Effectiveness of Chinese Mountain Armor

HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,536
Tang Dynasty mail




I'd stay sculptures like this show a pretty big indication that ShanWenKai wasn't mail. The upper portion is mail but the lower portion at the groin is ShanWenKai. If ShanWenKai was mail then you'd expect that the upper and lower portions would be depicted with the same type of armor.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,550
Planet Nine, Oregon
I really appreciate how much effort Todd took into his replica, but in all honesty I'm not seeing how it matches with the sculptural depictions. All depictions show that the 人 shapes are so close that they are touching each other with few to no gaps in between the 人 shapes. In Todd's replica these shapes are so far apart you can see the plates underneath. I'm sorry if I have to be the bad guy, but I'm pointing out the elephant in the room.
I've noticed that too, and It's an excellent observation! I can only offer that it might be artistic stylization, as some depictions seem to magnify and stylize mail, too. Perhaps some artists were just copying patterns and hadn't seen the actual armour themselves. That's all I've got! It does make very good armour, but that's irrelevant. I could also be wrong and it was constructed differently. I think the pattern would depict external lacing; every other construction is too Baroque and those chinks would always be there. Hexagonal Kikko plates exist, so at least they were using them as armour. If they must be laces that form the pattern, they have to go in and out, and I think mathematically and structurally, there are not many other ways to accomplish it. And some depictions do show more space between the characters, while others don't. That's all I have, though.
 
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Jan 2019
106
Southeast Asia
I'd stay sculptures like this show a pretty big indication that ShanWenKai wasn't mail. The upper portion is mail but the lower portion at the groin is ShanWenKai. If ShanWenKai was mail then you'd expect that the upper and lower portions would be depicted with the same type of armor.
Yes, those two are just similar superficially, but always depicted differently even side by side starting from the Tang to the Ming. The depiction is always pretty consistent.

Something like the Cross Pattern armor and Hexagonal Star just cannot be made with rings.

There is also the problem that one of the earliest depiction of Shan Wen Kai predate the earliest Shan Wen style mail depiction by about 150 years, so Shan Wen mail may not be a predecessor of Shan Wen Kai.

If Shan Wen Kai truly uses ring, I think it would be a hexagonal ring bent at the right places, then linked together with the other rings to create the Shan Wen Kai look.

It would have a completely different behavior to one made of plate. The gap that arrow would slide into in the hooked plate version would instead be the hardest and narrowest point for the arrow to go through.
 
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Jun 2019
29
Southeast Asia
It would probably act like a brigandine, except the plate is outside and there is no overlap direction.