Platemail Armor
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PLATEMAIL ARMOR

Platemail armor was the most efficient form of protective wear developed during the Medieval Ages. Appearing in the late 13th Century it did not fully arrive at its final style until a hundred years later. Entirely encasing its wearer in metal, the armor was a collection of contoured metal plates that over-lapped each other and were held in place by buckles and straps. The full helmet completed the outfit and when finished, the suit added an additional 60 to 90 pounds to the wearer.

Platemail could require a period of 90 days or more to construct by a skilled blacksmith. Each piece had to be carefully crafted to the specific measurment of its wearer. Platemail was even constructed for children and teens which was self-defeating in its purpose. As the young man grew, the armor no longer would fit properly and became useless.

This style of armor also left certain areas of the body exposed. Anywhere a joint in the body was found, the platemail had a weakness. Thus the elbows, knees, hips, neck and shoulders were vulnerable points. To counteract this, chainmail was worn beneath the platemail to cover these areas.

As the developments of gunpowder and firearms expanded, platemail was simply no longer effective in its defenses. Thus by the mid to late 16th Century platemail armor had become obsolete. It was the last form of full metal body armor worn in the Medieval Ages.