Another shield done

Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.

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Peter Dekker
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Another shield done

Post by Peter Dekker » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:32 pm

Here is my latest rattan shield, which I made for Graham Cave.

Specs:
Diameter 71.5 - 72 cm
Dome height 13 cm
Weight 2507 grams

It contains about 70 meters of core and about a mile of wrapping band. Over 45 hours in the making. The decoration is rather atypical in style, and was based on an existing example in the Palace Museum, Beijing. Published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, 56: Armaments and Military Provisions,"QINGGUAN WUBEI", Hong Kong, 2008, p.p. 264.)

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This summer we will perform a test, sharp swords against a rattan shield I made. (Not this one!) Opinions vary over what a sword can do against a shield like this. Having worked with the materials, I don't think a sword will do much damage but let's find out..

-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

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Re: Another shield done

Post by Freebooter » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:25 am

Peter,

Perhaps you can test a theory I have about the Hudiedao and these shields. Do you have any similar Hudiedao the same as the long narrow examples I have?

I do wish to know if the can pierce between the wrappings with the strong needle points and in fact damage the arm within the shield.
I'd also like to know how a spear thrust forward in the hand would go too.

You are very talented with this shield making and I look forward to reading your results.

best

Gav
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Peter Dekker
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Re: Another shield done

Post by Peter Dekker » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:57 am

Thanks for the compliments!

As for thrusting, the shield is indeed a lot more vulnerable for the thrust than the cut. We will be sure to also test thrusting and see how that goes. Unfortunately I don't have those long hudiedao at hand but a jian tip will probably do.

As for doing damage, there are a few problems a thrust will need to overcome:
1. It is only easy to get through in a certain angle, as the core is stacked. The thrust should be precisely timed and executed, very difficult with a shield moving.
2. Even when penetration takes place, the shield bearer will probably "stick and follow" with his shield. Changing the angle means the weapon will get stuck in the shield while the shield bearer will attack with his primary weapon.
3. Even if the shield holds still, and one penetrates, the question is whether the weapon will come deep enough. The shield will always pivot a little over the axis of the arm, enough to make whatever sticks through it miss the arm.

And then even if the arm is hit, it would probably be slight damage to the top of the arm. The bones are just under the skin here and could act as natural shield protecting the muscle, blood vessels and tendons on the other side.

For this reason I don't think a thrust at the shield would something that the opponent wants to do. But I'm sure we will learn a lot more about this when testing.

The one weapon that would really be useful against shields are hooked spears, that can first hook away the shield and then thrust. There is an illustration showing the Taipings overcoming rattan shield bearers in this way.

-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

http://www.mandarinmansion.com
Antique Chinese Arms & Functional reproductions

http://www.manchuarchery.org
Fe Doro - Manchu Archery

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Re: Another shield done

Post by bond_fan » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:55 pm

Nice job Peter. Are you selling these or just giving them away to friends?

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Re: Another shield done

Post by Peter Dekker » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:23 pm

Thanks!

Both. I gave one to Scott Rodell, when we've done tests on another he might write a little review on them. The one for Graham is a trade deal.

I can make them to order and I have another finished example lying around that is for sale. They are not cheap, as it takes such a long time to make them. But they will be exactly like the old ones and are very strong and durable.

-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

http://www.mandarinmansion.com
Antique Chinese Arms & Functional reproductions

http://www.manchuarchery.org
Fe Doro - Manchu Archery

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Re: Another shield done

Post by Freebooter » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:13 am

Peter Dekker wrote:Thanks for the compliments!

As for thrusting, the shield is indeed a lot more vulnerable for the thrust than the cut. We will be sure to also test thrusting and see how that goes. Unfortunately I don't have those long hudiedao at hand but a jian tip will probably do.

As for doing damage, there are a few problems a thrust will need to overcome:
1. It is only easy to get through in a certain angle, as the core is stacked. The thrust should be precisely timed and executed, very difficult with a shield moving.
2. Even when penetration takes place, the shield bearer will probably "stick and follow" with his shield. Changing the angle means the weapon will get stuck in the shield while the shield bearer will attack with his primary weapon.
3. Even if the shield holds still, and one penetrates, the question is whether the weapon will come deep enough. The shield will always pivot a little over the axis of the arm, enough to make whatever sticks through it miss the arm.

And then even if the arm is hit, it would probably be slight damage to the top of the arm. The bones are just under the skin here and could act as natural shield protecting the muscle, blood vessels and tendons on the other side.

For this reason I don't think a thrust at the shield would something that the opponent wants to do. But I'm sure we will learn a lot more about this when testing.

The one weapon that would really be useful against shields are hooked spears, that can first hook away the shield and then thrust. There is an illustration showing the Taipings overcoming rattan shield bearers in this way.

