Personal | Armour | 18|03|2013

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British Steel

[cp_dropcaps]H[/cp_dropcaps]ere's a selection of images from my most recent project Armour. The project focuses on medieval re-enactment  fighters from the UK contingency who are (for the first time) representing their country at the 'Battle of the Nations', an international historical fighting tournament.

Although these guys look like your average re-enactment enthusiasts they take it to another much more violent level. Popular in Eastern Europe and a relatively new "sport",  these Battle of the Nations combatants use full contact techniques and blunted metal weapons with very few rules. A win is achieved by knocking your opponent to the floor using historically accurate weapons. Although the competitors are using blunted axes and swords as well as full body armour, injuries are common due to the brutality of the battles.

This video should give you a good idea of just how violent it is:

Unlike most re-enactment groups the Battle of the Nations event runs in its own right, rather than referencing  specific historical battles.

Although the armour and weaponry takes its inspiration from traditional medieval combat, the heraldry instead relates to the nationalities of the team countries competing against one another.

I've followed the newly formed British team around at their various training camps over the last few months and taken staged portraits of the fighters in their full period body-armour. I wanted to lighten the images up by using coloured backgrounds as well as having them stand on grass covered plinths. They are an interesting and eclectic mix of participants who take their fighting as seriously as their attention to 13th/14th century detailing.

Click through for lots more images