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Tips for a beginner in collecting a set of Roman Armor/equipment
#1
Hey all!

Amateur alert here... I know virtually nothing when it comes to which dealers and manufacturers are reputable in the re-enacting and collecting world. For three months now, I have been saving every penny I can in the hopes of collecting my own set of authentic, historically accurate roman equipment/armor. I have collected enough and had prior savings to where I can reasonably spend up to $2,000 on collecting a full set of Roman armor. (I'm a senior in high school, about to go off to college so don't judge for me not being so experienced in this field XD)

Now here's my dilemma. I have heard that there are many regulations for re-enactors when they go to re-enactment groups with other legions, particularly the era of their armor and equipment. I'm going to college in Utah, near Salt Lake City(obviously I won't tell you where I go) and want to know the recommended era most legions have. I couldn't find any real active re-enactment legions around that area so I figured for now I would like to acquire my own set of equipment, and see firsthand how it functioned rather than watching countless videos of others' armor in jealousy.

If possible, and I realize this is asking a lot, could I get someone to find me reputable dealers and manufacturers as well as a recommendation as to what era I should be focusing on? I'm fine with any, really, but my preference would be equipment and armor a typical legionnaire would have from 1st to 3rd century. In addition, if it's not too much of a hassle, would you mind commenting in this format as to make it easier for me to understand? Feel free to add to what I'm forgetting. Also, I'm still saving up but please limit and raise the price to what your average re-enactor pays for rather than high-end or low end products of the market.

TLDR; Guide so noobs can figure out reputable dealers and average prices and quality for a set of armor/equipment they wish to obtain.

My profile:
6'2" with a stocky frame.

Answer format(if not too much of a hassle, and feel free to list as many options as you want)
(price = $$)(quality = low-end, ok, average, high-end)(link = "LINK")

Era: "ERA of Armor/equipment"

1) HelmetSadprice)(quality)(link)

2) Body Armor: (price)(quality)(link)

3) Tunic: (price)(quality)(link)

4) Scutum(shield): (price)(quality)(link) * for this I'm really not pick on the era. Although I realize I should be. Big Grin

5) Pteruges(belt): (price)(quality)(link)

6) Caligae(boots): (price)(quality)(link)

7) Gladius(main weapon): (price)(quality)(link)

Honestly you don't have to answer in that format, it just helps beginners and I learn what types of equipment would be standard for your average 1st century legionnaire. If you could even just comment dealers and manufacturers with a specification as to what type of equipment they specialize in there that would be great.

I plan to display this armor on an armor stand while the gladius and scutum are securely attached to my wall. Yes I do realize I'm not a "true" re-enactor but for a soon to be college kid who just wants to add to his collection of Roman artifacts and see a symbolic piece of Rome every time he walks into his room, this ain't bad at all. I consider it a start, albeit a start I have earnestly waited 2 years to initiate.

TLDR; Guide for noobs on collecting armor and equipment from reputable dealers. A recommended book on the subject is also appreciated. Also a desperate cry for help from one REALLY, REALLY, confused person who loves ancient Rome. Smile Huh Confused Smile
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#2
Start here then ask questions before buying as it is a little outdated and new stuff is on the market http://www.larp.com/legioxx/hndbk.html


also the facebook rat marketplace is a good place to look
https://www.facebook.com/groups/429213537229798/
John Kaler MSG, USA Retired
Member Legio V (Tenn, USA)
Staff Member Ludus Militus https://www.facebook.com/groups/671041919589478/
Owner Vicus and Village: https://www.facebook.com/groups/361968853851510/
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#3
Hey there,

Honestly if you have 2000 dollars I would save that if you're going to college. I needed the few thousand I saved to pay for books, summer courses, and now it's looking like a 5th year of college. The other issue is that you won't be able to have half of this stuff on your campus if you're living on-campus. If you get pulled over by campus police and have a sword in your car, of if someone in your dorm sees it, they're gonna freak out.

That being said, the majority of reenactors do the period around about 50-100 AD. Your equipment cost is going to depend on the quality of what you want. Places like Fabrica Cacti can make Armor and Clothing and stuff for reasonable prices and deliver quality, fitted stuff (you have no idea how great fitted armor is compared to a cheap deepeeka segmentata). Some things are easy to make your own, like a Tunic, which is just a really long, wide slab of linen you can fold in half and sew together by hand.

Era: c. 50-100 AD

Helmet: Gallic-Type. F, G, H for about 50-80 AD, I or J for about 80-100 AD. I'd recommend having this made by the Pustelak Brothers or Fabrica Cacti or something, but you can buy them from vendors like Kult of Athena, Soul of the Warrior, or Armae.

Armor: It depends on what you want. Chainmail will run you about $300 which is a LOT cheaper than it used to be. Scale will run you about $600. If you want Lorica Segmentata, it will cost you more because you're going to want to have a set of it custom made to fit you. Fabrica Cacti can do that.

Tunic: Again, make this yourself. A slab of linen with a diamond-twill or herringbone weave, fold it in half, cut and hem a hole for the neck, and sew them together.

Scutum: You can always just buy a deepeeka one which will run you about $300 USD. Ask around though as there are reenactors who make them by hand for around the same price, and these are lighter and far more accurate.

