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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Albions Maximilian arrives         Reply with quote

The Maximilian finally arrived at my door about an hour ago. Unfortunately my home computer imploded about a week ago and I'm using my agency issued laptop, so as much as I'd like to I can't provide photos. However, other than a black grip my sword is pretty spot on with Albions example.

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...photos.htm

I was honestly surprised at the swords handling qualities. It's definitely a big sword, enough so there's no doubt as to its status as a two-hander. It also has a definite heft, yet is far from cumbersome. It's actually quite dynamic for a sword this large. Peter stated he lengthened the grip to maximize the swords handling characteristics. I'd say this was an excellent choice as the sword is quite "sweet" in its handling, to use Peters term. I can see this sword being quite the effective cutter, whether on the field or in the back yard. The gip is somewhat larger in circumference than the usual Albion, but this is in keeping with the overall size of the sword and aids in its handling, in my opinion There is quite an incease in the blades distal taper from the end of the fullers to the tip, obviously another detail to control mass distribution. The pommels spherical shape makes for comfortable handling when grasped by the off-hand. Overall the sword has a very solid feel to it.

Aesthetically the sword is very striking. in spite of its size it still carrys a sleek quality about it, yet still powerful. If a typical longsword might be considered a greyhound, the Maximilian could be a Great Dane. The execution of fit and finish is very clean and crisp, typical Albion in that sense. I love the writhen style of furniture used here. It's one of my favorite stylistic choices on swords from this period and replicas thereof, such as A&As German Bastard Sword to name another. The double fullers are a great addition and one of the features that really sets the piece off visually. The grip itself is cleanly done, with the risers being nicely defined and I can't find a seam in the leather.

At the moment I'm recovering from a slight back injury so I wasn't really able to give the sword a good swing-around. All I could do was handle it a bit, sit it in the corner and get back in bed. Bill Grandy is much more familiar than I with the techniques built around this types use and hopefully he'll chime in on that issue in greater detail once his arrives. I for one am quite interested in his opinion.

In conclusion I think Albion has another winner in their stable. The Maximilian follows in the finer points of execution and mechanics that Albion swords are known for and certainly doesn't disappoint. If one is looking for a quality sharp of this type and can handle the freight the Maxmilian should be on a short list of candidates. On the other hand, if one's just a collector and likes big honkin' swords with huge style points and a mile high cool factor, the same applies.

I kinda like it, can you tell? Big Grin

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine shipped out Monday, and finally arrives Friday... Black Grip as well. Looking forward to it!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Bill Grandy is much more familiar than I with the techniques built around this types use and hopefully he'll chime in on that issue in greater detail once his arrives. I for one am quite interested in his opinion.


My opinion is that I love, love, *LOVE* it. Happy

As posted in the announcement thread, mine also arrived today, and I couldn't be happier with the sword! It's no lightweight, but at the same time it is still as nimble as one could ask for with a sword of this size. As Patrick said, it definitely has some serious heft, and there's no doubt that it's meant to be a two hander, but it definitely isn't cumbersome either. In fact, I can do some limited single hand sword techniques with it, though that clearly is not what it's designed for. As I said in the other thread, has the kind of heft that causes you to make an impish smile when you pick it up, not the kind of heft that makes you grunt when you pick it up.

I took it into my school tonight to do some solo drills, primarily from Marozzo's primo assalto of the spadone. The sword flows wonderfully in the hand between cuts, and I never have to fight it. Between parries, deflections, full cuts, half cuts, thrusts, and everything in between, this sword is a delight to use. And for those of you who complain about "whippy" swords (despite the fact that it is common amongst antique two handers), you don't have to worry with this one: It isn't whippy at all. Happy

I used to have a much better camera that died, or else I'd do a more formal review with full photos. Alas, you'll have to settle my cellphone pictures. I ordered mine with a purple grip (because it's a landsknecht's weapon, and by golly, it should be flamboyant!), and the color came out perfect! I'm so glad I made that choice.



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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, wow. That is just amazing. Big Grin
Pax,
Sam Barris

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill, I love the purple grip. The same pommel cast in bronze would look quite striking with that color. I couldn't decide and went with basic black.

