Costumes for unconquered

Hi! hope everyone is well.
I need to get some costumes together for a newbie group of unconquered, but don’t want to invest in proper ones, as I don’t know how many will return after their 1st experience of larp and Empire. would this item be considered a faux pas.

It’s a 3D printed hoodie. Thank you for your comments.

1 Like

First thing I have to tell you is that whatever those pictures show, you will almost certainly not be getting from Wish. They’re notorious for taking your money and then sending people shoddy goods which look nothing like the photo.

As for the look, hmmm I don’t think it would fit as it’s just too close to a hoodie which looks too modern. But do not fear, we have your back! :slight_smile:

Firstly go here, as Monica has already done a lot of work finding cheap Highguard stuff on the High Street: https://www.highstreetlrp.com/highguard

The other pro-tip is see if you know anyone who’s willing to do some sewing for you and your friends, then pay for the material and get them to make a bunch of t-tunics for you. This is one tutorial but if you search there are loads of places that tell you how to make them: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/How_to_make_a_t-tunic

I can also recommend getting a set of primark thermals to go under your kit, British weather being what it is it’s just wise.

Footware wise, boots are fine, look around on ebay for 2nd hand combat boots if you need to pick some up. Still get thick socks though as you’ll be doing a bit of walking, around Anvil if nothing else.

4 Likes

Is it costume you are wanting or armour or both?

For unconquered either some t tunics (I buy them from mythlon but I think having a larp stocks them) or look round charity shops for stuff you can use for costume in appropriate colours.

As highborn have you had an idea for a group livery as liveries are a good cheap way to cover things up and get that consistent look

The Key to cheap highguard kit is the surcoat/tabard, it covers most of your base layers if you run them neck to knee and if people do flake they have a lot of give in them to fit someone else.

Tabards especially are ridiculously easy to make, being basically a rectangle with a hole in the middle and you can order a chapter heraldry patch to sew on the front from a few folks online and in Highguard (One of whom at least is on this forum i think?) for a couple of quid each. Boom! basic soft kit sorted!

Then you just need a plain tshirt (Or preferably t-tunic) and joggers, good footwear and a belt which is either models own or fairly cheap to sort.

For unconquered id also look at a green cloak with a hood as fairly iconic gear and is also extremely easy to make, can be done with a blanket and a kilt pin in a pinch :slight_smile:

Id second checking out Highstreet larp, its a great resource for bargain gear along the lines im suggesting. There are a fair few tutorials for both Surcoats/Tabards and Cloaks online, and the former is available premade quite cheaply from epic armouries and mythlon too if you have budget but no time.

Hope this all helps and welcome aboard!

2 Likes

To be brutally honest that hoodie would be completely inappropriate. The others have linked to some great resources.

Hi and welcome.

If you are dipping your toe then keeping things cheap is wise.
Surcoats are great and can be picked up anywhere that does Larp kit. I would just make sure you get cotton ones and not polyester perhaps.
My suggestion would be to get some Indian Kurtas in black or dark blue

Then choose a contrasting color (white works best) for some pashmina scarfs

These are used as a cumberbund / Belt around your waist and break up the black to create the classic HG contrasting colors vibe.

Then get hold of some black blankets or a bolt of cloth and some cloak pins to make your cloaks.

the other Highguard iconic look is the hood or veil.

You can pick up medieval hoods very cheaply too

Now you could get an all in one cape and hood, but consider if its a hot event if they are separate you can leave the cape and keep your hood to maintain that HG look.

I would strongly advise you make sure you have good footwear, a good tent (if you are camping) and your comforts for sleeping sorted.

Remember kit is aspirational :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Great info thanks, so most unconquered have green cloaks? I went and got a black one. I’ll get sowing (or rather my mum:) but I’m sure she can teach me a thing or two. I just need to find some cheap material. Anyone know a good supplier? John Lewis and some online ones seem expensive, but was looking at black linen.

Are you planning on being your own Chapter?

As almost everyone has said black t-tunics are you best top layer, then add a hood or head scarf to make you obviously Highborn, and plain black or brown trousers, preferably without obvious pockets on view (longer tunics help with that). Try and avoid green and brown together so you don’t get mistaken for Navarr.
Thermals for underneath are definitely a great idea.

Unconquered are practical, so consider belts, pouches or bags, blankets that can be wrapped round you as a cloak, which can all be looked for in charity shops, you’ve got the time to hunt!

