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re: Plastic, and other (fwd)

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

On Wed, 18 Nov 1998, Craig Levin wrote:

> > 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?

Hmm.  I'm guessing that you haven't seen the illustrations of the

It certainly might be possible to make a shield that will break apart as
you describe -- hell, I could probably do it in my basement, by cutting
plywood 2" hexagons and gluing them together.  Might be fun, if I ever
get any free time.  It is an amusing idea, certainly.  Might be simpler to
just make a shield from a relatively fragile material (blue sheet
insulation, for example).

However, this would have no connection at all with the "exploding" shield
design -- from memory, those designs have more in common with truck
leaf-springs and car-door hinges than a glued mosaic of parts.  They
weren't designed to be ablative (destroyed gradually), either; if hit
correctly they were designed to shatter dramatically and completely. 
> > 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

If I recall correctly, the sequence was as part of one of his triumphal
processionals.  Three or four different types were illustrated, each on a
separate page, with a dozen men on horses in appropriate costume on each
page.  Different German jousting games used different armour requirements,
so everyone on one page would be outfitted for the Rennzeug, for example,
and on the next page for something else, all as if they were processing
through a town as part of a festival.

I'm pretty sure it was Du"rer.  I'll try to get a citation for you
tomorrow.  You can also find illustrations in Barber and Barkers book
"Tournaments", I believe.



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