Something to fight with
This page is a subsection of SCA Without Breaking the Bank. It provides information about heavy fighting.
Submitted by Vladislav Chrnek
We have started a war unit exclusively for the newer fighters in our area. It is a close-order shield wall, and as part of the groups activities, the members participate in communal armouring, all chipping in to bulk purchase the equipment. They then work together to create at least TWO items of each piece of armour they make. This way the unit has a ready supply of brand new loaner gear and the budding armourers get more practice.
Submitted by Constance Stoune
Don't forget barter. I am not a metal worker (though I am learning some basics) but I have set of armour that looks very good from using my sewing and research skills. I'm currently working on period correct Japanese clothing for the armourer's daughter. I get the armour I need and his wife doesn't have to do the research and such on the unusual garb. (I love to do the research.) I also am getting some hand-me-down armour although this is not recommended for all -- I'm female so it's impossible to get all the hand me down stuff to fit.
Submitted by Brynna of Axewater
For your fighter's gambeson, use old packing blankets from a moving company. Cheap, serviceable, and well padded. Why spend $10-20 a metre CDN for quilted fabric, when you can buy one of these for pennies. Also, watch out for old quilts at garage sales - again, these are quilted fabrics, and even though I'd hate to see them chopped up for a gambeson, why not?? Or for the inside of a light-weight cloak? Of if nice enough (and period of course), for a table covering at a feast.
Submitted by Jason Dray
Many of our ewer fighters have adopted the Dark Ages as their time period. They wear plastic hockey armor to cover their arms and legs - UNDER those baggy period tunics and pants. Body armor is fairly easy - usually a wide kidney belt. Helms still need to be borrowed, but it gets them on the field quickly.
Submitted by Lord Donal O'Brien
Chainmail was worn as armor throughout the entire SCA period. Sara's Chainmail Connection offers a number of resources on how to make many styles of maille.
Submitted by Emma Wen of Painscastle
Don't forget that many of the practices for fighting, fencing, and archery tend to have loaner gear that you can borrow for completely free while at that practice. Usually, you only need to provide your own personal-body-part-protection-gear.
Submitted by Reinhard Hauser von Burgdorf
If you want to armour, the Armour Archive at http://www.armourarchive.org/ This is a forum for armourers, all very keen to teach newcomers their art. Not only is there a HUGE pool of talent, but there are also essays and patterns on armouring and armour free to try out. My first armour harness was a complete set of gothic armour, probably as hard a project as I could choose and built with absolutely no knowledge of metalwork.
For torso armour, the much maligned 'carpet-armour' can be constructed out of carpet tiles and covered in fabric, all that is needed is a sharp knife and some sewing skills. This is identical to period 'coat-of-plates' or 'brigandine' armour and was used throughout the mediaeval period. This armour is also very comfortable to wear and provides maximum manouevrability.
Fighters are compulsive shield makers, often having several at once and loathe to discard shields that do not really suit their fighting style as 'they're still good'. Often these fighters are all too pleased to either give away or permanently loan out shields just to see them used.
Being a light fighter does not automatically mean using a bow; javelins and throwing axes are cheaply constructed and possibly even more effective.
Submitted by Cariadoc of the Bow
You might want to point people at the article on hardened leather armor in the Miscellany. It's relatively inexpensive, and requires no tools more exotic than a stove, a very large pot, and a utility knife. The article is "The Perfect Armor Improved."