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Konstantin the Red

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About Konstantin the Red

  • Rank
    Journeyman Member
  • Birthday 05/11/1956

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  • Location
    Port Hueneme, CA, USA
  • Interests
    SCA, armouring, firearms, cutlery, f&sf.
  • Occupation
    Cutco Salesman

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  1. "And any GOOD tunes."

    Hi, Dave!

    I'm a fan of bagpipes, having played them some years.  Of these, something I think you'd like would be Battlefield Band's cover of "Bad Moon Rising" -- with bagpipes doing a bridge.

    Most bagpipe small-music (the 'caol beg', or popular music of Scotland) I like -- marches, airs --  they are slower; hornpipes, strathspeys, and reels, which three are stuff to dance to, often a lot of fun -- and would sound really good wrung through an electric guitar.  Of the hornpipes, right now the biggie is "Itchy Fingers," which you can find on the pipes and on country fiddle.  You may prefer to start with the fiddle performance.

    "Amazing Grace," the most familiar of hymn tunes on the pipes, can make grown men and women weep.  "Flowers of the Forest," a lament, can make  you want  to rip your heart out of your chest for grief.  I've offered the piece for funerary or memorial services.  Don't think there was a dry hankie in the house.

    "Flower Of Scotland" has become the second Scottish national anthem -- and has words.  Seek performances of it on YouTube, by The Corries.  "Scotland the Brave," not an anthem, but sort of the national march, also has words, as of the 1930s iirc.

    One dating from the late nineteen-teens is "Battle of the Somme," which can be played as an air, or else as a variety of jig, in 9/8 time.  Decades later, somebody penned lyrics to it, naming the sung song "Someday We'll See Them," which is sung to the slower, air sort of pace.  "A song of faith, a song of resurrection" as folkie Tom Clancy said elsewhere; some cite Someday as an anti-war song -- I think that's too simplistic by rather a bit.

    Those are my high points for that kind of GOOD tunes.

    Regards, KtR

  2. Konstantin the Red

    My first set of armor

    Uh huh. If I come up with any good ideas about it, I'll run 'em by. Shoulder joints do kind of funny things in motion and hip joints (for another example) even more so, vis-a-vis rigid plate-y pieces of whatever material. The hip is a straight-up ball and socket, which plates have lots of trouble following its normal motions, unlike articulated plate on elbows, fingers, and knees -- hinge joints. They've got that part knocked. But some parts of the human form move most curiously, all over the place. That's the shoulders. They're ball and socket too, but the socket is out on the ends of several movable struts and other bones -- you can shrug your shoulder; you can push it down hard; you can push the whole joint forward and backward quite a bit through space, and hard armor has to ride all these gyrations and not slip. So you go with its piece cupping your deltoid muscle, thereby covering the shoulder socket itself, and then being flexibly secured to the margin of a collar (which can also be armor) or somewhere about the upper middle of your shoulder. The other end of this shoulder piece gets secured down on your arm somehow; a strap works there. Then it should travel with your shoulders just fine and you don't have to hitch anything back into place after you move an arm. I'm laying stress on this because in hanging inflexible hard-bits on your body you have to attend to exactly where parts of you really hinge from. There are a lot of moving parts in the shoulder girdle. TL;DR summary: wiggle-flexy part up towards your neck, tie the other end down at your bicep, close but not too tight. Some designs extend the arm parts all the way around the biceps, making a sleeve out of it, and you put it on by pushing your arm through it like a short sleeve. Closing that part there with laces allows adjustments for arm size. Ignore this darn linethrough; I can't find how to erase it. Sorry!
  3. Konstantin the Red

