Thursday, July 3, 2014


South Tower and Armoured Company of the Sword

newsletter 1 July 2014

As of this morning, both the basic and advanced classes at Plante are running.

Walk for cancer went really well. 
Thank you Dominique for
ramrodding such a complicated event.
Perhaps I can get her to be our squire wrangler. 
pictures on facebook of the walk.

July 11th and 12th...Osgoode Medieval Festival
Schedule of events
There have been changes, so don't forget to refresh your pages. There will be trebuchet.

The idea of this schedule was to give
visitors from a goodly distance
like Kingston a chance to get here
without having to get up at Oh dark thirty.
(crash space and camping space
is available guys! )

And NOT conflict with the jousters. 
Or anything else. 
Props to Phil L. for creating the finest
schedule I have ever seen!

Friday is the "knight's pub" upstairs at
the arena. A couple of armoured knights get in
for free because they will act as greeters,
otherwise it is 25 bucks for some
great food, and if past performances are
any indication, all the beer that
people will foist upon our hard
working sweaty knights!
Who gets to be greeters?
Well, sounds like a reason for a fight to me!

The summer tournament will
take place at the Osgoode Faire.
Devon and Jeff will determine
times and dates for the tournament,
and post their decision as required.
We have the following times available to us.
(from the above schedule
which is now cast in stone)
tournament... 9:45 to 10:30
meet the knights...10:30 to 10:45
demo-tournament 1:15 to 2:00
Meet the knights 2:00 to 2:15

Demo 9:45 to 10:30
Meet the knights 10:30 to 10:45
Demo 4:00 to 4:45
Meet the knights 4:45 to 5:00

I will provide a prize. 


We are still taking orders for the
dinner at the Russell House on Saturday,
July 12, 2014 planned for 6.30.
Check our facebook page, or get ahold
of Brenda for any last minute additions
Its okay if you book and cancel...
they just might have trouble filling in
last minuite additions unless you order
off this set menu. 
So get onto that soonest guys!
Do I have to mention the home made
lamb hot-pot, Guinness shepherd's pie,
the baked chicken and the  ribs
each for under ten bucks a plate?
Dare you to finish them and not be full.
Deserts and gratuities are extra
of course. (sticky toffee pudding! Oh my!)
Terry reminded me that they are a pub
first and a restaurant second, and
he is as proud of his 18 beers
and ciders on tap
as Edna is proud of her meat pies!

Me... I am proud of this undiscovered
gem of a pub in the heart of the
Ottawa Valley.  It should no longer
be the best kept secret in the Ottawa

Up coming summers are
keeping people away from doing classes.
Of course we shall keep on, its what we do!
The usual sign ups are required at both
Algonquin College and Plant Bath.
email me for more info
or you can go to the ACS forum site
where Jeff has updated all the
contact information required.

Bill Fedun
Armour Maker

Monday, April 28, 2014


These were the pictures of the gambesons I am speculating on.

(actually, as nice as these are, I cannot get them in small enough quantities to justify ordering them in. No point in getting them in from a rival, my rival would not be interested in cutting me a deal, so we would be losing money on getting a stock of them in.   I am getting a sample from Turkey, and we will see how that goes.)

 Don't panic about the colour...that is just to show his versatility. He has them in green, red, black, white, blue (shown) and other colours subject to a serious order.   I will be getting them in black. 

 The above is the one I want to get.  Look at how flexible everything is.  Either none to very little padding.  You don't WANT padding in the heat of summer, these will wick sweat away from your body and protect you from the scissoring effects of armour bites.  And they can look good as a uniform dress for demo events, at a fraction of the price of cloaks.  (I am fairly sure my price on these into Ottawa will run about 50 bucks,  60 dollars, tops.  Shipping, warehousing, duties and taxes sure do take their toll! And thats without my profit cut!)

 Those mittens are perfect for renaissance fencing.

 I like the criss cross stitching pattern of the skirt.  But like the gambeson below, its not as useful under plate armour.
Now these are the gambesons I have my eye on.  No doubt the readers of this blog have different ideas than me.   And if you want to get a green number five in double xL, it can be done at this time.  Email me if for some reason you want something out of the ordinary, this is the time to get it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Newsletter April 2014

