Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story.
bravo1102 at 7:03AM, April 25, 2016
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Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story.

So how do feel about that? Should exact adherence to the historical record be allowed to wreck your wonderful fiction? If so how much dramatic license is too much? What are your favorite examples of how they got it wrong and how they got it right?


And what if just a touch more research.would have revealed that the historical story was better than what the fiction writers concocted? How tragic is that?

And what about the usage of known historical mythology/hoax as in the Da Vinci code?

Please avoid discussion of “what if” fiction. That is a whole other subject.
last edited on April 25, 2016 7:08AM
ozoneocean at 8:30AM, April 25, 2016
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bravo1102 wrote:
Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story.

So how do feel about that? Should exact adherence to the historical record be allowed to wreck your wonderful fiction? If so how much dramatic license is too much? What are your favorite examples of how they got it wrong and how they got it right?


And what if just a touch more research.would have revealed that the historical story was better than what the fiction writers concocted? How tragic is that?

And what about the usage of known historical mythology/hoax as in the Da Vinci code?

Please avoid discussion of “what if” fiction. That is a whole other subject.
What a brilliant post!

Personally I feel that historical accuracy is important all the time. Fudging details for your own idea of how the plot should go disqualifies you from being able to call it a true story. If a writer can't make the actual historical tale work with all the original characters/people, in the right order, and throwing in fictional love sub-plots then they're not a writer, they're a fool and they need to find a new job.

I think most of the changes people do regarding those things aren't strictly the writer's fault though- maybe the studio wants a few of their stars or pet actors in there and things have to be changed to fit them in, or the director wants to move things around, or budget constraints mean that different locations, sets, costumes etc are used so parts of the story have to be changed to fit those…

It's still unacceptable, you just can't blame the writer in those instances.
 
last edited on April 25, 2016 8:31AM
HippieVan at 9:12AM, April 25, 2016
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It depends on the intention. If you're not claiming to be making an effort at historical accuracy but you've been inspired by some event or period in the past, go for it. Historical fiction is 100% fine, the sillier the better. But if your work claims to be an actual depiction of history as it happened then it ought to be accurate. It's also possible to strive for accuracy in some aspects and not others. I think the important thing is to be clear about what your story is.

Having said that, though, there's a limit to how accurate something can be. Often we don't have all the details about certain things in history, especially the ones that are important in a story e.g. people's private lives. So if a writer needs to invent some details to make the story work, I think that's fine…so long as, again, they make it clear that this is what they've done. (I've long had a vague notion that I'd like to make a graphic novel about the time of troubles in Russia, and I would for sure need to make up some stuff for that because some of the details just aren't known.)

There may also be times when historical accuracy would be distracting or confusing to most audiences, in which case you have to tread carefully. It always bothers me, for instance, that English historical films - even films set in Shakespearian times - feature non-Rhotic speech. But realistically, most people who aren't huge dorks like me would be confused if it was otherwise.
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Genejoke at 9:35AM, April 25, 2016
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Yeah, there's a difference between inspired by historical events and history. I'm fine with either. In many cases we don't strictly know what really happened, sure there are often detailed accounts but how reliable are those? That really depends on the history involved I guess.

I love the film Braveheart despise there being some accuracy issues. Or take the 300 for example. It's not accurate but that isn't the point of the film, it designed to be tale told to Spartan troops to inspire them, hence the demonizing of the persians. I think in the case of entertainment history can be flexible, just so long as it isn't sold as fact.
ozoneocean at 9:49AM, April 25, 2016
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The trouble with things “based on true stories”, even loosely is that they directly harm our historical legacies and shared cultural knowledge by replacing facts in our culture.

How many hundreds of millions of people believe that the USA and Britain pretty much single handedly won WW2?
Let that sink in.
The reason is mainly to do with crappy but very popular films from those two countries.

That's not just unfortunate, no, it's worse. The results have been criminal. The contributions and sacrifice of millions of people has been wiped away in the eyes of most people. It contributes to racism, conflict and war. Remember the conflicts in the Balkins in the 1990s? All that was directly related to WW2. The Serbs were painted as evil bad guys… The American public supported bombing the crap out of them, all because they don't know anything about those people and the region.
What about the on-going distrust of Russia? Most people in the west are still ignorant of the sacrifices Russia made during WW2 and how they basically defeated Germany…
Or how the French and the Greeks bravely struggled on under occupation as their countries were ravaged… people call the French cowards and the Greeks lazy.

