Hello everyone! This is the ArmorySmith Workshop and World of Armor channel. This is where the armor is made. Here I make various armor – historical, fantasy, and spice it up with historical facts and music which I sometimes play by myself. This video is the answer to the questions which you often ask. And also I made a separate post where you could ask more. “Tell us how you’ve got into such life? If you have started with something different other than armor, how and why you decided to make it?” Since I was a kid I was fond of historical books, movies, and computer games. I was drawn to the universes which either were historical or looked like the medieval theme. Maybe in every area, I think everyone had something like it it comes the time when all of the boys from the area start to swing swords. We had an abandoned wasteland behind the house where there were sand and some hills. Also, there was a TV-show, about immortals (you had to cut the head off to kill them, with giant swords). This TV show got everyone hooked. And everyone was running around with planks and fought. There was also this Duncan MacLeod. And obviously we were “cutting” each other heads, some were on the “good side” and some were on the “bad”. It was a short period, I only recently remembered about it. I knew nothing about Tolkienists back then, that there are people who are serious about this topic. So, we fought for a bit and stopped. We played football and other games, which were more “normal” than running around with planks cutting heads. But a small part of it remained with me. When I was 10 or 12 I saw some guys who did historical fencing on the Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv. In the old part of Kyiv, there was a space between the buildings, and the knights fought there. They were wearing real armor, fighting with steel weapons. I stood there with my eyes wide open. I didn’t understand what it was and why, but I liked it very much. So, when I first saw them I didn’t even think people can do something like that. Then, later I saw some Tolkienists on the Lysa Hora, they were walking there looking cool. Someone was with a simple wooden sword and someone was wearing full armor. Back at the time, everything seemed sacred and magical. I was little. It got me pretty hooked. And I’ve decided that I need to make armor. I started with the gauntlet. I had some tin, I was 12 or 13 years old. I had pliers, regular peen hammer. Something else, maybe scissors. To cut metal. And that’s it. I need some kind of pit to make the gauntlet. You can see now, that I’m working on various iron pits. Back then I didn’t have anything like it, so I just picked out one piece of the parquet floor, so I could bend metal by hitting it with the hammer. And get a needed shape. So I did it. The parquet floor was ruined. But I made it, there was a piece of foam rubber inside, I could move my hand in it. It looked horrible, with a lot of sharp edges, but this was a protective gauntlet. Thank God I didn’t stab someone or scratched someone’s face with it. I made the gauntlet, a sword, and a shield, a small round one. And I went around searching for crazy guys like me. But for me, it was like… Well, when you’re a child you don’t perceive it as a hobby, it was like the mail life goal. The most fun was to play computer games, watch some interesting movies, read some books, fight on swords. And the least fun was going to school and learn. It was like black and white. So meanwhile I joined the club… Well, I knew that the Tolkienists are usually on the Lysa Hora, and to go there you had to get to the Vydybychi metro station. And I knew that they were there, these magic Tolkienists. So I just randomly went to the station and waited when these people with swords and shields would come and go there. So I could meet them and also go to that place. So I hung on to some guys, they were called the “Hungary” team and the captain was one Heinrich. I don’t know if he still does it. I all looked a bit weird. Hairy guys, wearing combat boots, jeans, a medieval-like shirt, with a wooden sword, a shield, and if someone had chainmail he would be like a God. The coolest dude on the field. So I tried doing it, we would come to train on the Lysa Hora, work on our spear stabs, block with the sword, these 4 blocks. And it was all serious, grown men and boys, doing stuff like this. The hit perfection and so on. Well, maybe this is cool when you’re a kid. When you’re like 30, maybe it is not so good to do it at such a level, maybe you don’t need to stop with it, but if you’re continuing, you should do it on a more serious level. Something like sow it is now in HMB. So I kept doing it, years passed, I was in one team, then I left it, started going to the theatric fencing studio, I think. There were training as well, but sometimes there were people who fought on steel! While Tolkienists were fighting with these light swords, nothing scary, wooden swords. Some guys came with such steel swords and hit you in the face, it seemed like something impossible. They were winning some tournaments somewhere in Kharkiv. Sometimes they would come, look at me, see that I was a kid. So he starts training, for like half an hour, takes a sword and starts going like this So fast, and I’m like “Wow, this is how you train”. So I got into it, scratched my hands till there was blood. Well, first you get some blisters on your hand. But I was under the influence of the youthful exuberance, so I kept doing it, as I saw the grown men do. There were blisters under the blisters, then they cracked, my hands were a mess. But I was obsessed with it back then. I thought I would be a great warrior, a hero, I would win the tournaments and have all the girls. However, the girls didn’t care. 