I was too sick to make it to the Temples Sugar Bush Demo.  I hear it was VERY well received.  Personally, I plan to see if we can get some sponsors from, say Beau's Brewery.  I know my swords will happily work for beer, but I would LOVE to get some crested gambesons or poofy shirts to help us look good for the very demo's they want of us.
      I shall be going into the Firkin and see if we can become a sports team.  I figure we drop between two hundred fifty and three hundred dollars every Sunday (a slow day for them, and they TELL us we are much appreciated, but I don't feel the love).  Baseball and hockey teams get either nachos on the table when they arrive, or a 5%  gift certificates payable at the end of the season.  I think it might pan out.  But then, who knows?
      The gambesons I have my eye on are made in Pakistan by a guy who has convinced me he does not abuse his employees.  I did not want a repeat of the Joe Fresh-Bangladesh factory collapse on my conscience.  This fellow makes gambesons in three layers of canvas with no padding.  Perfect for under metal armour, less so for under chain mail.  The prices are, of course, fairly low.  Shipping is actually a bit more than the cost of the items!   I think we can get them to the swords for under fifty dollars each.  That is half of the Hanwei price for the over stuffed Aketons.  (which of course, are still available, and perfect for under chain.  And even at double the price, its still cheaper than a full suit of armour!
        Buckles... Got a nice batch of buckles from a different Pakistan guy.  He makes them the medieval way...and they are VERY beautiful.  Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but even so, I like the medieval look.  I have included a few below to get you an idea.
             These are being sold in the South Tower Kit Shop for 9 bucks each.  For that, I'll even put a leather strap end on it for you! 

 Very medieval.  I have seen these on scabbards and boot straps.

 Strong.  Solid, One inch of good old cartridge brass.

 Two inches.  The centre bar is of course, designed to be covered by a belt.

I think this one looks like he is picking his nose!

This tiny one is designed to rivet directly to the tasset.

Very hansome.  One of the most popular. 

A strap end.  Helps gloved hands get a strap into place. 

Very plain buckle.  Has its place. 

Very medieval...based on a find at Yarvick.  I think they look mean!

The Isle of man uses arms that look like this, but of course, they use three of them on their coats of arms. 

Very elegant, that one above.  Its strong enough to use as front buckles of armour, but of course there are lots of other belts you can use these buckles for.  Water skins, hats, even shoes. 

And the prettiest of Viking Gripping Beasts.  Ragnar Lothbrock would be proud.

      So, on the fighting front, Jeff is building a fine curriculum based on Hugh T. Knight Jr.'s interpretations of Talhoffer and Lichtenhaur.  I think we look pretty period, and we are doing it right.  We are fortunate to have about 45 years of experience between us to help us do these interpretations. A lot of the you tube stuff is pretty iffy.  I hesitate to say bogus because it is probably not intentional, but there is a LOT of stuff out there which can get you hurt.  Jeff is doing wonders for the class, now that I have sorta stepped out of his way.  I cannot support him in his efforts enough. 

      Play safe. 
Marshal Bill Fedun

Temples Sugar Bush Demo

2014 first grads.

Algonquin Grads first of the new year

And Plante Grads, again, first of the new year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hacking Limbs

Not part of the lesson plan...grin!  Just nasty stuff I like to share!

Normally, you will find that most of the "four quarters" beloved by Lichtenhauer are fine as far as they go.  Upper thighs, body. 
     That is all well and good, but you have limbs to worry about.  As we all know, a kick by your opponent to your goolies can ruin a instantly.

Now, as we look at this picture, I question what is going on... a lot!  Oh sure, he dropped his sword onto the other guy's arm...perhaps after a nice buckler stop.  If I may say so...this looks like a target of opportunity.  It would NEVER be executed as you see here.  The fellow on the left will step forward with his rear foot...and step off the line of attack to the left.  Only after doing this can he have the opportunity to drop the sword on his opponents extended arm.   This illustration does not say that he does that,  But he DID step right, and displace his foe's sword to the left. 
       I was wondering if this was a squinting cut...but nobody has stepped sufficiently aside to accomplish that very difficult cut.  But if had stepped right, then his sword is not shown as passing his body. 

       I have been thinking hard about this illustration. I wondered if the fellow on the left simply draws his sword across his opponent's arm...and this shows him at the very beginning of a flamboyant draw cut.  Or maybe it is a forward slice....which might be likely if he was to turn his feet around and step left.  Moving left around a blade pointed at your belly, even IF you think you have control with your buckler is too daft for words.  Don't do it!.   

A cut to the leg.  Very dangerous...yet often resorted to by people who just cannot resist an opening.  Check out the illustration below...

Observe how extended the fellow on the left has to be to do a good strike to the leg.

Targets of opportunity. 

Both plate 44 amd 45 show that you should not neglect targets of opportunity.   The fellow on the right on plate 44 is clearly well away from his opponent...and may be moving in or moving out.  I would not do such a move on the way IN, it is too likely to fail, spectacularly.  On the way OUT, it is a very good move because of course, it doesn't matter if you miss such a spectacularly high moving target.  The men in plate 45 are engaged in a very dangerous set of moves.  The fellow on the right has stabbed at the fellow on the left, and missed.  He gets a sword in his foot.  Again, VERY dangerous since of course, the right hand sword is ready to take the left hand sword's head off!