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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 5:37 am    Post subject: Angus Trim Makers Mark XIIa Longsword         Reply with quote

Angus Trim Makers Mark XIIa Longsword
Review by : Marc Kaden Ridgeway
Atlanta, GA
4 July 2010





Occasionally I get offered a chance to test swords and write reviews on them, but seldom does a powerhouse like Gus Trim call me up and offer me a couple of prototypes to play with. Naturally , when he did, I jumped at the chance.

In the world of European sword replicas, especially amongst practioners of WMA , there are what is known as the Big
Three
... that is : Albion, Arms and Armour and Angus Trim.

Of these three , the swords of Gus Trim have always been known for their performance and Albion for their histrocity... well Gus is making changes.

The performance is still there, but now Gus is throwing in little bonuses... like primary bevels, a smoother ,less machined finish, and permanent construction.

The sword in this review is prototype/first production model of a sword being created for a new alliance between Gus and Sonny , of Valiant Armoury. Judging from the two I've gotten, and the ones I see from Mike and Tom, it should be a VERY happy marriage.





Specifications

Weight: 2lbs 13 ounces
Blade : 35.5 inches
Grip: 7.5 inches
Hilt: 10 inches
Cog: 5.75 in. from cross
COP: 24.5 inches






Aesthetics: Fit & Finish

This is a XII a longsword, common in the 13th century and pretty typical of the form. The 7.5 inch wooden grip is wound with cord and wrapped with English brown leather.

The pommel is a type J and the guard is a gorgeous style 2. Machine marks are virtually non-existant , and it is all joined together by a nice peen.

The polish is a nice high satin and I am unable to discern a secondary bevel. Lines are all crisp and the entire package flows together into a beautiful sword.

The permanent assembly is tight and solid , and the peice as a whole just feels " seamless ".

The 5160 blade is is even with no hint of waviness, and is tempered to extremely durable spring temper through Gus's famous Aero-space heat treaters.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote












Handling Characteristics[/font]


This being an Angus Trim , handling is one of the areas you expect it to shine, and being an Atrim , in does not dissapoint.

The balance point is 5.5 inches , but this doesnt even begin to tell the story. The story, in fact, is a mystery, because I dont have a clue how Gus makes a sword with the balance of a katana move so well.

This longsword functions almost as well one-handed , and when dry handled it has a sense of blade presence but almost no inertial drag , or feeling of tip-weight. It corners like a Lotus Esprit , and stops on a dime.

The grip makes a great handlebar, with the oval shape near the guard tapering to a slightly squarish shape at the pommel.









[/center]

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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Posts: 133

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cutting

Along with the incredible handling, this sword also feels indestructable in hand. Its solid.

The nimbleness also belies how well this sword tracks in the cut.

I am VERY inexperienced with western swords, but despite this , IO went straight to the bamboo, skipping the bottles, as the sword seems biased well for heavy targets... and indeed, it handled bamboo with ease, despite my horrible form]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8CmkX8v6Ns









The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Again, this is my critical section, where I point out all the little flaws on a sword. Sometimes this is a easy section to complete, and occasionally it is near impossible, as it is this time.

There is really nothing bad to say about this sword.. the handling, cutting appearance, construction... all top notch as you would expect to find from a giant like Gus.

Were I to really nit-pick I could point out that the handle wrap is not quite flush with the crossguard, but is a bit wider , which is a sticking point with some people, but not me. Also I'm not sure what the wrapping set up will be moving forward. I know these swords will be a limited production run through Sonny, and I know Sonny does leather work...so? Who knows who will be doing the handle wrapping? Not I ... I do know that Gus isnt that fond of it... LOL.

At any rate, thats the only thing I could find to flesh out this section , and it is really not an issue to any but the pickiest of collectors.









[/





[

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Conclusion

This is another winning design for Gus, with the performance characteristic of what we've come to expect from him. Further , this is another step in a departure that is leading away from the utilitarian performers of Gus past , and moving towards a world in a sword that has more cosmetic characteristics of an Albion can still perform like an Atrim ...
thats a world in which I'd feel right at home .

