The general rule of thumb I’ve found is: what you measure, you optimize. Part of this blog is documenting my progress, measuring where I’m at with my impression, and letting others in on it so that they can learn from my failures and successes. I have been working on this for years, but without any focus or intention. This blog has helped me optimize and focus, and as part of that I plan to do regular “State of the Turnip” addresses, to track progress, identify weaknesses, and reorient on the goals I have set for myself.
Today’s post will be the first of such posts: acknowledging the state of my kit at the end of 2016. I doubt I’ll wait until the end of 2017 to do another one, maybe bi-yearly, or quarterly, but you have to start somewhere. This post will include things I’ve shared already, and also act as a preview of things I’m working on, but haven’t published yet. Feel free to comment on content you’d like me to prioritized. Some of these are, understandably, long term life-time goals.
My soft kit is really strong right now. When I think soft kit, I think of all the things I wear off of the field. AKA “civilian” dress. The goal with my soft kit is to display the impression of a wealthy young knight. Some of my older items, things that were made or purchased years ago, are starting to fall apart or don’t fit the time frame of the outfit perfectly, and are slated for replacement. Looking over the lists, it seems that the majority of my soft kit purchases in the future are going to be accessories and accouterments, or adding comfort/vanity duplicates of things I already have. I try to purchase most of my gear now, since I’m pretty terrible at making things and I link to the products as I can for your reference.
*A Saint Louis style shirt
*Boxer style braies
*Fancy Brocade Charles of Blois doublet
*Buttoned Hood (linen)
*Low turn shoes (will need replacing, they’re too small)
*High style turn shoes (will need replacing, they’ve lived their life and are falling apart.)
*Belts (lower and higher grade fancy belt w/ mounts)
*Hat brooch (needs affixing)
*Fancy cloak brooch
*Extra small clothes (so I can camp a weekend and always have fresh shirts/ underwear)
*”Bocksten Man” fur lined shoulder buttoned circle cloak
*A “simpler” doublet, that I can be more active in than the fanciest of doublets I have.
*Split mittens or other gloves for the winter
*Tippets, because I’m oh-so fancy.
*Fancier buttons, maybe gold plated, for all garments
*Impressive livery collar
*A stately ring or two, perhaps a signet style one
*Tall and buckle-y riding boots
All that “on the field wear”; armor, arming clothes, and accompanying things. Though, as above, I strive to buy as much as I can, with the armor (especially the plate armor) my goal is to have most of it made compared to bought off a shelf. I don’t have as many links here as I do elsewhere.
*Joined hose ordered from Historic Enterprises and still under construction.
*Arming doublet ordered from H.E. as well. I’ll be posting about it once it comes.
*Breastplate (needs straps)
*Full english arms (need straps)
*Steel cuisses (need straps)
*Shynbalds (need light reshaping)
*Baggy chain cuisses (needs tailoring)
*Bascinet with historical visor
*Burgeonet with perfplate visor
*Full cuirass (backplate & fauld)
*Better full english arms
*Better cuisses to include cased greaves
To include camp gear, but also general ambiance: things not clothes that I can use to increase my presence even on day trips.
*Forage bag (sort of, given away to the wife. Review pending.)
*A moldering wedge style tent with sketchy framework (needs to be replaced)
*A accurate-enough chest
*Spurs, because they look knightly.
*A nice little bell wedge
*Rope/slat bed w/ mattress
*Field table (with paint, per upcoming post)
*Takedown weapon rack
Separate from my armor, to include both training and display weapons/shields
*Rondel style dagger (for carry)
*Tinker Pierce longsword blunt
*Authentic-ish arming sword
*Rondel style dagger (blunt for harnesfechten)
*Fighting arming sword (blunt for harnesfechten)
*Fancy arming sword
*Fighting longsword (blunt for harnesfechten)
*Nice longsword with scabbard
*Display and rubber halberd for fighting
*Display and rubber tipped spear
It’s very easy to forget about my non-period training equipment that I should prioritize and focus on, but don’t because it’s not as sexy.
*Longsword and arming sword wasters
*Fencing mask with backing
All the stuff that doesn’t quite fit in elsewhere.
*Helmet stand (upcoming DIY post)
In general I had to make a conscious decision: look really slick when slick, or get marginally armored. Sometimes I feel like I made a mistake, and I would be better served having more armor, but so far I have had occasion to wear civilian clothes more often than I have had the opportunity to have put on harness. Technically there’s a harnesfechten practice on a regular basis, but it’s during the hours I work, so I don’t expect to go in the forseeable future. So despite the completely unavoidable “grass is greener” reservations, I am very comfortable with my progress. Since my soft kit is mostly nailed down, 2017 is the year of steel. I’ll be putting the majority of my efforts and finances into getting the metal put together. There’s a deed for us, the Medieval Swordsman Guild of Kansas City, in April which, with some work, I may just barely be able to participate in.