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About Paladin

  • Rank
    Homo Loricatus
  • Birthday 05/14/1976

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Flowery Branch, Georgia USA
  • Interests
    Armorsmithing, Swordplay, Art, Occasional Gaming
  • Occupation
    Several: Retail, Freight, Artist
  • The year you started making chainmail

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  1. Paladin

    Getting back into it, a few questions about scales.

    Three expansion seams, huh Lorenzo? Somehow I never even thought of trying that; probably helps with the 'stick up' issue you can get with just two expansion seams where the sleeves join the torso too... Damn, I may have to pull out the unfinished shirt back out (intended to be my last piece, for a good while at least) and give this a try...
  2. Paladin

    Scalemail Advice Needed

    I've had very little maintenance with butted, 4in1 scale shirts overall. Though the extra rings add weight, they do reduce slippage. The most common spots for occasional slipped scales are around the collar where you pull it off of you, and the middle of the trunk where you bend over. Depending on your pattern, seams can also be a pain point. For example, a 45 degree seam is normally held together by one ring attaching a pair of scales. You can strengthen that seam by covering it with scales and adding the extra rings to keep them laying straight. Using stiffer stainless steel rings was smart, you'll have fewer slips than with softer metals, and less trouble maintaining the armor. I was also one of those 'weirdos' that wore steel for larping, since I got more points for the armor than aluminum or plastic. (I usually skipped a shield, so the extra points helped.) You will have to take care to build up to all day wear. Also, you might feel fine for a good while, but by the time you realize you need a break, you're already in for a good deal of back pain and stiffness later. So take the time to condition your core, lower back, and upper back between your shoulder blades for the additional weight. Pay attention to your knees as well. Even if well fitted, you still have to generate more force than you may be accustomed to in order to get in motion, to change directions, and to stop. Those steel scales are going to require a good bit more maintenance than aluminum or stainless steel scales. Remember to scour and oil them periodically. I also use Windlass Rust Blocker on my old galvanized steel ring and hardened steel scale shirt to extend the time between cleanings.
  3. Paladin

    Help with sleeve construction

    Some more information is needed to help you out. What kind of join did you do on the shirt? 45 degree angle? Back to back? 90 degree angle? I ask because the picture could be part of a 45 degree link, meaning the diagonal portions attach to the front and back panels of the torso, or if you used a different join, that flat top row could attach to the torso with a 90 degree link. Or it could all be something else entirely. Also with the scales, you can get 'weird bulges' when joining alternating flat and diagonal sections together. Instead, you want to use a series of contractions and/or expansions within the weave to tailor the fit. This entails a little more preparation as you reduce the diameter of the tube more gradually, but usually results in a smoother look. Keep in mind, unless it is somewhat baggy, you may also need an expansion pouch to accommodate your elbow when your arm bends. Again, a little planning is required for a seamless look. You can remove anywhere from one to five vertical rows of scales between roughly six to twelve inches in length, add in two or three expansions with some regular rows in between them and at the widest area, and then contract it back down the same way. Just remember: after an expansion, you are adding a whole new row of scales to your width below it. With a contraction, you are removing a whole row of scales below it. This means you may not need to use as many as you might think. If you don't know those techniques, you can find the guide I made on the scales page, and links to it scattered in some of the other posts on scales in the forums here. The construction method Konstantin mentioned is easier to use by far and is what has long been employed to efficiently construct and tailor mail armor, but on TRL's scales it can result in a bunch of seams and might function less effectively than it does with mail unless you modify the approach. Using the 'elbow pouch' as an example, it is a small matter to open a slit in a mail sleeve, weave a diamond, and then attach the diagonal edges to the slit in the sleeve without ending up with a painfully obvious (or structurally weak) seam. If you did the exact same thing with these scales, you would see the rows of scales on your sleeve splitting and running diagonally around the triangular parts before rejoining, creating some obvious seams as you attach those vertical rows to the diagonal edges. However, if you weave a panel with the desired expansions and contractions instead, you can link it in pretty much seamlessly. Such a panel can sometimes look 'messy' laying flat as it will bow outwards in the middle, but if you lay it over a curved form, you will see those edges 'straighten out'. If the description above is not is not making sense, try this exercise: Make two 'normal' panels of scales that are nine rows long alternating three and four rows wide. (3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3) Next, make a patch of scales four rows wide and three high, so you have a row of four, next row three, and last row four. To continue the pattern, you would add three scales, correct? Instead, just add two scales leaving the center 'blank'. Link two more scales together, and weave the doubled scale into the center as if it were a single scale. Instead of three scales on that row you now have four. Even though those scales are linked, they are still considered two separate scales, so the row below this will end up with five scales instead of four. The row below that will have four scales instead of three. Let's say you need to contract the weave here to bring it back to normal. Instead of attaching the five scales on your next row, link the two center scales on your current row of four together. Count this linked pair as a single scale, so you now have 'three' instead of 'four' on this row. Your next row down will have four scales attached. The following row will have three. Then back to four for the last row. So, you have three 'normal' rows (4-3-4) an expansion row with four scales occupying three 'slots', a 'normal' row with five scales, a contraction row with 'three' scales (four being counted as three since two are linked together) and three more 'normal' rows with four, then three, and finally four scales. If place your two normal panels on either side of this one and line up the rows, you will see that they can be seamlessly woven together.
  4. Paladin

