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Tim Jorgensen




Location: Fargo, ND
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 5:32 am    Post subject: New Windlass Ulfberht Sword - Any reviews?         Reply with quote

I noticed the new Windlass Ulfberht is now available. Has anyone handled one yet who would be willing to share their thoughts or provide a review?
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: New Windlass Ulfberht Sword - Any reviews?         Reply with quote

Tim Jorgensen wrote:
I noticed the new Windlass Ulfberht is now available. Has anyone handled one yet who would be willing to share their thoughts or provide a review?


I haven't but I suspect it isn't any different than the old version. I had one of the older swords and thought it was OK for the price. I didn't keep it long enough to have anything to review but perhaps someone who spent more time with it can offer some information. I did like the Brazil nut pommel.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think its the same as the old one. Here's a review: http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/ulfberht.html
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will mirror that it is not a bad sword for the money, but that guard is hideous - and if you thin it any, you move the PoB further out. The blade has poor geometry, however, it can be refined a bit for better cutting. As far as Type Xs go, I feel that the H/T Norman is a better value for less money, feels better in the hand, and is a better cutter. Additionally, the H/T fixes up nicely with new leatherwork and looks like an $800 sword, where as that Windlass will always look, well, like a Windlass. Happy


Photo intellectual property of Sword Buyer's Guide.

VS


Photo intellectual property of Custom Sword Shoppe / Valiant Armoury

J.E. Sarge
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"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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J R Johnson




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As appearance has been mentioned, I would say that, to be fair, Windlass has gotten it pretty close to the original 11th century sword. The crossguard may or may not be to everyone's taste, but the original (pictured below from Ian Peirce's "Swords of the Viking Age") cross is long, thick, and deep. One of the comments by Mr. Peirce is that the hilt is massive, with the pommel being wider than the blade and the cross " massively long".


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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I respectfully disagree that the original and the Windlass look similar from the above photos. The cross is somewhat narrower (from this 2D view), and the ends of it seem to both thin and flare toward the end. I enhanced the photo with Photoshop to show detail, and the guard is not just a block. There is a definative geometry which is more complex than the Windlass model. If you enlarge the original, this is obvious.So, it may be thick - but it's not a block of steel without lines and form.

The pommel is seemingly shorter in height by the apperance of the photo when compared with the Windlass. The lines at the base of the pommel are crisp and sharp, whereas the replica is smoothly rounded. As for the thickness, I can't judge because I cannot see. The grip is also noticably shorter. The original is asthetically pleasing to the eye, even it if is reported to be heardily built, whereas the Windlass looks off to me.

I can see some of the similarities you mention especially taking into consideration the price point of the replica, but I just don't think the two are that alike to warrant a true comparison.



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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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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for taking the time to enhance that photo of the original Viking-era sword and contrast it directly to the WS Ulfberht sword. At a casual glance, many of the swords shared on sites like this all look very similar. Those unfamiliar with historical originals (or even a variety of higher quality reproductions, for that matter), don't really see these differences. Their eyes aren't trained to see the details or the subtly of shape and line. Sometimes doing exactly what you did is necessary and it's from this that often causes a permanent shift in the way people view such photos in the future: at least it helps. Hands-on knowledge or at least first-hand viewing of originals is key to really seeing these differences. Once noticed, the lack of similarity from piece to piece is absolutely glaring.

Cheers

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like what you did there Mr. Sarge.
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J R Johnson




Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Sarge; I think we can agree on the dissimilarities in the pommels, there are some obvious differences there. However as to the crossguard, your highlighting is incorrect. In better lighting the depth of the cross is more evident. The actual dimension of the cross is as I have highlighted below. The Windlass example is not a perfect match, agreed, but closer than might be imagined, especially for a lower priced example, for those who haven't had the advantage of first hand viewing.

Mr. Robinson; In my travels across the European continent and the USA I have had the pleasure and privilege of viewing this and many other medieval and renaissance era swords, both in private and museum collections, first hand. I also own a number of "higher quality" reproductions such as Albion, Arms & Armor, etc. as part of my collection. I have found that in venues such as this excellent forum, a low post count is often mistaken for lack of experience.

