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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject: Late War Axe         Reply with quote

Hey all. I was looking through the MRL catalogue and this caught my eye. I think it would make a really fun project piece. Thoughts...?

http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~6006...ar+Axe.htm
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've thought about doing something to one of the Windlass hammers/axes. I'm seeing lots of hammers and axes hafted at walking cane length or slightly longer in Austrian/German art of ca. 1500. I think you can get oak dowels that length from Lowe's. Just plane one of those to a tapered octagonal section and remount the head, replacing the screws with short nails, decorative tacks or long nails used as rivets.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Fri 14 Nov, 2008 9:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some ideas:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting.....

I'm far from the expert, but to me, it would appear that those axes are to be used two handed. But they are far shorter than a typical pole axe, or other pole arm of the era.

Almost a return to a size of the norman/viking era two handed axe?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Arrington wrote:
Interesting.....

I'm far from the expert, but to me, it would appear that those axes are to be used two handed. But they are far shorter than a typical pole axe, or other pole arm of the era.

Almost a return to a size of the norman/viking era two handed axe?


These are two-hand weapons, although I personally wouldn't classify them as polearms for somewhat arbitrary reasons.

I see them mainly in the context shown here--in civil situations rather than combat. They abound in depictions of the arrest, interrogation and crucifixion of Jesus. I think of the armed men in these scenes more as policemen than soldiers, and I wonder if they are based on civic guards of the time. Almost invariably, they are shown in light armour and wielding messers, single-hand swords, maces, cudgels, halberds and variations of this weapon (streitaxt or streithammer, depending on the head type). I have a vague sense that the weapon in question is associated with rank.

The long hammer/axe is often shown in use as a "come-along" in images of the "kreuztragung" (see images above and below). Typically, the user has one hand on the hammer, the other near the middle or bottom of the haft, and is using the blunt bottom of the haft to push, pull or strike the victim.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've looked at the axe that caught your eye, as well as their new hammer and their old one (just $60 at KOA). Of all of them, I'd say that last one is the best candidate for the long haft treatment. Compare it to the south Austrian/Italian short hammer shown below, which is of the same period as the artwork shown here.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Fri 14 Nov, 2008 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I should point out that Arms & Armor currently has a couple of long-necked beauties (53" OA) in its special Muster section:

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/muster.html

Only $330!



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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D. Austin
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple of other pictures here.

I like to imagine these shorter hammers being used somewhat like a sword. They could deflect a sword strike without sustaining any real damage and could be quite effective against armour. The point of balance may be a fair way up but the grip could be adjusted if necessary and I guess that this is not always a bad thing, especially when facing armoured opponents. Personally I'd want one with a spike at the top for thrusting though.

Darren.



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Mark Hanna





Joined: 11 Sep 2008

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat 15 Nov, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great Pictures thanks for posting them. I have noticed a number of short pole axes and other weapons in the frossart cronicles. Have you seen any short halberds?

Mark
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Nov, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, but mainly in depictions of early 16th c. Landesknechts. They are of common halberd form, but of poleaxe length. Hard to tell if this was common or simply the artist's way to including the whole weapon in the composition.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Nov, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the 16th c. the war hammer was kind of a folk weapon in Hungary. This gradually got its shaft shortened and eventually have become a combined cane/weapon, known as fokos (pronounced "fo-kosh"). Since the active head is the handle, there is no top spike, yet the head can be seen in various forms - spiked hammer, blunt hammer, spike axe, hammer axe and so on, a matter of personal taste and local tradition. The head is relatively small to keep low weight and fast deployment. The fokos have been accepted widely in most east European countries north to the Balkan - Romania, Czech & Slovak (where it is known as valaska) and Poland (known as ciupaga). This was a tool of self defence for the man on the road well into the 20th c. - untill the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Some fokos have been accepted as symbols of societies and were regarded as important presentation gifts for officials, until last years.
http://mek.oszk.hu/02100/02115/html/2-384.html
http://www.grozerarchery.com/acc/uj/fokos.gif
http://www.szkitabolt.hu/fokosRakoczi.jpg
http://ciupagi.republika.pl/galerhttp
http://valasske-kralovstvi.cz/admin/plugins/s...alaska.jpg
http://www.kovorytectvo.sk/fotky/valaska.jpg
http://www.tradicie.sk/images/valaska_zd1.jpg
http://www.kovanatelier.net/index2.php?option...amp;mid=71
http://www.kovanatelier.net/index2.php?option...amp;mid=26

And finally, a US knife firm, TOPS, makes a modern 'tactical' version...
http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cP...cts_id=217

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Mark Hanna





Joined: 11 Sep 2008

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon 17 Nov, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Sean. I was shooting for early landsknecht/ swabian war time period. I got a GDFB halberd head, but it is small like a poleaxe. I was thinking it would be neat on a 5 ft shaft. Got any pictures?

Thanks
Mark
ps nice trousse picture.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess I missed your question over the Thanksgiving holiday, Mark. Sorry!

Follow this link and download the PDF document to see tons of Landsknecht images (starting around p. 200, IIRC).

http://www.serner.de/758

You may see some short halberds in there.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the late war axe by MRL. It is very tough and durable. The wood seems a little light, but it is a thicker haft than I expected. It is a heavy duty axe, that is beautifully put together for an MRL piece. Really surprised me. If I was to fight someone in plate armour (Gothic plate, head to toe; this situation comes up a lot) This would be in my arsenal. I would weild its 28 inch length with two hands. I would also jab with the steel covered top of the haft. It is blunt (no spike) but it would hit like a frieght train. A really vicious and fast little beast.
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tony,

Is this the one you got?



I almost bought that just before Christmas, but I ended up getting the 16th Century English Warhammer.



I'm also quite happy with it, and think its an excellent buy for the price.
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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that is the one I have. Funny, the 16th century hammer came out after I purchased my late war axe, and I was regretful that I did not wait and buy the hammer instead. The war axe is great, but I really wanted a dedicated one hand weapon. I read a review of the hammer, and learned that it is truly light and fast, whereas the axe would be hard to recover in a one-handed swing.

The axe would be best for a swing from a horse, where recovery did not matter as much, or in combat where two hands were available. Your hammer seems like a true one handed weapon.
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, the hammer is quite lively. I wouldn't see any problem using it one handed.

Where did you see a review of it?
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Tony Brass





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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On Sword Buyers Guide, Discussion Forum, reviews of "Other Traditional Weapons"

There is even video of the owner smashing stuff with the hammer. he comments that the head of the hammer is surprisingly small, although it does not look like it to me, but I have only seen photos.
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahhh .... Our Net Nanny at work, does not allow me to view that forum.

Thanks for the information though!
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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So I finally got around to buying the Late War Axe. I think I may have snagged the last one as it disappeared of the KoA website shortly after I got it. My initial impressions were that it's much heavier than I thought it would be. One handed use is possible, but definitely a bit on the sluggish side. Personally I would relegate one hand use to horseback. With two hands it becomes very lively and fast, while still packing plenty of authority.

I bought this specifically as a project piece, so it's already disassembled. The crappy wood just had to go. When I was breaking it up it split WAY too easy to be considered safe for any kind of contact. I had about a 15" piece of the haft broken off and I was able to take that piece and break it over my knee with very little effort. Try doing that with a piece of ash and you're likely to break your knee cap. I ended up using the stock haft for kindling. Worked great in that respect. I'm in the process of re-working the axe now. I'm going to mount it on an ash replacement shaft for a shovel. It already looks and feels 100 times better on a longer haft. I think it'll be a real gem when I'm done with it. I'll be sure to post pictures once it's complete.

Cheers,

-JM
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