Different kinds of chainmail

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xochiquetzal
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Different kinds of chainmail

Postby xochiquetzal » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:31 am

So, I want to get some chainmail, but there's a lot of variety both in materials, construction, and price. I don't understand what 'riveted' chainmail is, and I don't want to end up buying non-riveted chainmail only for it to break very soon. What's the difference between them, is it worth buying the more expensive riveted, and also how difficult is it to take care of the armour between LARPs? (Eg. oiling, cleaning, whatever.)

Thanks for any answers!
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:30 am

Get neoprene chain.

Its a bit price, in comparison, but weighs nothing :)
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Stevie
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Stevie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:48 am

Andy makes a good point about the neoprene chainmail that you should definitely consider. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber, which is very lightweight and durable. The chainmail sets of these that are made do look good and they are very easy to take care of. I personally don't like how they feel and it certainly helps my immersion and enjoyment if I am (to some degree) actively struggling to move/fight. The exhaustion you feel after a long day wearing full-weight chain is sometimes something I relish (taking it off is the best part - think Goku/Anti-Gravity training)

If you still decide to go for a metal set you've got a few choices but the ones I commonly see are either Steel or Aluminium. Aluminium is lighter and doesn't really rust, so is easier on you and easier to take care of. Steel is much much heavier and will rust and will need extra care.

Some Larp systems make a distinction between Light Chain (aluminium/neoprene) and Full-Weight Chain and will give you different armour based on that. I don't believe HoP does, but if you ever did decide to venture into other systems it might be something to consider.

The difference between riveted and un-riveted chain is how the links are forged together, the first picture is unriveted and you might be able to see and the end of each link the two edges of the ring are very close together with a teeny tiny gap. The chain links have just been bent into shape to leave small room between. You'll find that you lose more links this way, but it is also easier to repair as adding additional links is easy. For the riveted (pic 2), you can see the small bump at the end of each link. Basically what has happened is that someone has hammered the metal together, forging a stronger link that is less likely to break off. However, if some do (which they will, albeit less frequently) it is a little harder to repair yourself.

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In my personal opinion, I would take Riveted Aluminium. It offers the best of both worlds and isn't too heavy. If you're a big guy and can handle a bunch of extra weight on you for a weekend/week maybe look at full-weight, but not if you're under 18 as it can impact skeletal growth or something (not a doctor).

xochiquetzal
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby xochiquetzal » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:03 pm

Well, thanks for the information! I don't know which one I will go for, but price is something that will definitely affect my choice. I'm under 18, and don't have enough money to be spending hundreds on a suit of chain. Ah well, I'll think about it later.
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:42 pm

I used to wear full weight chain and plate...the chain was worse to wear as with plate you take the weight on your shoulders, chain you take the weight everywhere. I'd still wear real plate but wouldn't wear real chain. I have some very nice chain that I bought 10+ years ago and still wear as pretty much every character who can wear armour. It's worth investing in.

Stevie's said most of what needs to be said but I'd say that as riveted chain can be fixed using unriveted links (and not be noticeable) in this way is just as easy to fix.

In my experience, unriveted (or butted) steel chain pulls itself apart under its own weight. Butted aluminium doesn't have that issue so will last longer. As with sewing: a stitch in time saves nine - fix it when you notice a couple of links missing or you'll soon have a massive problem.

I find Ebay a good source for cheap chainmail: you can buy it from India without having to pay someone else in the UK to import it (most companies selling chain mail for under £100 will be importing it rather than making it themselves).

Unriveted Aluminium £40 (+ possibly £10-15 customs charge as coming from outside UK) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALUMINIUM-CHA ... 259d535c9e

Riveted Aluminium £90 (+ possibly £20-25 customs charge) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALUMINIUM-LAR ... 258fb5a5c7

The only "issue" with aluminium is that it will always look like aluminium: steel can be shiny or dull, oiled or rusty, can be silver or black (or a variety of other colours) but aluminium will always look the same.
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xochiquetzal
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby xochiquetzal » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:23 pm

Having looked at the various selections of armour, I think I'll probably go for riveted aluminium. The links you posted for me were very helpful, thanks Ben! I do still have a ocuple of questions though: although aluminium is lighter, how much would it weigh? And also what kind of procedures have to be taken to look after the chainmail?

I'd very much like a suit of plate armour, but I just can't afford that.
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Peter Levy » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:46 pm

the neoprene that we normally see wouldn't count as chainmail in hop, it's ringmail.

the best of the best of the best of the best is ringmesh (butchers' chain) which is not cheap, but not the most expensive thing ever. it looks like mithril, is very very hard to break, doesn't rust much (if at all), and weighs only about a quarter of a full steel suit. the only downside is that at Empire it only counts as medium...

i love it.


I've bought the cheap aluminium stuff from india via ebay before, and it is very soft. it doesn't last. i'd advise against the very cheapest.
my other chainmail is blackened full-weight butted steel, which i got from will hudson. not sure where he originally got it; it's quite old...









but ringmesh is the besetest!
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:26 pm

Ringmesh is amazing. In 10 years, wearing it dozens of times (including 4 week long events and several weekends) it's lost a few links in the armpit and a couple of random others.

This is me wearing it 10 years ago http://www.heartofpargonlarp.co.uk/gall ... C00088.JPG
And the same suit last year http://www.heartofpargonlarp.co.uk/gall ... fullsize=1
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Stevie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:57 pm

It's also not that pricey. $180 for a medium shirt. (£115) Shipping might be expensive.

http://www.ringmesh.com/product_p/ss210.htm

Or, if you feel like making your own set (of non-butcher chain) read some guides. It's not a vastly difficult thing to do, but is certainly time consuming.

http://theringlord.com/cart/shopDisplay ... &cat=Rings

xochiquetzal
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby xochiquetzal » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:38 pm

I was thinking of buying the Indian stuff, but if it's not very durable then I might not. Making my own sounds like the recipe for a disaster, but I imagine I could. Maybe.

Ah well, I'll decide later. So many different options...
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:05 pm

My issue with Ringmesh last time (3 or 4 years ago?) was that shipping was high and service was poor.

I paid via Paypal but then they didn't have stock and so didn't ship for over a month so I opened a Paypal claim until they could guarantee they had it in stock and were ready to ship, they then refunded me and I paid them again.
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Re: Different kinds of chainmail

Postby Will » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:46 pm

Rivetted ally does come apart... and I am yet to find where to get the links on their own to make repairs
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