🙂 When you have some problems you try to avoid them and you need to have some kind of outlet. So this movement became this outlet for me and helped me a lot. This is the key stage in life which has an effect on the person’s life. So you either live like this or like that. So gradually I joined the “Watcher in the Water” club. This was also one of the main events of my life. And once in this club, Andrey Yakovenko said to me “we need some guys in the workshop to make armor, would you like to do it”? I was still in school and said I don’t know how to do anything. He said, “You don’t need to know anything, they will teach you”. “Don’t worry about it”. So I said ok. I went there. I started doing something, something funny. Like cutting rivets, they were long and I made them short. Just to be useful. So, cutting rivets, or belts, something primitive. Then I started doing shoulders or elbows. Considering I was a kind, and others who worked there were grown men, I was very dependant on their approval, I was ready to work and work so they would say “wow, good job”. And I made some money as well. So yeah, I was working there. It was a workshop in a small garage. But still, it was a possibility to do something, to learn something. So in time, I started to make more things. Forge more, I tried to make helmets. But I always thought that it was temporary. That it was all for fun, I was now making armor but really I will be a musician. Another fanatic idea which I believed in and I’m not sure it was right. I believe you need to start doing it sooner. If you’d like to be a musician you need to start doing it when you’re like 10 years old. Or at least have a good sense of pitch and vocal skills. So you can effectively work and make money by this craft. I was encouraged by my surroundings, they said: “wow, you’re playing for two weeks and can change chords”. “Wow, you’re playing for two months and can do a barre, I’m playing for 6 months and I can’t”! I thought maybe I have some kind of talent if I’m ahead of everyone, that must mean I’m special. And no one just knows about it. And that I will learn and will play guitar and be a musician. There was also this moment when I met a dude who played in the passage. And he says, can you ask people for money? If someone doesn’t know, it is when the musician plays in the passage, some people go and collect money. Because this is how you collect more. And I needed the money back then. And I agreed to help him. It was quite hard to go up to the people you don’t know. I’m really quite shy and it was hard for me to overcome it. Maybe this was what helped me to feel more confident. So, you learn a couple of chords, go to the passage and you can start earning money. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And I’m like: I play guitar, this is how I can earn money. That’s it, I will be a musician! I was around 16 when I got this idea. So I decided I will play guitar. I’d come home from school and play guitar till 10 pm up until someone would start shouting. So starting from the moment I decided I will be a musician I set a goal to play guitar every day. But I didn’t have any musical education. And without it, if you don’t have a good sense of pitch, you won’t be able to do music effectively, on the needed level to be able to earn something with it. And what does it mean? If you need to play any songs at the wedding, you learn them and play them quick. If you need to go on the half-year trip on the ship, with a certain repertory, you learn it quickly and play it. There’s no place for “I don’t know how to play Murka”. Or “I don’t want to play it”. No, you must play it even if you don’t like it, but play it on such a high level… *sings Russian criminal music (chanson)* What are you doing? This is YouTube, the intelligent people are watching! Sorry. Well… Let’s just say you need to present it correctly. Know how to do it. And if you need to play classics, you need to do it as well. This is a separate craft which requires a certain skill. And then I understood it. After 6 or 7 years. But I was working very hard and I don’t think that time was wasted. But then a moment came, I was… maybe 23 or 20… Oh. I got married! And this was the moment when I needed to make a decision. How will I provide for my family? And I thought, that I already earn by doing metalware. And I was making nothing with music. So it was quite logical. But I was aware that while I made some things, I wasn’t as good as some masters. What is the difference, for example? I feel it, I see it, but I can’t figure out the details and nuances. And I don’t know how to do it. I understood that I won’t improve more in the place where I was working at the time. Everything I learned there, everything I took from there, this was all I got. So I asked to work in the smithy of Oleg Nikolaevich, Workshop “Svadar”. Oleg Nikolaevich makes knives there. So I could broaden my perspective on the work with metal. I got lucky and Oleg Nikolaevich agreed, I worked there for a bit. I learned some new skills on how to work with metal. And after that, I started to work by myself. Considering it wasn’t possible to make a decent living with this work, I had two choices. The first one was to drop it and search for other work, And I graduated as a pre-school teacher or a music teacher. So, I had two choices, either I drop it and do something different, something I didn’t know how to do at that point. Or I try and work by myself. To make a living. So the main reason was simply to earn money. The necessity to make a living. And I understood that it didn’t matter how much I liked and enjoyed it, but if I don’t earn anything by doing it, I don’t need it. I decided that I will build a workshop. My father in law helped me, he built… No, I was helping him to build the workshop. The first building, around 4*6. And my father gave me a certain