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Sam Barris

Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Aug, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Albion Visit!         Reply with quote

I'm in the middle of a voyage across the country that happened to be taking me near New Glarus where most of my swords were born, so yesterday I popped by to see the other children in the nursery. I called Mike a few days prior to see if the timing worked for them and charted a winding course through some of the most gorgeous country I've ever seen. The drive alone would have been worth it even with no swords waiting at the end. Mike ended up being out sick (sick of me, probably) but Harlan was nice enough to show me around, let me play with swords and answer every question I could think of. In short, I was afforded every courtesy and I love this company even more than I did before.

A few impressions/surprises I would like to share:

First, I have an entirely new respect for Types X, XI, XII and XIII, and their assorted subtypes. The replicas I've seen before, as well as the Albions in my own collection (which tend to be later and with longer hilts and stiffer blades) had conditioned me to expect them to be somewhat unwieldy. When I hefted the Vigil (which happened to be the sword closest to the entrance) I was floored by how light it was. Every sword of the aforementioned types blew me away with how nicely they handled; particularly the Knight, which never caught my attention until now. The Tritonia and St. Maurice, of course, handle exactly like they look like they'll handle, but those were the only ones.

Second, OMGDANE! Big Grin I actually have one of these waiting for me whenever I make it back to California, but I took the opportunity to play with the one in the shop. At first glance, I thought that no man of my 5'8" stature should ever attempt to wield a beast like that, but as with so many other things to come out of that shop, looks were deceiving. Even with such a small pommel, the mass in the hilt more than offsets the formidable blade, and the ability to half sword on the ricasso makes this a more versatile sword than I had imagined. It's as long as my favorite hiking staff (an inch longer, actually), but absolutely does not feel awkward at all. Don't ask me how they pulled that off.

Third, no amount of staring at either the concept sketches of the Principe and Alexandria or the Facebook pictures of the XVIIIc blade will prepare you for seeing the sheer wideness of that thing in person. There was an Alexandria blade on hand and... just... wow. The geometry is also like nothing I've ever seen. I'm not even sure I could do it justice with words. I don't think anyone in line for one of these will be disappointed, myself included.

Other assorted surprises: The Type XIX blades were much, much thinner than they appear in the pictures. I was pleasantly shocked by the handling. I'd also done a very good job talking myself out of a Knecht. Two minutes holding one may have talked me back into it. That is possibly the scariest thing I've ever seen, and I love it. I saw an unmounted Landesknecht blade, which Patrick once described as a "big honkin' man sword." Yes, it is certainly that, and I think he'll be thrilled to receive his. Lastly, I always knew the Type XIV would feel nice in the hand, but underestimated just how nice. I really, really like those. They're little and nasty and make me happy. I might have to take up I.33 just to justify owning one. I saw one other thing, but I'm not sure I should mention it. Instead I'll just cryptically say that we're all going to love it. Don't kill me. Happy

In conclusion, Spock tells is that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting (it is not logical, but it is often true), however, with this company I think there will always be the pleasure of wanting another no matter how many one might acquire. And the people are as nice as the weapons they make. This was the first Toys-R-Us kid moment I've had in a long time. Many thanks again, Harlan. And I hope Mike is feeling better soon.

Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Aug, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the nice Topic although it does turn me bright green with envy, I might even have a " HULK " moment, turn green and gain 500 pounds of muscle mass just thinking of the testosterone rush of being able to handle so many swords and meet some nice people also.

Did you have time to spend in the town and try whatever local food(s) or beer(s) that is popular there ? ( Food and beer is always another good topic .... LOL ).

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

Location: Montréal, Québec
Joined: 05 Mar 2008

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed 04 Aug, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all those little insights Sam, its a bit like if you took us all in your trip down there.
But if you have two minutes, i would really like you to give us ( if there's anything left to ) a bit more of your impressions about the upcoming models like the Alexandria and the Landesknecht.

Thanks !
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Sean O Stevens

Location: Grovetown, GA
Joined: 22 Oct 2008

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Wed 04 Aug, 2010 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've handle a couple different Albion Knights and have a Squire Line Knightly sword... and it is a well balanced and awesome single handed sword. I really want to get a chance to play with a type XIV, preferably the Yoeman. Big Grin Sounds like a very fun trip indeed!
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