Suffice to say that messing with history does indeed have a big price. The excuse that “it's just entertainment” doesn't fly. For the majority of people all those films are almost on the same tier as documentary history and they will never bother to find out the real truth.

So many times when people in China protest Japanese Prime Ministers honouring WW2 shrines where Japanese war criminals are interred, or other protests China makes at Japan and asking for reparations etc people just can't understand why… Their only knowledge of Japan's recent history is that the US won a war against them by dropping a couple of bombs. They have NO effing idea that Japan inflicted vile atrocities on hundreds of thousands of people in China and all through South East Asia, so bad that even Nazis committed suicide after witnessing them.
Pop-culture hides all that. What US WW2 film with Japan in it has that stuff? The worst you get is the mal-treatment of POWs.

And that's just WW2 which was recent modern history! It gets worse the further back you go.
 
last edited on April 25, 2016 9:56AM
bravo1102 at 10:21AM, April 25, 2016
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British? Didn't you see Saving Private Ryan? D-Day was all Americans. And only P-51s were fighter planes. Nothing else existed. Even with CGI and many operating British planes like Spits, Typhoons and Tempests, nope just P-51s. But that was a choice of the director Steven Spielberg.

Heck even the most inclusive film The Longest Day totally skips the Canadians. They had their own beach. They slighted them but included the tiny French commando unit to gain permission to film in France. That's how contemporary politics affects historical interpretation. Take the Tudors cand Shakespeare for example. How many are convinced that Richard III was the villainous hunchback of the play?


And there is the Anglophobic Mel Gibson. In both Braveheart and much more in The Patriot the British are made into comic book villain Nazi wannabes. Burning the church with all the inhabitants inside? Women and children really? In 1780 South Carolina? There are as many things wrong with that as there can be. As wrong as having William Wallace seduce the wife of Edward the Prince of Wales when historically she was only 8 when he was executed. Though conversely the personalities of both Edwards ring true according to many interpretations of the historic record. So how about getting the spirit right if not the facts?
last edited on April 25, 2016 4:39PM
bravo1102 at 10:47AM, April 25, 2016
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Kidding aside it is unfair to insist that the national cinema of country X not emphasize their history to the exclusion of others. The Canadians, Russians, Romanians, Italians, Finns, Germans, Japanese even Australians have done movies in their native film industry documenting their contributions.

But you have to look for them especially the ones not in English. The Korean film My Way really shows the cruelty of the Japanese. There have been Japanese films about the brutality of the Japanese in China but Japanese film outside of a few classics, horror and live-action anime adaptations really aren't big in English speaking countries.
last edited on April 25, 2016 12:20PM
Genejoke at 11:56AM, April 25, 2016
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Ozone, the problem is most stories are focused on one aspect of events. WW2 for example, most stories are told from British and American POV but that doesn't mean the rest wasn't an issue, only there is a limit to what can be fit into a story. Calling it criminal is a gross over statement. Many peoples first real taste of history is from film, but many are intrigued enough to seek to learn more. I'm sure there are plenty of stories within other aspects of ww2 that are worth telling though.
last edited on April 25, 2016 1:12PM
usedbooks at 2:17PM, April 25, 2016
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I'm for an all-or-nothing approach. If it's based on a true story, keep it true to primary source materials. If it's fiction set into a historical context, keep to the real details of the history in the setting. Don't have your made-up character doing things a real person did. Real stories are amazing, and it's fun to include little historical details. It's not like research is hard with modern technology (as long as you know what a reliable source is).

On the other hand, if it's fiction “inspired by” a real story but you are running with it, make it your own and don't be subtle. Same with rewriting history. Don't just tweak one little detail here and there, make it a work of imagination. Far more entertaining that way. (There are people who will mistake the most obvious work of fiction for historical fact, probably the same people who believe James Bond gadgets are 100% real.)
KimLuster at 3:02PM, April 25, 2016
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Yeah, I echo many in that, if a work is ‘serious’ in tone, then the Historical Accuracy needs to be pretty much spot on…! I cannot stand any sort of ‘revisionism’ unless it's revising to better reflect recently found facts.

The USSR probably took on 80% of Nazi Germany's ground forces! The rest of the Allies would've had a mighty hard time winning without that little known eastern front deal!!

And of course, the USSR was comically blatant about editing History - you didn't dare write about the truth there…!