-Peter
Thanks Peter,

Knowing the 5 pair of Hudiedao I have in my collections and the Jian, I do not think a Jian tip could do the same job as the long thick needle like Hudiedao as I don't beleive it has the same strong needle tip for penetration.

Whilst I undertand the movement of the shield and such, I have always had it in my mind to pit a long pair against a shield and sabre. My thoughts, although never tried would see one dao logde in the shield and with prayer enter through and strike an arm. Even it is did not strike an arm and became lodged as I hoped it would, I think you would be close enough to deliver a crippling blow with the other as you could then easily slip by the shield with the shorter dao and strike the body with short jabs and slashes from around the shield with a bent arm. Although a lot of force can be generated with a shield, I think having one blade dug in to the shield would offer some control over the shield in so far as pushing it in the direction of the opponents sabre arm to neautralise long chopping strikes that could be delivered. An attack could then be issues to the off side. It might be pure fantasy in the mind but I would like to see if through structure and form with the shield and weapons, this could be achieved. When the opponent is down and out, step on the shield and remove the dao....

Please let me know how you go. I am still looking for a genuine old shield to test the theory in mock actions.

Best

Gav
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www.swordsantiqueweapons.com

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Peter Dekker
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Re: Another shield done

Post by Peter Dekker » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:01 am

Freebooter wrote:My thoughts, although never tried would see one dao logde in the shield and with prayer enter through and strike an arm. Even it is did not strike an arm and became lodged as I hoped it would, I think you would be close enough to deliver a crippling blow with the other as you could then easily slip by the shield with the shorter dao and strike the body with short jabs and slashes from around the shield with a bent arm. Although a lot of force can be generated with a shield, I think having one blade dug in to the shield would offer some control over the shield in so far as pushing it in the direction of the opponents sabre arm to neautralise long chopping strikes that could be delivered.
Interesting thought. What speaks for your theory is that the tip of these indeed is narrower and "spikier" than most jian. Also, they are associated with the south, an area where rattan armor was very popular as well. Them being pitted against a shield or other types of rattan armor at some point is in the line of expectations. Instead of steel helmets and armor, troops in the south have a long tradition of rattan hats and shields, their first mention going back to the times of Yue Fei in the Song dynasty.

The shield is heavy, often between 2200 - 2600 grams, and is connected to the elbow and grabbed with the hand. This would indeed give the shield wielder a lot of power with is but nevertheless, one only needs a short moment of control. If the hudiedao would be stuck in all through the handle, you'd have most control. Question is, whether it would penetrate too deep.

Our testing may solve some of these questions but unfortunately it is hard to mimic a real battle situation. We'll do our best to devise some ways of testing that resemble the historical situations best as we can.

-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

http://www.mandarinmansion.com
Antique Chinese Arms & Functional reproductions

http://www.manchuarchery.org
Fe Doro - Manchu Archery

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Re: Another shield done

Post by Graham Cave » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:03 am

Superb work Peter, can't wait to get my hand on it!

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Re: Another shield done

Post by Graham Cave » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:41 am

The shield has arrived, and it's sitting here grinning at me as I write. I really couldn't be more pleased with it!

I've tried seriously hard to find fault with it but I just can't........so instead, I'll point out a few of the details that make it exceptional.

The overall shape of this shield is quite uniform, that in itself shows technical skill, but if you look at the the following pic, you can see just how tight and even the wrappings are......
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........consequently, the shield is rigid and resilient, and therefore unlikely to crumple when struck. Another nice feature in this pic is the thick texture of the paint. Thick paints/lacquers are also to be found on antique items, so this gives a really authentic feel to the painting.

This next pic, further illustrates how well this shield has been made. The bindings around the wooden handle are incredibly tight .......
Image
....also, the ends of the ring run almost seamlessly into the wrappings of the body. Very tight, and very secure. All the ends of the wrappings are tucked away so neatly that they are almost impossible to spot. The wooden handle has been fashioned using hand tools and still shows the marks left from the cutting. Exactly as you would expect to see on an original........great attention to detail.


This shield is an authentic design, the construction is spot-on and it is made to an excellent standard of workmanship. The painting is a faithful reproduction of an original. All in all, it's a real tour de force from Peter. Fantastic job!

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Re: Another shield done

Post by alfanator » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:12 pm

Nice Shield!

I am sure it works or it would not have been used for as long as it was. Particularly if moving and used to glance off blows circularly, as opposed to heavy shields that are more like moving walls.

Remember the guy behind the shield, and his buddies, are going to try to cut and poke you with their weapons whie you are trying to cut through the 'rickety' shield. Not sure how you are gong to test that :)

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