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Just a question about "armor"...
Lonnehart at 11:49PM, June 16, 2011
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Why does Fantasy (and sometimes Sci Fi) portray armor as having HUGE shoulder armor? I never saw armor that huge in historical examples (such as the armor those Authorian knights used). Is there some symbolic significance that comes with wearing so much shoulder armor that it looks like a tiny body carrying two huge Challenger Tanks on his shoulders?!?

Come to think of it… were war hammers and spiked maces invented in order to overcome heavy metal plate armor?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
BffSatan at 12:03AM, June 17, 2011
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Wide shoulders symbolise strength. That's why people sometimes where shoulder pads to look important.
That is probably why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
Genejoke at 12:10AM, June 17, 2011
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Yes certain weapons were designed to help penetrate armour. the reason for the big shoulers is like bffsatan says, it's all about the look rather than the practical requirements. Much like macho 90s heroes and the 20 ft guns or manga and buster swords.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
mlai at 12:31AM, June 17, 2011
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You should instead be asking why the same armour have groin guards which hang down past the knees.

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ozoneocean at 1:12AM, June 17, 2011
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A spiked mace or maul won't do too much to armour, nor will an ordinary warhammer, they'll just batter it about. There WERE special warhammers and maces made though that just had a single spike for the head- those are good designed for going through armour.
BffSatan
Wide shoulders symbolise strength. That's why people sometimes where shoulder pads to look important.
That is probably why.
This, of course :)

In reality big, bulky pauldrons, or spaulders will actively hinder the full movement of the arms and serve to catch downward sword hacks- meaning that it would help to kill you. This is why shoulder armour, including the sode worn by the samurai, is designed to deflect blows off and down, away from the body.
———–

The other thing about increasing the shoulder size in art featuring armour is that it can help balance out the rest of the figure… Often if someone's wearing a massive helmet the rest of the body will look small and diminutive.
For a really good comparison look at old school stoormtroopers and compare them with Darth Vader: not only is he big and black, he also has some shoulder things built into his armour to give him wider shoulders, increasing his powerful look, whereas the storm-troopers don't have much to off-sett their giant, planet-sized heads so they don't look nearly as capable.
Big head == little kid.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Genejoke at 1:20AM, June 17, 2011
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mlai
You should instead be asking why the same armour have groin guards which hang down past the knees.

That's obvious. it's what men did to compensate before cars were invented.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
OnlyFoolsAndVikings at 1:48AM, June 17, 2011
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Nothing impresess the ladies quite like an over-sized crotch guard.

It's pretty much what BFFSatan said, big shoulder plates and big armour = protrayal of brute strength.

Most of the fantasy images I see with massive armour is really just for show, massive armour is highly impractical, it just looks cool. While we're on the subject of oversized armour and weaponry, what about giant swords? I've seen that far too often, where a sword is as thick as a big and at least six foot long and impossible to carry… Once again impractical, but looks cool.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM
bravo1102 at 1:54AM, June 17, 2011
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Genejoke
mlai
You should instead be asking why the same armour have groin guards which hang down past the knees.

That's obvious. it's what men did to compensate before cars were invented.

Do you mean codpieces or tassets and faulds? Two different things. One protects and projects the phallus and the other protects the groin, upper thigh and so on.


The tassets are the things flanking the codpiece.



The faulds are below the breastplate on the hips, the tassets are the things hanging down over the upper thigh.


Look up modern body armor and the current issue stuff has add-ons that go down to the knees. Well look at that real modern body armor has that big plate covering the crotch just like the fantasy armor.






last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ayesinback at 8:38AM, June 17, 2011
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Big shoulders:

Joan Collins and Linda Evans in Dynasty
USA football players

yup, I think BFF's intimidation theory is spot on.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Chernobog at 2:14PM, June 17, 2011
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Like BFF said, I think it's to establish a visual sense of power or to make the character look stronger. Or maybe just to compensate for something in the codpiece area. ;)

As for the other thing mentioned, blunt weapons weren't entirely useless on classical european metal armor. Thick plate and the like can potentially protect you from cuts, but a strong enough bludgeoning weapon is still potentially going to smash your ribs from the shock of force being applied. That kind of armor, even with under padding, was not a sponge for everything. Granted, it could still protect a person from an otherwise lethal attack, but they were hardly invincible.
 
 
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OnlyFoolsAndVikings at 5:02PM, June 17, 2011
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bravo1102
Do you mean codpieces or tassets and faulds? Two different things. One protects and projects the phallus and the other protects the groin, upper thigh and so on.

The faulds are below the breastplate on the hips, the tassets are the things hanging down over the upper thigh.


Look up modern body armor and the current issue stuff has add-ons that go down to the knees. Well look at that real modern body armor has that big plate covering the crotch just like the fantasy armor.



I'd feel so awkward typing in: “Medieval Groin Guard/codpiece/tasset/faulds” into google images.

