3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

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Greg
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3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Greg »

I've waxed back and forth on the usefulness (and downright comfort) of wearing Vambraces while in the woods for a number of years. My last pair, which were based solely on Andy's old patterns, I made more comfortable by making double-thick and putting the grain side in to make them slick on the inside and easier to pull on. It worked well enough, but I never liked how they dug into my wrists.

Fast-forward to now, and I have a different problem...I haven't worn a Vambrace in several years, but I still have to worry about bowstring slap. Soooo...we're back at it.

I have long since ignored the argument that if one has proper archery technique they will never be slapped with a bowstring. This is, in my opinion, hogwash, as everyone's arms and joints are built differently, and so what may not slap on one may slap readily on another, even though both are executing correct form. My final note on that argument is that Olympic Recurve archers, who have arguably the best shooting form in the world, still wear armguards. -End of rant.-

Back on topic, a Vambrace for purposes of Archery needs something that most fantasy/leather 'bracers' don't have...a smooth side on the inner arm.

Andy's design (found on the wiki) makes an asymmetrical shape out of a fairly standard Vambrace pattern, which places the lacing down along the outside edge of the arm, where it's out of the way of the string, and so won't catch or snag on the string, hurting accuracy. So I went forward with that pattern, knowing it from my past experience with it, and then added a few twists.

In the past, I've also added a cutout above the thumb to give my wrist some more mobility/comfort. Unfortunately, what I've found is that the cutouts give it the option to slide forward further, which makes the NON-cut parts more uncomfortable on the rest of the wrist, etc. So this time, I left it straight across and am glad I've done so. Sometimes, less is more, and a thing CAN be over-engineered.

To make the wrist more comfortable I instead bound this leading edge with Buckskin (tanned by Udwin.) I also lined the majority of the interior with more of the same, and added one more detail for comfort: there's a loose flap of buckskin attached to the inside by the lacing that crosses over the gap where the laces are, which prevents pinching in the laces and keeps arm hairs from getting pulled into the lacing holes, etc. The lacing has ALWAYS been an annoying problem for me with these in the past, and so I'd never wear them over bare skin, which can be problematic in warmer temperatures.

Lastly, I embroidered a small part of one of Tolkien's Numenorean sketches onto the back, because it sure felt like it needed something. I also deliberately opted out of making a second one, because I feel that a few layers of soft leather really don't amount to anything in terms of personal defense.

It was fun to make, and I'm enjoying the much-improved comfort level!
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Elleth »

Oh very nice!

... nothing like years of experience for fixing a design. :)
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Iodo »

Awesome work :P

and I agree with you fully about making comfortable vambraces, I actually ended up with almost exactly the same design as you, only mine is made from cheap chrome-tanned leather, seeing this has made me want to repeat the project :mrgreen:
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Cimrandir »

Very nice! I've been wanting to make a new arm guard soon so this is great to read!
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Manveruon »

That looks great, Greg!
Greg wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:51 pm I have long since ignored the argument that if one has proper archery technique they will never be slapped with a bowstring. This is, in my opinion, hogwash, as everyone's arms and joints are built differently, and so what may not slap on one may slap readily on another, even though both are executing correct form. My final note on that argument is that Olympic Recurve archers, who have arguably the best shooting form in the world, still wear armguards. -End of rant.-
I appreciate this rant, haha - and I tend to agree very much with your opinion here.

Personally I’m in the planning stages of my own long leather coat, inspired by (but by no means copied from) Strider’s jacket in the movies, and I’m planing to incorporate a padded section into the left forearm to act as an archery bracer without actually having to wear a separate one. Even so, the coat is going to be fairly warm, so I won’t be wearing it all the time, and that has definitely led me to consider a new bracer or set of bracers. This certainly gives me a bit to think about when creating mine! Personally, I like the symmetry of having two, but in the end I also see limited utility in it - and leather bracers really do smack of modern “Hollywood fantasy” most of the time.

Anyway, I think this one looks excellent, and I especially like the Tolkien-esque embroidery you’ve done! Hope it serves you well!
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Manveruon »

Oh - also, for some reason the wiki doesn’t appear to be working since the forum update? But if/when that gets fixed I’d really like to check out that pattern and see if I can use part or all of it myself.
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Iodo »

Manveruon wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:26 pm This certainly gives me a bit to think about when creating mine! Personally, I like the symmetry of having two, but in the end I also see limited utility in it - and leather bracers really do smack of modern “Hollywood fantasy” most of the time
I agree with liking the symmetry of having two, I also find that wearing them over the sleeves of a woolen tunic in the winter vastly improves the warmth of the tunic, although I'm still thinking that if I remake mine I would be looking to design them in a way that wearing two actually would be useful in some way
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Re: 3rd Age Dunedain Vambrace/Shooter's Armguard

Post by Greg »

Manveruon wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:26 pm...and I especially like the Tolkien-esque embroidery you’ve done! Hope it serves you well!
I wondered if it’d sneak through... :mrgreen:
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I though it was interesting that Tolkien kind-of...bold-faced? just the top portion of this design, almost like he was thinking about doing it as a stand-alone. So...I did!
Now the sword shall come from under the cloak.
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