THE TOLL ROAD TO HELL
Part Three: Medieval Temptation

Last modified:
Saturday, November 23, 2002 9:08 AM

 

11/21/02- (This should have been Part 2, but it didn't work out that way.)

You know what they say about a fool and his money. If you're interested in this genre at all, at one time or another you've probably thought about how kewl it would be to have your own suit of armour (or "harness" as it's fashionable to say). Making the 1:6 stuff is gratifying in its own way, but it's not a substitute gratification for succumbing to The Temptation. For a practical man, the hardest part is justifying it. Unless you're involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism's competitive sport aspect or have a mansion that needs this decorative touch, the cost of armour is kinda steep for a once-a-year Halloween gig or the Renaissance Fairs. That's if you were willing to wear this kind of stuff in the first place; I'm most comfortable wearing my 21st Century costume. I'm realistic and know that I'm not the type who would wear something like this in public; besides, I consider it a cruel act of fate that I don't have the proper racial makeup to convincingly pull off an impersonation of a European knight. So be it. But I like the stuff!

So I reasoned that the two-hour drive to the Renaissance fair justified spending the money on the hounskull bascinet-- it's not like you can find this kinda stuff at the armour section of Walmart. There's always the Internet, but for something like this, I wanted to see and feel before spending the money.

Of course, it didn't end there-- it never does. The hauberk (chainmail tunic) & coif (head cover) were purchased on Ebay. I'd originally intended only to get a coif, but got sniped in the last 30 seconds. Fate intervenes. The hauberk & coif were priced well, and I reasoned that I'd probably eventually want the hauberk and it would perhaps be more expensive to buy them separately. That was an agonizing decision because this was a lot of money for something which had no practical purpose (hmmmm... and 1:6 collecting is...???)-- I was just pouring more money down the hellhole. And at one point, I was actually considering getting the riveted version for twice the price; something about having the more authentic version appealed to my vanity. In the end, I sorta left it to fate: Instead of paying the "Buy it Now!" price, I bid at the starting price, prepared for the possibility that I might be outbid by a dollar or so.

Of course, I've tried this stuff on... satisfying that curiosity was one of the main points. I've gotta tell you that putting the hauberk on without a shirt underneath is kinda like diving into cold water-- it takes a few nipple-stiffening seconds to get acclimated. However, it was quite amazing that the thirty pounds felt so much lighter when you were wearing it instead of carrying it. A moment of panic came when I pondered how I was gonna get the damn thing off-- Putting it on was easy, but taking it off was not like taking off a tee shirt. Fortunately, gravity can work for you if you have the presence of mind to let it. Lean downwards and it slides right off.

The ultimate justification for getting this stuff was the mannequin-- I knew that she could wear this stuff 24/7 without bitching and look good in it. Storage and display, all at once. It also puts a cap on the hemorrhaging expenses, since she doesn't need the gambeson, cuirass and the arm and leg defenses: With her heavy makeup, she's not in danger of being historically accurate. She's just a kewl-looking babe in heavy metal. So there-- hopefully this counts as a customizing project (an expensive version of "kitbashing"), and as a special nod to those with that peculiar fetish-- Hey, she's even got small breasts!

(But I still want a full suit of Germanic high-gothic armour...)

 

excalibur merlin doll

 

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