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Helmet Discussion

Discussion of topics concerning life in the middle ages around the world, including architecture, history, and warfare.

Postby AoErat » Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:36 am

I had a thought awhile ago that is somewhat relevant here.

I was looking at real-world helm equivalents.

No-nasal basic helm: Bascinet
Nasal, sloped sides basic helm: I came to the conclusion that the sloped parts are not solid; they are chain mail! The only solid part of the helm is from the brow up. This is a traditional norman helmet. I believe the chain mail drape is attached inside the helmet and falls over the shoulders; creating that sloped effect.
Kettle Helm: same as historical except with added protection on the lower part (IMO to look more like a helmet and less like a hat).
Vertical Bars helm: Late period close helm
Visored helm: Also late period close helm
Dragon master helm: based of roman helm of some sort (not so knowledgable in that sort)
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Postby Damien » Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:40 am

No-nasal basic helm: Bascinet
Nasal, sloped sides basic helm: I came to the conclusion that the sloped parts are not solid; they are chain mail! The only solid part of the helm is from the brow up. This is a traditional norman helmet. I believe the chain mail drape is attached inside the helmet and falls over the shoulders; creating that sloped effect.
Kettle Helm: same as historical except with added protection on the lower part (IMO to look more like a helmet and less like a hat).
Vertical Bars helm: Late period close helm
Visored helm: Also late period close helm
Dragon master helm: based of roman helm of some sort (not so knowledgable in that sort)



I'd be wary about assigning real world counterparts to toys. I highly doubt that was a concern back then, or even now.

I also think you're overthinking it. Especially the 'mail aventail' on the sloped helm. I think it's just supposed to be sloped because they wanted it too, not because they were trying to copy the look of an aventail.

We can draw conclusions that some helms may be mildly inspired by existing ones -- but in general I think they're mostly fantasy and just a very small bit of reality, rather than the other way around.
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Postby Luís » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:34 am

Graynar wrote:Let me get this straight:

Jojo says that a certain helmet does not have to come with one main weapon.

And Nick says a cerain helmet is supposed to come with one type of weapon.

Being a little confused at the moment, but does it really matter, what weapons are supposed to go with a certain helmet?

Graynar, master of confusion

You got the awnser right there: an helmet does not come with an certain fig by obligation but is supposed by strategic reasons.
Course, if you want to ignore that.
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Postby Nick » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:33 am

I agree with AoErat, that Lego helmets are made by lego with reference to old helmets from the middle ages.

I came to the conclusion that the sloped parts are not solid; they are chain mail!

Genius! Of course, the top part is solid iron, and the curved part is chain mail protecting the soldier's neck! Very good idea, AoErat!
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Postby Mr. D » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:16 pm

AoErat wrote:I had a thought awhile ago that is somewhat relevant here.

I was looking at real-world helm equivalents.

No-nasal basic helm: Bascinet
Nasal, sloped sides basic helm: I came to the conclusion that the sloped parts are not solid; they are chain mail! The only solid part of the helm is from the brow up. This is a traditional norman helmet. I believe the chain mail drape is attached inside the helmet and falls over the shoulders; creating that sloped effect.
Kettle Helm: same as historical except with added protection on the lower part (IMO to look more like a helmet and less like a hat).
Vertical Bars helm: Late period close helm
Visored helm: Also late period close helm
Dragon master helm: based of roman helm of some sort (not so knowledgeable in that sort)


I think you are right. The DM helm is based on the Salade, also known as a sallet (sp?) (pronounced "sall ay") and, on the LEGO version, is depicted with the visor up. It is not as much of a reproduction of the salade as the other helms are reproductions of their respective helms, though, but it is based on it. The dragon crest was added to give it a dragon affect. The cheek pieces are supposed to represent the bevor (lower part worn around the neck and which came up around the chin, under the helm, to add more protection.

At least, that is my take. :wink:

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Postby mister_e » Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:36 pm

Not to derail my own topic, but I found this shield interesting :D. It is from the site that D-Man linked to for the helmet example
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Postby Damien » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:48 pm

That shield is a Norman shield. Jeff actually has made one, though I don't know if he intends to sell it.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=93841

The entire top row of that folder features the Norman "teardrop" shield.



And the Dragon helm is almost assuredly not a sallet in design. If it's (loosely!) based off of any real world helm, it's probably based off the -many- styles of Nordic, Roman, Greek, and even Celtic open-face helms, many of which had ridged brows.


But I'm still inclined to say that most LEGO helms are -mostly- fantasy, maybe very loosely based on some helm one of the sculptors saw in a movie or a book somewhere once.
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Postby Nick » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:51 pm

The helms don't seem to be fantasy, as the resemblance and detail is too great for coincidence.
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Postby The Hordesman » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:31 pm

Nick wrote:The helms don't seem to be fantasy, as the resemblance and detail is too great for coincidence.