But if it isn't serious, but very upfront about!! I have no trouble seeing a movie with a Vampire Hunting Lincoln fighting Blood-Sucking Confederate Legions at Gettysburg!! - as long as you don't try to trick me!!
bravo1102 at 4:27PM, April 25, 2016
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KimLuster wrote:

The USSR probably took on 80% of Nazi Germany's ground forces! The rest of the Allies would've had a mighty hard time winning without that little known eastern front deal!!

And of course, the USSR was comically blatant about editing History - you didn't dare write about the truth there…!


The Soviet and later Russian film industry has done magnificent service to the proud service of their soldiers, sailors and airmen. And amazingly not rewritten history all that much. The miniseries Liberation is very fair in telling the story of World War II after Kursk in 1943 including the meetings of the Big Three. White Tiger and Stalingrad(2013) are good war movies from modern Russia. Fair and accurate and truthful. The Soviet movie industry going back to Khrushchev knew they couldn't fool their public about the Great Patriotic War. Their war films are pretty honest.


The Poles made a TV series in the 1960's about a tank crew that was as fair as the old US show Combat I recently re-watched that old series and it was a lot more accurate and fair to both sides than you would think. There were Nazis, sure, but there were also sympathetic portrayals of plain German fighting men. And there were more Brits in it than Saving Private Ryan and they weren't as stereo-typically stubborn tea drinkers inept in combat as they are depicted in Band of Brothers
KimLuster at 6:48PM, April 25, 2016
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I guess I really had the Stalin years in mind - it is comical to see photo-comparisons with entire people removed from them, but very sad knowing that those people also disappeared for real…!! Stalin didn't just remove his enemies - he tried to remove them from History too…!!
HippieVan at 10:33PM, April 25, 2016
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bravo1102 wrote:
The Soviet and later Russian film industry has done magnificent service to the proud service of their soldiers, sailors and airmen. And amazingly not rewritten history all that much. The miniseries Liberation is very fair in telling the story of World War II after Kursk in 1943 including the meetings of the Big Three. White Tiger and Stalingrad(2013) are good war movies from modern Russia. Fair and accurate and truthful. The Soviet movie industry going back to Khrushchev knew they couldn't fool their public about the Great Patriotic War. Their war films are pretty honest.

FYI my friend who's a professor of Russian history and an expert on military history in particular says this is BS (his exact words, haha). ;) I won't transcribe his entire tirade, but in particular he says that Liberation is full of inaccuracies about hardware (although it is visually stunning), and Stalingrad was a waste of three hours.

More importantly, he says that the entire concept of the Great Patriotic War is flawed - huge numbers of Soviet troops surrendered/fought on the side of Germans, and Pyotr Grigorenko has argued that the Soviet troops' abysmal performance in 1941 was primarily the result of the unwillingness of the troops to fight for that regime. And Soviet myth-making was definitely a thing when it came to war movies. For instance, “all German troops would be shown with submachine guns. Their tanks would be inevitably Tiger tanks, introduced en masse only in 1943 and, for WWII, produced in small numbers” because “it is always more convenient to ascribe the blame to technical and numeric superiority of the enemy, than to some less attractive factors.”
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bravo1102 at 1:28AM, April 26, 2016
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When it comes to war fighting the concept of a Great Patriotic War or as Ike called it “the crusade in Europe” is sometimes necessary to mobilize a populace. It can also be a way to make a population into a nation. I am a former tank crewman as well as a military history geek, you want to talk specifics I can do it with the experts and I have.

Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story. When it's a choice of printing the truth or the legend, print the legend.

I am not going to get technical with tank types and unit weapon ratios, misidentified armor, Tiger terror and so on. To get really petty German vehicles after 1943 were actually painted dark yellow with green and brown camouflage but all we ever get is grey.
last edited on April 26, 2016 1:30AM
ozoneocean at 4:53AM, April 26, 2016
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I think that where it's if your power to do it you should god for historical veracity.

Take Genejoke's example of the Battle of Thermopyle as depicted in the film.
OK, the records we have of that battle are mainly Greek and mainly legend. It's obvious propaganda with a healthy dose of bullshit.

FAIR ENOUGH- The story is ABOUT the legend, not the actual history.
Even more: the story is about Frank Miller's comic book version of the legend, not history and not the original legend.

That said, they SHOULD have gotten the costumes and armour of the Greek people right at the very, very, very least. Even bloody Frank Miller got that right in his comic book version that the film was based on!

