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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Longship Armoury Two-handed Saber Prototype : The Verrimus         Reply with quote

Longship Armoury Two-handed Saber Prototype : The Verrimus
From John Lundemo


Review By: Marc Kaden Ridgeway ---------------- Griffin, GA 13 October 2011






Recently John Lundemo of Odin Blades , and James Fang (SBG Forum member Opferous) joined together in a new venture known as Longship Armoury. The idea, as I understand it, is to revolutionize the small shop sword manufacturing niche, by making swords from a well known custom maker obtainable to a broader span of customers.

They are doing this , in part, by having SBG forumite Greybeard cast bronze fittings from John Lundemo's hand carved steel masters. Add to this a variety of blade shapes crafted by John , and mounted up using the variety of pommels and crosses, and a range of handle finishing choices , and the customer is able to get a pretty much custom sword from John Lundemo for a range of $700 to $1000. A Longship sword.

I believe this will be the first Longship review published, and the model being reviewed is the Verrimus, or Sweeper, a two-handed saber, that historically could best be said to have descended from Swiss lineage. However it has another pedigree, one that makes me especially excited to review this particular model. It is descended from The Warder,

In his portfolio, John has made about every type of sword imaginable, from historic to fantastic, but at least two sword patterns have become distinctly his... The Ronin and The Warder. So I am very happy to have a chance to review what is essentially a soul-authorship custom OdinBlade , and a quintessential Lundemo sword.

I have not been offered anything in form of compensation other than a VIP card good for a small discount on future purchases, and the chance to get first look at this awesome new sword model.

Let's get started... shall we?








Specifications


OAL --------------------- 43in
Blade -------------------- 33 in
Weight ------------------ 3lbs 2.3 ounces
Pommel ----------------- 1 3/8 in
Guard ------------------- 7 in
Handle ------------------- 7 5/8 in
COG ---------------------- 4.5 in from cross
COP ----------------------- 21.5 in from cross












Aesthetics, Construction & Fit and Finish


The pommel is a type J1 wheel pommel about 1.5 inches across , with a peen block. The guard is serpentine, or "S " shaped. Both are darkned. The hardwood handle is fully wrapped with sanded and lacquer sealed stingray leather, which was wrapped wet , with a water based glue. The seam is immaculate.

The 33 inch , moderately curved blade is made of 5160H steel, marquenched at 400 degrees ,let cool and tempered for an hour at 400 then cool and another hour at 350. The blade is 1.5 inches wide at the guard and around 7 mm thick. It exhibits nice distal and profile taper, with the thickness being about 4 mm one inch from the false edge, and the width slimming down to an inch about 2.5 inches from the tip. A fuller traverses three quarters of the blade, terminating where the 8.5 in false edge begins. A ridgeline continues from the bottom of the fuller to the tip ala shobu zukuri kissaki style. A short ricasso makes slipping a finger over the guard a not so sharp experience. The blade is polished to a high satin finish. Both the edge and false edge are quite sharp , paper-cutting sharp. The blade has , in John's words, a "V" grind, with very little niku but plenty of support behing the edge up to the spine.

The saber is constructed with compression-hilt assembly , via hot riveted tang (peening). The fittings are well set, and everything is solid.














Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Handling Characteristics


The Verrimus weighs a hair over 3 lbs 2 ounces, which was a bit of a surprise to me when I read the digital scales. I would have put it at 2. 7 lbs from handling alone. The pommel pulls the center of gravity back to about 4.5 inches from the guard, resulting in a lively sword. It is active in hand, moving quickly and accurately from one guard to the next, stopping without drag , and tracking excellently in the cut.

The sanded and sealed stingray grip is super tactile without even a hint of slippage, and I was cutting on a wet day. The 7.5 inch handle provides plenty of room for both of my medium/large sized hands.The handling node is at the cross. The way John has prepared the rayskin makes it very grippy without being abrasive. After 45 minutes of swinging it around my hands stung a bit , but i had no abrasions , blisters, or residual soreness. I've had ito wrapped tsuka which were rougher on the hands.

The oval cross section grip aids in edge allignment , as does the centrally positioned emporer nodes.




















Cutting

Oh boy... I may as well call this the excuse section. Let me make my list...
The day after I recieved Verrimus, I went and harvested bamboo... then the rain started. Three days later, when the rain let up, I had considerably harder bamboo than I usually cut... I usually cut fresh cut bamboo.
Also, the last three years I have packed on 80 lbs from going to a majorly physically active job to a sedentary one, and in the last two years Ive done very little cutting. So basically the video you are about to see shows you how this sword will cut in the hands, of a fat, out-of-shape, out-of-practice 40 year old man. Any cutting weakness is mine and any strength goes to the saber.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPkSOEQQtA8











[size=150]The Good, The Bad & The Ugly[/size]

This is the hardest part of reviews for me... trying to find something critical to say about the awesome sword I get the chance to review. It's very easy to say what's good aout this sword... pretty much everything from tip to peen. To get critical, we have to get nitpicky.
The ONLY shortcomings I have found on this sword, are a scratchy darkened finish on the fittings , really only detectable using the macro function of the camera, and some milling marks in one small part of the fuller.
These minor details barely deserve noting... and it must also be noted that this is a prototype , and thus not expected to be perfect, and yet it comes darn close...
The next two picture show the areas I mentioned... the rest are just more pictures of this beautiful saber. It should also be noted that macro function exagerates the appearance as well.






Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote















Conclusion

Historically, if sword collectors and enthusiasts wanted to get a mid to high end production blade made by an American company , they've basically had the big three to choose from. Albion , Arms & Armour and Angus Trim. Beyond that , you went custom... and many have dreamed of that custom Odin sword.
Recently Gus Trim, through the various collaborations with Sonny and Christian have made Valiant Armoury a 4th choice above and beyond the big three, and now steps The Odin Dude himself into the frey , in a big way, offering another great choice for collectors in the mid-high/end production market...

Except...

It's kind of hard to call the Longship Armoury line production , what John and James have really done is bring custom swords down to the pricepoint of production. OK , sure there will be models... but with all the choices of blade styles , mismatched with fittings and mounts... these truly will be eminently customisable. Already we are hearing about alternate blades for this mount alone , i.e. messer, katana , falchion. In addition there are jian, longswords, onehanders... maybe a Celtic Wolf coming down the pipes... its all very exciting. There will be plenty of historic models, and then those , like this one that are just eminently Odin.

As for the Verrimus, the prototype has me enthralled. From the styling, the handling, the cutting , it is a first rate sword. The nice curve makes it a good slicer, and the thick spine gives it a katana feel, making most of the blade a "sweet spot".
As for the styling... well can you look at this sword and mistake for anything but a Lundemo?

As good as the Verrimus looks in the pictures, (and it does look good doesn't it? ) the pictures almost look awkward compared to the grace this saber possesses in person.

So let's see... a chance to have Lundemo mounted, Lundemo made blades, on well cast bronze fittings , customized to order , all for less than an Albion? I say :

ALL ABOARD THE LONGSHIP

I'd like to thank James and John for the chance to review the Verrimus.




















Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Brett Holmes




Location: Illinois
Joined: 14 Apr 2011

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Man now THAT is how a review should be done! Great job! I've had my Odin for about four years now with no regrets. John's a great craftsman to work with and never fails to produce top quality results. Congrats to all parties involved.
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Robert Brandt




Location: Virginia
Joined: 11 May 2010

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great review Marc!

I love John's custom swords and have really admired and wished I could afford several of them, the Guardian Warder among them. I have had very hit or miss luck with fastasy sabers though and the Lundemo inspired VA Warder was my latest saber acquision that disapponted. The style that descended from from the custom blade is great, but the finish and handling were both disappointing to me. That mass market sword really just feels like a collection of attractive parts that doesn't quite come together as a whole. This mid-range sword might be just the ticket to bring this great design to a broader slice of the sword buying public. I hope that John can produce the quality of swords that this prototype seems to represent at a rate that an affordable sword might generate. He would not be the first to fail in an attempt to scale up an inspiring custom product line. In fact, he might be the first I have seen if he can pull it off successfully. I for one am very hopeful that he does because if the quality and delivery holds at this pricepoint, I could very well be in line to lay down a grand for a Longship line sword.

History was certainly far more complex, varied, and intriguing than the blanket of generalities that we so often lay over our handful of surviving data points.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks awesome...but when the heck is he gonna get the detailsfor the longship line on his website?!?
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent review Marc. Really like that sword.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This here's one A++ sword!
The gavel wrap is perfect, the blade curvature is (pun intended) to die for, in other words just right. Fittings may have some minor scratches but really, I see more on most swords in museums so that's hardly a point to even make. I confess though that I have a soft spot for sabers and Messers.

And you say this is just the prototype?... Wink Best prototype I ever saw.
Also, the cutting video wasn't bad at all, in fact it was pretty good, especially for cutting on slick wet grass like that when you have to take extra care not to slip.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Looks awesome...but when the heck is he gonna get the detailsfor the longship line on his website?!?


I second that. I need to have a look ASAP!

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 5:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a link to the cutting vid for people in other countries that can't view it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP9mZeRj4gc

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 5:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Looks awesome...but when the heck is he gonna get the detailsfor the longship line on his website?!?


The website is longshiparmoury.com and is set for an early Nov launch, I believe.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
This here's one A++ sword!
The gavel wrap is perfect, the blade curvature is (pun intended) to die for, in other words just right. Fittings may have some minor scratches but really, I see more on most swords in museums so that's hardly a point to even make.



I agree . but I had to say something !!!

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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John Lundemo
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Location: New Hampton, N.Y.
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Oct, 2011 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc Ridgeway wrote:
Johan Gemvik wrote:
This here's one A++ sword!
The gavel wrap is perfect, the blade curvature is (pun intended) to die for, in other words just right. Fittings may have some minor scratches but really, I see more on most swords in museums so that's hardly a point to even make.



I agree . but I had to say something !!!
Just needs a touch more fine scotch brite pad, it's not the guard that is scratched.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Oct, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John Lundemo wrote:
Marc Ridgeway wrote:
Johan Gemvik wrote:
This here's one A++ sword!
The gavel wrap is perfect, the blade curvature is (pun intended) to die for, in other words just right. Fittings may have some minor scratches but really, I see more on most swords in museums so that's hardly a point to even make.



I agree . but I had to say something !!!
Just needs a touch more fine scotch brite pad, it's not the guard that is scratched.


Looks fine to me as-is.

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