Authenticity and Hiding your Anachronisms :
As Clash of Iron evolves, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience! One of the constant concerns we have heard is ongoing complaints about non- or out of period, or even modern items in camp and on soldiers.
BASIC AUTHENTICITY GUIDELINES:
Clothing and equipment for Clash of Iron should be as authentic as he modern world allows, tempered by some practicality. Our goal is to recreate Roman soldiers, Auxiliaries, Celtic warriors and civilians as authentically as practically possible.
REMEMBER! We do have a lot of extras!! Do not get upset if you bought a trooper helm and just found out it is unnacceptable! We all started that way and understand! We will have extra gear for you onsite! The basic standard is "Deepeeka Gen 1 or 2". Since most new gear is Gen 3, only older pieces of kit could be an issue. New attendees should post a picture for review (so we can help you improve!!) to the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Clashofiron/).
Clothing--Linen or wool, preferably 100%, only blends that have the appearrance of natural fabrics. Twills were common. Excellent Linens are available from www.fabrics-store.com.
Leather--Vegetable-tanned, top grain. Avoid splits, suede, and chrome-tanned leathers. Goatskin and calf were common. May be dyed, and should be treated with oil.
Metal--Mild steel, NOT galvanized or stainless unless the difference is not seeable. Brass may be used for bronze items.
Wood--Ash is best for weapon shafts and tool handles. Plywood is used for shields.
Armor and Equipment-- should be a minimum of Deepeeka "N" series standard. (Gen 1 or 2, Gen 3 is all great)
Helms-- all Deepeeka "N" and newer models are acceptable. Some older Deepeeka style helms are grandfathered in. No "trooper" style helms are acceptable.
Armor-- Lorica Segmentata's and Lorica Hamatas are accceptable, doublers preferred for the hamata, but not required. Chain mail must be a minimum of 8mm butted, with rivetted/solid alternating 6mm preferred. Lorica Segmentatas should meet at least current Deepeeka production models.
Time Frame-- Equipment for Clash of Iron should be that reasonably expected to be seen in the field from AD13 to AD73. Generally speaking most LATE PRINCIPATE, EARLY IMPERIAL equipment is acceptable.
Roman Military Tunics are exepcted to be some form of Brick or Similar red color for milites-- We are aware of the arguments for and against tunic colors, the decision has been made by the event staff to follow these color schemes for Clash of Iron. Lafe is what it is. Please comply with the event guidelines.
Legionaries: Should be a rust or brick or dark RED color. Others will be acceptable for 2018 since we have a lot of new Romans! Of course Centurios can wear whatever they please!
Auxiliaries: Should be Green, darker preferred. If guidance is needed or you want to know what unit to portray, the generic impression is a "Batavian" auxiliary, though others are very welcome.
Marines: Blue, light sea foam to royal is preferred.
Other color ROMAN tunics must be approved by the event (not field) staff. Cloaks should be at least 80% wool. This is a safety consideration as wool is naturally fire resistant! (and water resistant too).
Braccae-- are acceptable if the weather is cold, as are closed toe military sandals.
Socks-- should be at least natural wool colored knit ragg wool socks. Naalbinding preferred, though civil war era ragg wool socks are acceptable. Absolutely no white socks.
Clothing-- Fairly complex patterns can be woven into the cloth in addition to the the more simple, and common, dogtooth, houndstooth, herringbone and twill weaves. You will need to ensure that modern patterned cloth is actually achievable using ancient techniques. Anything that looks like a 'clan' tartan is usually best avoided ! Very bright colours can be made using ancient dysestuffs that are 'fast' (i.e. they don't fade too badly), although it is true to say that some colours are not easily attained or fade very quickly. For that more authentic look, you could wash the life out of your tunic to get that "faded/not quite fast" look.
Colour-wise, you are on safest ground with blues (although not too deep a colour), yellows and browns. Natural coloured linen (off-white with a yellow or pearl-grey tinge) or wool that has its natural brown or "dusty" grey colours are great.
White can be made by using the whitest wool and/or by bleaching, but is probably less practical in terms of everyday cleaning for your average Briton.
