Chinese Mountain Pattern Armor

Jan 2015
955
EARTH
#1


Perhaps something like this


AFAIK, this is unique to China and they used this along with Brigandine rather than adopt mail armor which they were exposed to frequently.

Does anyone know why this is?

Can anyone conjure up any potential benefits of using this strangely patterned armor?
 
Aug 2014
4,342
Australia
#2
The above interpretation was first posited by Dan Sloane mainly based on the fact that his scales have a similar appearance to the Chinese character that means "mountain". I have made some patches of this armour to see how the construction functions and it is pretty good. The armour flexes in one direction but not the other so when it is hit, the scales lock together to create a rigid surface. It should provide better protection than regular scale or lamellar, but it is difficult to assemble and there is a lot of wasted metal. The scales also have to be a very precise shape. Even small variations in size or angle and they won't fit together.
 
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Likes: Niobe
Feb 2011
1,595
#5
I'm not sure about this. Many variations of regular scale have so much overlap that most attacks will be met with three layers.
Which would make scale also one of the heavier types of armour, in contrast to mail and plate where thickness is evenly spread. Since armour is only as good as the protection its weakest spots can provide, this mountain armour is relatively unefficient. A simple case of logic.
 
Oct 2014
5,123
On the prowl.
#6
The above interpretation was first posited by Dan Sloane mainly based on the fact that his scales have a similar appearance to the Chinese character that means "mountain". I have made some patches of this armour to see how the construction functions and it is pretty good. The armour flexes in one direction but not the other so when it is hit, the scales lock together to create a rigid surface. It should provide better protection than regular scale or lamellar, but it is difficult to assemble and there is a lot of wasted metal. The scales also have to be a very precise shape. Even small variations in size or angle and they won't fit together.
That image above does resemble 山. That is pretty neat. You always have fascinating posts about these things. Thank you for sharing.
 

Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,680
United States
#9
This dude describes assembling one such piece, suspecting the "armour would be heavy, and inflexible", but he did not report his final impression.

http://www.armourarchive.org/essays/Shanwenkia.pdf
He says:
Being interested in Chinese armour construction, I thought about this description, and came to the conclusion that it would be virtually impossible to do! In addition, the resulting armour would be heavy, and inflexible. This could not be the truth about shan wen kia.
He says, "This could not be the truth about shan wen kia", which means he didn't believe it would be heavy or inflexible. He came up with a better way of putting them together.
 
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Feb 2011
1,595
#10
He says:
He says, "This could not be the truth about shan wen kia", which means he didn't believe it would be heavy or inflexible.
This is clearly an a priori consideration that he could not believe that the ancient Chinese would wear such an armour. His report ends in the middle of it, so we do not know if he ever came to a different conclusion.

Logically, any armour which has large overlaps of its protective parts is heavier than the optimal without offering more protection, as the weakest links define the overall protective capability.