(1) Of course we try to maintain similarity to historical
models. What is different is that our research goes beyond the usual half
hearted attempt to look like museum examples. We have essays here that
attempt to explain exactly what is involved in examination of museum examples.
In the technical section under "museum display pitfalls" where
we pose the thesis and in the section titled "advanced study materials"
where we show exactly what study material was used to come to this conclusion
so that the advanced student of armour can read for themselves. We specialize
in articulations that work. We have tried to study and experiment with
a large number of articulations so that we can offer any
combination of these when designing the clients armour. We can take any
armour or any combination of armours and incorporate the desired components
into a single full armour that will protect and function well.
(2) Blankenshield armour is safety equipment. This means
that the armour is designed so that the armour itself is not going to
injure the wearer. To achieve this we do several things very differently.
(3) We roll all the edges on all pieces all the way around. This adds
tremendously to the strength of each plate. On smaller plates the crush
factor is increased five fold. Besides this the most important function
of all is to protect the wearer from the inside edges of each plate. There
are several armour smiths that recently have started rolling the outside
edges of some plates but none but Blankenshield rolls the dangerous edges
that face the flesh of the wearer inside the armour. No matter how well
a pair of plates fit together when new in the shop they will be sprung
after a decade of use and the exposed edges will have wear on them. Wear
to any unrolled edge sharpens it. We have found that even parade armour
gets sharp at the edges after many years of use so we dont even
make costume and parade armour any more because the only way to cut those
corners is to not roll key edges. Something we consider dangerous and
will not do!
(4) Our backplate is distinctive two ways. We make these configurations
to protect the spine and neck from the backplate. The most common way
the backplate could injure the neck is when the wearer falls backwards.
The backplate is forced up by the impact and the neck forced back by the
momentum. This can be especially dangerous for those involved in jousting.
To minimize the potential for these injuries the top of our backplates
has a special flare to it rather like a section of trumpet bell where
the neck meets it. This configuration is difficult to make . This feature
was found on many ancient backplates. Some gothic armours even had a wedge
shaped piece set into the neck to really flare it. The flare at the neck
descends into a channel that is embossed down the back over the spine.
This holds the backplate off of the spine. This means that any impact
to the back area is transmitted to either side of the spine. This feature
is our invention but it is only really an exaggeration of the space between
the scapular embossing's found on many armours.
(5) Crush injuries are common in equestrian sports. Blankenshield cuirasses
are specifically designed to provide an extra degree of protection in
the event the wearer is subject to potentially injurious or deadly crushing
force. There are heavy pins at the armpits that keep the breast and back
from collapsing into each other. The holes that contain these pins are
actually rolled in the round to strengthen them as the simple drilled
holes that we started with tore out in testing. These cuirasses were tested
by having a large Appaloosa actually trample men laying on the ground.
(He didn't like it much but he was a good boy and finally walked on the
guys.) We even have video of two different incidents where guys got trampled
in jousting contexts wearing our old twenty gauge ultralight's with no
(6) Flexibility, Blankenshield armour is designed to be used in activities.
Those activities require movement. Equestrian activities particularly
require a lot of flexibility for safety reasons. While not suggested I
test all equestrian designs by personally doing tuck and shoulder roll
(7) Exact fit is a very big deal at Blankenshield. Size
replicas of antiques are invariably for smaller people and several studies
have noted that armour seems to mostly be for smaller people those of
now. Large men need large armour and we eagerly accept any size or shape
of person. Whatever the size of person they will get a product that is
designed with their measurements as the determining factor. Every single
Blankenshield is a different size because every single customer is different.
The size of our helmets are based on O.S.H.A. minimum standards and all
other components are designed with extensive hands on high impact testing
to determine the proper fit when engaged in high speed full contact martial
(7) Blankenshield has been making, testing and selling armour for around
thirty years. When we started there was the early S.C.A. and one renfair
with no armour and a few foils. First with live steel sport fights and
first with public armour smithing demonstrations. It has been a long road
to get here from there. We are dedicated to offering a safer product and
detailed friendly customer service.