I've never seen a sword come out of the Albion shop that didn't live up to expectations. However, every once in a while they come up with one that becomes something of an industry standard. I think the Maximiliam might be one such sword.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got a chance to handle Bill's in class last night, and I agree with everything he's said about it. This is definitely a massive sword, but the balance surprises you. I expected a much more blade-heavy feel by the looks of it, but it handles very well. As a comparison, it's a little shorter than the Dane, and yet heavier. This doesn't detract from its mobility since the size and position of the pommel I think helps to keep the distribution of mass reasonable for moving it with relative ease.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My back is feeling a bit better today so I was able to do a little more sword handling. I agree, it's definitely a big piece but I find it very responsive. Maybe being a six-foot, two hundred and fifty pound weight lifter has something to do with it, but I don't find the swords mass to be a detriment. Having handled many replicas of the type I was honestly surprised and how well it handles. My eighteen year old son is a lanky six-foot two and I'm going to have him put the sword through some movements when he gets home, so I can get his impression. Overall I think the Albion team has done quite a job with this one.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did some tatami cutting with this today. As you might imagine, this thing has no problem sailing through mats. Happy

I received a PM from someone asking if the Maximillian was suitable for techniques within the German Liechtenauer school of fencing. The answer is absolutely yes. For starters, most systems of martial arts are not so narrowly specific that they cannot function with a similar weapon, so any longsword system can be adapted to larger swords with only minor changes in body mechanics. But if that isn't enough, the Maximillian is very much like the swords depicted in the Goliath Fechtbuch. For those unaware, the Goliath Fechtbuch is a treatise that has the texts seen in earlier glosses of the Liechtenauer tradition (such as in the von Danzig fechtbuch) which expand on Master Liechtenauer's verse, so it directly stems out of the earlier German tradition. It was illustrated with people wearing clothing from approximately the start of the 16th century, and the longsword fencers are all shown using very large two handers that are not too different from the Maximillian.(see attached)



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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations to the happy new owners of the Maximilian: It seems to be a sword that even exceed the normally high expectations of a Peter Johnsson designed, Albion made sword.

I'm really happy for you guys. Cool

Bill as far as handling is concerned I wonder it you can compare it to the A&A15th century two-handed sword ?
I could be wrong, but I think you may have handled one in the past ?

I'm assuming slightly faster with the Maximilian. Question

By the way just played with the A&A and I can borderline use it one handed but it's right at the limit: By the way a few years ago I commented that this was very very close to only for one blow and quick transition back to two handed use, but seems much easier now. Surprised WTF?! ( Easy at medium speed but not to sure if I could be fast enough for it to be tactically sounds for more than limited use one handed ).

I must be stronger than a few years ago because it seemed a lot easier for me today ??? I haven't handled my A&A in a while.
( A lot of my swords get neglected as far as handling is concerned as I tend to play more with my most recent purchases ).

Side note: I think that once my collecting matures with time, I start to buy less often and go back to previous favourite swords more often, I do tend to favour the most recent swords in how often I handle them.

Oh, back to the Maximilian: The spiralling on the pommel and guard plus the purple grip is really attractive. Big Grin

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Bryan W.





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Holy smokes that looks awesome. Nice choice on the purple Bill.

Good things come to those who wait.....looks like it was worth it.
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love the sword. Very happy with the purchase! I placed it on one of my racks, there are about 5 of these racks I believe...











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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice looking set up Chris. Where did you get the scabbard for your Svante?
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Nice looking set up Chris. Where did you get the scabbard for your Svante?



Christian Fletcher

Its so nice to finally have the Maximillian. Long wait, and so glad it is here.
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Apr, 2012 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian did the scabbard for my Svante as well, and an epic scabbard it is. The chape's cutouts were sketched by me in roughtly the same spirit as those on the scabbard of Peter's Svante, and Christian topped it off with a finial that looks like a miniature Svante pommel; an aesthetic trick I liked so much that I asked him to do the same sort of thing on my Brescia scabbard. I love the man's work. At some point, I still need to send him the rapier I picked up from this thread, but I'm overseas again, so that sort of thing is on hold for the moment.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Paul B.G




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Apr, 2012 2:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
I love the sword. Very happy with the purchase! I placed it on one of my racks, there are about 5 of these racks I believe...