amount of money with which I could buy a minimal set of instruments do be able to do something. For me, it was one angle grinder, small Makita, I still use them. So a small angle grinder. A welder, blacksmith’s vice, a drill, some wood for frames, Some rod to make pincers to hold something, A piece of rail so I could make a small anvil, I also got lucky, Andrey Zubritskiy sold me an anvil (100 kg) around 1000 uah, very inexpensive. I’m very thankful to him. Also some pliers and other small things. Also a big sledge-hammar, a middle sledge-hammer and a couple of regular hammers and a small vice. It was quite hard. To make something, I needed to make a thing to make another thing to make another thing with which I could make the thing I was supposed to make. It was hard o start. But since then I’m starting and continuing to start. So I started working in the workshop. First, the small one and now the bigger one. How did I learn? I would need to give a detailed answer. Because you never stop learning. You need to know this, It doesn’t matter who you are, you need to always improve. Because it is an interesting way to live your life. I don’t imagine how you can do something and not take interest in it, not improve in it. To stay in one place is like to stay in a swamp. You should also search for new information. Which, by the way, I didn’t have about my craft. By the way, I didn’t even have a computer back then. No, I did. A laptop. But I didn’t have the internet. And it was very hard without the internet, because there’s a lot of information on the internet. Main kicks which professionally helped me were the videos of Eric Dube, this is the Canadian master who makes armor even now, he has his own YouTube channel. There will be a link in the description. And someone brought to our club where I studied… we had a PC there, the club “A Watcher in the Water” where I did historical fencing and Tolkienism, and we had a PC there, and everyone brought something to it, some downloaded pictures from the museum, some brought some books about knights, pictures and miniatures, and someone brought these videos where eric Dube makes this curved elbow, I made something like that in the recent video, and he was heating it! And for me, it was like “Wow! Cool! Look at the shape, and it looks so nice!” I was blown away. We watched and watched this video, even the guys who didn’t make armor. By the way, if you were in the club, you couldn’t buy armor anywhere, you would make it yourself. So everyone patched something together. Someone did better, someone worse. But this is a great thing. You’re a teenager, you come there, you make something by hand in any case, also when you go to a game, there is a certain system of seniority, there were older guys and younger guys, If you were younger and got a task to for example collect wood, you knew that you will be scolded if you don’t, so you had some sense of responsibility. You understood that you were in a team, and people expected something from you. Someone is even responsible for you. So they could protect you if you got into a fight. This is a great experience that many teenagers need. In some form or another. I don’t mean they should run to the forest and fight on the wooden swords. Everyone has this transition in their life and mine was in this movement. We were making the armor in the club and we saw the videos of Eric Dube who did amazing armor. He was like a king of armor. Oh, and I initially bought a gas cylinder, oxygen cylinder and a cutter to the workshop. Because I needed to make this all with heating. A mini-set. One more time. A mini-set to start making armor. It includes an angle grinder, a drill, a welder, a blacksmith’s vice, an anvil, a long horn if possible, it is quite important for making armor, a tool with this long “horn”. So that you can put something on it and work on it. For heating – and oxygen cylinder and a propane bottle, And also a set or different rods to make tools. Different bearings, big and small, they are also useful to make different shapes. And I had a pit, an iron pit. This was a big iron pipe which I can use to form the shape. This is the minimum you will need. So I was impressed by Eric Dube. I found him on the internet, all of his videos, watched everything a couple of times. I believe he is not only making armor but takes part in the events which are held in Canada. It looks a bit different than here and has a different level. I watched everything, how they do it. Imagine, they would go to the game, and not live in tents, but have small houses. A large territory, and buildings that remain there always. A big interesting location, and you can live in a house when you come there. A lot of people come to the festival, it is very cool when there’s a lot of people. You can always meet new people and the scale of it makes the adrenalin go up a bit. It is more meaningful. Comparing to the tournament where you see no more than 100 people when you go out and see 500 people on each side it is worth to come there. So I started searching for information. I’m answering the question of how and where I learned all of it. So I didn’t have a direct education on “this is how to make armor”. Even in the workshop I worked in it all came down to “here is the piece of steel, you hit here, it becomes curved. Now you do it.” No attention to detail. Now I can tell a lot on how to work with metal, on how to make it curve certain way, why do you need to do it like this or like that, how it bends, how to make cutouts. Well, I have a lot of experience now. Back then I didn’t have it. You just need to know that you should constantly look for information. So I watched everything Eric Dube had, every picture, interesting tools, all saved on my PC. Re-watched it many times. I saved all of the interesting armor, I