Arms & Armor

One of the central activities of the Company is muster.  Historically, the Trayn’d Bandes served as a militia unit within a shire or county, in our case the Southwark area outside of London. To train the members of a Bandes, a muster would be called.  The bandes members would train, run through drills, examine equipment and perform manly feats. Gardiner’s Muster events feature drill for pike, shot, and other units, as well as rapier and archery practice and simulated combat scenarios (skirmishing).  Members adopting a martial persona (as determined by clothing/kit) and who are physically able, are encouraged to take part in drill and skirmishing.

Skirmishing or simulated combat follows the SCA heavy rapier standards as a baseline.  Skirmishers are free to use more armor.  When the armor is visible it should be period in style such as a jackcoat, mail, or plate. Fencing masks, with hoods, are allowed for simulated combat and removed after combat to maintain a more period atmosphere. There are specific rules regarding armor and weapons these are discussed prior to each skirmish.  Pike drill is done with armor, including a helm.

The skirmishing simulations help recreate a muster environment and explore the various martial manuals.  These are followed by social activities such as gaming and singing.

There is gear available to borrow to try different roles in the Bandes.  If you find a martial activity that suits you, work with the Military Coordinator and Education Officer regarding obtaining your own armor and equipment.

Getting Started

Minimal Arms & Armor 
(required for martial personas)
  • sword w/ sheath (for drill)
  • belt hanger or baldric for sword
  • gorget
  • helm (appropriate to period)
  • covered fencing mask (skirmishing only)
  • leather gloves
Minimal Personal Gear
  • a specific suit to fight in
  • a second shirt
  • jerkin/buff-coat/breast 
  • plate/other armor helm with face protection (for skirmishing)
**Remember there is loaner gear!**
  • The Renaissance Drill Book, Jacob de Gheyn (ed. 2006) A seventeenth-century military manual, designed to instruct contemporary soldiers how to handle arms effectively, and correctly.
  • There are online versions of the fencing treatise of DiGrassi and Silver’s Paradoxes of Defence and Brief Instructions

Supplies & Vendors

Sources in the US
    • Darkwood Armory,  Scott and Leslie Wilson, 1607 Bush Dairy Road, Laurel, MS 39440, 601-518-3508,, Daggers, Fencing helms, Gorgets, and all sorts of other metalwork. Custom work available.
    • Kult of Athena, (Carries new and second hand, from the worst to the very, very best).
    • New World Arbalest, David R. Watson, 201 West Crestland Dr., Austin, TX 78752-2427; (512) 453-2628, Produces high-quality crossbows.
    • Museum Replicas, 2147 Gees Mill Road, Conyers, GA 30207; 800-883-8838, 770-922-7500. Suppliers of a range of medieval and Renaissance arms and armour; quality is mixed and service is not exemplary.
    • Robert MacPherson, 21 E. Circular Ave. Apt. B, Paoli, PA 19301; An armourer of the first rate. Available for consultation
    • Tradewinds of the Levant, very good quality custom armor and helmets. Dale Hopton (the owner) works with a group of smiths in India.  Also looking to branch out to swords.
    • Zen Warrior Armory, 331 Sanford Street, Elkin, NC 28621; (336) 835-1205. Carries SCA and modern fencing supplies: service is excellent

Sources in Europe
    • Adam Blockley,  Adam Blockley is a master Armourer and Smith. He makes bespoke reproductions of 16th and 17th century armour and weapons. (Really excellent armor)
    • Armour Class,  Unit 13, Block 5, New Albion Industrial Site, Halley Street, Yoker, Glasgow, G13 4DJ, SCOTLAND; (0141) 951-2262, . Good quality and reasonably priced swords, armour, and accessories.
    • Del Tin Armi Antiche SNC, Via dei Fabbri 13, I-33085 Maniago PN, Italy; ++39 (427) 72-550, . Makers of quality reproduction weapons.
    • Loyalist Arms and Repairs, Loyalist carries 16th-19th century arms (including a matchlock) mostly manufactured in India and tuned in their workshop. They are an established business and offer a limited warranty.
    • Bolek Maciaszczyk Wheellock and Matchlock. 48 530 886 317. Reconstruction (building) and renovation of XV – XVII century firearms.