By: Jefferson Webb
Although my great helm served me faithfully for the better part of a decade, I was starting to look around for another helmet to go along with some upgrades to my harness and gear. As I looked around at the various helmets on the market that are mass-produced, I really did not find anything that I thought would be a good replacement. When I looked at custom helmets from some of the outstanding smiths and forges that exist, the price was just much MUCH more than what I was willing to pay. Some of those custom helms are worth it, but I did not want to, nor could I afford to foot that sort of bill. Part of my issue with my great helm I think came from the human desire to change things up sometimes (like redecorating the house, getting a new house or car…). But my research into a new helm also comes from a knowledge that the great helm (in particular this style) was an earlier helmet and as far as we can tell, did not see much use with a harness of plate armour like the bascinet helmets, sallets, and such did. So, the idea that it would be out of place with my harness was lingering there. That said, as a good friend of mine stated in a conversation recently, “The people depicted in most of the sources in harnesses were royalty or nobility, and were able to afford the most up-to-date and complete harnesses. Others such a lower knights and men-at-arms often had to piece together harnesses and this was not so well depicted.” Something that makes perfect sense, and that I already had lingering in the back of my mind as well. Given this conversation and that fact that my great helm has saved my head and face some pain several times over the span of its service to me, I decided to give it an exterior makeover and continue on with this helm. Since it is historically documented that helms were painted from time to time, why not? I decided to share the basic steps with you. (more…)
There are many types of period helmets/head protection that one can invest in for Medieval/Renaissance/Historical European Martial Arts. In our martial arts organization you still typically see steel armour helmets. Soon enough there will be more and more heavy fencing H.E.M.A. masks involved in our training sessions, but we like the weight and sensory limitations that a period helm places a fighter under to give us a feel for what out forefathers in these martial arts experienced. The helmet we will be looking at is the get Dressed for Battle, Crusader Spangen Helmet.
I’ve recently decided to try out this helmet as a replacement for my great helm that I have been wearing for around eight years, and I’ve decided to write a review on the helmet after having some freestyle matches utilizing it. Firstly, the helmet is comfortable to wear and mounts very well on the head. There is room for an arming cap and coif, and you will need that for this helmet. The helmet have wonderful visibility and the breathability inside of this helmet is also great. That said, the oculars on the helmet’s face mask (it is not a hinged visor helm) are larger enough that I highly recommend wearing protective eye hardware inside of the helmet. I use hard plastic eye protection made for doing yard/garden work (mowing and edging). It is not a guarantee against injury, but an added element to help keep the wearer safer in sparring with rebated swords, etc… (more…)