have a big selection. Now it is easy to find, I have an internet connection, Wi-Fi. Not a mobile 2g internet, but a good high-speed one. And there are more videos, pictures and more masters as well. Back then we didn’t have it. And every piece of information, every picture was golden, for example, you see a hammer of a certain shape, you don’t even know how it works, but you figure that you can do this or that with it. And it is long because you can’t reach a certain detail with the short hammer. And you think how clever it is and you can do the same. Then you search for these hammers, that by the way are not easy to find. The 10 yeas I’ve been working were like a hunt for hammers for me. Every trip to the market was like shopping, and I went around every spot where there could be new hammers. There were like 10 spots. And usually, one in three trips were successful. And usually, you explain to people, that you need a calking hammer. And they tell you “here is a hammer made in USSR, a great one, best steel there is, take it”. Sellers don’t understand at all what I want from them. And this is really weird. As I see it is easy to buy such hammers in the US, for example. Even in Harry Potter, someone hammers a picture to a wall with the hammer with a round top, in some of the films. I notice these things. My daughter watches animation, Shaun the sheep. And the main character works with the hammer I’ve always needed! I always bought them and searched for them. On side is flat, the other one is the sphere. They have it, and all we had is the USSR nonsence, where the one side is flat and the other one is a cone. Who the hell needs it? I don’t know, those hammers are only good for reforging. In my case. And there you just go and buy it! Not fair. Aren’t we used to work by hand? No, we are. You can’t tell we don’t have that tradition. But somehow there they have these hammers and we don’t. I got lucky recently, this winter, a dude writes me: “I have a ton of hammers, do you want to buy them?” And I bought all of them, there’s a video. A got really lucky. Before that is was awful, I was chasing the hammers. Like a fool. And you see something and run to buy it. And they sit there like “300 uah! This is a royal hammer”. By the way, recently they started appearing in the shops like Dopex and alike, those with the round top or other interesting ones. They appearing in simple shops. And in many cases in the shops, the new hammers are cheaper than used rusty ones on the market. However, it is better to learn how to make tools yourself. Ok, I’m answering the question how did I learn all of it. I searched for all pictures, and there’s a tip: when master shares a picture of his work, you look at the background. He’s taking a picture of the helmet, but there’s a piece of something in the background, and you see what he uses. This was also very interesting to see, how others work. The hunt to see how others do it. You watch, collect it, it requires a lot of time, really. You’re like a hunter who looks for information and where to get it. Eric Dube, for example. And then you try and make it yourself. You try, sometimes you fail but you continue. And then you succeed. There’s an important moment I’d like to talk about. What I do is really a dimensional steel sculpture. That’s the way to put it. This is not a traditional forging, a metal ingot, which you heat and then hammer it and it becomes a knife. This is a work with sheet steel. Turning it into certain shapes. And you need to know how to see those shapes. If you don’t see them, I, for example, draw badly and see the shapes badly, you will have problems. I don’t consider myself a great specialist, Regarding making pieces of art. Let’s cal it that. You need to strive to have such skill so that if you have to make the face of a human or a woman It is easy to do it for you. You need to make a nose – you make a nose. You need to make the head of a bird – you make the head of a bird. You need to have a goal, something you want to achieve, then you need to separate it into stages, for example, to train the correct hit, learn how to see shaped and how to draw. An understanding of how the material and metal behaves. You learn which instruments to use. And do it. You apprehend and understand where you need to be moving to do something, as a professional. It is not important what you do, armor or maybe you are an IT specialist. I don’t know much about it. But I think this concerns all of the areas, not only mine. When you watch professional work you don’t understand how he does it, why he does it a certain way. Why he does something one way and another thing – another way. You just don’t get it. If you take this complicated process and separate it into many small ones you can learn it. If I’m talking about me, for example, I learned how to hammer. I can make a certain shape. Bu the helmets are crooked. Then I start to understand that I need an ability to measure by eye. We usually work by estimating with eyes. You can tell apart the 3 mm, 5 mm or 13 mm. You can clearly see it and make what you need to make. You can train it. Then you see, when you make a helmet and reconstructors say not for the first time that it is not an Italian sallet, this is the German one. You try to study it then and see how the shapes are different. If it doesn’t turn out the way it is supposed to, you try to draw, try to see the shapes even better. So, you need to know what you need to do to be a professional in your field, you learn how to hit, how to draw, how to see shapes have a good visual memory. It means you see the picture of the helmet and you do it. Also, you learn the base, which tools to use, which hammers, learn new tricks. And, of course, practice. And that’s it, nothing hard. You just do it. It all comes down to just doing it.