I can't believe someone actually used to wear this once...

As an amateur historian I frequently find myself looking at things from the past and being amazed that there was once a time when real, living people used them. Case in point being…this.

Someone back in the early 1600s actually put that thing on, went into battle, and probably killed people while wearing it. Meaning, of course, that there were people whose last moments consisted of looking up at…that. It must have been pretty terrifying, or surreal, or both.

When I see stuff like this, I wonder about so many things. Like, who was the man who wore that? It looks like an empty shell to us, but there was a real person inside it. Was he some incredible badass, a battle hardened soldier? Or was he some officer from a rich noble family who could afford to outfit himself with the most protective gear and ride around on horseback surveying the siege while other guys charged in and risked their lives? It could have been either. The cuirassiers of the 17th century were notorious for their ability to rout companies of infantry several times their size with a full-on shock charge into the line with pistols and swords.

This is like the 17th century version of the snarling mouth and fangs painted onto the nose of a fighter aircraft. Psychological warfare - on a small scale. Never ceases to amaze me, the little details.

What it needs are laser bolts shooting out from the eye slits.

What sort of impact would it withstand? How does it fare against swords, arrows and other pistols of that time?

It was clearly worn by a middle-aged man. Otherwise, the brim on the helmet would be turned around backwards.

It looks happy.

Argent, have you read 1632 yet? It’s right there, free on the Internet, waiting for you. It is definitely up your alley, as I’ve mentioned to you before.

That kind of armour would be impenetrable by swords, and by arrows (the latter of which wouldn’t have been widely used at the time anyway) and it could stand up to most pistols, though at very close range, a pistol ball with a powerful load behind it might be able to go through. Arthur Haselrig, the Parliamentarian general of the English Civil War, withstood three different pistol shots to the head wearing a similar suit. Musket balls were another story. At longer ranges they might just dent it, but at close range, they could definitely go through steel plate.

I know! It’s smiling!

I have a hard time looking at the dresses of the Elizabethan era and imagining living your daily life in those. How did they take care of their houses? How did they bend over to do anything? How the hell long did it take to get dressed? I can barely spare the 15 minutes it takes to flat-iron this new cut, were there more hours in the day back then? How did they spare the time to do all that ridiculous stuff with their hair? How did Marie Antoinette walk with all that shit on her head?

The questions go on.

Here is another of the same type of suit, although while the first one I posted looks somewhat maniacal, this one seems downright friendly.

Isn’t that what minions are for? Make yourself useless, then rely on other people?

torie, not to mention going to the privy. She’d have to undress, wouldn’t she? You can’t just flip up the back of one of those gowns.

So I was right! Wilbur and Orville were derivative, credit-stealing hacks.

The weird looking eyeslits may have been simply functional in terms of field of view.

Probably, but there’s no way the Joker-like grinning mouth was anything but aesthetic.

More krazy-looking heavy-cavalry armour from the 1600s:






And one from about 100 years earlier

His direct lineal descendant.

What’s that little post on the side of the face mask for?

It’s for lifting the visor.

I notice these old suits of armor all seem to lack the big shoulder pads/pauldrons/spaulders so popular in fantasy art and CRPGs like World of Warcraft. Were those things ever actually worn (I realize the ones you see in fantasy art and games are exaggerated in size, but I’m not even seeing a more realistically-sized equivalent in photos of actual armor.

They existed, on Maximilian armours of the early 1500s like this one and some of that influence carried over to the German and English armours of the early Augsburg and Greenwich styles, like this. By the late 1500s they had mostly disappeared from armour.

I love this stuff but know almost nothing about it. A guy at the Renaissance Fair(e) :smack: had a whole battery (?) of swords and armor and swore the weapons were authentic. Whether they were or not, it was really, really cool to put on the head gear and heft the swords. The weight was tremendous, especially if combined with the weight the armor must have been (130 pound woman here but still, weren’t people smaller in general then?) And the horses must have been huge, too, to carry all that into battle and not fall over after 10 minutes? Can you shed more light on this, please, Argent Towers?

Most armour wasn’t that heavy. It might have been 40 or 50 pounds altogether, and it would have been evenly distributed over the entire body, not concentrated in once place. The knights would have been training since childhood so they would be quite comfortable in the armour. Later types of plate armour such as that worn in the 1500s was highly articulated and there was a high degree of freedom of movement. It was refined to a precise science. The armour that people wear at Renaissance Faires and re-enactments is, I think, a good deal thicker and heavier than what existed during the Renaissance.

The late period plate armour though - what’s depicted in my OP - that is a special case. That stuff was built for the age of gunpowder. It was supposed to be thick enough to stop a bullet. Consequently it was extremely heavy, up to 100 pounds. The cuirassiers who wore it were known to sometimes discard parts of their armour because it was too heavy. By the time of the English Civil War, making armour any heavier to try to protect against the cheap and powerful muskets that were saturating the battlefields would have been an exercise in diminishing returns, so most mounted soldiers at that point wore only breastplates and lightweight helmets.

I think that’s C3PO’s junk food-eating cousin.