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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
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Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Albion Squire With Antiqued Fittings         Reply with quote

Albion Squire
With Antiqued Fittings


Marc Kaden Ridgeway]
Atlanta,GA
16 Dec. 2011







Ok, ok yes... I know , Ive been dropping some reviews lately, don't hate, its not like I'm getting a bunch of new swords or anything. Truth is really, I'm in debt over swords, and need to send a couple of payments out... if paypal will ever free up the funds in my account.

No, i'm not buying any new swords... I've had all these swords for a really long time, and have just gotten as lazy as Sean is about getting my reviews done. Yeah thats right Shadowbunny ... I called you to the carpet... (get it? cause a rug is a carpet? right? Oh... stick it in your hot tub Big Grin ) .

So I'm just trying to catch up my backlog... sadly one more and i'm caught up... its been a sad couple sword years at the Ridgeway ranch. Cest la vie' i am blessed to own a few really nice swords, and i am content.... Ok , I'm lying! Blessed, but never content!

Ok , lets see , full disclosure... Look, I have have written close to 40 reviews now... Some of them I asked to review, a few a was give a sword in exchange for a review, a couple I recieved a discount for the service of reviewing , but the vast majority were bought with my own money and reviewed because thats what I do ... no other reason. I always give fair reviews, I do not give anyone unearned good reviews in exchange for money, goods or friendship. I am friendly with Chris Scoggins, and Gus Trim , I've chatted with John Lundemo and Rick Barrett , I used to be Hank Rheinharts UPS guy and I know a few other folks in the industry, but the good folks at Albion don't even know i exist.

I hope that is clear enough . Happy

In the Middle Ages, as armour became more sophisicated , then so did the sword have to evolve to defeat it. The old lenticular cut-centric blades were not much use and so new forms had to be found. The biggest changes that were made was reinforced cross-sections ( like flattened diamond geometry ) and a stronger taper to the tip. One example of this evolution is type the type XVI , of which the Squire is an example.

Off of Albion's site:

Type XVI



Profile: broad, flat and sharply tapering

Cross-section: flattened diamond

Average Blade Length: 28" to 32"

Fuller: 1/2+ of the blade

Point: acute Grip: single-hand

Primary purpose: thrusting while retaining good cutting ability

Period: early 14th c












Specifications


Blade ------------------------- 32in.
Weight-----------------------2lbs. 7.9 oz.
Grip -------------------------- 4 3/8 in.
Hilt ---------------------------7 7/8 in
Cross ------------------------- 7.5 1n.
OAL----------------------------39 7/8 in.
Width at Cross---------------- 2.25 in,
Width 5 inches from tip ----- 7/8 in.
POB ----------------------------- 4.5 in.
COP------------------------------ 21 -23 in.











Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



Aesthetics ; Fit & Finish



The 32 in blade is a type XVI , milled from 5160 steel and polished to a high satin finish. The base of the blade is 2.25 inches wide and tapers sharply to an awl-shaped point. A wide fuller tapers it way down 21.75 inches of the blade, ending in the COP , and from there the gemotry shifts to a well defined flattened diamond. The edges slope down from the crisp fuller and center ridge to form a sharp, primary bevel.

The pommel is a type k and is paired with a style 2 cross with squared quillons. The furniture is antiqued, showing both pitting and coloration, and is well done. The brown leather grip is oval shaped and sports 6 risers spaced along its length. It has a campaign-worn look that complements the antiqued furniture well.

The pommel is really more of a flattened circle than circular. it tapers in thickness from the grip to the peen block, and measures 2 7/8 in long by 3 1/8 in wide. There seem to be some almost planned assymmetries to the pommel , which benefit its aesthetic.

Construction is accomplished by wedging the fittings permanently in place on the tang. and finished with hot peening. Fit & Finish are to a high level and the construction is solid and tight.

























Handling Characteristics



When i first saw this sword, it was in the back seat of Sean's car at the MRL parking lot. The shape of the pommel , and the antiquing are what made me pick it up.... but the handling was what kept it in my head days later. I LOVE the way this sword feels. It is light and nimble, and quick as hell , yet still plenty authoritative.

The grip feels terrific in the hand , and the sword seems to just float in the fist, begging to be swung. The COG is 4.75 inches, and the mass distribution gives the Squire a forward pivot point which makes for terrific point control, yet with more than reasonable ability in the cut.









Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote






Cutting


Cutting.... yeah. I haven't seen so much batting practice since i helped coach my nephews' traveling baseball team. Seriously. Now that's not a comment on the Squire ... I'm sure it would cut terrific in the hands of Mike Harris or Tom Kinder. I'm talking about me.

i don't get it... I don't know how to cut with one-handed swords, i don't understand how to use one-handed swords, and further, I don't comprehend why anyone would want to cut with a girly sword , when they could use a manly , two handed sword...

Yes I know , i know ... i've seen the reasons... in fact I can see the conversation now...

Me: Excuse me sir, why would you want to cut with that one-handed sword when you could use a man's sword?

One Handyman : One-handed swords are great... they extend your reach , and leave your offhand free to use a sheild to block an opponents blows.


Me: (said in my best Irish brouge) Ah... and does your husband fight with swords as well then?



All jokes aside, there's nothing wrong with one-handers , I love em too... i just do not know how to use them.

The Squire is capable of good clean cuts... in the right hands it would do well. Personally, I did not pull of even a single horizontal cut in the following video... my fault , not the Squire's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lEX41qGGnI&feature=related


and here is a link to the video sans musica

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-PeYjNC-ns&am...ature=plcp
















The Good , The Bad & The Ugly

Ah , the critical section... this is the section I wish i had never started including in my reviews. See I only review a sword if it is significantly good, or significantly bad... and I have a pretty good eye to avoid the significantly bad ones. As such I review a bunch of great swords... and it becomes a chore to pick them apart.

The Squire is a great sword. Sound of construction, pleasing of aesthetic and in tune with physics. Is it perfect?

No.

There is one flaw which stands out enough that it bears noticing.

The change of geometry at the tip is pretty complex... it shifts from the flattened diamond , to a sort of squared off awl-point , to reinforce the needle like tip.

Here , the made a slight grinding error, leaving the blade tip assymetrical on one side of the blade, giving the effect of the tip looking curved. Is it horrible? Well I've had the sword over a year... and just recently noticed it, so no, its not horrible... but its there, and worth mentioning .

Its an effect that is very hard to photograph... I have attempted in the next two shots.













Marc Kaden Ridgeway


Last edited by Marc Ridgeway on Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Conclusion


Here again, we have a fine example of a top tier production sword with a justsifiably high price . It's well made, it's attractive, and a lot of research and planning has gone into making it historically accurate. The Squire is eminently functional... and it is tough.

I want to tell a quick story... the story of the ill-fated day that the Squire arrived . As luck would happen, the mailman arrived about 10 minutes before the school bus did. So, I was outside killing water bottles as my son walked down the driveway ...

"Hey dad, get a new sword"

"Yep"

"Can I try"

Relunctantly I hand over the sword that I unboxed just 5 minutes ago...

"Be careful... its a $1000 sword , and I've cut exactly two bottles with it.'

" Aw cmon Dad..."

Swoosh... the sword bounces off the cutting stand... bouncing up and cutting through the bottle. He is ecstatic ... i am cringing... but I think it just might be ok.

It wasn't. He had struck a glancing blow at the center of the stand... shearing the head off of a scew.

The Squire survived quite well... with only a small nick in the blade... yeah i was upset... I had just gotten the sword, but it could have been much worse.

So the bottom line...

Again, like the Regent, I acquired this sword at least third hand. It was Dan D's then Sean's , and now mine. Also , rather than buy the Squire , I traded for it. Granted it was an A&A GBS I had to trade... but still quite happy with the deal. Regardless, had I bought the Squire at full price, I would still be pleased with my purchase. Its nimble, ints a looker and its highly functional. It's another good example of just why an expensive sword is an expensive sword. For anyone wanting to add a quality example of a XVI into their collection, the Squire is as goos as any, and better than most.

Thanks for reading ... I know todays review rambled all over the place.. sorry ... I feel a little ... off .














Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another great review Marc. My first Albion was a used mint Duke and when I unpacked it, I had it sitting on top of my trucks hard topper bed cover. Got distracted and opened the topper and it was like slow motion as the sword fell and landed on the peen block and bounced around a few times on the concrete. Eek! Dinged up now but nothing too major. Wink
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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 721

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great review. I have the Prince, which shares the same blade as the Squire, and I find it to be one of the finest handling swords I have. During a cutting competition, which was who could leave the most bottle bottoms on the stand without the bottom falling off, I cut a record 16 in a row with this same blade.
Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 01 May 2011
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice review Marc, thanks.
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person

O====[::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
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