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"Instant antique for stainless-steel warriors!"
#1
Salve!

If you are fed up with your stainless-steel wallhanger blinding everybody who passess by, here is perhaps a useful link:

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_antique.html

Here is presented a very simple way of making your sword, dagger etc. look more "antique". I have tried it with my Deepeeka pugio and so far the results look quite promising! If it works well, I will use it on my Mainz (in fact Fulham) type gladius also...

Best regards,

Virilis Finlandicus / Jyrki Halme
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
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#2
When the Romans received their swords and kit, it probably didn't look like an antique. :wink:
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#3
Cool. Thanks for posting this, Virilis. I want to use it for my helmet.

Quote:When the Romans received their swords and kit, it probably didn't look like an antique. :wink:

On the other hand, they probably didn't come with mirror finishes either.
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#4
Quote:Cool. Thanks for posting this, Virilis. I want to use it for my helmet.

Marius_Ursus:3daaeu7y Wrote:When the Romans received their swords and kit, it probably didn't look like an antique. :wink:

On the other hand, they probably didn't come with mirror finishes either.

Why not? I'm not trying to start an argument here. I really don't know what polishing techniques and tools were in employment ca. Naught A.D.
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-Tom
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#5
Quote:Why not? I'm not trying to start an argument here. I really don't know what polishing techniques and tools were in employment ca. Naught A.D.

Reminds me of that awful King Arthur movie (back in the 80s) "Excalibur".
That chrome finished look on their armor killed the illusion. It just looks too modern, IMO.

If the ancients could get it that shiny (which is a highly subjective word) I doubt most of them took the time needed to get them to look it so. I guess you could say they had slaves/servants to polish them but it just seems highly unlikely to me at least. I'm no expert, just my opinion 8)

That's why the guys in Legion Nine based in L.A. are "bluing" their segs using some heat treatment.
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#6
Well, I suppose if you're thinking of chromed armor, then I'd agree with you, that no, it's not terribly authentic. My gladius never had that look, though...neither did my lorica. Then again, my kit was constructed using plain old steel. It was neither antiqued, nor mirror-polished. It looked used but in very good condition, pretty much the same way I kept my gear when I was in the Army.

I thought LEG IX was based in San Diego. At least it was when I got my SPQR LEG IX HSPA tattoo...

Has an auxiliary group taken root there since I moved away?
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-Tom
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#7
Quote:my kit was constructed using plain old steel. It was neither antiqued, nor mirror-polished. It looked used but in very good condition

Yeah, the mirrior finish wears off if not maintained. But my helmet now is too shiny so I just want the stuff to tone it down.

Quote:Has an auxiliary group taken root there since I moved away?

No, you're right. Smile
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#8
Indeed a white vinegar (5% acetic acid v/v)/ table salt solution is a very effective way of 'aging' steel- you just have to be careful not to overdo it is all. You can stain a blade in just few seconds if you want that kind of look or you can submerge it for a time to get the results as shown on that website. Now those are intended to look antique- not just to address the silly shininess of stainless steel, so most of us wouldn't go anywhere near the introduction of pits or anything. Real swords would have likely been cleaned constantly to combat corrosion, but certainly not to a mirror finish, so should look so- treat your stainless steel blade with the solution for a short time and then 'polish' it with a Scotchbrite pad or other such very minor plastic abrasive, and it'll look nice and 'in use'. The acid will leave some very light grayish staining, the polishing will dull that some and leave some microscopic scratching that will dull the overall finish and voila- a gladius that was just yesterday conquering the local barbarians Big Grin

Just as an illustration, I once dumped a bunch of chromed steel nuts into a container of white vinegar- barely 5 minutes later they were a nice deep gray... so acid, even weak acid, can have a marked effect on metal faster than you might think. Always keep an eye on whatever you're treating until you know how it'll behave.

One thing- any residue of the vinegar and salt solution will concentrate as the water evaporates, so it's important to rinse your blade REALLY REALLY well after treatment, and dry it well too.

I did all this to mine and I really like how it looks.

Matt
See FABRICA ROMANORVM Recreations in the Marketplace for custom helmets, armour, swords and more!
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#9
Quote:When the Romans received their swords and kit, it probably didn't look like an antique. :wink:

Agreed. And you can just imagine the dressing-down any legionary
would get for letting his armour get into such a shocking state. For one
thing the recruit in the early Empire would be having to pay for his
armour through stopages in his pay, in any case, which is the best way
to get the men to look after their equipment. And for another, the whole point of rust-proofing the armour is not to make it look shiney - that's
just a bonus as a side-effect. The point of keeping rust off the armour is to stop it from pitting and scratching. Fairly obviously, once those pits
and scratches are allowed to get too deep, then the armour is severely compromised, and will fail under stress (ie someone taking sword or spear to it with you inside it). Confusedhock:

It's the same as the shine on shoes (or, in an analogous modern military
context, army boots). The polish isn't put on to make the shoes look nice
and shiney. It's put on to make the damned things water-proof and make
the leather last longer! And the shiney effect is just the evidence for your officers that the boots have been sufficiently water-proofed. 8)

You can imagine the Centurion lecturing the probatios on how essential
it was to keep rust off their helmets and body armour *at all costs*. Why else do Roman helmets have brass (early) or rawhide (late) edging on them? To allow you to put them on and off without getting your sweaty,
salty paw-marks all over the iron body of the helmet, which would turn
to instant rust :lol: Why else the carrying handles on the neck-guards
of helmets? So that you can carry them by the (brass, bronze or leather)
handles without touching the iron body of the helmet Idea

Ambrosius
"Feel the fire in your bones."
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#10
I think there is a passage in Josephus where the Roman army besieging Jerusalem is required to turn out in shined arms and armor to receive their pay in full view of the defenders.
"In war as in loving, you must always keep shoving." George S. Patton, Jr.
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#11
Quote:Indeed a white vinegar (5% acetic acid v/v)/ table salt solution is a very effective way of 'aging' steel- you just have to be careful not to overdo it is all. You can stain a blade in just few seconds if you want that kind of look or you can submerge it for a time to get the results as shown on that website

Great to know :!: Thank you, Matt Big Grin

Quote:I think there is a passage in Josephus where the Roman army besieging Jerusalem is required to turn out in shined arms and armor to receive their pay in full view of the defenders.


Right, which demonstrates my earlier point about the word "shine" being subjective. Now, what did he mean by "shined" :?: I don't dispute they shined their gear - the real question is to what degree. Some think it means mirror finish - not me though.
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#12
What did he mean by shine?
"In war as in loving, you must always keep shoving." George S. Patton, Jr.
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#13
Quote:Some think it means mirror finish - not me though.

Well if nothing else, that just seems impractical- with what would they have polished all their metal equipment to a mirror finish? I have a hell of a time doing it with anything other than a buffing wheel and jeweller's rouge! By wet sanding with 400, 600 and 800 grit sandpaper progressively, I got a single lorica segmentata steel pretty darn shiny (a test piece) but it was a LOT of work- there's no way I could do that to a whole cuirass. I have a hard time seeing any method the Romans might have used there to give anything but a burnished-type finish- which could be considered shiny in bright sunshine...
See FABRICA ROMANORVM Recreations in the Marketplace for custom helmets, armour, swords and more!
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#14
The simplest answer is probably the right one. "Polish" meant probably scrubbing and buffing to keep rust off.
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-Tom
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#15
What about elbow grease?
"In war as in loving, you must always keep shoving." George S. Patton, Jr.
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