By cosmetics of an Albion, I mean : primary bevels, permanent construction , upgraded polish, and a variety of other changes... like any one notice the leather's NOT black?

It's a sure bet to say that Gus, together with Christian and Sonny are forever changing the world of Western sword replicas; and changing it for the better.

This prototype , that will be a limited run production piece for VA, is a huge way-station on that route.

In this time of rising Albion prices, along comes Gus Trim stepping up to the plate with an incredible array of choices in every level of the market. From the VA performance, Signature
and Regal lines... to the Chimera and Prestige lines ... the Legacy line and the Makers Mark series, and now these new protypes... Gus together with Sonny and Christian is truly creating an unheard of new-renaissance in the Euro sword market... lucky us.

This sword is so great , because it is what it is... a sword designed , created, mounted, finished in entire by the master sword fabricater, Angus Trim. This is not some blade created by a 3rd world laborer... this is essentially a custom sword from a HUGE maker for production prices... now how can you go wrong with that?

Thanks for reading.


















Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
Joined: 10 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your review. I also think that this sword really looks great, and also I'm pretty sure it has a great performance, but what really bothers me is the very machined look of the pommel which disturbs the otherwise historical appearance of this sword.....
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ditto...that pommel and peen looks machined.

However, some of the touches on the guard are nice changes and the gentle swelling at the base of the blade is a element often not considered by producers that can make a blade stand out a bit. Also, although its hard, really very hard to tell from photos, the blade does look to be pretty cleanly executed.

That said, if a maker wants to impress on me that they are in Albion's league, they need to stretch themselves when they set that aspirational goal and do something other than a Type XII with a straight cross and wheel pommel. It seems like there are about a thousand different incarnations out there that really display very little variety, and it misses the entire point of what Albion does. Its not the standard XII that makes Albion special, its all the other types and variations that they do and nobody else even tries, let alone gets right, that is a huge part of what seperates Albion from the pack.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Mon 05 Jul, 2010 11:19 am; edited 4 times in total
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree, sword looks really great, but pommel, especially it's mounting spoils overall impression quite a bit...

Otherwise it's fine, congratulations for the photos too, they're really gorgeous.
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Ken Jay




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice sword! Gus is stepping up his fit and finish. The pommel looks fine to me but I don't so much need the most historic look. I'm not aware of any production swords using historical methods of forging for blades or hilt assemblies. CNC milling, machining, casting all work for me. My only hitch is as prices rise I'm far less inclined buy and actually use one for cutting - marred finish, chips, etc.. I don't want a sword just as expensive "man-bling." Wink
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Angus Trim Makers Mark XIIa Longsword         Reply with quote

Marc Ridgeway wrote:
The sword in this review is prototype/first production model of a sword being created for a new alliance between Gus and Sonny , of Valiant Armoury. Judging from the two I've gotten, and the ones I see from Mike and Tom, it should be a VERY happy marriage.


So, this sword is made by Gus and will be copied by VA for production? Or is it a VA production?

I'd be curious to see how closely the VA pieces match what Gus made. VA uses castings for their hilts, but I believe their blades are forged. Will Gus be supplying anything beyond the design (like the blades)?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good review and insight on this sword.

As for myself, I am put off by just how many Type XIIs Valiant has decided to do rather than explore the Typology elsewhere. I mean: the Kriegschwert, Practical Arming Sword, Practical Longsword, Malatesta, and Crusader are all Type XII derivatives. Now, don't get me wrong here. I am a huge Valiant fan and own several myself, but as a customer, I need to see something different. The Type XIIs and Type XIIa are not really impressing me any more, Valiant just makes too many of them at this point.

