Post by Dave Thatcher on Jan 12, 2014 17:27:50 GMT
I've had the pleasure of displaying a fair few armours over the years.
I would imagine that everyone has a slightly different take on how they display their armour. We all know one thing for sure, a poorly displayed armour ruins the entire piece for the viewer. So how do we get the most from what we display without causing damage to the armour?
Katchu that is worn on a mannequin will appear different to that which is displayed on a stand.
I prefer to use a wooden stand to display katchu (apart from my mannequin featured above). The head of the stand is adjustable. Depending on the armour I sometimes add an additional block of wood under the stand to raise it higher.
- Use pads under the haidate, the corners of the hits will cause damage. - Make a padded insert for the kote, this will bring them to life. - Don't use the kohaze on the side or kote, if possible tie some odoshi to the fixings, this remove any strain on the items when they hang from the dou.
I agree with the above mentioned ways to display armour. In addition I use a piece of black cloth over the top, covering the wood under the kabuto, makes the mempo/hampo to have a black background. In addition I cover the whole stand in a black t-shirt, in this way all holes in the display is black and you do not see the wooden stand at all.
I take black nylon stockings and fill them with poly fiber to make arms. I also use the same stuff in the suneate. Like Dave, I put a bit of wood under the stand to make it high enough. I use padded pieces on the shoulders of the wood stand to keep hard edges from the armor. I also put a bunch of silk cloth on the top of the head part of the stand to take the pressure off the liner of the kabuto.
To take stress of gessan, I run a small clear fishing line in the mimi ito holes to the dou and tie it off, it removes the stress on the silk and can't be seen. I also drape the entire wood stand in black cloth to hide it before placing the armor on it, and it looks much better.
There is one problem remaining for me. Old haidate, particular on silk based fabric, tend to disintegrate. How do you fix it? I.e., How do you mount especially the haidate in such cases?
Carefully or not at all. Silk blows after 60yrs and turns to dust, the dye forms crystals that act as micro razor blades and rip the fibres. You can cover the surface with a conservation gauze, but be aware that every time you move the fabric it will cause damage.
Ian and the armouries had a perspex haidate holder made for their displays which was excellent.
All, The stand illustrated by Dave is fine for temporary use, but NOT suitable for long term display as it puts all the weight on the fastenings of the armour. If you are going to leave an armour mounted for any length of time you need to make a stand that fits the armour and supports the weight. The important measurements are the height from the base to the top of the shoulder bar (A), the width of the shoulder bar (B) and the height of the helmet support (C). I have found that A needs be the distance from the underside of the watagami to the bottom of the dou plus about 22cm. The distance B you can measure from the outer edge of each watagami plus about 5cm each side and the distance C you can get by holding the helmet above the dou and judging where the bottom of the shikoro should be. In fact I made a temporary stand which had movable parts on which I could put an armour and adjust it till it looked right, then make a proper stand from the dimensions of the temporary stand. On the illustrated stand you will notice various bars and struts. The lowest is most important. What I do is put the dou on the stand and mark the main upright at the level of the lower edge of the dou. I then fit this bar, which is slightly wider than the width of the dou, about 4cm above the mark so that the lower edge of the dou sits on it and takes all the weight off the shoulder fastenings. The other struts push out the front and back - the armour it belongs to has a hon kozane dou and needs to be pushed into shape. At the top, instead of a disc which puts all the weight on the helmet lining, I use cross-bars so that the lower edge of the koshimaki sits on them and again takes the weight. There is also a strut on this stand that fits into the chin of the mask and holds it in place. I now also make padded arms and fasten them to the ends of the shoulder bar (I have yet to do this on this stand). The kote can then be threaded onto the arms, taking their weigh. Finally, for an armour at the Royal Armouries, I made some haidate supports out of sheet plastic that were trapped under the stand and bent out at an angle so that the haidate rested on them (in fact they were tied to the sheets with monofilament under a row of scales). www.flickr.com/photos/91908918@N03/11926490074/ Ian B
Post by Frederic Lecomte on Jan 13, 2014 11:54:23 GMT
Thank you for the advice and the picture. This is very helpful. I agree that we must avoid the watagami to take all the weight (this was my first concern when I bought my first armor). As I have not found an enough sophisticated stand until you showed yours, I put blocks of woods between the base of the stand and the lower edge of the dou to lift a bit the dou. Before I decided to cut the blocks at the right dimensions I used small piles of kapla blocks. It is not very sophisticated but it works if you have no time or talent to build your own stand.