They're all very original I'e noticed, it's like women with their handbags trying to impress other women. Except its with Codpieces and men… You could put stuff in it.
of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM
Lonnehart at 11:17PM, June 17, 2011
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Wait… so that cod piece is supposed to “project” the phallus and protect it? I don't know about you, but if I met a knight with his codpiece sticking out, I'd smash it in with my 50 pound sledgehammer. If he crumples and whimpers, well… I win. If he just stands there with that codpiece all crushed in, I still win and all his fellow knights will laugh at him. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Red Slayer at 11:33PM, June 17, 2011
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OnlyFoolsAndVikings
bravo1102
Do you mean codpieces or tassets and faulds? Two different things. One protects and projects the phallus and the other protects the groin, upper thigh and so on.

The faulds are below the breastplate on the hips, the tassets are the things hanging down over the upper thigh.


Look up modern body armor and the current issue stuff has add-ons that go down to the knees. Well look at that real modern body armor has that big plate covering the crotch just like the fantasy armor.



I'd feel so awkward typing in: “Medieval Groin Guard/codpiece/tasset/faulds” into google images.

They're all very original I'e noticed, it's like women with their handbags trying to impress other women. Except its with Codpieces and men… You could put stuff in it.

You can put stuff in a cod piece. I use mine for jewelry.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:03PM
ozoneocean at 12:30AM, June 18, 2011
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OnlyFoolsAndVikings
They're all very original I'e noticed, it's like women with their handbags trying to impress other women. Except its with Codpieces and men… You could put stuff in it.
LOL
Chernobog
As for the other thing mentioned, blunt weapons weren't entirely useless on classical european metal armor. Thick plate and the like can potentially protect you from cuts, but a strong enough bludgeoning weapon is still potentially going to smash your ribs from the shock of force being applied. That kind of armor, even with under padding, was not a sponge for everything. Granted, it could still protect a person from an otherwise lethal attack, but they were hardly invincible.
You can batter with a big sword too, but either way you're better off with plate than other armour types against any impact- it spreads the force somewhat and it's an outward, rigid shell, whereas chain, scale, or even lamellar is going to going to transfer that force more directly to the body beneath… So big, blunt weapons are more useless against plate than any other armour type. :)

-Plate armour is even shaped specifically in such a way as to deflect the force of blows.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
OnlyFoolsAndVikings at 3:24AM, June 18, 2011
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Red Slayer
You can put stuff in a cod piece. I use mine for jewelry.

I imagine its a very safe hiding place, you could keep all your valuables in there, including the manhood valuable.

I guess you'd have to watch out for Cod Piece Pickers then.
of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM
Ally Haert at 5:54AM, June 18, 2011
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Why hasn't anyone asked Harkovast yet?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
ozoneocean at 7:15AM, June 18, 2011
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OnlyFoolsAndVikings
Red Slayer
You can put stuff in a cod piece. I use mine for jewelry.
I imagine its a very safe hiding place, you could keep all your valuables in there, including the manhood valuable.
Yah, I think he was talking about his family jewels…
Ally Haert
Why hasn't anyone asked Harkovast yet?
Are his armoured shoulders big in his art? I know he draws a lot of it and he's a fan of massive armoured warhammer 40k space marines, so maybe they are…?

I used to draw a lot of armour, got some commissions for it too, and even made some as an art project. I learned first hand that big shoulder armour was a silly, impractical modern meme. >:[
One of the main issues is that the bigger the shoulder, the smaller the upper arm, the wider the chest etc. A normal human body can't work in that shell.

These are great bad examples…



 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Genejoke at 7:27AM, June 18, 2011
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vF_VLZotWc

so you can see them move.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Product Placement at 7:40AM, June 18, 2011
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ozoneocean
These are great bad examples…
I always figured that those giant W40k shoulder pads housed some sort of mechanism, to enhance the strength of the wearer, since those are supposed to be powered armor.

Besides, aren't those pads supposed to move with the arms?
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
ozoneocean at 8:33AM, June 18, 2011
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Product Placement
Besides, aren't those pads supposed to move with the arms?
They would only to a limited extent. The wearer would not be able to lift his arms higher than about 60 degrees from his torso (if that) because the top of the shoulder armour would bash into his head, and would not be able to fold his forearm to his shoulder- there'd be at lest a 20-30 degree angle because the vambrace would clonk against massively thick rim of bottom of the shoulder armour

The only purpose for them was to make the original miniatures look cool, everything after that is just rationalisation after the fact because that thing grew from a table top game into a narrative universe.
In reality they're utterly impractical, no matter what fantasy strength enhancements they're supposed to bestow because they restrict movement so much that even holding a gun properly wouldn't be possible.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
bravo1102 at 11:49AM, June 18, 2011
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In the movie I see they made the shoulder pieces of the ultramarine smaller and hinged outward so the poor jarhead can actually move.

One thing I noticed in real plate armor is just how small the shoulder armor was in comparison to all the fantasy images. It was only huge on tournament armor where the knight didn't need to move much.

And remember on full plate the weight is so well distributed the wearer can turn a cartwheel. Unlike chain where the weight of the armor falls on the solely shoulders because chain just hangs there pulling the wearer down.

But like carrying any great weight it wears you out. Wear armor? Only if I don't have to walk!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ozoneocean at 9:15AM, June 19, 2011
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bravo1102
One thing I noticed in real plate armor is just how small the shoulder armor was in comparison to all the fantasy images. It was only huge on tournament armor where the knight didn't need to move much.

