Horrible Histories – great way for kids to learn

The Templar Knight

The BBC has been running a TV series based on the books of Terry Deary – the Horrible Histories. They’re a very irreverent look at different periods in the past. Take this one on the medieval era as a good example.

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Bohemond Becomes a Genius

DIY armor starts with this gauntlet tutorial


This is not photoshopped, it’s a real gauntlet made of brass. [David Guyton] crafted it for some promotional photos for his book. But he also took the time to put together a step-by-step build tutorial.

The process starts with paper templates. These are much easier to work with than metal stock so [David] spends quite a bit of time trimming each piece to fit correctly. They are hinged together using thumb tacks which he crimps with a pair of pliers. With all the templates tuned to perfection he uses an awl to scratch the outline in his brass stock (you can use the metal of your choice). All of the holes are drilled and a bit of hammering flattens the parts before he heads to the grinder to smooth the cut edges.

To make the curves [David] fabricated his own jigs from pieces of pipe and carved wood squeezed…

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Medieval Anachronisms, Part 3: Cranes Hoisting Armored Knights

Made of Ƿ

Visit the “Post Series” page for the full series.

In Sword of the Valiant, the knights of Camelot use a crane to hoist young Sir Gawain onto his horse before he rides off for adventure. In criticisms of the Middle Ages, one common comment of derision is that by the end of the period, armor had become so heavy and elaborate that cranes were needed to hoist knights onto their horses. This criticism usually implies that the nobility had nothing better to do than make their armor look fancy while the peasants died in droves while fighting their lords’ wars because they couldn’t afford armor (another misconception). It is also used to make fun of the stupid knights who wore such armor because if they landed facedown in a puddle, they would be unable to lift themselves and would drown (I always wonder why these people don’t…

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