Now what has happened is that we have generations people people who think that Spartans looked like the Chippendales in shitty Dr Who prop helmets.
It's NOT limited to fans of the film. That icionography is everywhere now, in logos and artwork. You can be more “Spartan” helmets in that shitty style than you can in the real one.
Introducing fake ideas actively harms our conception of history.
 
Genejoke at 5:07AM, April 26, 2016
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hah that is a fair point, but the movie clearly hoped to get a female audience with the painted on six packs.
bravo1102 at 6:12AM, April 26, 2016
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That's why you forget about Frank Miller's comic book and the movie and read Herodatus and watch the movie 300 Spartans. If you want accuracy you look at the British production of The Charge of the Light Brigade not the Errol Flynn movie. The Errol Flynn film is a great adventure yarn in the best Hollywood style not history. Though its depiction of the actual history(the charge itself) is not bad, quite unlike 300.

You could go the route of the movie Gettysburg and slavishly follow history; or at least one novelist's interpretation with dozens of omissions and differing points of view swept away so as not to clutter up the story. You can pick apart the most faithful retelling of history with the right source material. And there are lots of armchair historians itching at the bit to do so with any movie or novel. Agreed 300 or Braveheart and Patriot go too far in butchering history but how close should you or even can you adhere to history and still have a good story?

One example would be Gods and Generals. Plenty of seemingly purposeful omissions of Stonewall's failures in the Peninsula and Antietam. One critic called Stonewall Jackson stiff. Problem was all his biographers agree that he was. So do you change his documented personality to make him more relatable to an audience? (Which the people doing the movie didn't do)

last edited on April 27, 2016 2:04AM
bravo1102 at 6:19AM, April 26, 2016
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And then there is the magic of the author's note where you explain how and why you deviated from the historical record and give a bibliography someone to pursue the real story. Bernard Cornwell does that in every one of his novels. You see where he tweaked history and gain a few new titles for the bookshelf. Or in my case start a whole new bookshelf on the American Civil War.
last edited on April 27, 2016 2:05AM
bravo1102 at 1:06AM, April 28, 2016
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Anyone want to talk about his or her own experience writing or creating historical fiction?
ozoneocean at 8:36PM, April 28, 2016
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I have never created real historical fiction.
When I made Pinky TA I wanted it to happen in the 1920s because I love the state of technology then, design, and the clothing fashions… But I knew I would have to fork things into an alternative version of the world in order to include all the changes I wanted. I didn't want to try and shoe-horn those into our reality.

Still though I have the real world history of that time to draw from, which is useful- real countries, politics, technology etc. It's very helpful!
If I really wanted to I could change things in Pinky TA to be actual historical fiction- Changing the “Crimean Empire” to early Soviet Russia, getting rid of the trompers, helicopters and anything like that, making Pinky way less “out there”…

Actually, that gives me a VERY good way forward if I was ever to try an adapt Pinky TA to sell as a property to Hollywood or something like that.
I would just do everything I've been arguing against in my posts above:
Pinky TA would be set in post revolutionary 1920s Russia in the “real world”, Pinky would still wear all the same gear and have her amazing hair, and there WOULD be trompers as well. AND I would have fictionalised versions of real events as well as made up ones. :D
 
bravo1102 at 1:11AM, April 29, 2016
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The “historical ” Pinky in a love triangle with Reilly ace of spies and Trotsky. Make for a great anime. What if fiction like that may be an ultimate expression of not letting historical accuracy get in the way of a good story.


It's the old “inspired by true events” approach. Use what you want and ignore the rest. A woman wearing chaPS and a thong in the 1920s who crews an armored fighting vehicle. Fashionable but highly impractical wear for inside an AFV. But then woman's wear in fiction is rarely practical. Witness the ubiquitous chain mail bikini. There were things similar (bynie and skirt) but not quite a bikini. But again that's veering off historical fiction to what if and even into fantasy world building.


