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Howard Waddell
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Oct, 2004 1:36 pm    Post subject: Say a fond goodbye to a few more FirstGens...         Reply with quote

We have decided to discontinue three more FirstGen swords (but don't worry, there will be NextGen equivalents to take their place, both in general style/period and price point):

The Rouen
The Agincourt
The Crecy

The Crecy has proven to be the single most popular model in the FirstGen lineup and there are mixed feelings about letting the Crecy and the other models go, but ultimately we had to agree that they no longer fit with our company's direction.

There are very limited numbers of parts left to make these, so if you ever wanted one and waited for some reason, I'd recommend that you reserve one soon.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
http://filmswords.com
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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Oct, 2004 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You oughta hang on to one each of the First Gens as a history of Albion's products, if you haven't already.

Brian M
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David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Oct, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As enthusiastic as I am about your upcoming projects (be still, oh trembling pocketbook), I'm curious: what's the reasoning behind the switch?

The advent of the new Squire line, perhaps?
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Alina Boyden




PostPosted: Thu 07 Oct, 2004 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:
As enthusiastic as I am about your upcoming projects (be still, oh trembling pocketbook), I'm curious: what's the reasoning behind the switch?

The advent of the new Squire line, perhaps?


Well the sales for First Gens have probably gone down. The price difference between an Acre and a NG Knight is only about 100 dollars with the sale going on and the Knight is more accurate and has a COB 3 inches closer to the hilt.
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Howard Waddell
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Oct, 2004 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:
As enthusiastic as I am about your upcoming projects (be still, oh trembling pocketbook), I'm curious: what's the reasoning behind the switch?

The advent of the new Squire line, perhaps?


Hey David!

Alina is correct in her guess, and so are you in yours -- but there are many other factors. The largest is philosophy.

The FirstGens in their day were as good as any swords on the market, but they were what we now describe as "swords designed by guys who love swords." Nothing wrong with that, but our goal at Albion has always been to bring you the most authentic and functional swords we can produce.

Our relationship with Peter Johnsson started way back in '99 (thanks to our mutual friend, Bjorn) and he and I talked constantly on email. Originally the thought was just to bring his forged pieces to the American audience, but the more we talked, the more we came to understand what we would gain as a company and as craftspeople to find a way to translate his extensive study of originals into a production/semi-custom line of swords. The Museum Line was born from that initial thinking.

Then, as we gained experience from the first Museum Line pieces, we saw that traditional construction was no more difficult than what the market was doing currently. We also saw that Peter's ever-growing theoretical knowledge base -- finding the elements in common that all Medieval sword originals possess and the commonalitites between swords of the same type -- led us to believe that we could, with Peter's hands-on guidance, develop swords that represented a perfected example of each type of Medieval sword. Thus, the NextGen line came into being.

Once on that path, we were faced with what to do with what then became known as the "FirstGens"... do we continue making them, do we "upgrade" them by switching them over to traditional construction and tweak the designs, or do we just phase them out? So we did a little of both -- some models left immediately, and the Crecy was "upgraded" to the "Mark II." Other things started to happen -- under Peter's influence, staff members like Jason had already started to absorb the new theoretical knowledge, such that when Jason designed the Rouen, the blade was good enough to be a NextGen blade but needed different hilt components to "qualify" -- the Rouen blade will be reborn as a NextGen as a result.

We have been reluctant to just phase them out wholesale, because they are good swords and very popular. However, as the NextGen line has grown, the Squire line introduced, we now feel confident that we can produce new models that will be equivalents to the FirstGen models and yet benefit from Peter's study of similar originals. So, given a choice between modifying the existing models and building a new and more authentic sword from the ground up, we opted for the latter.

Like generations of people, I suppose, the "next generation" (like the Baby Boomers and Gen-X'ers in their turn as they come of age), will become "the" Albion sword line, with models running through the gamut of price points based on complexity and labor. Who knows what the future holds -- even some NextGen models may change or go away as Peter and the other staff do more research and develop new theories.

As Peter told the staff last night, it is important to always think of yourself as an apprentice -- always learning and striving to improve, never assuming that you know it all, and to always do the best work you can do along the way.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
http://filmswords.com
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Alina Boyden




PostPosted: Fri 08 Oct, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is what makes Albion such an amazing company IMHO. The First Gen swords are very good. They're not wholly and completely authentic but they're very good swords. Most companies when they have a very solid product that sells well won't take the risk to upgrade and move beyond it. Certainly the Next Gen swords can't be seen as a "sure thing" in terms of the business world. There was probably a great amount of cost involved in designing the swords, making the waxes, gearing up any kind of manufacturing, etc. And these swords being more expensive gave no guarantee that they would sell well. In retrospect, with the incredible success the Next Gen line has produced, it seems like an obvious step. However, this isn't a step I've seen most companies take. And of all the companies producing swords there aren't many who have opted to get as close to the actual historical weapons as possible.
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Lancelot Chan
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Location: Hong Kong
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Oct, 2004 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albion has impressed me again and again that it's more than just business or making money. Instead, it takes up a difficult, rare but highly appreciable artistic and perfectionist approach of sword making, striving for authencity and holding nothing back. You have all my supports and best wishes. While I'm lack of money at this moment, I always refer my groupmates who are interested in European swords to go buy from Albion. James Derrick bought a Norman. He may be the first person to own a Next Gen in Hong Kong. I handled that and it was a swift sword, which I did not expect from just the stats. I always dream for the Brescia Spadona myself and will buy one once I get enough saving for it, a campaign scabbard and a crate package.
Ancient Combat Association http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Gabriel Stevens




Location: St. Louis
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2004 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm going to miss the Agincourt, I've always had a thing for that "Black Prince" type XVa. Ah well.....
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2004 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gabriel Stevens wrote:
I'm going to miss the Agincourt, I've always had a thing for that "Black Prince" type XVa. Ah well.....


The NG Castellan XVa more than makes up for its loss
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Gabriel Stevens




Location: St. Louis
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Oct, 2004 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I just meant the overall look of it, the guard with the down turned ends etc....
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Ben Sweet




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2004 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After I read this post about the discontinuations I made a quick p.m to Howy then a call that morning to Albion and made my order with Mike for a re-bated Agincourt blade which I needed for a project I have been slacking off on, the Agincourt blade just arrived yesterday! Thanks to the Albion Crew for the beautiful blade!
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