The problem with building a stand per armor is that the stand may no longer work when you sell the armor and buy another one. The best would be to find a way to have stands with all parts adjustable. Some have adjustable shoulders in addition to adjustable heads. Adjustable lower bars to support the weight should be possible, no ?
Jan, Anthony, Kote like these were fastened to the body, before the dou was put on, the rear tie going under the opposite arm and tying to the other tie on the chest. To display these, make some padded arms out of cloth and fasten them to the ends of the shoulder bar. It is easiest if you do this using Velcro so that you can thread the arm in to the kote and then stick it onto the stand. You will the fabric will hold the kote by friction. Ian B
I know is late but I think somewhere on the forum, a long time ago, i was asked for a picture how I display an armour with a wooden crate on top of the Hiatsu. Nothing magical or special but instead of the "normal display" with the armor on a stand direct on the hiatsu, with this addition you get the impression of a standing samurai. The distance between Haedate and suneate is nicer I think.
This is just my opinion to make a display I like. I appologise for the bad quality in the picture. The armor is an Edo tatami, all in russet with a later kabuto. But at least you get the proportions...
I just bought a adjustable humidifier for my armour room. Well needed after drying up a nerigawa hambo so it went into total flake mode. Anyone knows the best humidity %? I want it for the armors, so if I will need oil for the blades, so be it. In a Swedish apartement the humidity is 15%-40% depending on temperature.
I have just finished putting together a composite armor,(thanks to Dave for the Sasa heri and how to's on lacing at his web site) I wold like to display it dressed as a Samurai would be, going to battle. I'm having trouble finding any info. about the helmet cord and belt that would have been worn. The best picture that represents one going to battle(that I have seen)is Daves mannequin shown in this thread, so is that what would have been worn? Here is a link to what I have, the helmet cord shown is just something I was trying. s728.photobucket.com/user/ice-hot/library/Yori Thanks, John
I noticed that the red in the men looks very bright, this must have caught the camera flash because it's hardly noticeable in real life. Also please tell me things you notice that are wrong, I have only seen armor in books and the internet.
It looks really nice, congrats!! But which kind of light are you using? Keep in mind the light bulbs are really close and they may fade the lacquer, silk and odoshi as well. For long exposure I would recommend decreasing the wattace of bulbs. If you use tungsten halogen you have a brighter and longer light but also more UV and it needs filtering
Lastly, rapidled.com has solderless led kits with dimmer modules that you can buy and make your own led's for next to nothing. You can pick and mix and match the led colors to produce the right light, and then use a dimmer to make the light perfect. This is what I use. I use a a few royal blue and soft white with two red. They can supply directional lens to broadcast the light, and long leads that will run the length you want.
Thank you all for the kind words. This started 10 years ago when I inherited the Do with Kusazuri and Sode. Sence then I have been slowly piecing it back together,(thanks to Daves sasaheri, and this board) I am happy with the look.
The lights are LED and do have a dimmer, I had them Maxed for the photos.
To make it stand I built a wooden frame 2x4's for legs mounted to a wedge for the foot. I put the waraji, tabi and Suneate on and then screwed through the base into the bottom of the feet. Three 6" lag bolts in each, you cant even push it over!
The case took a little more time then I had anticipated though. It has no screws or glue in it, it is all press fit dowels, with the exception of the glass retaining screws.