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Darrin Hughes




Location: England
Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Some recent pieces from Hector Cole,Todstuff,and Merc.Tailor         Reply with quote

Hello all.
I know that it's been a bit slow recently as far as new kit is concerned, probably for some very obvious reasons, so I thought that I would share a few smaller custom and semi-custom pieces that I've received in the last couple of months and see if anyone has any thoughts about them.

First up, 2 patterned spearheads from Hector Cole. I mentioned before christmas that I was planning on getting in touch with Hector about getting some work done and these are the result. Both are based on spearheads found in the Thames near Kempsford, and which are now in the museum in Swindon. So pieces that Hector is very familiar with as he is based in Wiltshire not far from where they were found. And not far from the museum either.

Secondly, a couple of re-worked hilts that Tod has done for me. The sword is an Albion Clontarf which Tod had already made a scabbard for and I've always felt that the hilt left something to be desired. I love the blade on this one, but I've never really liked the standard leather grip/cast pommel and so I asked Tod if he could make a new wooden grip and a two piece pommel with silver wire, using the Kilmainham sword as a starting point. The Saex is an Eric McHugh job that I got I couple of years back. Originally it had a red leather grip with a silver ferrule at the blade end, a nickel plate at the other, and a simple scabbard. Like the Clontarf, I've always liked the blade a lot more than the grip, so Tod re-did the hilt in the same style as the sword, and also made a new scabbard for it.

I'm really pleased with the way that these have come out, both individually and as part of a set, which is why I decided to take a couple of pictures of the finished Sword and Saex with a Shield and Helmet that Allan Senefelder sorted out for me towards the end of last year. I also noticed that somebody had asked recently about Mercenary's Tailor with regards to time, and possible levels of customisation, and that also led me to think of these, as neither is quite standard. It's obvious what's been done to the Shield, with the Wessex inspired paint-job. The Helmet was just a question of personal taste, as on the standard model the aventaille is connected to the bottom of the leather liner, whereas I asked for it to be suspended directly from the base of the helmet. The main point is that Allan was quite happy to make this alteration and the end result is the best helmet that I've owned, or seen, to date.

I Hope that people find these pictures interesting,
Cheers,
Darrin.



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Kempsford spears.JPG


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Clontarf hilt.JPG


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EricTod Saex.JPG

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Darrin Hughes




Location: England
Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

...and the ensemble shot with Sword, Saex, Shield, and Helmet.


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Ensemble 1.JPG

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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 748

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice Darrin! Ireally like how all the pieces come together. I especially like the shiled and helmet. I just recently ordered my first piece from Mercenary's Tailor, one of their Buckler IIs and I am really happy with it so far. I think it will pair up well with my Next Gen Squire for I:33 work and I definitley plan to order more from Allan and the gang.

Scott
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Andrew Pribor





Joined: 29 Dec 2007

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darrin,

Great looking combo. I really like the sword & seax matching handles & scabbard/sheath color. Tod's work is beautiful.

Any chance we could get a better shot of the Clontarf scabbard & fittings?

A.

"The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman; armed with Bow may we sudue all regions."
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 6 books

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Posts: 1,505

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very pretty! It's amazing how a few little tweaks can make an old piece seem totally new. The Clontarf looks like a complete custom job! Fantastic.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2009 11:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is some nice kit! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

RPM
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Mon 23 Feb, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice. I don't care for bare wood sword grips but that's just personal preference, yours looks attractive and well done.

I especially like the seax re-do, that adds a whole new deminison to an already nice piece.
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Darrin Hughes




Location: England
Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Mon 23 Feb, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments.

Patrick. To be honest I'm not a fan of wooden grips myself but in this case it is what seemed to work best. There has been a lot of discussion about the best way to hold swords with these types of flat bottomed pommels, but the one thing that I've found really makes a difference is to have the grip slighted waisted. Now whilst this is achievable with a leather wrapped grip, some experimentation showed that a better shape could be achieved working with the bare wood, especially as the distance between the rivets in the pommel and the end of the grip didn't leave a lot of wiggle room. I know that Tod had a couple of cracks at this but the end result is an assymetrically shaped grip, where the flaring at the top is not as great as that at the guard, but is still enough to keep the hand away from the pommel. It is interesting how quite a subtle piece of shaping can lead to something which is so different in feel. I always found the original tapered grip virtually unusable. With this shape, and for this sword type, the new grip is extremely comfortable, keeps the hand in a much more central position, and therefore away from the underside of the pommel.

Andrew. I think that the locket and chape are fairly generic bronze pieces that you can pick up from sites like Jelling Dragon, and no doubt plenty of other 'Viking goods' suppliers. However I've included a better shot of the throat end of the scabbard to try and show the suspension for the baldric. The belt passes through a simple metal slider around the back of the scabbard, apart from that everything should be visible. The really nice thing to my mind is that the scabbard is fleece lined, but obviously this isn't something that can really be appreciated from a visual point of view.

Cheers,
Darrin.



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Clon+Scab1.JPG

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Carl W.




Location: usa
Joined: 07 Aug 2008

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon 23 Feb, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darrin - Very interesting, even more as I had just waded thru threads arguing handshake vs. hammer grips on such swords. Makes sense, & very attractive result too. Thanks for sharing! (& also for daring to change)

ps. not obvious to dummies how shield painting hatched, in case feel like brief further comment
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Andrew Pribor





Joined: 29 Dec 2007

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon 23 Feb, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting baldric design. I have seen sketches of this style (with the slider on the back of the scabbard), but have not seen it done physically before. I imagine this allows for some adjustment of the angle of the sword very easily. You have satisfied my curiosity. Thank you for the pictures & for sharing.

Andrew

"The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman; armed with Bow may we sudue all regions."
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Darrin Hughes




Location: England
Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Thu 26 Feb, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andrew, glad that the picture was of use. The main effect of this design is to keep the whole thing in a near vertical position with just a slight forward tilt to make the hilt more easy to reach. I tend to wear this quite high and with a standard belt worn over the baldric everything stays in place and is very comfortable.

Carl. I could probably have worded that a bit better. All I meant was that it is obvious that the shield has been customised with the paint job. I can appreciate that it may not be obvious what the design is, so here goes. The old Wessex kings used to go into battle under a golden Wyvern standard, and this was translated on the flag of Wessex as a Golden Wyvern on a red background. I didn't want to re-create this directly onto the shield, as it would have meant the Wyvern being partly covered by the boss, and so I asked Allan if I could have 3 Wyverns placed around the shield and what you see is the result.

Cheers,
Darrin.

ps, the overall theme is meant to be Catholic West Saxon. I realise that some people might see the Clontarf as slightly anachronistic in this context, but what the hell, even if a Saxon couldn't buy the sword directly from the Franks, there were plenty of Vikings to fight, and once you've killed the owner taking his sword is the easy bit Happy
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