Adam Savage’s King Arthur Armor Build, Part 1

Adam arrives at the home and workshop of Terry English, the famed armorer who made over 100 suits of armor for John Boorman’s Excalibur, the Colonial Marine armor for James Cameron’s Aliens, and memorable costumes for countless other films. Adam learns Terry’s orign story, studies the anatomy of armor, and begins a week of apprenticeship under Terry.

Comments (33)

33 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s King Arthur Armor Build, Part 1

  1. Wooooow, fascinating. I so want to buy that house. 🙂 Lovely scenery to film and great discussions, once again a gem on Tested.

  2. OMG! his house and shop is a museum.

    Hum!? When he says a “Coat of Mail” for the Chainmail, the sonority pretty much resemble the french word for it, which is “Cotte de mailles” ! I wonder if the original word was not picked from the french on this one.

  3. Yassss! I have been patiently awaiting this series! I wonder if he is a fan of the English wheel for shaping… I’ll see myself out.

  4. Aww.. if we’re going to pronounce alumInium properly, couldn’t we spell armoUr properly for Terry’s benefit, too? Lots of interest in this build from a non-American subscriber anyway 🙂

  5. What a great start! I have been waiting patiently for this.
    Terry is such a lovely and talented fellow.
    I have been lucky enough to meet him many times and own one of the House Elf suits as seen in the video.

    So looking forward to the rest of this series.

  6. Really looking forward to the rest of this series!

    Armor aside, what’s that shirt that Adam’s wearing? It looks like a nicer version of a welder’s jacket…

  7. Brilliant, been waiting for this. Also, Terry English’s dad was a tailor… got me thinking, wonder if anyone’s mixed the two fields: make a business suit out of metal, i.e. cut the metal using the same pattern as you would for cloth?

    Would it even be possible, or would the restrictions imposed by using metal lead to the thing looking like a suit of armour no matter what you did?

  8. whens the next one?

    And how can you guys on a shoe string budget make something so interesting but the big studios can’t make anything so interesting with millions

  9. i’m going to be mean and say: taste. when you have only a few bucks, but set them to use in the service of a stylistically coherent whole, you’re going to get farther than having a ginormous budget but waste it on a lot of design-by-committee and overloading designs because you can.

  10. Well English and French share a partial common linguistic root, there are quite a lot of commonality in terms of vocabulary. In this case it’s the same latin root Macula for mesh, so it’s a coat of mesh.

  11. Shrdlu

    Brilliant, been waiting for this. Also, Terry English’s dad was a tailor… got me thinking, wonder if anyone’s mixed the two fields: make a business suit out of metal, i.e. cut the metal using the same pattern as you would for cloth?

    Would it even be possible, or would the restrictions imposed by using metal lead to the thing looking like a suit of armour no matter what you did?

    I would guess that your last sentence would be the case. Say you cut sheet metal into the shapes from a fabric business suit pattern, and then welded all the seams together (since stitches seem akin to a continuous weld). It would be nearly solid. You wouldn’t be able to bend your arms or elbows or rotate them. you probably wouldn’t even be able to put it on to begin with. So then you start to fix that. Cut some welds and put some hinges or rivets to allow the bending. Completely separate some pieces to allow the full rotation of your ball and socket skeleton… Bend and/or trim some of the hemline upward so you can lift your legs without hitting it… Cut some pieces apart and add clasps/buckles, so that you can put it on without being a contortionist. Pretty soon it starts to look like a suit of armour. As ornamental as they can be, i feel like a lot of the shape is dictated by human anatomy.

    That said, both professions are about manipulating sheet goods in interesting ways 🙂

  12. I LOVE when master artisans like Terry English are revealed to be so soft-spoken, generous with their information, gracious, and just plain enthusiastic about what they do and life in general.He seems so wonderfully vital and vibrant at what ever age he is (55 years in the business? He’s at least crested 70, right?) and it’s going to be a unique pairing between Adam and him- both very much birds of the same feather.

    I’m sure there will be traditional armor smiths out there who will poo-poo his working in aluminum and techniques, but I hope, by the end of this, that they see that that’s NOT the point. He’s is a theatrical armorer and one without peer.

    This, my friends, is going to be worth a dozen memberships!

  13. Such a great Episode, I’ve been luckily enough to try on some armour that Terry had made, its so beautifully crafted. Can’t wait to watch more of this series!

    But yeah, we need to change the title from Armor, to Armour.

  14. Wonderful video. Cannot wait to absorb everything from this series 🙂

    Shrdlu I’d have a look at chainmail (yes, I know) instead of plate for making a suit. When you get down into really small rings it moves and feels a lot like metal fabric. I’ve made a few pieces using rings with an inner diameter of 5/64″ and it really is lovely to hold.

  15. I agree, mail would be the better approach, if one wanted to make an armored business suit. I was simply replying that tailoring and armor building both operate under the constraints of their materials, and yet because of the anatomy that both are approximating, the former becomes the latter when the metal constraints are added.

    I would consider mail in a different category. You’re converting wire into rings, linked together. It’s more like using a loom, converting linear material into 2D and 3D shapes. Same with 3D printing, really.

  16. Considering that French and Latin were the languages of the church and aristocracy from around 1000AD to around 1400AD, that wouldn’t be surprising.

  17. So I held off watching this until an episode of NOVA ( Episode: Secrets of the Shining Knight) aired about the armor made by the Royal Workshop held up against muskets. Amazing mount of thought went into building these suits, and after watching this intro episode? into the building of Adam’s suit of armor I can see that the same level of thought still goes into it’s construction.

    Amazing, just simply amazing. I will fully enjoy watching this suit come together.

    This is extra content is what makes being a Premium Member totally worth it.

    Thank you Tested Team

  18. So, So good! thank you tested. Great listening to Adam and Terry. A period of history that is close to my heart, medieval life in all it forms. looking forward to watching more.

  19. I sense a great tugging of two forces — the American Savage Cave and the uhh… English English Cave…

    Though I think Adam needs to work on his home a bit more.

    This was extraordinarily generous on Mr. English’s part not just to take Adam under his wing but to open up his shop and home like this. Can’t wait for the rest!

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