A pet peeve of mine is lazy fantasy world building where it's simply Medieval Europe with the names changed and magic. Unless a well developed world where things interact coherently it can be awful. Though a fun exercise for short fiction like Stalin and the Dragon.
last edited on April 29, 2016 2:22AM
El Cid at 11:14PM, May 3, 2016
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The HBO series ‘Deadwood’ was notorious for its heavy use of foul language. Possibly some of the most “F-bomb” rich dialogue in cinematic history. But, as it turns out, the profanity wasn't historically accurate. The writer of the show realized that if he used popular contemporary cuss words of the era like "goldurnit' and such, that it would come off sounding near comical to modern audiences. Substituting more modern profanity instead gave the language a similar level of impact to current audiences to what it would have with people of the show's time period.
ozoneocean at 1:57AM, May 4, 2016
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Chainmail bikinis and skimpy female armour isn't quite as bad as the internet tends to claim…
I mean, obviously stuff literal chainmail bikinis are not practical for fighting, but you can be sure they existed historically in some form for dancing girls. Even breast plates with boobs for women existed historically, but they were a little more ceremonial.
As you get further into it though- male fighting costumes from many periods was rather skimpy, famously so, so it IS ok for women to have similar outfits, as long as the males do too.
And even when it comes to fully covered plate- men rarely wore bulky, form disguising suits of the kind you see in modern fantasy art and modern reproductions. Most plate armour was very from fitting, with narrow little wasp waists. Even for fat guys it was still form fitting. So form fitting armour on a woman is realistic :)

El Cid wrote:
The HBO series ‘Deadwood’ was notorious for its heavy use of foul language. Possibly some of the most “F-bomb” rich dialogue in cinematic history. But, as it turns out, the profanity wasn't historically accurate. The writer of the show realized that if he used popular contemporary cuss words of the era like "goldurnit' and such, that it would come off sounding near comical to modern audiences. Substituting more modern profanity instead gave the language a similar level of impact to current audiences to what it would have with people of the show's time period.
That was the sort of thing we covered on the Quackcast towards the end:
http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-269-historical-accuracy-vs-story-needs

Often you need to alter things in a way that makes the historical culture relatable and understandable to a modern audience. Hence all the bullshit about “FREEDOM” in gladiator and Braveheart.
If you did a realistic movie version of the Norse Eddas for example, people wouldn't understand what was going on because Norse people had a VERY different way of thinking than we do now, with a totally different moral compass and values.
 
KimLuster at 8:52AM, May 4, 2016
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Just an aside with all the clothes-talk, female apparel in REALITY is often way impractical!! Clothes purposefully designed to be wispy and thin - might as well be nude in the rain…!! And don't get me started on high heels! And in the past, whalebone corsets that would drown you, mile-high headdresses that caught on fire…!

Sometimes it seems ‘impractical’ fantasy stuff isn't all that much fantasy after all!!
bravo1102 at 11:46AM, May 4, 2016
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If you did a realistic movie version of the Norse Eddas for example, people wouldn't understand what was going on because Norse people had a VERY different way of thinking than we do now, with a totally different moral compass and values.


Which is why when an Icelandic film company did a version of one Saga about family revenge it was so hard to relate to. Well practically impossible because most people could only see it as a “gore, slasher” film because it is so historical with its depiction of violence in Medieval Icelandic/Norse culture.

And remember freedom is relative. When we speak of freedom before modern liberalism and universal suffrage we are talking about one group wanting freedom from the oppression of another. An example is Thomas Jefferson: Freedom for white males not the black slaves and certainly not women (Sorry Abigail Adams). Spartacus: freedom from Roman slavery, William Wallace; freedom from English oppression, Athenians: Freedom from barbaric oriental tyranny in the form of the Persian Empire. The Macedonians would co-opt this into a pan-Greek crusade to conquer Asia. Though some did not even see them as Greek and they certainly only united Greece through brutality. The modern definition is broad theirs was group specific but still freedom. Freedom for US versus THEM but not YOU outside our group.


You could say it freedom from oppression so that a group could oppress others as it would like. Polish freedom to oppress Russians and kill Germans. Business before pleasure. Or German freedom to expand and enslave Slavs. Russian freedom to free Slavs from Muslim tyranny and impose their own tyranny upon them for the glory of Pan-Slavism.
last edited on May 4, 2016 11:52AM
bravo1102 at 12:16PM, May 4, 2016
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ozoneocean wrote:
Chainmail bikinis and skimpy female armour isn't quite as bad as the internet tends to claim…
I mean, obviously stuff literal chainmail bikinis are not practical for fighting, but you can be sure they existed historically in some form for dancing girls. Even breast plates with boobs for women existed historically, but they were a little more ceremonial.
As you get further into it though- male fighting costumes from many periods was rather skimpy, famously so, so it IS ok for women to have similar outfits, as long as the males do too.
And even when it comes to fully covered plate- men rarely wore bulky, form disguising suits of the kind you see in modern fantasy art and modern reproductions. Most plate armour was very from fitting, with narrow little wasp waists. Even for fat guys it was still form fitting. So form fitting armour on a woman is realistic :)


A breast plate with boobs would create hills and depressions that would catch a weapon strike and cause more damage. You ideally want a flat or nearly so surface so blows glance off. Male pecs are one thing, breast forms are another. So they were entirely ceremonial the same as male breastplates with exaggerated deeply engraved muscle tone. Basic muscle tone like a Greco-Roman muscle cuirass could deflect some blows but put boobs on it and that just gives someone something to hack off.


