Mail Standard/Pisane

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Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby bonnacon on Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:00 am

Hi all,
I've just purchased some mail links and was thinking of making a mail pisane/standard as a lot of the reliefs and drawings of galloglaich have. How is the best way of achieving the look of the carvings/drawings? Should I make it as a large square of mail and then turn it 45 degrees, or is there another way that has worked for people??

Thanks,

Jon
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby the_power on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:53 pm

Er, seriously ? I'd say 'buy one'. I've made two coifs, and both were a complete pain. The first one was with simple butted mail. I think I spent 30 hours on it before I got annoyed and threw it in the bin. Trying to get the 'start' - the round bit over your crown - to hang right is a complete pain in the backside.

The second time, I bought a riveted 'crown' from Steve Forth armouries, then did everything below my hairline myself, with bronze trim, then added a light leather liner. Turned out really well, but it was easily 200 hours work, maybe more. I think I spent €130 on the links alone.

You can get a wonderful riveted coif from capapie.co.uk for €1�or so. It's light, strong, looks the business and is shockin' cheap at that price.

John
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby brendan on Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:00 am

I have a maille standard (Collar thing) that I bought from Cap a Pie. Their virtues have been extolled by John so I will skip that bit ;)

The construction is tricky as you have to 'flare' the maille by adding extta links at different points. Determining how often you should add these links and where is...tricky.

But if you really, really, want to make one, well go for it!

Brendan
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby the_power on Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:25 am

Research it thoroughly; make sure you have a 'mould' when making it, like a head-sized football, so you can ensure it's hanging right at all times. Start with one big link, and add maybe 10 to it. Then, working around in a helix, add three links to every two. There are patterns on the internet. Making a single-link mistake at an early stage won't be apparent until you've added two or three thousand links, at that stage you'll realise you've to cut many out, or add in new wedges. Each mistake will cost a few hours of your time.

John
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby ratatosk on Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:45 pm

Hmmm. I am not sure what this "pisane" thing is but, I have never had any problems making coifs. This website led me through it pretty well: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.bar ... r/mail.htm
Sean L.
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby frodo on Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:44 am

My advice would be to start with a leather dog collar work a long thin rectangle the width of your neck and attach it to it. Then as you said construct a large rectangle and add two isosceles triangles to either end tips at the collar, this escapes the need for expanding link problems then add two smaller rectangles to the back. Then attach strapping to the rear what ever fashion you like. Its a tricky piece to make and I'm actually working on one myself at the minute and this approach seems to be fine.
Hope this has been of help.
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby Swifty on Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:14 pm

Hi Jon

I must say that I find it quite bizarre that when a specific question regarding the construction of a mail standard is posed that John has answered with a synopsis on the difficulties he had in constructing a mail coif, a different - albeit one of mail - animal altogether.

Just to clarify, the difference between a mail standard (or pissane) and a mail coif is that the former is a neck/shoulder piece usually strapped or tied at the back of the wearer's neck whilst a coif is a hood of mail which covers the entire head - bar the face - and the shoulders. It appears that the mail standard replaced the earlier coif and aventail types (mail hanging directly from the helmet itself) over the course of the fifteenth century.

The constuction of these standards is relatively easy although, as Brendan has mentioned, it may be necessary to use inserts of mail if making a large standard capable of covering the shoulders. Here is a simple standard which I made myself some years ago:
Image
The standard is buckled by four straps at the back and has a liner of calf-leather at the throat to lend comfort and form. Although the basic construction is essentially a simple rectangle of mail, each end is 'graduated' to allow a more comfortable fit. Small triangles of mail decorate the lower edge of the standard as was often depicted on contemporary illustrations including Durer's famous engraving of 1521.
Image
Image
Above is my reconstruction of an early 16thC gallóglach showing the standard being worn with a contemporary uncombed early burgonet and characteristic long coat of maille and below is a reproduction from Gerry Embleton's 'Medieval Military Costume' (The Crowood Press, 2000, ISBN 1 86126 371 6, p. 62) showing the standard's strapping at the back.
Image
My standard just took a few evenings to put together and was well worth the effort. Hope this helps.

Good luck and sl�
D Swift www.claiomh.ie c.795-1660
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby frodo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:22 am

Thanks for the pictures Awifty that is exactly what i was trying to describe. Ill need to get some more work done on my one...
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby Swifty on Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:27 pm

Good luck with that Frodo. The stitching is probably the biggest pain of it but their's not too much of it at least!
D Swift www.claiomh.ie c.795-1660
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Re: Mail Standard/Pisane

Postby the_power on Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:27 pm

Swifty wrote:I must say that I find it quite bizarre that when a specific question regarding the construction of a mail standard is posed that John has answered with a synopsis on the difficulties he had in constructing a mail coif, a different - albeit one of mail - animal altogether.


Er. Yeah. Not the most lucid these days, working too late...as Brendan said, I ordered in a standard from him, and it's um..completely different from a coif.

John
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