Red is a colour best kept to a minimum, as the only means of producing red cloth is via dyes that are not native to the British isles. Also avoid black and scarlet. Purple is almost unobtainable beyond the trading infrastructure of the Roman world.
Celtic Armor-- It is believed that the "celts" invented mail sometime in the late first millenium BC. It proved to be so popular that it remained in use for another two thousand years, in one form or another. There have been enough fragmentary finds, and one complete set, which indicate that is was being used, although we are unsure as to how exactly how common mail was among the Britons.
The find at Kirkburn, which is very much pre-roman invasion by maybe a couple of hundred years, indicates that British Warriors are using what is termed the "italic" style of shoulder doubling with fastener. It is possible the shirt is roman in origin, but given other more fragmentary finds of mail then it's equally possible it is of native manufacture. The other finds are, on average, of larger section link than the typical roman types and often of the simpler butted construction method, which adds weight to the conclusion that mail is made locally for native consumption.
Minimum standard for mail is 8mm butted steel, with 6mm rivetted or celtic/roman riveted solid preferred.
Celtic Helms-- Generally must meet at least Deepeeka "N" standards. "Captured" Roman helsm are acdeptable.
Celtic Swords-- Generally must meet at least Deepeeka standards
Tents-- Tents that expect to be located in the fort MUST be tan, brown, or leather, generally at least a Panther Primitives Papilio standard. No white tents are allowed in the Fort. White tents are allowed in the Vicus and Celtic Homestead areas. How to stain your white tent brown: http://legvi.tripod.com/armamentarium/id310.html
Modern Containers-- We have all had that "perfect" photo ruined by a plastic water bottle or coke can! With that in mind ALL MODERN ITEMS MUST BE HIDDEN at all times!! Let's repeat that: ALL MODERN ITEMS MUST BE HIDDEN at all times!! Periodic inspections by Event and Field Staff will insure this occurrs. Drinks should be consumed in period containers. Meals should be eaten on period plates. If you must have a 12 pack in your tent, it MUST be hidden (or it may be confiscated by your Centurio)!! Plastic containers and storage boxes are the ENEMY!!! Hide them well! At the least a blanket should be thrown over them. We recommend bringing period bags for your modern clothes instead of a suitcase. The less you have to hide, the easier it is to comply! Burlap bags may hide coolers. Blankets can cover sleeping pads and bags. Modern containers for WD40, Glue, and screw top bottles should always be hidden. Empty cans, bottles, etc should be disposed of in an appropriate container. FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, FOOD STORAGE IN PLASTIC IS FINE, JUST KEEP IT HIDDEN! Each event will have a designated "POLICE CALL" officer who will inspect for anachronisms! This officer gets his butt chewed if the Event staff inspector finds anachronisms, so do as he asks! Please comply in the spirit of a re-enactor striving to do better. This is an EVENT STAFF rule that must be enforced by the FIELD STAFF.
IT IS ONLY POLITE TO HIDE YOUR ANACHRONISMS AS WELL AS POSSIBLE!! PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF YOUR FELLOW REENACTORS!
NOTE: We have found that using brown or black flat spray paint makes many plastic things easier to hide! Coolers, boxes, and bright blue, silver, and green plastic things tend to disappear if spray painted brown or black! Definitely a way to make it easier on yourself to hide your modernisms!
EYEGLASSES: Fact of life, some folks have to have them. These are allowed with the caveat that they be removed as often as possible for photos, etc. Persons with glasses should strive to hide them as much as possible and avoid being in photos with them on.
How to hide your Anachronisms
After many years of reenacting, I have come to the conclusion that it is easier to pack for the event and hide all my modern stuff than it is to pack "event" stuff and a seperate pack of hotel stuff.
The Legio VI "Period" Rule: The less you have to hide, the easier it is to hide it.
Clothing: I use two oilskin bags (waterproof) to carry my clothes. One for modern clothes and one for period clothes. At Clash of Iron, I use them as pillows. I bring a white linen bag for soiled clothes too, and hang it from my bunk.
Bedroll: I pre-roll it at home and hide any modern materials with in the folds. If you use a sleeping bag, you may want to sew up a large blanket to cover it. A surplus army linen/cotton mattress cover can carry your entire bedroll or hide your modern sleeping items.