For T-tunics you’ll want either linen or heavy weight cotton or a mix. stay away form poly anything if you want to wear it next to the skin, natural fibres are much better if you’re going to get sweaty.

Fabric stores:

Keep an eye on these guys, you’ll need to check back weekly but they sometimes have some really good deals on useful stuff. All Fabric – Pound A Metre

Re-enactment people who know their stuff

Good place for wool mixes for cloaks a reasonable price

3 Likes

Thanks, how about leather armour do you know of any good links. I haven’t seen much apart from epic armoury and black raven/ white rose apparel, which way out of my budget for the moment.

Darkblade are a good supplier of leather goods

-edit-

Something like this or this is a good starting armour set.

4 Likes

Hello! I’ve been larping with limited space and budget for quite a while. Can you give us some idea of your overall budget per person, please?

There is a big caveat on the above armours which is “they are not sufficient coverage to count as armour on their own”
To get full armour coverage you need:

  • Body (check)
  • A helmet OR full arm coverage OR full leg coverage OR half arm coverage and half leg coverage.

As usual, I’m going to recommend a padded arming jack to a new larper because it’s very cost effective:

  • It’s an instant +2 hits, as your arms and body are fully covered. You can then slap bits of Medium or Heavy on for aesthetics and CLEAVE/IMPALE resistance.
  • Cloth doesn’t need polishing, dubbing etc, and it won’t go mouldy unless you absolutely abuse it and leave it damp for ages. Worst case, you can put cloth on a hot wash.
  • If it’s cold you can wear it as a jacket.
  • If it’s hot you can drench it in water for evaporative cooling.
  • It lets you borrow a chainmail shirt off someone and wear it comfortably. Quite a number of people have spare chainmail they are willing to lend.
  • If you get one of those compression bags designed to store quilts in, you can pack them down really small.

I recommend Velvet Glove’s arming jacket on account of them being cheap, making your item to spec, and not putting in too much padding. They also make them reversible, so you can have it lined in a contrasing colour and effectively get 2 sorts of arming jacket for the price of one. As a group order, I would drop them an email and ask if you might be able to get a group-order discount on a few identical jackets.

Similarly, in terms of weapons, you can usually arrange a group deal with a weapons maker. Do you have some idea of what you want to use? In terms of making a fun and effective group, [you really can’t go wrong with spears]( Saxon Violence). There’s a reason they’ve been a standard infantry weapon basically forever, and they cost less than buying a bow and arrows, or a sword and shield. Don’t try making your own weapons. You’ll spend more money on tools, supplies and failed attempts than you will on just buying a weapon. One spear each and a policy of “run up on the side of a unit, poke them and run off sniggering” is veru Unconquered.

The two options I’d go for on a very tight budget are “Show up without anything and try to borrow a spear or shield for your first event” and “have your group play as battlefield messengers, physicks, and other non-front-line troops, so they only need sidearms”.

As a final note: BUY WATERPROOF SOCKS. Trust me, they will increase your chance of returning for another event approximately 500%. Dry feet are the morale bonus every historical general would have sold their own granny for.

4 Likes

I’m not sure, I want to entice newbies to go but don’t want to overload them with 1st time expensive costs, if they don’t get into it. So I will provide some kit.
A Cloak is for life! as it always comes in handy for Halloween for the kids or adults. So ticket and a sword, approx £90 plus bits and bobs probably first timer is looking to spend around £150 for the weekend.
In regards to all body hit/points armour… Our physiks might be very busy for the first couple of events.
I personally went to larp con last time it was on and browsed all the kit and went for a sword from light armouries as it was weighted or balanced the best. Epic looked good but felt wrong. Planning to get a few spears from Saxon down the line. Waiting to go to the 1st event to check out and ask people about their bow and arrows. I have those safety arrows and very low poundage bow to be on the safe side for passing weapons check. My nephew will inherit it and I might go for something more powerful down line.

2 Likes

Have you got referral codes from any existing player? For new players there is a £15 discount if you get one of us oldies to give you their code (we get £15 off too!).

Happy to give you mine or you can do it like dominos inside your group and each new person gets the previous joiners code once they’ve paid for tickets.