    my first weavings

    This shared album is mostly scale, but there is one picture of a mail shirt where I did narrow 'straps' hanging closed and attached hanging closed sleeves at a 90 degree angle. It's tough to tell in the picture, but the sleeve panels run opposite directions of each other to minimize the seams. The first row of rings attached at 90 degrees to the body overlap bottom to top. On the far panel, the 'same' row overlaps top to bottom. I'll do a search for more pictures and upload them to this album, if I find any, this weekend. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB
  5. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    If you look at a muscular anatomy chart with the figure facing right, you will see the latisimus dorsi (farthest left/back) serratus anterior ( more in the middle) and external obliques (further right) then the ol' abs along with the pecs above them. Around where those first three groups are meeting up is often a good place for a contraction: the relative bulk of the pecs and the lats are 'narrowing' down to the serratus muscles, before things begin 'flaring out' again at the obliques. This area is more towards the backside of the torso than the front. Yes, I meant in a single column for the contractions in your lower back. You can place one nearer the top, skip a row or two, then place the second underneath. As far as warning signs go, if it does not sit comfortably or binds when you move, you'll want to think about adjusting things. So, think two contractions the same height on either side of your torso, more towards the back than the front, at your natural waistline, and two contractions, one above the other, centered in the small of your back. As an aside, the link below is to a shared album. The pictures of the dark gray scale shirt was my first one when it was nearly complete. (I still had some mail to add to one sleeve.) That shirt had no contractions anywhere when those pictures were taken. The back panel was a few rows wider and taller than the front, and I sized everything so it all hung right at full extension at rest, that is all. I modified it later on, gaining a bit more freedom of movement with less 'stretching' of the back panel. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB
  6. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    Take this with a grain of salt, because comfort is a personal thing. Given your shape, the size of your scales, and that you are making a pull-over shirt, I would recommend a contraction at your 'natural waistline' (The one well above your belly button) on either side, more towards your backside than your front side. Divide your sides by three and place in the third closest to your back, if the description makes sense. And another contraction or two at the small of your back. Unless you add an expansion at the top of your shoulders, I would not worry about a contraction underneath your shoulder blades. Each contraction effectively eliminates a row of scales, so things can get tight quickly if you are not careful. If you size everything so that the scales hang right at full extension you will find they conform to you better than you may expect; especially as the weight of the piece increases. This also leaves you a bit of room for expansion as you move. (Scales expand horizontally across the weave as they contract vertically, and contract horizontally as they expand vertically.) I would think about your shoulder seam as well. The current arrangement looks like it will eventually become rather uncomfortable and have trouble holding together as the weight of your shirt increases. Since you mention raising your arms above your head; the scales do not flex as well horizontally along the sheet as they do vertically. Meaning you can find the sides of the panels being driven into your neck as you reach for the sky; especially if you have full sleeves, large 'spaulders', or even broad 'straps'. As it looks now, I do not think you will have that issue, but I would not narrow your head hole any. A 'quick' fix that would reinforce your shoulder seam without resizing anything could be a single row 90 degree link. There is a picture in the guide that shows one from the top and bottom. The arrangement seen with the aluminum scales would likely work best with what you presently have, if you want to try it. Keep up the good work!
  7. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    Yeah, that's me. I had been weaving mail since I was a senior in high school, but when I first picked up some of these scales nine years ago, there were really no videos or other tutorials readily available, and I spent a couple of months just 'messing around' before I actually started weaving a shirt. Putting together a guide, even as basic as this one, also proved a more complicated undertaking than I originally thought. As for the orange dots, they represent the start of a single contraction. They're not meant to mean you need a contraction at each point, just to show good spots to place one to help tailor the armor. Using a 45 degree seam, hexagonal neck hole, large scale shirt for an example, I commonly make the back panel up to three rows wider than the front, and between two to four rows 'taller', for freedom of movement and so the scales sit higher up towards my neck. Because of that extra width, I usually have one or more contractions placed in the small of my back, and another on each side underneath my shoulder blades at least. Without those contractions, such a shirt would tend to flap against my back and even want to pull backwards, tugging the front of the collar onto my neck when I move around. (This also means my shoulder panels are asymmetrical front to back.) As for the passion, I have to admit it has faded after so long. I have one last, fairly simple scale and mail shirt under construction for myself, which I have been chronicling from its initial design to its eventual completion in order to create a companion guide. Also, I will make a minor addition or two to the second edition guide; like how to create an expansion seam. After that, I think I will be done for awhile...
  8. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    I'm the opposite of Eric. I prefer to work top down. I like to ensure that I have my head hole and collar placed correctly and the panels draping over my shoulders comfortably. Then I work those panels down just far enough to link four to six rows under my arms. Most of my tailoring (except for a contraction or two in the small of my back) is done in that area, so afterwards I start making large, flat panels to hook on like Eric does. I do have a few, specific 'munitions grade' patterns that I weave by the panel and link together afterwards as well. Ultimately, you will learn what method is best for you by doing it.
  9. Paladin

