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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Museum Replicas/Windlass Steelcraft Sword of Roven         Reply with quote

Museum Replicas/Windlass Steelcraft Sword of Roven Mini-Review

Marc Kaden Ridgeway -------------------- 20 Dec 2011





Don't expect a lot here... just a really quick review. This sword has been reviewed on SBG before, I just wanted to add my thoughts. A review usually takes me hours upon hours... 12 or more. I have 2 hours today...

A while back Windlass put this one on the Deal of the Day. I had my eye on it a while, so at my reccomendation my 14 year old son dropped some of his stockpiled allowance on it. My son is a 2nd degree blackbelt with assorted weapons training... so I have let him have a couple of swords and use them under close supervision. Then I caught him doing something stupid with a bo-staff. His weapons are now mine .

Heh... free sword ! Happy

Any , This is the Sword of Roven from Museum Replcas / Windlass Steelcraft formerly also know as Long Sword. Years ago, sword collecting legend Hank Reinhardt owned Museum Replicas over in Conyers , GA. I was lucky enough to be his UPS guy once upon a time. Hank used as one of his maufacturers a company out of India , Windlass Steelcraft. Eventually Windlass bought out Museum Replicas and its sister company Atlanta Cutlery.

Windlass Steelcraft was founded in the 40s and made supplying the world's militaries its bread and butter. Its hard to find a modern military sword without Windlass components.

As modern replica swords, offered by Museum Replicas, Windlass has always been known to me, and indeed many other collectors , as makers of swords that are "good enough" . The less than spectacular fit and finish of Windlass pieces has always been balanced by the affordable cost and wide variety of offerings. They can be a little hit or miss... some models being very nice... some , not so much. In addition Windlass has been known for two things having blades that are a bit whippy if longer than 32 inches or so, and discontinuing their best models . Big Grin

Lately Museum Replicas has brought back some of its past favorites... Including the GBS, Ulfberht and Medieval sword.
Let us see if the Sword of Roven is worthy to be preserved as they are.

The sword of Roven could best be described as a type XX , though there are variances from this ,such as the flattened diamond crossection. The type XX is an extrapolation of the XIIa and XIIIa families , and saw use from the middle 1300s to the middle 1400s.





Specifications



Weight : ----------------------- 3lbs. 2.5 ozs
Length : ----------------------- 38 in.
Grip: -------------------------- 6 in.
Pommel: ------------------------ 3 1/8 in
OAL: ----------------------------- 47 7/8 in.
Cross: ---------------------------- 9.75 in.
Width at Cross : ---------------- 1 7/8 in.
One inch from tip : -------------- 6/8 in.
Ricasso : ------------------------- 6 in.
COG : ----------------------------- 6.25 in
COP : ------------------------------ 22- 26 in.


Aesthetics ; Fit & Finish


The 38 inch blade is in the type XX style with a 6 inch ricasso . A central fuller stretches 2/3 of its length paralleled on either side by twin 6 inch fullers. After the fuller, the crossection shifts to a softly defined flattened diamond. The finish is in Windlass' s near mirror,,, though I think that has more to do with the clear poly coat they put on blades than the polish. The blade tapers well from its thick 6 inch ricasso to its tip.

The blade comes unsharpened , as do all Windlass blades. This one was given MRLs inhouse sharpening service, resulting in a uniform, but steep secondary bevel.

The pommel is a type V variant fish tail , and lets call the cross a style 10 , both in bright steel finish . They are , i believe , machined from stainless steel. The grip is ridged wood , and covered with black leather , that is sewn not glued. The seam is servicable but rough.

Constuction is compression hilt assembly finished with threaded pommel nut, which does a decent job disguising itself as a peen. In my opinion the fit and finish is to a decent munitions grade, and the sword flows rather well. There is none of the beauty of an Albion present... but no glaring flaws either.

The scabbard is wrapped and sewn black leather with steel chape and locket . There is no wood core... and the fit is not good. The scabbard is definitely the weak link... but one has to really look at it as a freebie. Then its not that bad.










Handling Characteristics

The blade is 38 inches, and the sword weighs just over 3lbs 2 ounces. The COG is 6.25 inches. Due especially to the long ricassso , this sword has a decent amount of distal taper, and a graceful profile taper. The ridged wood grip is comfortable . and the fishtail pommel is comfortable for the off-hand.

The sword handles comfortably, with a good blade prescence. Tracking is good, and point control is not bad... the sword does not exhibit any undue droop to the blade despite being 38 inches , due to the ricasso , and the distal taper.






Cutting

Despite the steep secondary bevel, the Sword of Roven is an adept and authoritative cutter. It strikes soundly and cuts cleanly. My video cut itself off halway through , as my SD card filled up... a shame because the best cuts were last... but still this should give you an idea.