Okay, in that case I would have a careful think about maximising your fun. £150 including ticket is cutting it a bit too fine for a combat group. If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, playing a high-combat group is not going to work well unless you can arrange loans of equipment. I would recommend joining the Highguard Facebook group and posting to see if you can arrange a loan of some weapons and/or armour. People are often quite generous when it comes to loaning out their old chainmail, spear thery brought to monster with, etc.

If you’re running around with a sword and no armour each, you’re not going to have much fun in front line combat. So you need to find a niche. You said have some physicks, maybe lean into that. Get everyone to take Chirugeon and basically be a roving paramedic squad with some bodyguards for the main healers. Everyone can stop someone bleeding, then the Physicks can handle the bigger problems. See if anyone wants to play a Magister in your group, They won’t need armour and healing spells are really useful.

Budget:

  • £55 for a new player ticket, leaving you £95.
  • Get that kurta set. Bring a lightweight waterproof and a fleece/thermal shirt/whatever thin outdoors stuff you have. Wear those UNDER the shirt in bad weather. Only your visible layers have to look In Character. Ok, £75 left.
  • Forget the hood, just get a scarf and a safety pin each. You can easily wear those as a headscarf.
  • Don’t even bother buying the scarf if you’re happy to do a little bit of sewing. Get 1m of cheap fabric and you can make a simple hood/scarf.
  • For a big belt pouch, go to a charity shop and buy a small handbag. Chop the strap off, leaving about 10cm on each end. Fold the end back on itself and stitch it.
  • OK, maybe £65 left now. Want a cloak? Try this tutorial. I hand sewed one of those over cloaks in an evening while watching the telly. Make it out a metre of something like that. Make sure it says pure wool or wool blend. It’s cheap and it’s hopefuly got enough wool in that it should be fairly warm even when wet. If in doubt, return to the Highguard and Unconquered brief. Green or dark grey cloaks are a good way to look a bit “fantasy camouflage” but they’re not on the brief as an iconic thing.
  • £55-60 left. You can get a good, plain sword from Eldritch for £55-60. His basic swords are about the cheapest you’ll find on site, and it’s worth seeing if he’ll do a group deal if you want a few at once. Mike Light’s stuff is very nice (My usual side-sword’s one of his) but they are a bit more expensive and it’s often a bad idea for new larpers to use his heavier weighted swords. They’re less forgiving if you’re new to pulling your blows. Some of my favourite weapons come from In Your Dreams FX. He mostly makes his money on commissions, so often has very reasonably priced stuff. He only really trades on site, usually at the Marcher camp.
  • If you’re really pushed on armour, do what I did. I bought a giant bag of upholstery leather offcuts at a cheap bulk price off ebay. Then an awl, a couple hundred rivets and a setting tool. That’s covered my “random crafting” needs for years. If you use that and some bootlaces or paracord, you should be able to make everyone a patchwork Light Armour vest, bracers and shoulders. If this seems reasonable, I can try and dig out some photos of mine. I just patterened it off an old T shirt I cut up.
  • Another good option could be to look for some cheap leather waistcoats in a sale/on ebay/in a charity shop. This example was a leather waistcoat that was far too big for me but only a tenner. I just hammered in a load of cheap decorative studs to resemble the pattern of rivets on a brigandine.

As I say, £150 is ambitious as a budget. That said, larp weapons have decent resale value if someone doesn’t want to come again. If you knock £5-10 off the purchase price, you should be able to move them second-hand, especially if you mention they’ve only been used for one event.

Want to get the cost down further? Don’t buy food or drinks from the catering stalls. Don’t buy alcohol. I’ve got a shopping list I use in order to cater the entire weekend for under £15, with food to spare. None of it needs cooking, only hot water. Buy one of these between the group and a few spare cartridges, and you can cook up whatever on the OC field.

If you want an absolute no-frills combat group, I’d even suggest changing the group concept to “Militaristic Marcher Monastery” It shares a few themes with Highguard but:

  • You can get away with one big robe each, and just OC dark clothing under it. If you look for “cotton thobe” on Ebay or Asian or Arabic clothing stores, you can get a cheap pull-on type robe. Just make sure it’s plain and cotton (poly will look OC). Then belt it with some soft cotton rope for the monk look. Stick that circle cloak over it and job’s a good 'un. One decent looking monk outfit for under £30.
  • You can likely borrow all the weapons you’re likely to need, and probably enough armour too. The Marches has a lot of players who will lend spare polearms and armour to people fighting in a bill block, on a “you break it, you replace it” policy.
  • You don’t need to be priests, you can play as “lay monks” with farms or even military units.
4 Likes

Some excellent ideas there Jim!

