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Bolognese Equipment

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:33 pm
by Jonathan Mayshar
Hi Steven,

I'm honored to ask the first questions on the NoVA Assalto Forum. although Keith beat me to the congratulations. :-)

So. Equipment for starting Bolognese:

1. What is the ideal general size for a round buckler? Maximum size?

2. What is the maximum weight for a properly functioning buckler?

3. For an Italian targa (Marozzo wavy buckler), do you have a strong preference for shape? Tapered trapezoid or rectangle? Total size? Depth of waves?

4. I could be wrong, but I think I have seen pictures of different targas with handles oriented in both directions. Right now I can only find examples of the grip where the hollows run perpendicular to the ground when the buckler is held out. Am I remembering wrong, or is there also a style where the hollows run along the arm, with the tapered end forward? Maybe I'm thinking of hand pavises from the Triumph of Max.

5. I'm not loving this design from Windrose -- ... cts_id=335 -- but the price is right. Can you recommend a sub-$100 alternative?

...My Bolognese has a last's D - A - R - D - I...

Re: Bolognese Equipment

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:57 pm
by Jonathan Mayshar
Here I am asking an equipment follow-up before you've even had time to answer one of my first questions.

In this video by Ilkka Hartikainen illustrating Bolognese guards -- -- Ilkka uses what I think of as an English buckler. The kind where the face around the boss is concave rather than convex. Now maybe I just think of this an an English buckler because A&A names their product that way. I know it wasn't restricted to England, but is it right for Bolognese?

Re: Bolognese Equipment

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:21 am
by Steven Reich
I don't have a lot of time, so I'll probably add to this tomorrow (I'll be away from a computer all day today).

The Bolognese don't give measurements of their bucklers, so we really only have Marozzo's images to use as a guide. However, they do differentiate between a small buckler (used in the assalti for spada da gioco - 'play sword') and the broad buckler (used in the techniques for the spada da filo - 'sharp sword'). In general, I tend to use a buckler which is 12" or so in diameter, although I do have a pair which are somewhat larger (~15"), but I very rarely use them.

In general, I find that getting a good buckler is a matter of cost, weight, and durability. I have a light pair that I really like (unfortunately, they are only available from Europe now), but they really take a beating in heavy freeplay. I have handled the "Get Dressed for Battle" bucklers and I find them to be too heavy--although I have no doubt that they'd hold up to heavy use. Currently, my favorites are the Round Targe by A&A. They are durable but not too heavy, although they are somewhat more expensive than GDFB (I tend to think that A&A gives you what you pay for though, so I don't complain).

As far as a targa, I use the A&A, although I really think that the curves should be deeper (look at the targa in the plates of the 1536 edition of Marozzo). I've thought about getting craig (i.e. A&A) to make me a custom pair with a deeper curve (and also a little larger than the stock version) - I need to get off my butt and get it started. My thought about the Windrose Armory version (along with one or two other manufacturers' versions) is that it isn't curved nearly enough (although that would probably be okay--if less than perfect), but more importantly, it is too heavy. At 4.6 pounds, I can't imagine what trying to maneuver that will feel like (it is probably overbuilt to hold up to SCA use). The handle looks a little bulky, too. OTOH, I haven't handled one, so it might work better than it looks.

I have planned to write an article about equipment for Bolognese for awhile now--I can see that I need to get off my butt and do it...


Re: Bolognese Equipment

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:38 am
by Keith P. Myers
I have the A & A "English" buckler as well as the GDRB 9 inch buckler. They come in at about the same weight. The GDRB version only costs $25 at Kult of Athena. It isn't as well made, because as Steve pointed get what you pay for. But it is sturdy, I prefer it to plastic, its cheaper than leather, and at 9 inches isn't too heavy. And, correct if I'm wrong, but 9 inch diameter is very workable for the "narrow" buckler used in Bolognese.

I also have the GDRB 12 inch buckler. It is heavier and I find it more suited for the German style of Sword & Buckler where the buckler is held in closer to the body and often rests against the other arm.

Just my 2 cents. ;)