The greave

For this armour, as in the previous project, the frontal aspect only of the greave is to be made. This piece can be deceptively difficult to make. It is very important to recognise that the lower leg is not simply a cylinder tapering slightly towards the ankle. Rather it must follow the line of the musculature to achieve the correct look and this can be best seen by looking at the relevant anatomy. Fig. 45 shows a simple line drawing of the musculature of the left lower limb as seen from the front. The characteristic outline is produced mainly by the gastrocnemius muscle (A), which forms the higher inner curve, and the smoother more gentle outer curve produced by peroneus longus (B), together with the bulge on the inner aspect of the ankle produced by the medial malleolus of the tibia (C).

Fig. 45Fig. 46

This shape now has to be translated to the steel sheet. Fig. 46 shows the inner aspect of the left greave with the three areas marked out for dishing ( the area that will represent the inner curve of gastrocnemius is at the top right ).

The dishing is carried out with the piece flat, the outer curve being produced by dishing into the shallowest of the three depressions on the stump and the higher inner curve by dishing into the intermediate depression with the rawhide hammer. Finally the sharper inner bulge at the ankle is formed using the heavy ball-ended hammer. After dishing the piece is rolled around the wooden stake ( Fig. 47 ).

Fig. 47

The next image, Fig. 48, shows both the greaves after finishing. This quite clearly shows the difference between left and right, each exhibiting the higher inner curve and the longer smooth outer curve produced by the musculature.

Fig. 48

Finally the piece that will extend down from the ankle over the top section of the sabaton is shaped and Fig. 49 shows the left greave complete.

Fig. 49

On to the next page - construction of the sabaton.

Back to start of the project.