The only helm that is even loosely alike the dragon-crested helmet is a cavalry helm from the 1700's, the Barbute usually does not have the "V" on the top (it usually a very simply designed helm). The KK2 helms are barely based on real helms (just the Danju and Rascus one are somewhat looking like real ones), the bat helm is loosely based on the Sugarloaf. The grilled one is not based on medieval times at all as TTK has pointed out numerous times...

Some helms are inspired by real ones or replicas, some not.
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Postby Damien » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:32 pm

Resemblance to what? I've been studying Medieval and Ancient arms and armour for over a decade now -- and I'm telling you from experience that any resemblance LEGO helms have to real world helms is minimal. They're LEGO pieces, after all.

What you're saying is equivalent to saying that the original LEGO sword is an Oakeshott Type XVI, or some other silly presumption.
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Postby Nick » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:21 pm

Damien wrote:Resemblance to what? I've been studying Medieval and Ancient arms and armour for over a decade now -- and I'm telling you from experience that any resemblance LEGO helms have to real world helms is minimal. They're LEGO pieces, after all.

What you're saying is equivalent to saying that the original LEGO sword is an Oakeshott Type XVI, or some other silly presumption.


Well, if I am talking to a professional historian, then I am not arguing any further, and agreeing with you. For me, however, most helms look similar, thus leading to my confusion.
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Postby Damien » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:05 pm

I'm far from a professional. Just a dilettante in the subject of history and historical warfare.

My opinion is educated, yes. But by no means is it the statement of a professional historian.


It's certain that LEGO helms bear at least passing resemblance to some historical examples. But I think making the claim that a given helm is meant to represent a Norman cap with a mail aventail is reading way too far into it. I have extreme doubts that anyone at TLC put that much thought into these designs. My estimation is that they simply sculpted what looked 'cool' to them, and didn't worry about historical accuracy.

We could speculate for weeks about what inspirations the helms may or may not have come from, if you really want to. There's thousands of different helm designs out there to guess about. But in the end, I think he conclusion would be that LEGO helms could represent any number of real world examples, and thus probably were not based on anything in particular, but rather were probably based on a general 'feel' for how a Medieval-style helmet should look.
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Postby mister_e » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:14 am

What I like about the older LEGO helmets is that they are at least grounded in reality. While they may not be modeled after any particular real-world helm, they are still totally believable. With exception of the grilled helm, you can imagine any soldier/knight actually wearing them.

Oh well, I really only wanted to know if there was a reason, historically speaking, why it seamed archers primarily had one helm while spear/axemen used the other (again, in LEGO land). I think that question was answered when someone brought up the fact that the helm with the nasal guard would obstruct vision and was thus unsuitable for an archer. So now, we're just arguing about whether or not the helmets are based on any real-world piece, which was not my original question.
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Postby Damien » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:23 am

What I like about the older LEGO helmets is that they are at least grounded in reality. While they may not be modeled after any particular real-world helm, they are still totally believable. With exception of the grilled helm, you can imagine any soldier/knight actually wearing them.



There's nothing particularly unbelievable about -any- Castle-theme headgear.

In all cases, some of the details are exaggerated. But come on - we all know that LEGO minifigs are not done 'to scale.' So everything ends up a bit distorted looking (the swords, for instance, are about twice as wide as would be normal).

None of the Jelly Bean Knight helms, for example, are too far removed from historical closed-face helms of the 14th-16th centuries.




Oh well, I really only wanted to know if there was a reason, historically speaking, why it seamed archers primarily had one helm while spear/axemen used the other (again, in LEGO land). I think that question was answered when someone brought up the fact that the helm with the nasal guard would obstruct vision and was thus unsuitable for an archer.



Historically, some archers wore helms with nasals, others didn't.

The idea that it would obstruct vision is entirely moot. It would be unlikely for an archer to even bother wearing his helmet while firing. Remember that in Medieval (and earlier) combat, most archers would be so far behind the fighting as to almost not even be part of the battle. If the need arose to put their helmets on -- they'd no longer be using a bow, because they'd be in melee.

Most archers didn't even own helmets. Such equipment was expensive, and your average yoeman archer did not expect to get into melee combat anyway, so he didn't -need- a helmet.

Soooo...

If you want to go with a more historical archer:

Use hair, hood, and hat pieces -not helmets.
And use Forestmen, Jedi, or other peasant-appropriate torsos. Very few archers wore any kind of body armour.


If your archers are wearing scale armour and have swords, spears, and shields tossed around nearby.. you've already deviated away from history to the point where his helmet having a nasal or not is irrelevant. ;)
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Postby mister_e » Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:22 am

Damien wrote:None of the Jelly Bean Knight helms, for example, are too far removed from historical closed-face helms of the 14th-16th centuries.

Perhaps you are correct. You obviously seem much more knowledgable about the subject. Maybe it's the swords and colors that make me detest them so. Whatever the case, they seem much less believable. Definitely a good point about the archers not wearing any armor or helms. Makes sense too :D
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