Armor

(Revised May 2004)

Entry consists of one or more pieces to be worn singularly or as a set (Ex. a helm. a gambeson, a pair of knee cups). A pair (gauntlets, legs, etc.) counts as one piece. Sets may use any combination of styles and materials, but coordinated or matched sets will earn higher scores. Entrant should specify whether armor was made primarily for Combat ( for use in SCA fighting) or Dress (for ceremonial or non-combat wear.) Combat armor will hold a competitive advantage in Workmanship; Dress armor will hold an advantage in Authenticity; highest scores will go to sets that succeed at both levels. Combat armor must pass SCA marshallate standards or require only very minor modification; entrant should note what modification is necessary, if any.

Armor; Novice

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. For Novice level, a 3x5 card is the minimum required, but more is encouraged. Any discussion beyond listing of the criteria below, on period practice, any conscious compromises or research is encouraged and should receive higher points than simply listing the information. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description of entry including some of the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Lists materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Lists methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites at least one source and one visual or descriptive reference, or two of either.

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Novice level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best. Note: an entrant who has made modifications or substitutions for practical reasons can still demonstrate an understanding of period practice by what alternative processes he chooses (Ex. maintaining a period stylistic appearance while adding unobtrusive safety features).

  • Form/function-is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation-appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect.
  • Materials used-period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style— is the design or style period or give a period effect.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (# of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques attempted.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, based on the following:

  • Construction techniques. Are rivets correct tightness? Is dishing even? Are seams and quilting strong? Does articulation work? Are mail rings butted closely or (better) welded or riveted? Are parts properly assembled?
  • Finishing and decorative techniques. Are metal edges turned? Are cloth edges bound? Are lacing holes smoothed (or will they cut the laces)? Consider also polish, ornamentation, design and execution of decorative motifs.
  • Design: Do plans/patterns make sense? Are parts combined properly? Do parts balance? Are proportions good? How well do pieces work together as a set?
  • Form/Function: Will pieces protect the wearer? Will they hold up in battle or look good for parade? Will they allow sufficient comfort and freedom of movement?
  • Period styling OR personalization OR special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the 'wow' factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up. -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Armor; Intermediate

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Intermediate level documentation should have at least minimal discussion of the components involved. More in-depth discussion or period practices or conscious compromises is encouraged and should receive higher points. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and some discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Some discussion of materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Some discussion of methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites more than one source and one visual or descriptive reference, includes a reference sheet (bibliography) or cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best. . Note: an entrant who has made modifications or substitutions for practical reasons can still demonstrate an understanding of period practice by what alternative processes he chooses (Ex. maintaining a period stylistic appearance while adding unobtrusive safety features).

  • Form/function-is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation-appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect.
  • Materials/tools used-period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style— is the design or style period or give a period.

Complexity

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (# of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques attempted.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, based on the following:

  • Effective use of tools, methods, execution.
  • Techniques, handling of materials, etc.
  • Design: period aesthetics, motifs, design (note: period sense of balance and proportion is not necessarily the same as modern) etc.
  • Form/Function: does it do what it should do and look as it should look?
  • Period style or technique or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the 'wow' factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up. -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Armor; Advanced

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Advanced level documentation should have a thorough discussion of the components of the item, explains the rationale behind methods, materials, skills and tools, provides illustrations (if available), references and notes, as well as any original research or experimentation. Any conscious compromises should be explained. A summary page is helpful if the documentation is exceptionally in-depth, and more detailed work can also be put in appendices. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: very complete sources and visual or descriptive references, includes a bibliography and cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Advanced level, keeping in mind any deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare) must be plausible and explained. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best. Common authentic materials include metal, leather, cloth, horn. Modern substitutes may be used; judge these for appropriateness (Ex. mild steel for wrought iron is better than aluminum or stainless steel.) Kydex or other plastics may substitute for leather or horn, but will not score highly. Obviously inauthentic materials include undisguised plastics, foam rubber, plastic foam, synthetic fabrics, plastic based paints in obviously modern colors (or other obviously modern decorative treatments), plastic clothesline cord, etc. Obviously inauthentic processes include gas or arc welding, spot welded mail, etc. Safety considerations may require some substitutions in processes or materials (Ex. a modern metalwork technique instead of dangerous period one, or modifications of period design to conform to marshallate standards); these in themselves will not against Authenticity IF entrant explains safety considerations and provides a suitable rationale for the alternate methods/materials chosen. However, substitutions or modifications made without any effort to preserve authentic appearance will count against Authenticity.

  • Form/function-is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation-appropriate to period or are consistent and give a period effect .
  • Materials used-are period or reasonable substitutions that give a period effect.
  • Design, style—period design or style or gives a period effect.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor (# of pieces, size of work in relation to amount of detail, etc.).
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of techniques attempted.
  • Difficulty/variety of media, materials, tools used.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, based on the following:

  • Effective use of tools, methods, execution.
  • Techniques, handling of materials, etc.
  • Design: period aesthetics, motifs, design (note: period sense of balance and proportion is not necessarily the same as modern) etc.
  • Form/Function: does it do what it should do and look as it should look?
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the 'wow' factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up. -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.