Nigel Carren Reproduction Armour

  Historic European armour recreated and restored. 17th century armour and works in miniature a speciality

About Nigel Carren


“Thank you for giving such a fascinating and enjoyable talk last week. Your knowledge of your subject and your enthusiasm were infectious”.
Derek Cummings,  Brampton Discussion Group

Like most people who have tried to build a collection of genuine armour from scratch, and found it almost impossible, we are forced to look to the reproduction market.

The replicas I had bought in the past were ok at a glance, but there was always something about them that was obviously wrong, such as helmets that had circular not oval bowls, meaning that I was only able to display them from the side, some of them even had visible welds and articulation that just didn’t work, meaning they would never warrant close inspection, I felt I could do a lot better.

I had worked as a lighting consultant and period lighting restorer for many years. The consultancy side of this business took me all over Europe working for the large fashion and cosmetic houses, and the restoration side was thankfully much closer to heart and home. Much of this work was within the surrounding three counties, working for both The National Trust and private estates.

Being a restorer meant that I already had a workshop with forge, full of metalworking and blacksmith tools, some of which are over three hundred years old, all of which had taken decades to find. With the genuine pieces I already had in my collection, and the genuine pieces I could at least lay my hands on, I knew exactly how high the standard was. Fortunately, my consultancy had already taught me to obsess about the details, as these clients were certainly the most difficult to please professionals I have ever worked with. This, I relished, as I have always felt that working to an exceptionally high standard should be the norm.

In the beginning I started making armour for myself, reproducing all of the pieces I have missed at auctions over the years, starting out with English civil war Pikeman’s pots graduating to French Cuirassier armour.

Before I would start cutting out the steel for a full size armour, to save steel and time, I would first perfect the pattern by crafting a fully articulated steel miniature.
It was one of these miniatures that would change everything. I had been begging a collector for years to let me have a look at his magnificent private collection, I had taken one of my miniatures with me as I wanted to check its scale against one particular full size period armour he had, as I was sure that I had made the legs too small.

However, no sooner had I took my miniature out of my bag, I was commissioned to make another, only in a different style. No sooner had I delivered this, I was asked to make a study in miniature of another armour which was part of somebody else’s collection, then I was asked to make a pair of matching boy prince armours in an Austrian style for beside a hall fireplace, then I had to re-leather a lovely pair of Prussian Pauldrons, and it went on and on. As the year went by I was having so much fun, I hadn’t even noticed, my passion had seamlessly become my business.

Reproducing and restoring armour, has now thankfully completely overtaken my lighting consultancy. I still get involved with the odd period lighting restoration project from time to time and many other ‘interesting’ old metal objects besides, and sometimes the two go nicely hand in hand, especially when the armour I supply is for decoration. But aside from that, my usual working day is spent reproducing and restoring plate armour for decorators, dealers and collectors.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests at all, whether it be for full size armour for wear or display, a study in miniature, a single helmet, or all the kings men, I welcome any challenge or restoration. Just click on my contact page, and I will do the rest.

Click here for my contact page

Thank you for your interest, I look forward to our talking in the future.
Nigel Carren

“I had the pleasure of stopping by The Imperial War Museum before I returned to Canada to examine your suit of Polish cavalry armour, and I must say, it was stunning. The detail that you put into it and the quality of the dishing were exceptional. I hope one day to be able to wield such skill”.
Jozef Winter,  Master Blacksmith 

“Thank you for giving such a fascinating and enjoyable talk last week. Your knowledge of your subject and your enthusiasm were infectious”.
Derek Cummings,  Brampton Discussion Group 

“Nigel Carren is one of the finest armourers working in the UK. Creating authentic armour and miniatures. If you’re interested in history and armour check out his site”.

“I found working with Nigel very rewarding. In explaining to readers the problems fighting men faced on an English Civil War battlefield I had to find a non-technical, highly practical but also an entertaining approach. The logistics underlying the opposing armies’ operations were intimately linked with arms manufacture, and the design of helmets and armour was governed by the real requirements of active service. The professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm Nigel brought to clarifying the problems and demonstrating the solutions led to picture and caption sequences that are as interesting as they are informative. I am in his debt.”
Martin F. Marix Evans , Military Historian & Author  Chairman of the Naseby Battlefield Project

“Your work is top quality design, craftsmanship and attention to detail!”
Bob Souter,   Private collector

Anything at all can be recreated, it’s all quite simply down to time, and therefore ultimately your budget. All I need are a few clues re; period, style and finish and whether the piece is for wear or display, and I will happily do the rest, and trawl through my extensive library and provide images of exactly what it is I think you are aiming for, and as the famous quote by King Maximillian I to his armourer (below) clearly illustrates, I am at your disposal.

“Arm me according to my own wishes, for it is I not you who will take part in the tournament!”
King Maximillian I  to court armourer Conrad Seusenhofer 1504

My method statement is best illustrated by a quote by the greatest writer on the subject:

“For the study of ancient armour to be successfully pursued, it is of primary importance that a careful examination be made of every existing specimen within our reach… Every rivet-hole and rivet in a piece must be studied, and its use and object thought out”.
Charles Ffoulkes  190


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Nigel Carren Reproduction Armour

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