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re: Plastic, and other (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Earl Dafydd:

> On Wed, 18 Nov 1998, Craig Levin wrote:
> > It wouldn't be that hard to develop shields that broke apart in
> > that way. Supposedly, in the sixteenth century, there were such
> > shields developed for tournaments in the Holy Roman Empire (see
> > Clepham's The Medieval Tournament, from Dover Press). In so
> > doing, you would only be recreating a part of period tournament
> > practice.
> I'm afraid I disagree.  The exploding shields used in German tournaments
> in the 16th century were fancy spring-loaded jousting targets.  They had
> nothing to do with foot combat, and very little to do with jousting in the
> combat sense.

Darn. I was hoping that they'd be something a bit more realistic.

> Jonathan was talking (semi-facetiously) about shields designed to degrade
> when hit as a simulation of the behaviour of a medieval shield made of
> wood/leather/gesso/etc being hit by a real sword, axe, or halberd. 
> The 16th century "shattering" shields were essentially a bunch of metal
> segments bound together in a mouse-trap type spring-loaded framework
> simulating the face of a jousting shield.  If you hit the exact center
> with your lance in a joust, the spring triggered and the shield face blew
> apart in forty pieces as if you had shattered it.  This was the
> Renaissance equivalent of bells and whistles, the outgrowth of a scoring
> system for jousting that had long since lost all connection to combat.

Well, that's true, but if these individuals are looking for
possible avenues to go for shields that "break" when hit,
wouldn't it make sense to see how others have tried to do the
same thing? Surely, with the improvements in mechanical and
materials engineering, it might be possible to go from this
intricate mousetrap to a shield made of a mosaic of parts held
together by a brittle glue that breaks?

> There are a number of books with diagrams of the exploding shields; I
> believe that the most easy-to-find illustrations are by Du"rer.

I'll look for them. Thank you!

Pedro de Alcazar
Craig Levin
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