How about a Type XVb or a Type XVIIIe off in there to expand on their product line now that they have a reputation for making a decent budget sword? Big Grin

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Sonny Suttles
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
.....As for myself, I am put off by just how many Type XIIs Valiant has decided to do rather than explore the Typology elsewhere. I mean: the Kriegschwert, Practical Arming Sword, Practical Longsword, Malatesta, and Crusader are all Type XII derivatives.......


Yes Jonathan we have done a lot of type XII's. Our next release is one as well. The next four to follow are not XII's. They include our Falchion, a XIIIA Bastard sword, XVIA and then a type XVIII. Other than the prototype War Sword that Gus has made for us, none of the next several swords planned after these four will feature a type XII either.

Sonny

www.valiant-armoury.com
www.customswordshoppe.com
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm confident that there is much anticipation surrounding the other projects in the pipeline that will represent new typologies in your product line. Speaking only for myself, I'm extremely interested in seeing how some of the other interpretations develop. Something to consider is that the pommel on this one looks spun (not sure if that is the right word for it) and many of us have become accustomed to seeing forged or cast parts. Right or wrong its a look I think people have been trained to expect by other market offerings.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sonny Suttles wrote:

Yes Jonathan we have done a lot of type XII's. Our next release is one as well. The next four to follow are not XII's. They include our Falchion, a XIIIA Bastard sword, XVIA and then a type XVIII. Other than the prototype War Sword that Gus has made for us, none of the next several swords planned after these four will feature a type XII either.


I am eager to both see previews of these as they arrive, as well as give them a try for myself. Thanks for the input! Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Marc Ridgeway




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Angus Trim Makers Mark XIIa Longsword         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Marc Ridgeway wrote:
The sword in this review is prototype/first production model of a sword being created for a new alliance between Gus and Sonny , of Valiant Armoury. Judging from the two I've gotten, and the ones I see from Mike and Tom, it should be a VERY happy marriage.


So, this sword is made by Gus and will be copied by VA for production? Or is it a VA production?

I'd be curious to see how closely the VA pieces match what Gus made. VA uses castings for their hilts, but I believe their blades are forged. Will Gus be supplying anything beyond the design (like the blades)?


It is my understanding that Gus will be making this model and several others... and that they will marketed at mid-level...

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Spencer Hahn




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm eager to buy my first bastard sword, and am eying this or the Kreigshwert. I've long been interested and involved in martial arts, particularly martial arts involving weaponry, but have never owned a real sword - only practice ones. The only problem I have with these swords are the reports that the bolts can come loose. I want a battle ready sword with a sense of legitimacy not one that starts loosening when it hits things. Can anyone tell me if there is a product you can use to tighten the bolt, at what price etc ?
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judging from the pictures I've seen, it appears that only a simple hex wrench is needed.
“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2010 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spencer Hahn wrote:
The only problem I have with these swords are the reports that the bolts can come loose. I want a battle ready sword with a sense of legitimacy not one that starts loosening when it hits things. Can anyone tell me if there is a product you can use to tighten the bolt, at what price etc ?


These products we use them in mechanics, a strong type should be fine. Happy
For Canada:
http://www.henkelna.com/adhesives/loctite-6182.htm

Ciao
Maurizio
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spencer Hahn wrote:
I'm eager to buy my first bastard sword, and am eying this or the Kreigshwert. I've long been interested and involved in martial arts, particularly martial arts involving weaponry, but have never owned a real sword - only practice ones. The only problem I have with these swords are the reports that the bolts can come loose. I want a battle ready sword with a sense of legitimacy not one that starts loosening when it hits things. Can anyone tell me if there is a product you can use to tighten the bolt, at what price etc ?


Well it's a standard allan key to tighten just make sure it's either inch or metric that is used with the Angus Trims: Usually the allan key of the right size comes supplied with the sword.

As to loosening a drop of blue locktite will keep the bolt from loosening from vibration but it can still be loosened if one wants to. ( Don't use epoxy or red locktite unless you want it to be a permanent thing ..... it can still be removed if heated to degrade the hold of the adhesive but it's much more trouble than just using the blue locktite ).

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