From another thread for Highguard costume at the moment, these ribbon braids:

would make excellent and cheap trim for a group. My costume consultant points out that while you should sew this on, fabric glue would also work, as would hem tape (iron on sticky)

Cheap, simple and effective.

3 Likes

Yes, I already bought a few tickets as a small support to PD during covid time. All further tickets will be purchased once event is confirmed and the money from referral code will go towards kit for the group. But thank you for the offer.

Great resources you guys and gals have given, no excuses now. Thank you for the info.

3 Likes

Not sure “play another nation” is particularly constructive advice mind, especially as all those costume pieces work for highguard :wink:

It is a tight budget, id focus on long tabards to save money on base kit, get a couple of metres of fabric and get them rectangles :smiley: Basic black works well, especially if you are running green/black/brown underlayers.

Tbh you could save some cash by painting on the chapter logo if its good and simple (All good heraldry is simple) cut a template from card and spray or sponge it on. Its not ideal but having a symbol immediately makes you stand out a bit and makes your group itself much more memorable, which is good!

You can get some adequate soft kit under layers to work up from for under £10 on the high street, infinity scarfs are great for making a hood/snood/veil from and ive picked up several from Primark for a pound each for monstering in the past.

Id probably look at charity or army surplus shops for wool blankets for cloaks as well, you used to be able to get decent ones fairly consistently though i have been told thats less straightforward these days. They might need airing out ofc!

Id look to make friends and borrow weapons and armour where possible, the FB is definitely a good shout for that.

If you do want cheap armour though, i would suggest looking at Ebay for India produced mail. There are some real stinkers out there so beware toooo cheap, but ive bought a few over the years for alright prices for something that will last a year or so of use. Longer if you have bought a bunch as a group and can cannibalise the more knackered sets i imagine. It is definitely the cheapest way to get combat effective armour on the field though and looks great under a surcoat (Which hides all sins :smiley: )

Id say again the Highguard fb group is a great place to ask for help too, with considerably more active players on it and a buttload of pictures, old advice threads and inspiration to look through.

2 Likes

Great! making light armour seems like a viable option for the group. Did you boil the leather to make it stiffer? a photo would be great.

@Noserenda : The costume, yes. I only suggested the alternative because of how tight the budget was, and it couldn’t cover a long weapon or even a buckler. I play in the Marches and know that if you turn up on the day and want to be in the bill block, there’s always loaner weapons and armour available, which frees your budget up entirely for kit. TBH, nothing would stop you then moving to Highguard with 95% of the same kit, after trying out if you like larp. And I’m sure you could borrow enough weapons off Highguard players if you asked, but I don’t know if the same sort of established loan-out scheme exists.

@Drejski:
I put this together out of quarters made from larger offcuts. I tacked the leather together with double-sided tape while I checked the fit, then used a small punch or awl and some rivets. The trick with upholstery leather is to use an awl, or a punch that’s quite a bit smaller than you thought. The leather has some stretch, and can pop off a rivet if the hole is just snug to the rivet stem.


BTW, this was 8 years ago and that was the first bit of large leatherwork I’d made. You’ll be fine. Just pattern it on some paper first and check before you cut.

If you make it hang down over your thighs and put a small split up the front, you get the half-leg coverage and can then just do half your arms with bracers. You can make that with no sewing and just one layer of leather.

I put buckles on the side, but you could just get one of these eyelet pliers, and bootlace it up the sides. That one’s great value as it rarely breaks the eyelets (unlike the ultra cheap ones) and has a decent punch in it too. Eyelets are great, because then you can put 2 on the shoulders and tie on shoulder pieces. You can make reasonable shoulder pieces out of a sort of underpants-shaped bit of leather.

You can stiffen upholstery leather a little by putting it in hot water and letting it dry. But it’s a faff, tends to deform it unevently if you’re not careful, and it doesn’t give any real benefit for thin leather armour. I’ve only used it to form the stuff a bit when I’ve made knife scabbards or other small pieces.

Once you have leather, you can use the smaller pieces to make some belt pouches. Literally a circle with holes punched round the rim. Tie a loop in the draw cord, hang it on your belt.

1 Like