Cooler: I built a wooden box with wheels to hold my cooler. I have also used a small burlap sack to carry it and hide it at the event. I also spray painted the cooler brown with the "plastic krylon" paint. It scratches off some, but further hides the bright blue color of the cooler.
Food: If not refrigerated, I have a large net bag where my munchies reside in plastic containers for safety. I do however "pre-open" everything that I can so I have less pieces of plastic floating around. For some foods that can travel safely out of plastic (nuts, fruits, beef jerky, etc), I put it in linen bags. When I go to eat, I take it out of the plastic, place it on my Roman plate, and rehide the plastic ASAP.
Plastic Boxes: Avoid them at all costs. They tend to be way to colorful and even a sliver of bright silver or blue can give it away. If you must use them look for black or brown, as they are at least less obvious.
Suitcases: See above "Plastic Boxes"
NOTE: We have found that using brown or black flat spraypaint makes many plastic things easier to hide! Coolers, boxes, and bright blue, silver, and green plastic things tend to disappear if spraypainted brown or black! Definitely a way to make it easier on yourself to hide your modernisms!
Wooden Boxes can be used to hold your "breakables" My event kit box is about 12 *18 inches by 14 inches high. Holds my plates, cups, little breakables, and some modern things too.
KEYS- I am always paranoid about these. Especially if you drove with others. DO NOT CARRY THEM IN THE FIELD!!! You lose them out there and archeologists will have to be called in! Designate a spot where they MUST be placed and periodically check it. I use my wooden box for this.
Eating Utensils: Always have two spoons (one will be missing the entire event, but you will find it when you get home). A period bowl and plate, stoneware or wooden are the minimum you need. I also use a linen "napkin" to hold it all together. A period-ish knife will also be useful. If you use stoneware, cut a leather round to seperate the plate an bowl from touching. Keeps them from chipping each other.
Cups: Given the apparent proclivities of Milites for drink, a cup should be big enough to hold 12 ounces of your favorite liquid. Otherwise you will have to hide the can/bottle! Smaller ones are acceptable. Wood or stoneware preferred.
Wine Bottles: If you can soak off the label, they look periodish and are okay around the fire, but we generally keep any alcohol hidden.
Olive oils, honey, etc can be placed in clear glass or stoneware containers and cork sealed. Remember- less to hide!
Bring extra linen, burlap, or cotton bags for stuff you will find that needs to be hidden at the event, usually to help others. I packed two "hiding" blankets this year and they got used by others to hide their stuff. It is so much easier if the bags can simply be stacked in the corner because they are already period as opposed to covering them with a blanky.
Those annoying plastic bags from the grocery store: ABOLISH THEM FROM YOUR KIT. They seem to always find a way to either stick out of a period container or get caught in the wind and blow through the camp... the HORROR. and they always rip open... at least use paper.
Cardboard Boxes: I have seen these at events more often of late.. I guess they are better than a plastic box, but they are certainly not period... especially if white and labeled USPS. Keep it hidden or leave them home. They also make GREAT firestarter!!!!!!!
Tarps: While things like artillery may need a seriously waterproof covering, use CANVAS tarps and covers whenever possible. There is nothing like a bright blue plastic tarp to scream "MODERN!!!"
Modern Tools: We do occasionally have to use modern tools for the sake of safety or because we do not have period equivalents. Do your best to make them look period-ish (wood handles, remove the lables, perhaps even torch the wood a bit to age it) and keep them hidden when not in use.
Once onsite, drop your kit and DRESS OUT! Even if early, we came to play Roman, not watch you wear modern stuff all day. Hide stuff As Soon As Possible, and set the standard for others to follow! The event starts running thursday evening, and you will be expected to play along.
Finally, help a brother out! If one of your buddies has that plastic bag sticking out... hide it for him. If he has a paper cup- remind him. Truth be told we ALL have a responsibility to keep the event as period as possible for us all!
And don't hate on the Police Call Centurion... he is doing as he was told.
The less you have to hide, the easier it is to hide it.
Got a Clash of Iron packing suggestion or idea? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it added!