    My first set of armor

    Whee, instant responses! Who'd'a thunk it? Looks like you've rather an eye for design AND some notion of what body armour is really supposed to do -- excellent. While you are really designing costume, it's good that you have some idea what rigid armor pieces need to do to ride where you want them and let you move freely. Nice work, right off the bat. The articulations of the tassets -- those hip things -- should work. I recommend hanging the hard parts off vertical straps within. Let the straps be quite flexible, never stiff nor even stiffish. I'd recommend making the belt you're planning to loop them on being a permanently affixed piece of the whole -- sewn together (if you're historically minded and want it looking medieval-ish and not the 20th-century mode of copper rivets and burrs -- strong, but wayyy modern). That way, the tassets won't shift around on you but stay covering your outer thigh and hip. The shoulder bits probably won't work as drawn -- won't really let you raise your arms freely, while still being armor. Where those bits (aka spaudlers or spaulders, either is legit) should anchor is from about your neck-hole/collar. Let this fastening be flexible too, both bending upwards and swinging some, front and back. A strap is okay for this work, but thong it into place for convenient adjustment. The red straps which seem to hold the spaudlers (do they?) would do as over the shoulder straps to hold breast and back together, but you don't have to do it that way when you can really just have the breast and the back just about meet up at the shoulder seam. Again, you can thong these together and cover the thonging with your spauds... you might be able to put the whole thing on over your head like a t-shirt. Convincing breast- and back-plates should meet at the sides, even overlap a bit over your ribs under your arms -- that way, no chink in your armor! Serious armor is always designed around the threat environment, and in a close-run second place, to the tactics the wearer will use -- that's why Japanese armours look so different from European armours of the same times. Society for Creative Anachronism armor looks different from these too, not armoring the wearers' centerlines so much as, because of SCA's circular, cutting attacks, their silhouettes where the blows usually land. But against weapons that are (and painfully) effective in the thrust, a centerline-aligned protection of the vital organs is the thing -- so you see things like solid breastplates of single pieces, or at the very least, two halves overlapping over the center, especially in such a body armor type as the brigandine (almost scale inside out, and the scales riveted down differently making them more resistant to thrusts angling upwards from below), some of which are put on like a jacket. Double breasted if you like. We armouring nerds found that armored steel gauntlets, metal all the way down the fingers, are finicky to tailor because of the, uh, not straightforward articulation of a hand in motion. Mind you, we're expecting them to get beat on -- and then build them light weight for agility into the bargain! Then you don't half wear yourself to death swinging a weapon, which with a lot of weight on your hands is like running wind sprints wearing galoshes. Hardening up a glove isn't tooooo awful, but that plus letting fingers work is a tallish order. That said, the two easiest parts of an armored gaunt to get right are the cuff and the metacarpal hard-bit, that extends only from wrist joint to just barely the knuckles. The gloves of an Imperial Stormtrooper suit are a fair example of that plate. For more from the armour nerds, the über-armour-nerds, see http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/index.php . The site has an archive and stuff, you can search around, read articles -- and end up with a clear idea of what they build armor for.
  4. Konstantin the Red

    Looking for Armor Tailoring Patterns/Advice

    Ventails for mail coifs seem straightforward as far as anyone can tell nowadays -- make something you can cover your face below the eyes with -- line it too -- and zip it onto one side of your coif's face opening right at the edge I think. Aventails taper at the free end to keep them neat when it's fastened, mail being so floppy. You're right about knotting it into place with a thong AFAWK. A leather thong is the most compact fastener, easiest to fix if it gets broken, doesn't get in the way putting on a helmet or full helm, and just threads right into the mail wherever you want. A bit of bootlace with aglets on its ends is -- not too inauthentic, and some stiffening of the ends one way or another helps poke the thong through the mail weave.
  5. Konstantin the Red

    Looking for Armor Tailoring Patterns/Advice

    Bookmarking the Wayback-link would be the second choice, or better, just download the whole file to keep it securely on your machine. It's only about a dozen pages of text if that much. The NTLWorld site it was originally on went away years ago, so we should exert ourselves to keep this historical-type mail info easily accessed, even by people honestly better with their pliers than their keyboards ! (Makes a really good, livable shirt of any length from byrnie to hauberk, better in several ways than the unmodified Net-recipe for the Bladeturner pattern of shirt.) As you've heard, this tute is the recipe for assembling a copy of a c.1438 German mailshirt, made in Hamburg, curated in the Wallace Collection. They figured the date, unusual for historical mail, from the included signature ring and Hamburg city business licencing records from that century, recording one Bernart Couwein setting up a mail shop there. The shirt's in good shape for something made of steel that's been around for nearly six centuries.
  6. Konstantin the Red

    My first set of armor

    Well, like most scale, I'd call this good SF convention wear. My mailmaking has always been with armor function in mind -- getting it thrashed by SCA (Heavy) sticks of rattan ranging in length from about sixty centimeters to a couple meters minus; it's pretty much all the mail I ever think about -- and it shows. Some of those Creative Anachronists can really muster up a fierce blow. Video all over the internetz. So if you don't mind talking to somebody of that particular mail-bias, let's have some fun posting.
  7. Konstantin the Red

    OMG! My thumb has been numb for a week! (UPDATED 10/23/21)

    You may actually need a bit of medical attention to help speed your recovery. Using bigger, longer pliers may help prevent a recurrence -- more leverage, less effort -- the biggest pliers you can maneuver into the work. That soreness sounds just awful! I really only got soreness across my palms, working in steel wire, never the base of my thumb. That was the sign I was done for the day; starting out, you're really only good for thirty minutes to an hour mailling -- then go do something else until next day when your flesh has healed.
  8. Konstantin the Red

    How do you plan projects?

