Field Only Armoury Update, April 2020

Back in 2017 I started making digital images (emblazons) of all the Field Only heraldic devices and badges in the SCA’s registry, the Ordinary & Armorial. I published it in parts here, then updated the whole thing in 2018 and again in July 2019.

This April 2020 update includes everything up to the January 2020 Letter of Acceptances and Returns, published about two weeks ago. There’s fifteen new entries bringing us to 229 Field Only devices and badges. This includes both devices and badges, but does not include the Field Only real-world armory protected by the SCA’s heraldic rules.

The April 2020 update is available here as a 9 page PDF (5.6Mb) designed to be printed on Ledger-sized (11″ x 17″) paper, although it will scale down nicely to print on A4/Letter or Legal size paper.

For those who like to see the messy end of the sausage making, I’ve also got my organizing Excel sheet and master SVG file available together in a ZIP file (316.8 kB).

I know some people use this project for quick visual conflict checking of new heraldic submissions, and I’ve heard of heralds printing it out to give new SCA members some idea of what different heraldry can look like, but I’d really like to hear from folks who use this project – drop a comment below telling me how you’re using it and where in our Known World you are.

Published in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with SCA events cancelled worldwide, and our usual lives disrupted and at more risk than usual, I really would like to hear from people! Stay safe, sane, and well, everyone.

Yours in Heraldic Service,
VĂ©mundr Syvursson
Pily barry argent and azure


Field Only Armoury Update, July 2019

Back in the fall of 2017 I started making digital images (“emblazons”) of all then-registered Field Only devices and badges in the SCA’s giant registry of names, devices, and badges, the Ordinary & Armorial. The first version was published one page at a time here, then a compiled and updated single-PDF version was published in April 2018. I have done a couple of rounds up updates since but never gotten around to actually publishing them until now.

This version is a 9 page PDF with 214 devices and badges included. It is up to date as of June 2019, so it includes everything up to the March 2019 Letters of Acceptance & Returns, the most recent at this time. I have (still) not included the 27 real-world Field Only devices protected by the SCA as “Important non-SCA arms”. It is sized to print at 11″ wide by 17″ long – ledger sized paper, by North American paper standards. It’ll also scale down legibly onto legal or even letter/A4 size paper.

The devices are sorted alphabetically by blazon, so we start with “Argent masoned azure.” and end 200+ devices later with “Vert scaly Or.”

Among the dozen or so new devices registered since the April 2018 first compiled publication is my very own SCA devices, “Pily barry argent and azure”, because after all this work with Field Only stuff did anyone think I was going to register anything other than an FO device as my personal SCA arms?

Sources are listed in my April 2018 post and do not need updating for now.

Field Only Armoury Project – July 2019 – PDF – 905Kb

As with my primary sources and the previous version, I am releasing this document under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) License. Basically that means this file can be printed, shared, copied, and re-used provided you maintain credit to me as creator, and share your version under a compatible licence. (or license, if you’re a American who insists on spelling it that way. I won’t judge, not for that.)

Source SVG & Excel Data File

Field Only Armory Project – Everything – 11×17 Poster – July 2019 – this ZIP file has the 3.2Mb source SVG I used to create the main PDF above. If all you want to do is look at the collection or print it, just grab the SVG, but if you want to see how some of the devices were assembled in Inkscape, feel free to grab the SVG.

FieldOnlyProject-July2019-Excel – I’ve also finally published the current copy of the simple Excel sheet I use to track this project. Note that the Badges tab is obsolete, all up-to-date badge info is integrated into the main Devices tab now. For the initial data dump I had a complicated cut-and-paste/find-and-replace sequence with a text file to produce a CSV and then imported that into Excel; these days as I’m usually only adding two or three entries at a time I just plug them in manually and re-sort inside Excel.

Both of these source files are under the same Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) License as the main project PDF.

Send Me Feedback!

If you use anything of this project at a Herald’s Point or heraldic consulting table, or even just for some heraldic decoration on your walls, send me a photo.

Corrections, suggestions, and such also appreciated. I’m not sure when the next update will be, but “probably annually, roughly” seems like a good bet!

Yours in Service,
VĂ©mundr Syvursson
An Tir
9 July A.S. 54/2019 CE
mka Brian Burger


Calligraphic Guide Sheet for Charter Hand

For calligraphic practice I use a pad of marker or layout paper (a close cousin to tracing paper, very smooth and firm and translucent) and put a guide sheet underneath to keep everything lined up.

I normally use the amazing (and free!) Calidraw website to create my guide sheets and it works really well.

I’ve discovered, though, that if you want a guide sheet that has only x-height (where you write) and interlinear space (the bit between where you write) with no ascender or descender space (above and below the x-height for stuff like p and b) Calidraw gets a bit confused and don’t really produce a useful guide sheet.

Almost all calligraphic hands need ascender/descender space, but weird historical hands like the 13th Century charter hand I’ve been practicing recently don’t really have or need ascender/descender space, just x-height/interlinear and done.

After using a malformed and confusing guide sheet for a while I got tired of it and sat down with Inkscape to produce my own, clean charter hand guidesheet. One of the nice things about Inkscape is that it’s easy to work in real-world units (as opposed to pixels) so laying something like this out is relatively straightforward. This one has 1.5mm x-height and 4.5mm interlinear space.

Here’s the resulting PDF: Charter Hand 1.5mm (Landscape Letter)

It’s set up for landscape (horizontal) printing on North American standard Letter-size paper. Free to reproduce for any non-commercial purpose – personal use, teaching a class, whatever. Just don’t sell it, please.

If there’s interest in a vertical/portrait oriented guide sheet or some other paper size (A4?) I could do that, just let me know in the comments below!


SCA Scribal Resources: Dates on Awards and Such…

A semi-random collection of stuff I’m finding useful as I continue to explore calligraphy, illumination, charter painting, and other aspects of the scribe’s art in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Possibly first of an irregular series.

Toward a More Period Text – lots of good thoughts on award wording in the SCA. Lots and lots of good stuff on the Kingdom of Lochac’s College of Scribes website, in fact, especially their Model Book page.

There’s a useful little Ecclesiastical Date Calculator with some additional explanation of saint’s days, moveable and fixed feasts, and that sort of thing if you want more reference for the period-style date and calendar advice from the More Period Text article. has a calendar of saints c.1500 CE, and the Medieval Combat Society has a 14th C. calendar of saints & feasts that also has 14th C English kings for reign-dating.