Sorry a bit off topic, but that really is a nice setup / display. Wish I was allowed to do something similar, however here in Victoria, Australia we have to keep them under lock & key Confused

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PostPosted: Sun 22 Apr, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking like a sweet sword! Reading the comments how well it handles, I would say: no surprise! I've yet to handle a Peter Johnsson-designed sword that didn't feel like it wanted to be handled. Peter's knack for combining looks, R&D and function is awesome.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Apr, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Bill as far as handling is concerned I wonder it you can compare it to the A&A15th century two-handed sword ?
I could be wrong, but I think you may have handled one in the past ?


I keep forgetting to respond to this! Eek!

The two swords are very different. The A&A sword has much more blade presence, from what I remember (though it has been awhile since I've handled one), and packs much more of a punch. It also seems like the sword that would really sweep it's way through lines of pikemen, as it really has that kind of fearful forward momentum with it. It is not the kind of sword that many modern people appreciate, but to Matt Easton, the original on which it is based is just like that, too. I've also handled quite a number of 16th century antique two handers, where some are very lively and feel light for their size, whereas others feel much like the A&A, requiring serious training and strength the weild, but having devasting cutting and leveraging ability if one does possess those skills. I like what Matt Easton said about the antique on which it was based, that it may not appeal to many modern collectors, but that it is a good alternative to a poleaxe. Happy

The Maximillian is much more on the lively side. I behaves like an extra long longsword, and is very responsive to quick changes in the lines of attack. They are both fantastic swords, but they are very different beasts.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Apr, 2012 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Bill as far as handling is concerned I wonder it you can compare it to the A&A15th century two-handed sword ?
I could be wrong, but I think you may have handled one in the past ?



The Maximillian is much more on the lively side. I behaves like an extra long longsword, and is very responsive to quick changes in the lines of attack. They are both fantastic swords, but they are very different beasts.


Thanks Bill for the comparison: I guess I would like the Maximillian a great deal as an agile but somewhat oversized longsword since I personally don't find the A&A very difficult to handle as long as I use both hands on it. Wink Big Grin Cool

Really a useful comparison when one owns the A&A as it makes it easier to imagine the handling of the Maximilian.

So one handed use of the Maximillian would be much more viable tactically versus just barely possible with the A&A.

As you say, two very good swords but one should chose each according to strength and skill, and I would add according to the fight one expected to be in if one was capable of handling the heavier one. ( Obviously if one can't use the heavier one fast enough, or would tire too quickly with it, only the lighter handling Maximillian would be a good choice ).

Another way of saying it would be that if one likes Chocolate ice cream ( The A&A ) one can also like the Maximillian ( Maple Walnut ice cream ). Big Grin

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Apr, 2012 5:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
So one handed use of the Maximillian would be much more viable tactically versus just barely possible with the A&A.


Hmmm, I don't think I'd go quite that far. It is possible to motion through some one-handed movements with the Maximilian, but viable in a tactical sense? I don't think so. A&As German Bastard Sword might be another comparison, but on the opposite end of the scale from their 15th cent. Two-Hander. While the 15th cent. is most definitely a two-handed weapon, the GBS could be seen as simply a large longsword and is quite viable with many one-handed techniques. I'd say the Maximilian is right in the middle: far livelier than the 15th cent. but more massive than the GBS and definitely a two-handed sword. I don't think you'd want to intentionally try to use the Maximilian one-handed, at least not for any period of time. So far I've been very impressed with the Maximilians handling, but this is in comparison to other two-handed swords I've handled. I don't think people should form the impression the Maximilian is just an overgrown longsword. If they're buying it with that impression I think they'll be disappointed.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Apr, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
So one handed use of the Maximillian would be much more viable tactically versus just barely possible with the A&A.


For certain techniques, yes, but in a limited way. I would not rely on it for most situations. But for example, there is a classic "Bogen" technique in the Liechtenauer tradition where the opponet strikes from above, and you lift your hilt high with the point downwards and off to the side to parry the incoming attack, then you pass in close and let go with the left arm to wrap it around the opponent's arms. While the is held in this elbow lock, the option to strike with the sword one handed is now present. The Maximillian could pull this off without too much trouble, but not as easily as a lighter weapon.

I could just as easily do the initial grapple with the A&A, but my follow up would probably not be a one handed strike.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about with the messer from the Paulus Kal fechtbuch:
http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/bsb00....174.98.30

The only difference in technique with a two hander is the need to let go with the left hand.

So in short: Yes, it could be used one handed for some specific techniques, but in general it is a true two hander.

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