    Newbie need help :)

    There are a few ways you can do it. When you remove that single column of scales, your 'new' edge scales will be left with three rings; two lower and one upper. Attach another ring to the two lower rings of one scale and to the single upper ring of the scale below. If this does not do the job, you can do a column of full 4 in 1 with the scales. Assuming you added that new ring mentioned above, thread another ring through that ring, and onto the scale below. That scale will now have four rings attached to it. That fifth ring will now be linking two lower rings of the scale above to two upper rings of the scale below. With either method, you can simply run your cord or string up through the outer rings of the scales. On a side note: If you need to stabilize a straight, bottom row of scales, add the two lower rings onto the last row of scales. Then link them with another ring all the way across, just like you were making 4 in 1 mail. If you haven't seen it, here is a link to a basic guide on TRL's scales I made some time ago. Stabilizing the edges is covered near the end of it. https://sites.google.com/site/thehappybarbarianhordelands/scale-tutorial
  10. Paladin

    Looking for pics of battle damage

    Search Youtube for Skallagrim. He has done various weapon demonstrations on butted and riveted mail; both patches and byrnies, often over padding and/or ballistic gel dummies. In short, while still not truly scientific (which he has both the care and the class to point out), much better than those that simply drape mail over a log, or a wooden stand. You might get some good stills from closeup shots of the aftermath. ThegnThrand is another to look at as well.
  11. Paladin

