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Bobby Siecker




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 11 Jun 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Albion's lousy reputation in the Netherlands         Reply with quote

Greetings!

First of all:
I've been waching this website for quite some time, going over the forum and reading alot of the revieuws. I am postitively surprised at the great amount of information this site is offereing, bravo!

One of the things that I noticed right away is that the swords made by Albion Armorers are in very high regard by the people of this website, and among many other sword enthousiasts. However, this is in sharp contrast with what I've heard about Albion in the Netherlands, specifically in the club where I train HEMA, namely the "Academie voor Middeleeuwse Europese Krijgskunsten - AMEK". Apart from the heafty pricetag that usually comes with Albion, I've heard quite some disappointing stories about the quality.

The main negative story one is about the Maestro Liechtenauer. One of the members of the AMEK uses such a weapon, but he was not quite satisfied with it. The main issue seems to be the bending problem. After some sparring and taking some well placed hits from another sword on the flat... there was a bent in the sword. It was just the 15 centimeters of the tip being bent ofcourse, the rest of the blade being still straight. After the guys had bent the sword back into it's original shape, they went on (ab)using the sword. And again, a bent!

The fact that a sword would bend, even a high end sparring tool is ofcourse not very shocking. it is however when you concider that it was bent due to normal use, a bit disappointing.

Now this might be just an incident... a bad bach of steel, some bad tempering, coud happen to the best of us. however, I myself also have a liechtenauer, and I have experienced the same problem. Especcialy parrys at the end of the sword make it bend, rather than flex back properly.

Some more issues I've been having with the Albion Regent I have. When I finally got it out of the box, it took a full half year for the sword to deliver due to all kinds of problems, I was ofcourse happy, but also a bit disappointed with the point and blade tip section. It was rather dull. After alot of sweat, tears and even some blood I managed to get it nice and sharp, however, I would expect fully sharpened blades for a company that makes promices in such a price class.

Then there is a small issue with the leather wrap at the hilt. After some use in my sweaty hands it appeart to be comming off at the edges. Not a very big problem, I managed to fix it, but still not very pretty on a 900 euro sword.

And last but not least, the Regent also seemed to have an issue with bending. I did some thrusting practice on a soft triplex board to increase my acuracy. However after 15 minutes of violent stabbing I noticed there was a slight bend in the blade. I'm ofcourse not shure if I was stabbing in a wrong way, or if the triplex board was to tough a target, but well, in a real fight you would expect someone to be stabbing at someting tougher than triplex (a suit of chainmail over a leather jacket?). I managed to get the sword straight, again, but well, it can't keep bending like this or else metal faitigue will set in.

The Regent, being a type XVIIIb sword, should be able to handle stabbing while being flexible enough to sustain cutting and parries.

But well, in the end I'm not a sword expert, so perhaps what happend is perfectly normal? What do you guys think?

By the way a good point about the regent is that it's edge seemed to hold up nicely when cutting into blocks of wood, not even scraches. (I have not tried it on tropical hardwood though :-P )

Bobby Siecker

The blade is only as sharp as your own personality.
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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you brought any of this to Albion's attention?

I believe that they have been having some issues with the earlier batches of the Liechtenauer. There was a thread on here about problems with them a short while ago. Its always possible that you end up with a dud even with high end products like an Albion Next Gen; sometimes things slip through QC.

If I was you I'd drop them an email and get it sorted out, by all accounts they have excellent customer services and always like to know of any problems so they can figure out if there is anything they need to change or improve to prevent a reoccurrance of the problem in the future. I've never heard of them being unwillifng to fix any problems to a customer's satisfaction.

Another thing to think about is that Albions are generally made to historical standards and tolerances, they are not indestructible and will only take so much punishment before something gives.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to the site and thank you for your kind words about it!

Please pay attention to where you are posting topics and what the description of the various forums is.

You had it posted in the Historic Arms Talk forum which is described as: "Discussions of reproduction and authentic historical arms and armour from various cultures and time periods"

You're not discussing historic arms and armour, but a maker. It doesn't belong in that forum. Off-topic it is.

Thank you.

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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know that the AMEK/EMCA likes to think that way, but you are not the only swordfighters in the Netherlands.

In our group we currently have 3 Albion swords (2 sharps and 1 I:33), and they are doing fine. We consider Albion blades to be very good, though somewhat too expensive for most of us. Albion's reputation with the AMEK might be less good (and apparently for a good reason, though taking up your issues with Albion might improve it), but that does not automatically mean that Albion has a bad reputation in the Netherlands.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding the Regent:

I'm not concerned by the sword taking a set based on the repeated thrusting into a target. I mean, it sucks, but that's what swords can do when they are repeatedly bashed into something in a "violent" manner.

Not knowing the exact material you're repeatedly thrusting into or with what force, I can only comment in the most general sense. Generally speaking one must know that swords (non-training "sharps") are not intended to be used repeatedly in any sort of thing like that without normal wear and tear. This includes dulling of the blade and whatnot but also might include being fixed into a bend. The design of a historical sword is intended to perform in battle, not break, and serve to cause damage to a target. It is not built to do this daily over and over and over again. That's what trainers are for.

