f clothing) to spoons, drinking vessels, BELLS (see above) Fox tails (See above) and any other tat. Stop it you look silly!

Archers' Salute This one could be one of the most well known reenactorisms of them all (although many people do not realize) Sadly there is no evidence that English archers stuck two fingers up at the French in a defiant salute, this is almost certainly a creation of reenactors, probably in the 1970s, shame really as it is great fun.
So? So What? This is the important bit I suppose. What do we do about these things? I am sure if you are a reenactor or historian you can think of several more examples. The question that I pose is this... Should we perpetuate these Unfacts? Some are avoidable, some are not.

Personally one of the main aims of the hobby is to get it right. I feel we have a responsibility to those we encounter, both reenactor and MOP, to try and portray the period we are fascinated by as correctly as possible, this way we can really get across to others what makes it so special. There is so much out there which is interesting, intriguing and wonderful and true, why should we feel the need to keep what isn't no matter how amusing or 'cool'.

Think on it and then let us see which of these things we can remove from our made up history.

NB I stand to be corrected. Being some one who is passionate about the period we reenact, if you have real evidence to suggest that any of the reenactorisms listed are actually historical fact, please message me. I would love to see it.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

From Wang to WoW!

I am delighted to say that the blackening of my Burgonet has been completed and for a first attempt at blackening some armour, in a (semi) traditional method, I am really chuffed. It was a very lengthy, and extremely smelly process but the results were well worth it and have turned a bit of cheap kit that was quietly rusting in the garage into something that is unique and I will be proud to wear it.

If you remember my burgonet before Christmas looked like this...

Now it looks like this...

All the brass fittings were taken off, cleaned and replaced after the blackening. On the neck guard I have added an extra band of brass as the guard was recessed to take one.

The inside of the helmet has also had a whole bunch of work done to it too. Being a cheap Indian helmet it didn't fit very well and I was always trying to find ways of stuffing it and had to wear two arming caps to make it work at all, most unsatisfactory. Now I have sewn in an arming cap, which is riveted back and front to leather. The cheek guards have leather linings which are also stuffed to make the whole thing fit more comfortably. I have even gone to the lengths of making each brass washer that the rivets are peened into on all the leather work, even the ones that can't be seen.

This now looks great and is comfortable to wear. I am now going to get on with the gorget I have and then will start on my medieval kit. All of this should be far more straightforward than this helmet.

Now all I need is the time to blacken all my armour and make my brig. Busy busy:0)

I need to thank Erasmus Hyll for his excellent assistance in making sure I didn't cock it up!