The dog...That is the daughter of our OD(original dog) DoHo...
Normailly she isn't at all interested in me when I', cutting, in fact , she is afraid of the sword, but today she was underfoot,

It just happens to be her 1st birthday today. Her name is Chloe Dancer , so in honor of her curiosity today , and her birthday the musical track is Chloe Dancer by Mother Love Bone.

It's a good reminder that you have to be aware of your surroundings when cutting and always watch out for little ones.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6n0cVWtglc&am...AAAAAAABAA


Video minus the music

http://youtu.be/L6x9PvgxG68


The Good , The Bad & The Ugly

Well , theres a touch of all to go around here. Most noticable being edge geometry... its not ideal, but it works. The scabbard is bad. The grip seam is ugly. The overall fit and finish is to what I'd call utilitarian or munitions grade. The handle assembly is adequate, but not ideal. In addition I'm not overly fond of the fittings finish. However, despite the relatively minor shortcomings and compromises throughout... as a whole the package is pretty good.








Conclusion

As i ahve said, Windlass is a manufacturer od swords that are "good enough" . There are shortcuts taken in the manufacturing process to get the pricepoint where it is... but for the most part , the compromises are not detrimental to the viability of the weapon. Many view Windlass pieces as being a good platform for customization. Others like the fact that thry offer such a wide variety at quite affordable prices.

Then, every now and then, Windlass puts out a model that shines. Good harmonics... nice balance... whatever the case , some stand out.

i believe that the Roven is one of those models. For Windlass it is a real winner IMHO. For the price KOA carries it at . $175 I think it is a hell of a deal for an introductory longsword. Or for someone like me, who owns customs , Albions and Atrims but is still attracted to a decent quality longsword of a type rarely seen for a very good price.

I've only owned a handful of Windlass products, but having been MRLs UPS pickup guy I have handles a great many. Some stick out in my mind as being a model that is a great representation of its type... the GBS is one... the Classic Medieval another... but of all the Windlass I've handled extensively , the Sword of Roven is my favorite.

I would reccomend this to anyone that wants a reasonable recreation of a type XX for a more than reasonable price.






Marc Kaden Ridgeway


Last edited by Marc Ridgeway on Thu 22 Dec, 2011 5:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Posts: 443

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this Marc. I have this one but have yet to cut with it.

Looks like your dog loves Daddy Big Grin
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good review Marc (and contary to what you warned, plenty of detail). I've had one of these for nearly 7 years and agree with you on every point. It could be called XX, but I think it might be loosely based on XIX.9/10 from Oakeshott's Records, two longswords in Rome. It used to be called something else, right - like Windlass Longsword? Mine has sentimental value because it was a present from my students when I was promoted to 'full professor', so I will always keep it. Nevertheless having owned at least 20 Windlass swords and handled many more I would put this amongst the top 3 along with the type XIV and transitional Viking (maybe classic medieval, sticklestad, and Auray after that). I'm not a longsword guy, so this one fulfills that niche for me. The only thing I would definitely change is the shiny grip - it's supposed to be leather but looks like vinyl. -JD
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Marc Ridgeway




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

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Good review Marc (and contary to what you warned, plenty of detail). I've had one of these for nearly 7 years and agree with you on every point. It could be called XX, but I think it might be loosely based on XIX.9/10 from Oakeshott's Records, two longswords in Rome. It used to be called something else, right - like Windlass Longsword? Mine has sentimental value because it was a present from my students when I was promoted to 'full professor', so I will always keep it. Nevertheless having owned at least 20 Windlass swords and handled many more I would put this amongst the top 3 along with the type XIV and transitional Viking (maybe classic medieval, sticklestad, and Auray after that). I'm not a longsword guy, so this one fulfills that niche for me. The only thing I would definitely change is the shiny grip - it's supposed to be leather but looks like vinyl. -D



Yes ... it was simply called "Longsword " at some point.

ah... XIX huh? Interesting.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Dustin W




Location: Demopolis, AL
Joined: 10 Jan 2014

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jan, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This review is one of only a few I could find on this product, but it did decide me. I picked up one of these about a month ago. I've been exceptionally pleased with it.

They still send a very badly fitted scabbard, though I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

I know it's a bit (more than a bit) of a thread necro, but I wanted to say thanks for the excellent review and nice pictures.
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Marc Ridgeway




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

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jan, 2014 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin W wrote:
This review is one of only a few I could find on this product, but it did decide me. I picked up one of these about a month ago. I've been exceptionally pleased with it.

They still send a very badly fitted scabbard, though I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

I know it's a bit (more than a bit) of a thread necro, but I wanted to say thanks for the excellent review and nice pictures.


Glad to hear you liked the sword and that the review was helpful . This is one of my favorite Windlass pieces over 33 inches long , maybe my favorite period .

Hope you enjoy your sword , you could do WAY worse at the price .

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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