Bottom line to me: "15 minutes of violent stabbing" into a board seems like something that will cause some degree of damage or change in a sword that will require maintenance.

Without seeing your particular Regent in person and relying only on your description, it sounds like the sharpness of the blade section is not up to Albion production standards. The same is true for the grip, which sounds like the biggest concern to me, at least. Albion grips are durable in my experience and should not unravel under even the harsh side of normal use. I'd have contacted them about the tip section and would contact them still about the grip.

Sounds like your hilt and sharpness of the tip section have some finish issues that aren't ideal. I'm not hearing anything that would make me think the heat-treat or other blade properties are flawed, however.

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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Joined: 08 Apr 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like Renier said, the reputation aint that bad in the Netherlands. But it is true that there aren't that many fighters in th Netherlands who use Albion swords. Why? To expensive maybe I guess.
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Bobby Siecker




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 11 Jun 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Welcome to the site and thank you for your kind words about it!

Please pay attention to where you are posting topics and what the description of the various forums is.

You had it posted in the Historic Arms Talk forum which is described as: "Discussions of reproduction and authentic historical arms and armour from various cultures and time periods"

You're not discussing historic arms and armour, but a maker. It doesn't belong in that forum. Off-topic it is.

Thank you.


Oops sorry. I was not entirely shure where to put it. my bad!

Bobby Siecker

The blade is only as sharp as your own personality.
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Bobby Siecker




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 11 Jun 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Sutton wrote:
Have you brought any of this to Albion's attention?

I believe that they have been having some issues with the earlier batches of the Liechtenauer. There was a thread on here about problems with them a short while ago. Its always possible that you end up with a dud even with high end products like an Albion Next Gen; sometimes things slip through QC.

If I was you I'd drop them an email and get it sorted out, by all accounts they have excellent customer services and always like to know of any problems so they can figure out if there is anything they need to change or improve to prevent a reoccurrance of the problem in the future. I've never heard of them being unwillifng to fix any problems to a customer's satisfaction.

Another thing to think about is that Albions are generally made to historical standards and tolerances, they are not indestructible and will only take so much punishment before something gives.


Haha oh my goodness I did not expect so much featback on this! thanks!

I have even had mails from albion regarding this... oh my..

Anyways I posted this just to discuss my concerns. since I'm not a sword expert, I don't know what to really expect. I did not mean it as a complaint in any ways. I was just curious and all. Just before I'd drop an e-mail to albion I wanted to know what you guys thought XD.

Bobby Siecker

The blade is only as sharp as your own personality.
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Bobby Siecker




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 11 Jun 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Regarding the Regent:

I'm not concerned by the sword taking a set based on the repeated thrusting into a target. I mean, it sucks, but that's what swords can do when they are repeatedly bashed into something in a "violent" manner.

Not knowing the exact material you're repeatedly thrusting into or with what force, I can only comment in the most general sense. Generally speaking one must know that swords (non-training "sharps") are not intended to be used repeatedly in any sort of thing like that without normal wear and tear. This includes dulling of the blade and whatnot but also might include being fixed into a bend. The design of a historical sword is intended to perform in battle, not break, and serve to cause damage to a target. It is not built to do this daily over and over and over again. That's what trainers are for.

Bottom line to me: "15 minutes of violent stabbing" into a board seems like something that will cause some degree of damage or change in a sword that will require maintenance.

Without seeing your particular Regent in person and relying only on your description, it sounds like the sharpness of the blade section is not up to Albion production standards. The same is true for the grip, which sounds like the biggest concern to me, at least. Albion grips are durable in my experience and should not unravel under even the harsh side of normal use. I'd have contacted them about the tip section and would contact them still about the grip.

Sounds like your hilt and sharpness of the tip section have some finish issues that aren't ideal. I'm not hearing anything that would make me think the heat-treat or other blade properties are flawed, however.


Thanks for your reply!

Well I was hoping for a respons like this. I did not know what to expect from a sword and how it should be holding up and all that. so now I have a better idea. And I know, in the end swords are tools, and tools wear down and break. My biggest concern was the bending, but now that seems to be someting normal (and really it's not like the sword is bend 90 degrees now), I can rest easely.

Bobby Siecker

The blade is only as sharp as your own personality.
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Bobby Siecker




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 11 Jun 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reinier van Noort wrote:
I know that the AMEK/EMCA likes to think that way, but you are not the only swordfighters in the Netherlands.

In our group we currently have 3 Albion swords (2 sharps and 1 I:33), and they are doing fine. We consider Albion blades to be very good, though somewhat too expensive for most of us. Albion's reputation with the AMEK might be less good (and apparently for a good reason, though taking up your issues with Albion might improve it), but that does not automatically mean that Albion has a bad reputation in the Netherlands.


Hmm well I'm sorry, I must have had a wrong image of what the other groups were thinking. The people outside of the AMEK I've spoken were not all happy about albion either. But I guess that's just becouse of the pricetag.

Ah well, you know the Dutch... they are always looking for the most "economical" deals. And they always get heart attacks when they can't get the cheapest deal out of someting XD



Wat zijn we toch zuinig met z'n allen!

