Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction: The 14th Century (Medieval & Renaissance) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/9/1
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Few historical icons can match the evocative power of the medieval suit of armour, and this epic new book is a complete course in the tools and techniques of the modern armourer's art. Through more than 1,000 detailed photos and clear instruction, Brian Price presents a working handbook for aspiring and active armourers who want to develop their skills in the production of medieval armour in the style of the 14th century. The book is divided into four sections: a sweeping history of armour and its production from its medieval roots to its modern revival; a practical introduction to all the tools and supplies necessary to equip a modern workshop; a thorough review of key techniques; and a series of actual courses in constructing armoured defenses for the head, body, arm, hand and leg. Taking the reader through the construction of an authentic medieval harness from conception to completion, Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction is a vital addition to the libraries of serious craftsmen, historians, collectors and researchers.
However, I was blown away by the sheer amount of detailed and interesting information concerning every single facet of armor production. The organization of the content is brilliant as well; the entire book has a few misc sections but is primarily divided by what piece of armor rather than what specific suit of armor, and each armor part section has details about how different types of armor changed from the 14th to 18th century.
I came into this book from curiosity and intrigue and even after just a quick 20-30 min browsing through the pages before leaving for work after getting it, I immediately wanted to build myself a segmented gauntlet because I never quite realized how cool the engineering is for it.
If you want to build reproduction quality armor and want a good resource for it, go no further: you've found all you need right here in this book. The one thing I would say is...get the hardcover edition if you want to reproduce stuff from it. It may not look like it from the picture, but it's 500 pages and...well, they could charge $60 for paperback and I'd still would have gladly paid.
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.
HOWEVER, my main concern is that two major techniques (raising & thermal treatements) used extensively by armourers are virtually ignored. In my humble opinion, if the next edition of this book were to beef up the chapters on raising and thermal treatments (with photos, descriptions of the actual process) as well as include more examples of different styles of armour construction, this book would be a true masterpiece.
However, I must add that this is not a novice's book. While the tutorials and other information is rather basic, this is not made for someone who just wants to buy this and get going. A terrific helper, but one must have some basic understanding of metalworking and a little experience beating on steel.
Take it from me, find some patterns online, acquaint yourself, and then have a go with this book.
Best of luck to you, and my thanks to the author!