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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 05 Jan, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Albion Skirmish Line Question         Reply with quote

On the Albion webpage, it mentions that the Skirmish Line, "Being intended for reenactment skirmish and the choreographed clash of blades on the stage, [has] demanded a slightly different approach of the design than the Maestro Line training swords."

Could Peter J, or anyone else from Albion for that matter, explain some of the differences between these two lines? I assume the edges are thicker to better withstand edge contact, but are there any other differences? Would it be possible to produce a Type X style blade like these, but for the Maestro Line instead?
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Jan, 2010 2:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The differences are that blades intended for the stage must look more like sharp blades and represent specific types more clearly.
With WMA training tools, you can shoot for good handling, toughness, safety and hit affordability by lavishing less detail on period look in finish and detail.
The Maestro line swords are contemporary training tools.
The Skirmish line swords have more work invested on the hilts (leather grips, and sometimes more elaborate guards and pommels). The Skirmish line also demand more attention thought as to blade shape. The Maestro line swords can look less than actual sharp swords since this is not within their mission. The Skirmish line have to be made with less deviation from the outline and character of actual historical sword types.

Not all blade types can be converted into safe sparring swords for the stage. Sometimes you have to change too much in the outline with the end effect being they look too different from a sharp blade.

It would be possible to make a type X for the Maestro line. Perhaps a type H viking or a tea cosy pommel hilt would work well for both lines, with the main difference being that the Maestro line has a grip of cord, while the Skirmish line has a leather covered grip. The same blade could work for both lines in this case. Quite possibly, the present viking blade could be used for this.

The 1:33 of the Maestro line can also be converted into a Skirmish line sword with mostly a change of grip style. The same goes also for the Liechtenauer and the Epée de Guerre.
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Jesse Belsky
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Jan, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Peter, i wanted to say that the Skirmish line swords are definitely an exciting option on the American stage combat scene. I was curious if the heat treatment of these blades is the same as for the sharps in the Museum/Next Gen line. Albion's sharp swords have quite a hard edge (i assume to keep that edge through extensive cutting, etc). Many stage blades i've worked on seem to be somewhat less hard. Denting is better than chipping. Repeated edge-on-edge combat tends to work up a lot of dings, even in rebated blades, so occasionally you have to file or grind them to remove dangerous burrs. Its always a challenge mixing blades by various makers onstage, because some blades bite harder than others due to relative hardness and edge geometry. Sometimes there are swords that perform just fine in terms of durability against similar blades but not at all well against another manufacturers. I haven't had the opportunity to try the skirmish line, but how do you suppose these blades will fare against others?

On a separate note, the Albion skirmish line viking blades have tips that are the closest i've seen to something that can actually be used onstage from a sword designed for a dual stage combat/reenactment weapon. I'm hopeful that you will extend this line to your later medieval swords. I'd love to use an Albion onstage, and most of the plays that need swords being done in the US are well after the Viking period. The Hanwei Tinker and Valliant practical line blades look really robust, but their tips are so rounded that they'd never read as "real" onstage. I appreciate of course that there are many real swords with fairly rounded points but stage combat is all about illusion, so the sword has to "look" dangerous while being dull, and the WMA-safe tips on most recent offerings are just too obviously safe. Perhaps Matt Stagmer or Craig Johnson can weigh in, but in my experience most stage blades have a tip radius of less than 5mm. The safety of the performers relies much more heavily on technique and training than it does on the "safety" of the swords themselves.

In any case, its exciting that Albion is turning its eye towards the theater market. There are lots of great manufacturers out there working in the stage combat world, Arms & Armour and BKS among them, but its always nice to have more options! Given that Albion already has hilt components for such a range of medieval weapons, i'd love to see them paired with some durable, dangerous looking blades.

Regards,
Jesse Belsky
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 08 Jan, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
The differences are that blades intended for the stage must look more like sharp blades and represent specific types more clearly.
With WMA training tools, you can shoot for good handling, toughness, safety and hit affordability by lavishing less detail on period look in finish and detail.
The Maestro line swords are contemporary training tools.
The Skirmish line swords have more work invested on the hilts (leather grips, and sometimes more elaborate guards and pommels). The Skirmish line also demand more attention thought as to blade shape. The Maestro line swords can look less than actual sharp swords since this is not within their mission. The Skirmish line have to be made with less deviation from the outline and character of actual historical sword types.

Not all blade types can be converted into safe sparring swords for the stage. Sometimes you have to change too much in the outline with the end effect being they look too different from a sharp blade.

It would be possible to make a type X for the Maestro line. Perhaps a type H viking or a tea cosy pommel hilt would work well for both lines, with the main difference being that the Maestro line has a grip of cord, while the Skirmish line has a leather covered grip. The same blade could work for both lines in this case. Quite possibly, the present viking blade could be used for this.

The 1:33 of the Maestro line can also be converted into a Skirmish line sword with mostly a change of grip style. The same goes also for the Liechtenauer and the Epée de Guerre.


Cool, thanks Peter. I'd like to see one of the blades from the Skirmish line hilted with the Reeve's hilt components and cord wrap grip, for a high medieval Maestro line sword.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find it strange, that there is a difference between a historical sword and a sword to use in historical re-enactments. Yet this is the reality. In the confusion of a battle that could cross swords with other weapons, swords, historical, are regarded as the ladies. A blade that weighs 1.1 Kg seems too delicate and flexible. Fiore says that the blades were easy to break or bend. Dan Howard in his extraordinary article, saying that the sword was little more than a status symbol. Other arms had the better of her. In the world of historical re-enactment, a sword history seems too delicate it was really too delicate, or reenactor should be educated to use a sword? or reduce their expectations on the use of a sword? Happy
Ciao
Maurizio
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