EDIT: to add corrected image



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J R Johnson wrote:
Mr. Robinson; In my travels across the European continent and the USA I have had the pleasure and privilege of viewing this and many other medieval and renaissance era swords, both in private and museum collections, first hand. I also own a number of "higher quality" reproductions such as Albion, Arms & Armor, etc. as part of my collection. I have found that in venues such as this excellent forum, a low post count is often mistaken for lack of experience.


Nowhere in my post did I refer to you. Your assumption is incorrect. I was in fact referring to the "general population" and referencing the maker (Windlass) more than anything. Their creations often lack the subtlety of originals by a far margin and their interpretation of specific pieces is often very wrong.

I do not mistake a lack of "post count" as inexperience. That would be foolish. Please don't make such accusations of me.

By the way, I agree that the sword in question does not have a downwards-tapering type of guard. It is, however, very different than the version by Windlass.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With the pic and the almost flat lighting plus the degree of corrosion one could interpret the shape in many different ways that seem believable just based on the pic.

Seeing the same sword from a few different angles would also confirm or contradict interpretations of the pic as to the shape of the guard. Lighting coming from different angles with more contrast would help.

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Differing opinions are good in that they lead to additional research/exploration. Happy

I still stand by my highlighting due to shading, angle, and other apparent geometry, but I also will be the first to admit that simply seeing this sword would render much more accurate information than either of our Photochops. I'd like to actually see this sword now so we can get some more facts involved other than one grainy photo open to intrepretation.

Does this sword currently reside in a museum or collection somewhere or has it been documented by someone else who may be familiar with it? Question

J.E. Sarge
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"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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Tim Jorgensen




Location: Fargo, ND
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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the postings. I agree that more detailed photos with better lighting on both pieces would help highlight the differences. Wouldn't it have been less work for Windlass to have left the pommel with the more defined edges as on the original? Maybe they weren't able to handle the original, but they should one of these days.

As for the cross-guard, it looks to me like it tapers less-drastically than the first Photoshopped analysis, but maybe more than the Windlass version. Is it work trying to take apart to toss back into the forge? Maybe, but not me. I'm more of a wood-worker.

I enjoy the scrutiny of the forums. Progress will come from refinement of debate, among other things. The emoticons keep things light and cheery, I think. Big Grin

I'm looking forward to finding out where the original sword is. I'll be heading to Stockholm in August, so I'm crossing my fingers that it's over there.

Thanks again!
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Jorgensen wrote:
Wouldn't it have been less work for Windlass to have left the pommel with the more defined edges as on the original? Maybe they weren't able to handle the original, but they should one of these days.


It might be that they purposely made the pommel more smooth and user-friendly for their large market (who would perhaps rather have comfort than historical accuracy) or maybe they just didn't research it that closely. Certainly they could get it right if they tried (they have on some swords), but they don't seem to care. Someone told me that Windlass is a fairly big steel company and the historical reproduction branch was a sentimental hobby industry for the founder, who is now gone.

I had one of these Windlass Ulberhts for a while - it was solidly constructed and fine for the money, but I was ultimately frustrated by the hilt inaccuracies already discussed above, and the feel and tracking-through-the cut of the flexible 3/16" stock blade. I think the guard could be improved if you have the skill and equipment - I don't.

Here are some higher end versions for comparison:
http://www.robert-moc.sk/pages/gallery/mec-ulfberht129.php
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/custom941.html

And a re-enactment version:
http://www.thetimeseller.com/product/3793/0/0...fberht.htm

And a Windlass Ulfberht project that came out nicely:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=20201

Lots of options for different tastes and budgets!
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did some Adobe Lightroom processing on the ulfberhrt images to enhance the shadows and lines of the original photograph since I don't have the luxury of looking at the original. Here's the full image cleaned up a bit, with more of the detail brought out. I think that looking at the guard on the left is inconclusive and that is most likely due to weathering or lighting that I just can't fix. But if we examine the cross guard on the right side, assuming they were symmetrical (which I think is fair), it appears to me to be clear that the edge is not flattened, and that the underside of the guard maintains it's general shape all the way to the end of the guard.

There's also a zoomed in shot of the right section of the guard only. I think it looks more like what Mr. Johnson proposed when I look at it with these enhancements. Or perhaps it does come to a point on the edge, but if it does, it looks quite abrupt, not a gentle taper.



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enhanced image

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zoomed in right cross guard

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