2012 SMUHA Jarl's Squad Suitmaking
The main concept of the 2012 Jarl's Squad suit was to produce a good looking suit that did not cost too much, was good to wear, and was light and well balanced. This was achieved with countless hours of design and mock ups by the Jarl & his squad. Prototyping the squad emblem started in the spring of 2010, along with mock up designs of the helmet and axe.

The suit colours were primarily black, silver and grey with the squad emblem an elongated silver star on a black background. This featured on the squad shield, brooches, belt, pouch and boots. The enamelled metal brooches used on the belt and sheepskins were made by
Blance Designs. The men's kirtles were black apart from the Jarl's which was grey, each being trimmed with silver incorporating small blue stones and were made by Roz Livingstone & Mary Christie. The men all had sheepskin cloaks sourced from Shetland Sheepskin Products and were white (some slightly off-white), while the Jarl had a large Reindeer skin sourced from 'Snug Rugs' via eBay. The women's suits were primarily grey with decorative embroidery and a black cape and were designed by Roz Livingstone & the Jarl's wife Alix Adamson. The women also had jewellery chosen by the Jarl's wife Alix Adamson including a metal headband sourced from Unfauxgettabledesigns, cloak brooches, a necklace with a rune of the first letter of each of the women's names on it, bracelets and hanging beads sourced from The Great Big Bead Shop with an ornamental key at the bottom attached to the belt. The ornamental keys were sourced from Jelling Dragon.

The men's suit breastplate was cut from 4mm tan leather, embossed with the star design in the centre and surrounded by runic lettering of 'Bjorn of Mousa'. This had 8mm zinc plated chainmail attached at its base to form the lower part of the breastplate, sourced from
Getdressedforbattle. Three Hauberk Butted Mild Steel 8mm chainmail shirts each weighing 25Kg were stripped down to make the chainmail section for each suit. The star was also embossed into the leather armlets, belt and pouch, and these (along with the runic lettering on the breastplate, armlets & boot straps) were each hand-filled with Silver Dollar embossing powder, glued in using embossing pens from Classy Crafts and then heat embossed into place using a heat gun. All the leather parts of the suit were dyed black.

The helmet design was based on a toy plastic helmet used by the squad when guizing in first (2010) SMUHA and was developed from its basic shape by the Jarl Kevin Adamson and Leonard Christie. A mould of the shape was cast & Brian Wishart made the black fibreglass helmet 'blanks' with Leonard Christie, Ian Jarmson, Robert Halcrow & Ronnie Johnson making and attaching the embossed steel trim. Crow wings were attached to the helmets apart from the Jarl who had goose wings. The steel wing attachments of half the squad star emblem were water jet cut by
Poseidon Engineering Ltd.

The Jarl's Squad weapon was a straight handled axe with a symetrical double-sided, exaggerated broadaxe type head for the men and a dagger for the women. The Jarl also had a sword. Philip Manson made the axe handles, the women's dagger handles and the Jarl's sword handle. The axe handles were laminated ash and utile. The axe head was water jet cut by Poseidon Engineering from CAD drawings by Brian Halcrow, and featured the squad star design at the centre. These were supplied flat & welded together over the handle by Ian Jarmson after creating a jig to hold the two pieces of metal in place. Foam filler was applied to the inside of the axe head and finished off with car body filler to give a smooth edge. Each axe had the Jarl's Squad members name on an engraved metal tag near the head. Brian Halcrow made leather Turkshead knots which were on the axe handle near the head and each axe handle also had a Two-Bight Turkshead Paracord Lanyard attached at the base. The sword and knife blades were made by Leonard Christie, Ian Jarmson and Ronnie Johnson from a strip of aluminium. The pseudo blade edge bevelling was achieved by using a router.

The shield was round, made from 4mm plywood with grooves added to produce a pseudo 'plank' effect, and painted with a black background. The metal star and strips on the shield were water jet cut by Poseidon Engineering from CAD drawings by Brian Halcrow. The shield boss's were sourced from
The Knight Shop.

