Researching and Commissioning a New Arm Harness

Featured Image for the article Researching and Commissioning a New Arm Harness on the medieval living history and reenactment resource website The Turnip of Terror.

– 24 minute read, 4,800 words

As I design my dream armor and the elements I want to appear in it, as I suspect everyone does, I have dived into researching the armor, its components, and its features. Before I go further it is important to acknowledge the motivations behind a project such as this. If we, as medieval enthusiasts doing living history and reenactment are going to sink years of our lives in research and development and spend thousands of dollars on solid-steel dress up, we owe it to ourselves not to lose sight of the “why” behind doing it. A resounding love for history and interpreting it is my fundamental motivation to do reenactment and living history generally, and a variety of periods catch my interest. I got my start in 19th-century maritime living history, but I’ve also dabbled in and had exposure to SCA style medieval, 18th century British Fusiliers, WWI, and 16th-century colonialists.

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Settling vs. Good Enough for Now

Featured Image for the Settling vs. Good Enough for Now Article on the medieval reenactment and living history resource website The Turnip of Terror

In the pursuit of a high-quality commoner impression of an authentic, accurate, and gossip-worthy yeoman it is conservative to say one could spend many thousands of dollars to achieve the look, fit, and feel desired. From there it spirals when one looks into the costs of equipping one’s self in the martial accouterments of well-equipped archer or man at arms. Even barring the idea of filling up an entire encampment if one then looks into a minor gentry or even noble impression and the costs of custom harnesses made my preeminent armorers, horses and their tack, sumptuous soft kit with all the fur-trimmed and gilded extravagances imaginable the sum of tens of thousands of dollars can be spent in the reenactment of medieval living history. Some never spend this much. Few drop this much cash from the start. For most this is an investment accruing in smaller purchases over a lifetime of enjoyment in the hobby. Which means for most of us purchase decisions are either long saved for items, concessions, or placeholders for future upgrades. This article addresses the latter and to some extent its preceding, option.

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