Belt: First of all it's called a Cingulum Militare or a Balteus. You'll need a Baldric for your sword too. Soul of the Warrior sells a Baldric but if you're going to have a sword made, you can probably ask them to fashion a baldric to go with it too. The belt you can either buy fittings from a place like Replik Shop and do yourself, or you can buy one from Soul of the Warrior (which you may have to trim down to your size, they are a bit on the large size by default).

Sword: You can either buy a cheap one (around $200) from Soul of the Warrior or have one made by Mark Morrow (who has a wait time) which will run you about $400 USD, more for a scabbard.

Caligae: You can buy these from Soul of the Warrior. Buy a size smaller than your shoe size.
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#4
I would concur with what John and Evan say. Added to that, if you wanted to concentrate on the third quarter of the 1st century AD, as most groups do (which would allow you to join in with other re-enactors more easily at a later stage if you wanted to), I would humbly submit my own thoughts on the matter, which can be found in this thread from last year:
http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-27514.html

I would agree with Evan's comment though, that you may need to think about the cost of books (and photocopying) before you start getting yourself expensive pieces of Roman kit. That said, I hope it all goes well for you.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#5
(05-18-2017, 01:08 AM)jkaler48 Wrote: Start here then ask questions before buying as it is a little outdated and new stuff is on the market http://www.larp.com/legioxx/hndbk.html


also the facebook rat marketplace is a good place to look
https://www.facebook.com/groups/429213537229798/

Thank you so much for your advice! My friends and I are extremely appreciative. Smile

(05-18-2017, 12:16 PM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: Hey there,

Honestly if you have 2000 dollars I would save that if you're going to college. I needed the few thousand I saved to pay for books, summer courses, and now it's looking like a 5th year of college. The other issue is that you won't be able to have half of this stuff on your campus if you're living on-campus. If you get pulled over by campus police and have a sword in your car, of if someone in your dorm sees it, they're gonna freak out.

That being said, the majority of reenactors do the period around about 50-100 AD. Your equipment cost is going to depend on the quality of what you want. Places like Fabrica Cacti can make Armor and Clothing and stuff for reasonable prices and deliver quality, fitted stuff (you have no idea how great fitted armor is compared to a cheap deepeeka segmentata). Some things are easy to make your own, like a Tunic, which is just a really long, wide slab of linen you can fold in half and sew together by hand.

Era: c. 50-100 AD

Helmet: Gallic-Type. F, G, H for about 50-80 AD, I or J for about 80-100 AD. I'd recommend having this made by the Pustelak Brothers or Fabrica Cacti or something, but you can buy them from vendors like Kult of Athena, Soul of the Warrior, or Armae.

Armor: It depends on what you want. Chainmail will run you about $300 which is a LOT cheaper than it used to be. Scale will run you about $600. If you want Lorica Segmentata, it will cost you more because you're going to want to have a set of it custom made to fit you. Fabrica Cacti can do that.

Tunic: Again, make this yourself. A slab of linen with a diamond-twill or herringbone weave, fold it in half, cut and hem a hole for the neck, and sew them together.

Scutum: You can always just buy a deepeeka one which will run you about $300 USD. Ask around though as there are reenactors who make them by hand for around the same price, and these are lighter and far more accurate.

Belt: First of all it's called a Cingulum Militare or a Balteus. You'll need a Baldric for your sword too. Soul of the Warrior sells a Baldric but if you're going to have a sword made, you can probably ask them to fashion a baldric to go with it too. The belt you can either buy fittings from a place like Replik Shop and do yourself, or you can buy one from Soul of the Warrior (which you may have to trim down to your size, they are a bit on the large size by default).

Sword: You can either buy a cheap one (around $200) from Soul of the Warrior or have one made by Mark Morrow (who has a wait time) which will run you about $400 USD, more for a scabbard.

Caligae: You can buy these from Soul of the Warrior. Buy a size smaller than your shoe size.
Thanks so much for the informative advice! Since then, I've been reading up on a lot of Roman history and decided that I definitely want to invest in my passion. You're right, $2000 dollars probably will be better spent on something college related, but by a combination of blood, sweat and tears I managed to get a scholarship to the school I am going to. Good idea on not bringing it to college though. This is more I wanted as a personal collection at home and figured I should start expanding my collection from rocks and trinkets I picked up from Italy and Greece to replicas I can use to live out the life of Romans in that time. Thanks for the extra info(belt and Balteus) and my friends and I are definitely going to check your recommendations out! Thank you so much! Smile

(05-19-2017, 01:13 PM)Crispvs Wrote: I would concur with what John and Evan say.  Added to that, if you wanted to concentrate on the third quarter of the 1st century AD, as most groups do (which would allow you to join in with other re-enactors more easily at a later stage if you wanted to), I would humbly submit my own thoughts on the matter, which can be found in this thread from last year:
http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-27514.html

I would agree with Evan's comment though, that you may need to think about the cost of books (and photocopying) before you start getting yourself expensive pieces of Roman kit.  That said, I hope it all goes well for you.

Crispvs
Thanks for the thread! I appreciate everyone's input here as you are all incredibly educated and knowledgeable on the matter(as I can definitely see from your thread, very informative). Thanks for your concern it ensuring I don't invest too much in my passion right away. With a little luck and will, I managed to get scholarships for where I'm going to school so I figured I should start building my collection little by little now. Thanks for your advice, and I hope to be more like all you guys when I'm older and helping out some kid who doesn't know where to start Tongue
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