Home practice can make all the difference for advancing HEMA skills. Adding a pell (the thing in the photos with the tire on it) allows me to practice cuts and thrusts in my own time between classes. The downside of a pell is that it takes up a fair amount of space. So, if I am going to dedicate a room to my pell, why not dedicate the whole room to my wonderful HEMA hobby! It took some convincing with the wife, but I am very happy with the result.
I took an awkward room in my basement that isn’t well suited for other uses and gave it a fresh coat of paint (I used one called “Castle Wall, it looks more grey in person than it does in the photos). I then took some 1×3 boards, stained them, and put them on the walls to hold the “sword holders”. The “sword holders” are in fact guitar hangers. The padded hooks, adjustable width, and low cost made them ideal for this purpose. I then put some simple coat hooks high on the wall and used them to hang some of my shields to complete the look I was going for. Finally, I reserved one wall for pictures and posters. I have some more work to do to fill this area out, but it is coming along.
If you have the space available, the cost is very low to build out your own HEMA room. The pell is simply a 4×4, some 2x8s, rope, and an old tire. I used some spray paint and a masking tape roll to put the thrusting target circles on the center post. Other than that, you need some 1x3s, the guitar hangers, and some time. Be warned, once you have a place to hang multiple swords, you will feel the need to fill those spaces so the cost could go up in the end!
Weapons I have hanging in the room, from left to right:
- Fiore Tournament Feder, Rev A
- Castille Complete Economy Small Sword
- Regenyei Full Contact Sidesword
- Shortsword VB Feder, Oakshott Type 14, I.33
- Kvetun Armoury Meyer Rapier
- Kvetun Armoury Messer
- Hanwei Practical Rapier 37
- Kvetun Armoury Hungarian Saber
- Darkwood Armory Economy Rapier
- Castille Complete Economy Basket Hilt Broadsword
- Blackfencer Synthetic Kriegsmesser
- Wooden Dussack
- Pentti Messer V4
- Pentti Longsword
- Short Regenyei Feder
- Cold Steel Hand-and-a-Half Sword
- Indoor Longsword Trainer VB Style, V1
- Kvetun Armoury Dagger
- Capo Ferro Dagger by Poker Armory
- Homemade Viking Shield
- Synthetic Shield, Rotella, 24″ Diameter
- GDFB Large Dome Plain Buckler with Handle 14″ Diameter
- Homemade Targe
I also have some miscellaneous weapons in the corner. Most are basic trainers from Purpleheart Armory. These are great low cost trainers, but the balance is usually off so keep that in mind. The only other items of note in the corner are two blackfencer basket hilt swords and a Cold Steel Buckler.