And remember on full plate the weight is so well distributed the wearer can turn a cartwheel. Unlike chain where the weight of the armor falls on the solely shoulders because chain just hangs there pulling the wearer down.
That's true. When people contemplate suits of plate in fiction they invent disadvantages for it, especially weight and restricted movement, when in reality that's utter childish nonsense. The only suits of plate that really had weight and movement issues was jousting armour, which was basically sports equipment and nothing else.

The one true disadvantage of a suit of plate was expense. Those things were generally tailor made to each individual by expert craftsmen and it was a process that took a lot of training, time and effort. Only the very wealthy could afford it. They weren't always entirely practical either- suits certainly changed with fashions and popular styles.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Lonnehart at 12:36AM, June 20, 2011
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ozoneocean
The one true disadvantage of a suit of plate was expense. Those things were generally tailor made to each individual by expert craftsmen and it was a process that took a lot of training, time and effort. Only the very wealthy could afford it. They weren't always entirely practical either- suits certainly changed with fashions and popular styles.

So that's why there weren't so many of them… and probably why entire armies of armored men were never fielded (unlike in movies and anime, where there are hundreds of them).

How about powered armor? Such as is found in sci fi and anime (NOT the same as those giant robots… giant robots have cockpits. Power armor is usually worn on the body). Surely large shoulders, hips and pelvic covers have a practical purpose. Right?
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Genejoke at 12:45AM, June 20, 2011
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The problems would be reaction time and power source.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ozoneocean at 1:00AM, June 20, 2011
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Lonnehart
How about powered armor? Such as is found in sci fi and anime (NOT the same as those giant robots… giant robots have cockpits. Power armor is usually worn on the body). Surely large shoulders, hips and pelvic covers have a practical purpose. Right?
Power and reaction time like Gene says is something that would have to be overcome, but when you did big shoulders are still not going to be useful because they won't move well with the man inside the suit.

A good exercise to do is start of with a naked figure with arms and legs out (like the da Vinci drawing) and then draw an armoured shell around it, making note of where al the joints and pivot points should be.
There is only so big you can go in various areas before you run into trouble and basically need a mutant body to fit in the suit.
That's why giant robots are a bit better because you don't have to worry about what fits where.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
mlai at 1:13AM, June 20, 2011
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A standard longsword for a knight weighs the same as a baseball bat. Ponderous knights wearing heavy armour and swinging heavy swords is a Hollywood invention.

Modern wall hanging swords do weigh much more than medieval swords, because:

(1) Modern craftsmen aren't as good, or worry less about weight and balance of the sword.
(2) Modern collectors expect a heavy sword. If their big Conan “compensation” sword only weighs as much as a baseball bat, they'll feel ripped off by the manufacturer.

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ozoneocean at 1:24AM, June 20, 2011
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That's mostly true- even the giant two handed swords carried by German landsknechts had pretty narrow blades.
The thing was a guy already covered in armour would get tired out pretty quickly if he had to swing around a great telephone pole of a sword.
 
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Lonnehart at 1:49AM, June 20, 2011
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ozoneocean
The thing was a guy already covered in armour would get tired out pretty quickly if he had to swing around a great telephone pole of a sword.

What if he wore only the armor that Conan the Barbarian wore? I think he wore mostly leather/fur with iron armguards or something…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
ozoneocean at 2:24AM, June 20, 2011
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In the end of the first film he wears armour in the form of hard leather cuir bouilli with steel lamellar over the top.
I doubt his sword was supposed to be depicted as being supremely heavy anyway. The Conan sword really isn't that huge, it's an average length and pretty flat even though it's fairly wide.

Anyway, historically the sort of people who went to battle dressed like Conan primarily used spears and only carried shortswords. :)

German landsknecht mercenaries, famed for their bright outfits and massive swords didn't wear much armour.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
bravo1102 at 2:58AM, June 20, 2011
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ozoneocean
Anyway, historically the sort of people who went to battle dressed like Conan primarily used spears and only carried shortswords. :)

German landsknecht mercenaries, famed for their bright outfits and massive swords didn't wear much armour.

But they all invariably carried what no comic book barbarian ever does; a shield. Shields were very important in barbarian warfare.

Landsknechts usually only armored their joints and wore helmets. Some wore half breast plates that only covered the belly. (Kind of like that plate armor bustier some fantasy babes wear) Most of their armor was acquired from all those knights left on the battlefield. So they only wore what could be easily modified to fit. Some Landsknechts wore the plate armor under the colorful clothes.

By the time that fully plate armored knights were around many weren't buying their own armor. They were men-at-arms and their armor was supplied by their employer in return for their services as soldiers.

If you're a noble, your “car” is that suit of armor and it'll cost just as much as that new status luxury car and does for that new up and coming executive. And everyone went into debt to get it. You equip an army? You borrow money like crazy, levy new and onerous taxes, shake down the local church for money, extort protection money and so on…

You have a title? You're probably in debt and go to war hoping to get enough loot to pay someone off or to get more credit!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM

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