Each squad member had a pouch and drinking horn attached to their belt. The pouches were made by the Jarl's Squad and the drinking horns were sourced from
Darkblade. The drinking horns were attached to the belt with a froghanger braided the same way as the women's belt with a 'Three-Part Inside' or 'Trick Braid'. The women's belt was designed and braided by Brian Halcrow. The boots were sourced from Kiwi Sheepskins, and were enhanced with two strips of leather attached near the top embossed with runic lettering of 'SMUHA 2012' & 'Bjorn of Mousa'. A cloth version of the squad star emblem (sourced from LHD Marine Supplies), was also glued to the front of each boot.

To make the 38 suits for this year's Jarl's Squad the following was used: 161 square feet of veg tan shoulder leather, 4mm thick, 111 square feet of sego shoulder leather, 2.5mm thick, 182 square feet of black leather, 1mm thick, 1 us gallon of black dye, 300 bosses (small bosses used on the breastplate, belt, pouch & armlets), 2000 eyelets, 400m leather thonging of various diameter, 4500 rivets, 400 Chicargo screws, 600 tacks, 2.5 gallons of evo-stick, 3 hauberk butted mild Steel 8mm zinc plated chainmail suits each weighing 25kg, and 106 sq metres of fabric for the kirtles and women's suits.
Robert Halcrow & Ian Jarmson attaching the axe head.
Axe handles and heads attached.
Brian Halcrow making the Turks Head knots attached next to the axe head.
Jonathan Christie and Brian Halcrow attaching the Turks Head to the axe handles.
Two-Bight Turkshead Paracord Lanyard attached at the base of the handle.
Turks Head knots.
The Shield
Preparing to attach the Boss.
Jonathan Christie & Jarl Kevin Adamson gluing fur fabric to the back of the shields.
Completed Shields.
The Axe
The Helmet
Fibreglass helmet 'blanks' (lower), & steel trim attached (upper).
Helmets with trim attached.
Wing attachments.
Leonard Christie bolting on wing attachments.
Cutting foam inserts.
Spray glueing and attaching foam inserts.
Ian Jarmson, Leonard Christie & Robert Halcrow Trimming foam inserts.
Completed Helmets.
Jarl's Helmet.
The Breastplate
Jarl Kevin Adamson cutting the leather breastplates.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Alix Adamson trimming & rounding the breastplate edges.
Brian Halcrow marking out sections for embossing.
Peter & James Farmer (left) & Jarl Kevin Adamson embossing pattern on breastplate - leather is wet to aid embossing.
Wetting breatplates & Brian Halcrow embossing star on breastplate using hydraulic press.
Embossed star on breastplate.
Embossing 'Bjorn of Mousa' runes to breastplate.
Brian Halcrow dying breastplates black.
Heat embossing star on breastplate.
Dyed & embossed breastplates with boss in centre of star.
Punching holes to attach chainmail.
Preapring leather side panels to attach to chainmail.
Darren Adamson & Gareth Pottinger sewing leather side panels onto chainmail.
Gareth Pottinger sewing Jarl's leather side panels.
Peter Farmer screwing chainmail onto base of leather breastplate.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Brian Halcrow attaching webbing straps to leather side panels.
The Belt
Peter & James Farmer (left) & Shaun Adamson (right) embossing decoration around edge of belt.
Brian Halcrow & Jarl Kevin Adamson embossing star pattern onto belts using hydraulic press.
Gareth Pottinger punching belt buckle & brooch holes in belt.
Dyed belts.
Robert Halcrow sewing side panels..
Brian Halcrow sewing side panels.
'Spot on' Leonard Christie.
Jarl Kevin Adamson embossing star on breastplate.
Attaching small bosses into embossed star.
Brian Halcrow using embossing glue pen & applying Silver Dollar
embossing powder into embossed star.
Peter Farmer using hair dryer to heat emboss the Silver Dollar powder.
Attaching brooch to belt & gluing cover over attachments.
Completed belts.
Drinking Horns to attach to belt.
The Pouch
Alix Adamson trimming the pouch leather.