Now legendary soldiers are skimpily dressed, historically they grabbed every piece of armor they could get so long as it didn't impair their movement too much. What can you get away with and still be maneuverable? Thigh armor for example was not wise before stirrups as it lessened control of the horse. So a lot of pre-stirrup cultures are bare legged. Famously skimpy soldiers would add armor if going up against certain heavily armored enemies. Rook at the heavy legionnaires who fought the Parthians. Homer constantly talks of bronze clad soldiers yet the art shows them naked. Homer is very insightful when it comes to fighting and understands armor and equipment like so many artists all the way down to Frank Miller don't. But then it's the depiction of legend, (like Arthur's men in full 15th century plate in Excalibur, though with interesting period touches), NOT history.
bravo1102 at 5:31PM, May 4, 2016
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And here's Bravo being more pedantic about ephemera.

Tight chain mail is ineffective. Overly tight plate is counter productive. You need it to balance freedom of movement with protection. So skin tight is out. Also it gives the best protection when spaced from the body and cushioned against the Force of a blow.


You want to beat Mr. Skintight armor? Smash him with a mace and break his ribs. Overly tight plate would bend back from heavy blows and cut the wearer inside. Chain mail needs to be spaced out and padded so there are only minor cuts and bruises like the crusader Knights set upon by dozens of enemies who hacked their way out with minor injuries because of the effective protection of their chain mail over padded gabescon(spelling?)


Amazingly there have been a few modern films to portray this accurately. Thank you Royal Armouries and Medieval archeology.

And I wrote a script about this stuff called “Sword Sandals and not Much Else” and its sort of sequel, Metalhead.
last edited on May 4, 2016 6:06PM
ozoneocean at 8:17PM, May 4, 2016
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From visiting museums, galleries and looking at good references is where I formed my knowledge on historical armour. It wasn't bulky and it was largely form fitting. It had to be because fast, easy, quick supple movement is needed far more than simple impact protection. The bulkier the armour the more clumsy the overlaps and the less flexibility and movement you have. Also you need way more padding under it which makes it too hot to be practical.
The famous Greek Corinthian helmets for example were skull fitting caps with zero padding or even suspension straps.

For skimpy armour, don't just look to Greeks and Romans with their bare thighs and upper arms (of course not all Greeks had metal breastplates), but the Egyptians and sub-Saharan African peoples etc.

You can't have skin-tight usable chain-mail though because it's heavy and hangs is baggy folds. That stuff has a level of padding underneath.

The boob armour I've seen comes from India. I believe it was used to make the wearer look like an avatar of Sheeva or one of the other gods.
You can make booby upper chest armour heavy enough so that nothing can go through easily enough. Nothing can go through a real hardened steel breastplate anyway short of a lance or a bullet so it's not as much of an issue as speculators claim. (going by what the director of the collection at the New York MET says and the research they've conducted on historical pieces)
 
bravo1102 at 11:40PM, May 4, 2016
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I said it's a balance between tight and loose so you're right. But looking at armor is one thing, reading accounts of how it worked in battle is another. Or even talking to people who wear and test it to see how it works. I remember talking to an assistant curator in MMOA about anot early rifled firearm in the collection to discover he had never fired a gun let alone any idea how to load a muzzle loading rifle. He knew about it an object of art, not as something you use. I also said something about can openers and 16th century pole arms and he didn't get the comparison.


That's why I thanked Royal Armouries. They test it through use to see how it worked. Also all the concepts about protecting an armored target remain the same whether it's a tank or a guy in plate armor.
ozoneocean at 11:57PM, May 4, 2016
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The guy I referenced is a researcher as well and tests period accurate replicas. There are quite a few of them now in the museum field.
Art galleries tend to have the people who only have an abstract knowledge. Often it's those people who perpetuate embarrassing myths… like knights being hoisted up with cables.
 

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