Great Helm Pattern and Construction

by K. Grayson

Our thanks to K. Grayson for allowing us to re-publish this article on Arador. (see also: An Introduction to the Skill of Making Armour and Building Spaulders- An exercise in basic hammerwork, finishing, and assembly)

This type of helm is a nice basic helm to make. It is typical of those found throughout western europe from about 1275 till about 1375. This makes it perfect for those recreating transitional era armour. This is based of several helms c1300. Two examples can be seen on the right.

The first of these helms I made in Janurary 2001.

These patterns are designed to fit a 61.5cm (24″) head, with 12mm (1/2″) padding. (see also: Facts and Myths about Armour Patterns)

1300

Images from Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350: Western Europe and the Crusader States

Images from Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350: Western Europe and the Crusader States

The Patterns

Click on each image then print it out using a full sheet of A4 paper. Carefully cut around the outside of the lines.

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bb02

bf01

bf02

tb01

tb02

tf01

tf02

Top

Top

Putting it together

Get a sheet of mild steel. I would recommend 16 gauge, but if you prefer a little extra protection, then use 14 gauge. If you are making this for SCA combat, make sure your steel is true 16 gauge (1.600mm) or 14 gauge (2.000mm), as it often may not be. Place the patterns on your metal and mark around them. Then cut out your pattern with a jigsaw, angle grinder, nibbler, metal shear, or snips. (see also: Wire and Sheet Metal Sizes)

Step 1) On the top piece, use a blunted cold chisel to score around the dotted line, then fold each tab down.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2) Curve the top back piece around a pipe-like object, making sure to get the flared-out shape. Then drill holes and rivet it to the top plate.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3) Fold the top front down the dotted line and curve the rest slightly. Then rivet to the top plate, and top back.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 4) Curve the back bottom and rivet it to the top bottom.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 5) Fold the front bottom down the dotted line and rivet to the back bottom.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6) Rivet the nasal to the front top, drill breathing holes, pad up and its done!

Step 6

Step 6

Note: top plate tabs can go either inside or outside. Great helm construction by R. McWilliams

Note: top plate tabs can go either inside or outside. Great helm construction by R. McWilliams

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3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tim Robinson August 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I have never seen how to make a great helm explained so easily. After I complete my current projects, we must try this.

  2. lawrence October 1, 2013 at 9:33 am - Reply

    This looks for me a beginner though when i printed the patterns out all on A4 paper it looked very small, I even done a mockup in cardboard, what have i done wrong. thank you for time lawrence

  3. K Grayson December 4, 2013 at 12:40 am - Reply

    I’m very glad people are still getting good use of this. The size issue was from converting it from A4 to letter standard and it got a little skewed somewhere. It will usually need some slight change from person to person anyway, so make it first out of cardstock to fit, then cut in metal when the size is right.

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