Bobby Siecker

The blade is only as sharp as your own personality.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bobby Siecker wrote:

Thanks for your reply!

Well I was hoping for a respons like this. I did not know what to expect from a sword and how it should be holding up and all that. so now I have a better idea. And I know, in the end swords are tools, and tools wear down and break. My biggest concern was the bending, but now that seems to be someting normal (and really it's not like the sword is bend 90 degrees now), I can rest easely.


Also depends a lot on the target and what you do when the point doesn't penetrate the surface or stops penetrating: Do you continue pushing or do you " pull " your trust !? When there is good penetration the blade in the target actually get supported by the pierced material and as the blade goes deeper into the target the sword feels bending pressure more and more down the blade where it's normally thicker and more resistant to bending.

So against a " real target " in period if one got through the arming clothes or armour continued pressure is worth it to get deep into a lethal zone i.e. deeply wound or kill ! ( Speed of trust also seems to help in penetrating more and bending less than a slow push ).

Continuing to press as hard as possible against a perfectly resisting target is just putting useless extra strain on a blade for no useful purpose in my opinion and in a real fight is tactically useless. Wink

If practising trusts against a hard target one should quickly pull one's blow before the blade gets bents too much.

Anyway, I base this on what I think is " logical speculation " if others think it makes sense I would be curious to learn.

In any case a sword is not indestructible but below a certain amount of bending the amount of damage is almost zero. but stressed close to beyond the elasticity of the material into the permanent deformation point of a particular sword, the damage become cumulative and eventually the sword acquires a set, if a trust is really ridiculously forceful the damage will be done with one over-enthusiastic trust.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bobby Siecker wrote:
Reinier van Noort wrote:
I know that the AMEK/EMCA likes to think that way, but you are not the only swordfighters in the Netherlands.

In our group we currently have 3 Albion swords (2 sharps and 1 I:33), and they are doing fine. We consider Albion blades to be very good, though somewhat too expensive for most of us. Albion's reputation with the AMEK might be less good (and apparently for a good reason, though taking up your issues with Albion might improve it), but that does not automatically mean that Albion has a bad reputation in the Netherlands.


Hmm well I'm sorry, I must have had a wrong image of what the other groups were thinking. The people outside of the AMEK I've spoken were not all happy about albion either. But I guess that's just becouse of the pricetag.

Ah well, you know the Dutch... they are always looking for the most "economical" deals. And they always get heart attacks when they can't get the cheapest deal out of someting XD



Wat zijn we toch zuinig met z'n allen!


Dat is zeker.

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi
it is true that the swords are not indestructible.
I think that there are good swords for a target, swords good for another target. The reenactors or who uses the sword in theatrical re-enactments, I think I do not use swords Albion. Most. The way to fight these people is very different from students of fencing. The impacts are studied, but also very violent. Perhaps swords with the best steel should have these groups. A sword that costs $ 900 is unlikely to be abused. It is an advantage.
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did about an hour of cutting/thrusting today with my Mercenary and accidently hit the cutting stand so hard I sheered off the table top, cutting two metal screws in half and breaking one of the legs off. I had no damage to the blade at all, only a couple light surface scratches that polished right out.

Your mileage seems to have varied a bit from my own, so I'd contact Albion about your issues for resolution.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
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Hugo Voisine





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's also worth noting that Albion's customer service in excellent in regard with fixing or replacing swords that present construction flaws. I had issues with my Liechtenauer recently and they offered me to ship the sword back to them so they can take a look at it, and eventually fix it or replace it.

Concerning their sharps, I have done quite a lot of cutting with my Reeve and my Steward, and never had a problem. A few superficial scratch at most, which is to be expected.

« Que dites-vous ?... C'est inutile ?... Je le sais !
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Oh ! non, c'est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile ! »
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's lousy reputation in the Netherlands         Reply with quote

Bobby Siecker wrote:


Some more issues I've been having with the Albion Regent I have. When I finally got it out of the box, it took a full half year for the sword to deliver due to all kinds of problems, I was ofcourse happy, but also a bit disappointed with the point and blade tip section. It was rather dull. After alot of sweat, tears and even some blood I managed to get it nice and sharp, however, I would expect fully sharpened blades for a company that makes promices in such a price class.


Something worth considering is that swords do not need to be that sharp to cut effectively. A sword without a particularly keen edge will still have no problem hewing through a person. Moreover, since most swords would have had to face either mail, shields, or plate in the field, a fine edge would easily be damaged in battle, or else rapidly dull anyways. Fencing master Fillippo Vadi, circa 1485, specifically recommended to only sharpen the sword "four fingers from the tip" when fencing against plate.

I also know of people who, while not being experts in medieval artifacts, feel that Albion NG swords are typically too sharp, and that they would be perfectly adequate with a less fine edge than those presently found on weapons from the NG line.

On a related note, I remember Craig Johnson posted a while back on the subject of polearms, stating that many methods used in the construction of polearms which would have been considered completely acceptable in the Middle Ages/Renaissance period would have modern customers howling about "low quality" construction on a modern reproduction. We often need to question our perceptions before we arrive at a final judgment as to how a sword or weapon "should be".
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