    Building armor projects doesn't take a great deal of methodical planning -- hardly any, really. Even if they aren't exactly your interest, it takes only a little more experience weaving mail to get you good at planning just about by instinct, and they have a lot in common with what you want to do anyway. Armor pieces in general fall into a few categories, only a couple of which might even be thought of as intricate. Mailshirts are mostly assemblies of a handful of sizes of square and rectangular mail-patches, some of which can be quite large and cover a lot of territory, and what isn't a square/rectangle is a triangular expansion zone, wider at the bottom than at the top -- or upside down to achieve a contraction. Triangular expansion zones zip right together with the plain-weave rectangles. All the funny clever stuff goes on within the triangular expansion, but its three edges all weave on normally. Camails, Mail Coifs, and Bishop's-Mantles can be built with expansions put in so these mail weavings come out circular, by very simple schemes of adding "expansion links/rings" (search site on these) round and round the edges. In themselves such extra links take very little material and no planning, really. Mail Faulds are skirts of mail to defend simply this difficult leg joint, and flare out some from waist to mid thigh, and include a sort of fly, a slit, to close it up so it stays where you wear it. Found with certain eras and styles of plate armor. Chausses are mail leggings held up with belts and suspenders, or else a loadbearing fitted vestlike cloth garment equipped with suspender straps for the mail -- and these do take planning and tailoring. Crusades-era gear. In the same vein are sleeves of mail, invented as defenses of the armpits, and a modular component of Renaissance armored-infantry halfarmor. Mail sleeves take some planning -- and running the mail fabric in open-hang, the grain going straight down the arm, to the wrist, and having slack, extra mail in, to give room to bend the elbow without cutting off your circulation. Art projects like colored inlays seem usually to follow a sequence of constructing the inlay first, often on a sewing cardboard marked with a regular grid (usually 1-inch squares) and you can secure the inlay down on it with masking tape so it doesn't get away from you until you're done making it. Then you fill in the background as needed until you have the whole area woven. For waste of material or time, I'd say not to concern yourself. If you run low on certain links/colors -- get employed, get money, buy them. That might take a while, what with school year going on and your family's going to tell you education's the true priority. (It will pay off for you.) Minimum-wage teen jobs will pay enough to keep you in supplies for mailling. You can always get wire, and coil your own -- I think you can do this by hand to start, and maybe go to powerwinding your mail coils if you're making something big. As for time: handweaving mail is slow. Plenty slow. There's nothing like mailling for teaching you more patience than you ever had before. Use your MP3 player or whatever to help entertain you while you weave. TV is not as good unless you just refuse to look at the TV screen.
  9. Konstantin the Red

    MAIL -- the other site -- and its health

    Good news.
  10. Konstantin the Red

    MAIL -- the other site -- and its health

    Is M.A.I.L. still paralytic and its admin difficult to reach? It's been over a year since anyone could post on that other mail page. Or have I been missing something, like a new url/page?
  11. Konstantin the Red

    Types of Material

    That may be a plating or anodization with tantalum, as it seems too soft and bendable for wear. Some alloy? It gives no physiological reaction, so it's probably very hypoallergenic.
  12. Konstantin the Red

    Coif collar

    Mr. Gore who invented Gore-Tex died a few months back. I don't think it was The Plague...
  13. Konstantin the Red

    Armor Stands

    Making them in patches always sufficed for me. Test fittings, since the shirts were for me only, were just try 'em on, take 'em off, get back to weaving, or zipping on the mailpatch I'd been weaving. It's remarkable just how simple you can go and have mailling still work.
  14. Konstantin the Red

    Armor Stands

    Good job. Seeing all three of them together like that tempted me to quip "Truly I tell you, this day shalt thou be with me in... well, the front hall, anyway!" So, are your shirts all the same link size? I see one shirt has a 4-trapezoids/Bladeturner shoulder section. Are the shirts the end-all, or are they in aid of a larger hobby like a LARP or the SCA? You speak of TRL restocking -- do you like pre-cut or sawn links, then? I'll put in a plug for Cold Steel, too, as having better quality mailorder swords than most. Other arms too. Things been a little dull around here the last couple weeks -- thanks for dropping by.
  15. Konstantin the Red

    Coif collar

    Building a bomb/MacGyver... It was intended to be a cutesy line in a thriller movie, but I think you can "build a bomb out of Bisquick." Maybe not a huge explosive yield per pound, but still combustible. It'd be a flour bomb: aerosolize flour in sufficient concentration inside a closed space, light it with a naked flame, whoomph. They've lost parts of factories (a paper towel factory was one -- dust built up) and whole grain silos this way. It's a matter of the fuel being so finely divided that it burns really fast.