The tassels or fringe used in decorating the handles can be made from a few inches of worsted fringe, about 4 in. long and wound around the handle or staff twice and fastened with brass-headed nails.
The preceding chapters gave descriptions of making arms in imitation of ancient weapons, and now the amateur armorer must have some helmets to add to his collection. There is no limit to the size of the helmet, and it may be made as a model or full sized. In constructing helmets, a mass of clay of any kind that is easily workable and fairly stiff, is necessary, says the English Mechanic, London. It must be kept moist and well kneaded. A large board or several planks, joined closely together, on which to place the clay, will be necessary. The size of this board will depend on the size of the work that is intended to be modeled upon it.
Making the Clay Model and Three Helmet Designs
The way to make a helmet is described in the following method of producing a German morion, shown in Fig. 1. This helmet has fleur-de-lis in embossedĚ work, and on each side is a badge of the civic regiment of the city of Munich. The side view of the helmet is shown in Fig. 1.
The clay, is put on the board and modeled into the shape shown in Fig. 2. This is done with the aid of a pair of compasses, a few clay-modeling tools, and the deft use of the fingers. The fleur-de-lis are slightly raised, as in bas-relief. To aid in getting the helmet in correct proportion on both sides, and over the crest on top, cut out the shape from a piece of wood, as shown in Fig. 3, with a keyhole saw. This wood being passed carefully and firmly over the clay will bring it into shape, and will also show where there may be any deficiencies in the modeling, which can then be easily remedied by adding more clay. The cut-out pattern shown in Fig. 4 is the side outline of the helmet.
Scraps of thin, brown, wrapping paper are put to soak in a basin of water to which has been added about a tablespoonful of size melted and well stirred, or some thin glue, and left over night to soak. The paper should be torn in irregular shapes about as large as the palm of the hand. After the clay model is finished, give it a thin coat of oil-sweet or olive oil will answer the purpose very well. All being ready, the clay model oiled, and the basin of soaked paper near to hand, take, up one piece of paper at a time and very carefully place it upon the model, pressing it well on the clay and into and around any crevices and patterns, and continue until the clay is completely covered.
This being done, give the paper a thin and even coating of glue, which must be quite hot and put on as quickly as possible. Put on a second layer of paper as carefully as before, then another coating of glue, and so on, until there are from four to six coats of glue and paper. When dry, the paper coating should be quite stout and strong enough for the helmet to be used for ornamental purposes. Before taking it off the model, which should be no difficult matter, owing to the clay being oiled, trim off any ragged edges of paper with a sharp knife, and smooth and finish all over with some fine sandpaper. The paper is then given a thin coat of glue and sections of tinfoil stuck on to give it a finished appearance. When the helmet is off the model, make holes with a small awl at equal distances, through which to insert some fancy brass nails, bending the points over and flat against the inside of the helmet.
A vizor helmet is shown in Fig. 5. This helmet has a movable vizor in the front that can be lifted up, a crest on top, and around the neck a narrow gorget which rests upon the wearer's shoulders. The whole helmet. with the exception of the vizor, should be modeled and made in one piece. The vizor can then be made and put in place with a brass-headed nail on each side. The oblong slits in front of the vizor must be carefully marked out with a pencil and cut through with a knife or chisel.
In Fig. 6 is shown an Italian casque of a foot soldier of the sixteenth century. This helmet may have the appearance of being richly engraved as shown in one-half of the drawing, or, a few lines running down, as seen in the other part of the sketch, will make it look neat. The band is decorated with brass studs.
An Italian cabasset of the sixteenth century is shown in Fig. 7. This helmet is elaborately decorated with fancy and round-headed nails, as shown: in the design.
In Fig. 8 is shown a large bassinet with a hinged vizor which comes very much forward, so as to allow the wearer to breathe freely. This helmet was worn about the sixteenth century, and was probably used for tilting and tournaments.
A burgonet skull-cap of the seventeenth century is shown in Fig. 9. The vizor is composed of a single bar of metal, square in shape, which slides up and down in an iron socket attached to the front of the helmet, and is held in any position by a thumbscrew as shown in the illustration.
A hole in the peak of the helmet allows it to hang in front of the wearer's face. This contrivance should be made of wood, the helmet to be modeled in three pieces, the skullcap, peak and lobster shell neck guard in one piece, and the ear guards in two pieces, one for each side. The center of the ear guards are perforated. All of the helmets are made in the same manner as described for Fig. 1. They are all covered with tinfoil.