Susan & Alix Adamson rounding pouch edges.
Kaye Peterson & Toyah Halcrow rounding pouch edges.
Wetting & embossing star on pouches using hydraulic press.
Robert Halcrow & Peter Farmer punching holes along pouch edges.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Brian Halcrow dyeing pouches.
Kaye Peterson & Toyah Halcrow trimming pouch straps.
Pouch straps.
Peter Farmer embossing pouch straps.
Alix Adamson dyeing pouch straps.
Pouch straps.
Brian Halcrow using embossing glue pen & applying Silver Dollar
embossing powder into embossed star.
Peter Farmer using hair dryer to heat emboss the Silver Dollar powder.
Punching holes into pouch sides.
Jarl Kevin Adamson attaching pouch straps.
Sewing pouches together.
Attaching pouch clips.
Completed pouches.
Brian Halcrow with pouch attached to belt.
The Armlets
James Farmer embossing pattern on armlets & Peter farmer edging armlet straps.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Brian Halcrow dyeing armlets & straps.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Peter Farmer using hair dryer to heat emboss the Silver Dollar powder.
Gareth Pottinger attaching armlet straps.
Attaching armlet strap studs & lining armlets with fur fabric.
Completed armlets.
The Boots
Boots as supplied.
Brian Halcrow & Alix Adamson cutting & trimming leather strips.
Jonathan Christie trimming leather strips.
Brian Halcrow embossing runes on leather.
Embossed leather strips to attach to boots.
Embossed & dyed leather strips.
Peter Farmer heat embossing the Silver Dollar powder.
Gareth Pottinger fitting leather strips.
Jarl Kevin Adamson & Gareth Pottinger attaching leather strips to boots.
Fabric stars to glue to front of boots.
Neil Pearson glueing stars to boots.
Completed boots.
The Womens Suits
Peter Farmer cutting the belt leather.
Alix Adamson dyeing the belts.
Dyed belts ready for braiding.
Belts with the 'Three-Part Inside' or 'Trick Braid'.
Peter Farmer attaching brooches to the belts.
Peter Farmer & Brian Halcrow trimming & edging the dagger sheaths.
Shaun Adamson embossing decoration around the dagger sheath.
Brian Halcrow dyeing the dagger sheaths.
Jarl Kevin Adamson attaching eyelets to the dagger sheath.
Ian Jarmson, Leonard Christie & Ronnie Johnson routing a pseudo knife edge on an aluminium strip for the dagger & sword blades.
Routing the pseudo blade edge on the aluminium strip.
Completed dagger & sheath.
Back of dagger sheath.
Pseudo blade edging & sheath.
Alison Adamson, Louise Adamson, Susan Adamson & Alix Adamson preparing the womens suit jewellery.
Fitting Susan Adamsons suit.
Fitting Kaye & Julie Petersons suits.
Fitting Toyah Halcrows suit.
Louise Adamson with completed suit.
Womens cloak.
Louise Adamson with completed suit.
Womens suit detail.
Alix Adamson headband jewellery.
Alix Adamson headband jewellery.
Leah Adamsons suit & doll.
Youngest squad member Leah Adamson.
Fitting the skins
During the last few weeks before the 2012 SMUHA each member of the Jarl's Squad was individually fitted for their breastplate & sheepskin.
Webbing straps for the breastplate were fitted & trimmed to length, the skins were trimmed to fit & attachments for the skins & the brooches were added.
Trimming & fitting Philip Mansons suit & sheepskin.
Adjusting the sheepskin & fitting the brooches.
Brooches attached.
Fitting armlets.
Adjusting sheepskin 'tie-ins' to breastplate side panels.
Men's Kirtle trim detail.
Completed Jarl's Squad men's suit.
Adjusting Jarl Kevin Adamsons breastplate.
Brian Halcrow fitting Jarl Kevin Adamsons Breastplate.
Brian Halcrow adjusting & trimming Jarl Kevin Adamsons Reindeer skin.
Fitting Reindeer skin attachments to breastplate.
Positioning squad brooches.
Completed Jarl's Suit (without wristbands).
Guizer Jarl
Jarl's Squad
The Galley
The Bill
During the Day
The Burning
The Squads
Galley Building
Torch Making
Contact SMUHA
2012 SMUHA
Suit Making