I had a chance to make another Sturmhaube recently – my third so far, with a fourth on its heels. Original helmets of this type may all share certain features, but they are all distinctly different in form and detail – which I enjoy delving into with each subsequent build. For this one, my customer requested that the brim be less like a bonnet and more like a baseball helmet, with a decorative rosette on the cheek plates and laminated chin plates.
I started by roughly forming two halves and welding them together. The weld was then ground flush, heated and forged smooth. I then worked the brims in hot.
The next step was forming the combs. Rather than pushing the combs out, which would thin the metal excessively, the steel around the combs was heated and hammered in, while the area intended to become the comb was supported with a purpose-built stake. As I hammered the helmet inwards, it gradually converged on the profile templates I had made of my customer’s head.
I then patterned and forged cheek plates. The cheek plates were temporarily riveted to the skull in places where the holes could be re-purposed – through a hinge mounting hole at the top and a pair of lining holes at the lower sides. After riveting the cheek plates on, they were heated and conformed to the skull to ensure all the curves were smooth and continuous.
Here is a detail of one cheek plate, showing its repoussé decoration. The plate was mounted on a bowl of pitch and worked from both sides with specialized chisels to create the raised pattern.
I then built hinges, added chin scales and planished the parts smooth (well, smooth enough – it is not a luxury helmet) and sanded everything to a similar standard.
After that it was just details. Actually, “just details” can be incredibly misleading. The edge treatments, roping, file work and mechanical contraptions on 16th C armour can be as time-consuming as all of the steps leading up to them. On this helmet there was nothing terribly complicated, but it still took more time than expected. That last phrase about sums up armour-making!
After polishing the outside, painting the inside and stitching in a hand-sewn liner, the helmet was ready for the field.
To see more images of the finished helmet, take a look at our Landsknecht Sturmhaube portfolio listing.
This helmet has been pierced with a series of holes for mounting a cloth liner, which its owner intends to have added. I will update this post with a photo of the covered helmet once it is finished – so check back! Feel free to leave a comment.
Leave a Reply