Reproduction of a closed German helmet of the late XVth - Part II

This is the second part of an article about the making of a medieval helmet (part 1). The crown of the helmet has been done in part one, now the cheeks and the visor are being made and the full helmet is polished. Note that all the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Image 15 - Rough working of the cheek pieces

Image 16 - Forming


As before, realising the cheek pieces of the armet begins with a cold working (15) and is then worked over the fire to achieve the desired form. Here too, the fine adjustment is to be done hot (16) so that the edges of the skull (crown) are correctly attached to the chin piece. The difficulty here is that this complex assembly must respect the anatomy of the man that is going to wear it. It would be ideal if one had a mould of the person's face; otherwise a series of measurements will be sufficient.

Image 17 - Pointing

Image 18 - Working on the visor

Image 19 - Working on the visor

Image 20 - Finishing the visor

Image 21 - Marking

The visor is to be accomplished in the same way as the skull, with the difference that the initial cold working produces the 'nose' which will then be worked on hot (17). The anvil to be used will be conical in shape to guide the metal towards its final form. As before for the skull a succession of heatings must be carefully and regularly carried out to assure a gradual achievement of the desired form (19). The result of this work is a conical shape (20). It is now necessary to mark the angles and work them cold on an anvil with a cutting edge which will serve as a guide (21

Image 22 - Marking the angles

Image 23 - Adjusting

Image 24 - Drilling the ventail

The visor will now be adjusted (22) and the edges recut (23). The drilling of the ventail (24) is finished using a round file while respecting the model. This work assures ventilation and permits added visibility.

Image 25 - Adjusting

Image 26 - Fitting

The visor is to be completed with an upper visor which permits a free field of vision without opening the helmet (25). The adjustment of this piece completes the assembly of the armet along with the hinges of the cheek pieces (26).

Image 27 - Before polishing

Image 28 - After polishing

The polishing carried out here is purposely left with a mat finish, a compromise to resemble historic polishing (27/28)

Image 29 - Finished product

Image 30 - Side view

During the final assembly the anchoring pins are installed, permitting the helmet to be fixed shut (29/30).

Image 31 - The opening

Image 32 - Opened

Image 33 - Detail

Image 34 - Wearing

The securing of the linen accessory is accomplished due to a leather band riveted to the skull (23). The finished helmet may now continue its life on the head of its owner (34).


Georges Joliot

By Georges Joliot,
Recruit Company Member

Translation : David Cooke

You can contact Georges via his site at


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