    Aquaman Hauberk V3 assistance

    Even though it sucks to tear out work, the simplest method is to separate your panels, then add perhaps two or three rows front and back to your shoulder panels. (You will have 5 - 7 scales along the sides of your neck at that point.) A good rule of thumb for 45 degree seams is to try to get them to follow a path from where your clavicle meets the deltoid muscles down to where the pectoral, biceps, and deltoid meet on the front. On the back: from where the trapezius meets the deltoid, down to where the latissimus dorsi, the triceps, and those little muscles (something terres? spinatus? I'm forgetting my artist's anatomy...) that sit on the scapula underneath. Add enough rows to the shoulder panels so the seams sit roughly along those lines. You may notice that they do not quite sit symmetrically front to back. That is ok. Reattach the panels with just a few rings, maybe every fourth or fifth scale on each seam, just enough to hold things together. Check the new fit. You may find that you have to fill in some of the neck hole on the front and back sides, depending on how much the new geometry dropped them. If you do have to fill in, that means your shoulder panels also have to be pulled in by an equal number of rows so they attach properly to the innermost rows. Once things feel like they are sitting comfortably, fill out your front and back panels far enough to attach five or six rows of scales under your arms. Make any further adjustments you need at this point. If there is an issue you will not have so much to tear out and redo. I've added four old pictures of when my first attempt was nearing 'completion' to the shared album below. Hopefully they help you out. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB
  12. Paladin

    Aquaman Hauberk V3 assistance

    The diamond shaped neck hole does not fit everyone well, myself included. I also worry your seams might be up a little too high, which can affect fit and flexibility down the road. (A little tough for me to judge though, since I'm looking on my phone...) You might try a hexagonal neck hole. You can split the shoulders in half, add some rows, and stitch them back together. That would enlarge the neck hole without widening it and lower those seams. The weight of full sleeves will prevent the scales along the sides of your neck from sticking up as well. A variation of the keyhole neck Rob mentioned is to set it off center and weave out a panel you hook to the other side. I hesitate to add this, but if you want a truly seamless look, you can do an expansion seam instead of a 45 degree seam. Instead of a smooth diagonal row, you do steps: 2 scales down, 1 out, 2 down, 1 out on your panel edges and link them with expansions. This means the top of your two steps get linked together like a 45 degree seem, then you add in your expansion scale below. Then link the next step tops together like a 45 degree link, add the expansion scale, wash, rinse, repeat. This arrangement is tricky as far as seam placement goes and it helps to vary the ring sizes slightly to keep it laying flat.
  13. Paladin

    My first scale maille shirt - any help?

    Those are the large stainless steel scales and 16 gauge 5/16 inch stainless steel rings. Believe it or not, even with nine completed byrnie - haubergeon sized pieces and roughly an equal number of other smaller, misc. items over the last seven or eight years, I still have not worked with any of the other sizes for these scales.
  14. Paladin

    My first scale maille shirt - any help?

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB Alright, I did a quick patch showing how to work with the diagonal scales and a hanging closed mail panel. There are 7 scales, 6 in a pyramid, 1 hanging below as if it was the outer straight edge. If you weave the tip and edges in full 4in1, it will help with both stabilizing the panels of scales and linking them to the mail. If you're having trouble following what is happening, just start with a row of 4in1 3 rings tall and wide enough to cover your panel of scales. Link two rings to the top scale and your strip and then finish the row. The first ring of the next row down will attach to one of the rings that went through your scale, the ring next to it, and the ring linking your two scales together on the diagonal. Then finish the row across. Keep in mind, the rings alternate which way they lay with every row and you will have to pay attention to that if you are working with separate panels you want to attach together later. If they don't line up, you will be tearing out a lot of work along with the hair on your head. I added two pics of my current project as well. Somewhat similar to yours but I am doing hanging open mail panels all around since I am using the round scales. It will be a simple piece with everything attached using a series of 90 degree links. I am doing a bit of a companion to the scale guide I made several years back which will document this project beginning to end and reference techniques in the guide along the way. Given my work schedule and other projects, it will be a while in coming...
  15. Paladin

    My first scale maille shirt - any help?

    90 degree links will do it. On your mail panel, two rings will go through each ring on top of your scale panel. For the sides of the scale panel add the rings to the outside edges. Two rings on the scale panel will go through each ring of your mail panel. I have a scale suit underway with panels that will be attached using a series of 90 degree links. Sorry for terse reply, happened to lurk just before bed. If my description doesn't make sense, look for October 2017 post about 90 degree 4 in 1. I added a pic of mail shirt using that method. Application is pretty much identical for scales. Just imagine hanging open panel in pic is your scale panel.