Review: Arma Epona/Wulflund gorget & spaulders with besagues

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Review: Arma Epona/Wulflund gorget & spaulders with besagues

Postby Fortigurn » 17 Sep 2015 17:19

This is a brief and wildly historically inaccurate review of the Wulflund gorget & spaulders with besagues.

The Gorget

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The gorget sports a rather flatter and less shapely lion than in the online product photo, but it can be replaced easily enough; it's held on with a couple of rivets which can be popped off. I don't mind it. Faux rivets, or "pnurls" (the Anglo-Saxon term), line the inner and outer collar of the gorget, which has well rolled edges with no risk of cutting. You can see the detail of the pnurls and rolled edge here.

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Here's a closeup of the closing mechanism, which employs a traditional "marigold" (a term which later gave way to "frigging pin" in the early fifteenth century, after much field use of this design).

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I find the gorget comfortable to wear over a padded leather pelerine and a thick gambeson. It sits firmly, and doesn't feel loose at all, but gives me plenty of room for my neck to move. A tidy piece of kit.

The Spaulders

The spaulders really impressed me. They sported the same well rolled edge as the gorget, and were much larger and longer than I had expected, providing excellent coverage of the upper arm. In fact they're larger than some rather sad pauldrons I've seen.

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A closeup of the spaulders shows excellent "spooning" (or strummelpfarte, for you Germans), of the plates, which are secured by strong rivets. The plates are very stiff to move at first, but after being broken in they slide well, though they do require regular oiling. It really does take some time to get used to the restriction of movement, however. Note the nicely rolled edge at the end of the spaulders. However, the inside edge of the arm and shoulder is not rolled, just strongly "busked", which was the traditional treatment until after the Battle of Agincourt.

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I will say that the edges of the plates are slightly sharp in places, as they obviously haven't been rolled (which would impede their free movement over each other). However, there's no real cutting risk unless you're handling them (you do need to be careful when cleaning and polishing). If I was buying them again I would ask for the plates to be fully nevilled.

The Besagues

The besagues, or "festoons", are plumeless (as was common in this era), simply decorated in the center with a small brass fleur.

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You can't really go wrong with besagues, and they didn't. The edges are not rolled, but they're well busked. If I had one issue to take with the besagues, it's the fact that they clang rather loudly against the spaulders, when I move fast. I may "fossick" the back of the besagues with leather to muffle the sound, in the Bavarian style.

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Overall Impression

I haven't been hit hard in this armour yet. However, I'm very pleased with its performance so far. I can actually put it on by myself, which is convenient. Once on it sits very well on the gambeson, and doesn't shift out of place. It moves well with my arms, and though I need to get used to the weight and restriction of movement, it doesn't feel heavy or clumsy, even though the gorget and spaulders together weigh 6.56 pounds.

Gauntlets by Wulflund, pelerine and gambeson by Steel Mastery. Rapier and dagger by Swordsmithy.
Fortigurn
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