Working on a Bree-lander kit

Rohirrim, hobbits, Goblin-men? Rangers aren't the only Middle-earth Re-enactors out there.

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Taurinor
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Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Taurinor » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:02 am

I recently decided to start trying to focus my kit so that it better reflects a specific culture from Middle Earth, and I've decided to try to portray a man of Bree. From At the Sign of the The Prancing Pony
The Men of Bree were brown-haired, broad, and rather short, cheerful and independent

Short? Check!
Brown-haired? Dark brown, but yes.
Broad? Sure!

Bree-folk are also familiar with Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and the Rangers of the North, so they seem like a good choice for inclusion in a forum like this.

For the soft kit, I'm drawing most of my information from this quote from Tolkien's Letter No. 211:
I do not know the detail of clothing. I visualize with great clarity and detail scenery and ‘natural’ objects, but not artefacts. Pauline Baynes drew her inspiration for F. Giles largely from mediaeval MS. drawings – except for the knights (who are a bit ‘King-Arthurish’)† the style seems to fit well enough. Except that males, especially in northern parts such as the Shire, would wear breeches, whether hidden by a cloak or long mantle, or merely accompanied by a tunic.

This is the result:
Image
I need to make some linen boxers to wear under the breeches and either some leather legging or boots so I don't bring home half the forest in my stockings, but that's the style I'll be sticking with.

Where I'm running into trouble is with the hard kit. I've looked through the chapters that are set in Bree, but there is just not a lot of information there. Since there is trade between Bree and the Shire, I may pull from some of the references to Hobbit material culture to fill in some of the gaps, but I was wondering if there were any other places I should think about looking.
Last edited by Taurinor on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Udwin
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Udwin » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:14 am

Very excellent and interesting interpretation of a Breelander's clothing, Taurinor! 8)

Bree-land is a funny place. It's "not much further than a day’s riding east" of the 18th/19th century-seeming Shire, yet the Big Folk of Bree itself live in more primitive-seeming "stone houses"--not the exposed-timber 'Tudor' style of LOTRO and PJ's films!
When thinking about Bree, keep in mind that its survival into the later Third Age is chiefly due to its location at the meeting of the Greenway with the Great East Road. As such, it provides plenty of opportunities for trade between diverse groups. Dwarves seem to be the most common users of the Road, traveling between the Blue Mts and their homes in the East; and the Men of Bree-land certainly were farmers.

I'm sending a PM with my notes relevant to this impression, but material culture off the top of my head:
* "deep mugs of beer" (FotR 175) and "tall tankards" (177)
* “…Butterbur had arrived with candles, and behind him was Nob with cans of hot water.” (189)
* "twelve silver pennies” (202).
* one of Bree's homegrown pipeweeds is "Southlinch", which apparently comes in the form of "a wad of uncut leaf." (RotK 293).
* and don't forget the association of post-breakup Arnor with its tradition of bronze metallurgy!
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Greg » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:10 am

Awesome. Absolutely awesome. I thought the hood and tunic with all those cloth buttons looked good before...it just sings with the breeches and tall stockings. Sweet stuff. Can't wait to see more.
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Taurinor » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:33 am

Thanks, and thanks for all the info, Udwin!

Another bit of information I found: "Much too vigorously; for he came down, bang, into a tray full of mugs..." "... Butterbur, picking up the tray and gathering up the broken crockery." (FoTR p. 160-161)

This suggests to me that at least some of the mugs at the Pony are earthenware.
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Greg » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:15 am

Gah. So exciting. I'm gonna read through the Bree sequences tonight, now.
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Mirimaran » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:46 am

I love Bree (both book and films) and this is great! Love the look. I suspect my own Ranger character is Breeish in heritage, as I fit the bill. This might be fun to look into!

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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Eothain » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:01 am

It's always fun when you start focusing on the look and gear of a Middle Earth culture. Some eventually have several different kits for different cultures. Others, like myself, put all their focus on one. I was torn between the Elves and the Rohirrim. I wanted my persona to reflect a lot of myself, and decided on the Rohirrim - based on my location, understanding and other life aspects. Even my name, which is Ethan, just seems like a flawed name translation from Middle Earth.

Your kit looks great so far, I look forward to seeing it progress!
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Taurinor » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:00 pm

As I mentioned in the first post, since I'm moving to breeches and stockings for my kit, I need something over my stocking so I don't bring home half the forest in them. I got a lot of leather for pretty cheap at the Tandy Black Friday sale, so I figured I'd take a stab at making some boots, since I already had the materials.

Since most of my kit doubles as historical kit (14th century cote, 18th century stockings, 17th century breeches), I wanted to make boots that were at least based on historical footwear. What I chose to model them off of were the boots worn by hunters in “Livre de Chasse“.

Image

It looks as though the boots in those images have a fold in the shaft that fits them to the leg of the wearer that is held down by hooks and eyes. This would let me use a very basic pattern for the boots, since there would be a lot of flexibility in the fit. For the pattern, I took a lot of inspiration from this gallery, which shows the construction of a pair of 15th century riding boots.

This is what I've managed so far for the first boot:
Image

The flap is currently held in place with leather lacing wrapped around the shaft, which I'll be replacing with either buckles and straps or toggles and laces. Hooks and eyes wouldn't allow me to adjust the fit as the leather stretches without some sewing. I can wear it with the cuff up to protect above my knee, or with the cuff folded down for a more "swashbuckling" look.

The trouble with making boots is now I have to make the other one! :mrgreen:
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Eothain » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:09 pm

Really cool boots! I want to make a pair styled like that as well. I made some spats when I first started out, but they were made of pleather and had to be replaced with real boots. I really like how yours turned out, and am also jealous of Greg's boots... one of these days I may give it a go.

Good luck on making the other one!!!
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Udwin » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:46 pm

Very cool, Taurinor! I'm not at all familiar with High Medieval footwear like those, so I am very impressed! Great interpretation of what is depicted in your Livre de Chasse images. I'm surprised how much overlap ('wasted material' to my ignorant eyes) is involved in this style of footwear, but it would make them custom-fitted.
They definitely bring to mind Strider's "high boots of supple leather"; maybe he originally obtained them from a Bree-town cordwainer??
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Manveruon » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:37 am

Yeah, these are great! Nice work! I'm tempted to try my hand at something similar eventually. Did you use any particular pattern, or just go free-hand?
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Taurinor
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Taurinor » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:39 pm

Manveruon wrote:Did you use any particular pattern, or just go free-hand?


I took some measurements of my leg and then drew out a sort of pentagram shape (with the point being at my toes) and cut it out of canvas. I then stapled the canvas into a tube and made sure it looked like it fit, then went to the leather.
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Manveruon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:44 pm

Haha, nice. Good on-the-fly method, I love it.
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Ringulf » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:18 pm

Exelent Taurinor! They look superb and very authentic. I enjoy seeing another style of medeival boot being used. there were so many styles and types and we do have a broad spectrum of time periods and areas to choose from.
In Bree there may have been craftsman from other parts of middle earth and surely many locals making styles both regional and exotic.
Great job you really have a knack for historical interpretation. You and Udwin have truly added so much to this site since you both came and I think it has inspired and educated us all. :mrgreen:
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Re: Working on a Bree-lander kit

Postby Gulli » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:53 pm

I love it
Věry sensible, well done and so looking good

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