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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > A Regent stripped naked... and then rebornDIY Project Reply to topic
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Stefan Hanson




Location: stockholm sweden
Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: A Regent stripped naked... and then reborn         Reply with quote

or "Sorry Peter Johnsson but I had to "

Living on a teacher's salary in Sweden it is not easy to own all the swords you dream of and to order a custom built one is for most people totally unrealistic. But with dedication and stubbornness and a bit of experience working in different materials you can convert existing swords into something personal and unique.
This is the story of how I decided to strip Albions ”Regent” into a bare blade and then dress it up into something quite different. (In fact my Regent was maybe the third one manufactured and actually Peters own hence the headline above)

The metamorphosis began with a visit to Skokloster castle outside Stockholm. They keep a sword there with a wonderful floral ornament on the handle. As soon as I saw it I wanted to replicate it. Badly.I I am very fond of those handles with a waist. So one cold winter day I went there to photograph it in the dark armoury where it had been kept since the 17th century. No electric lights only a hand torch allowed !

As I already own a cherished Arms and Armour sword with a superb fish tail pommel I began to ponder on the idea of replacing the regent pommel with something else. During a trip to Bern, Switzerland, I fell in love with those oval flat leaf shaped pommels. You can find them on several swords now mostly in Swiss museums.

Not being a skilled smith and with no access to a smithy I wrote to Craig Johnson at Arms and Armour, asking if I could buy a cast of a similar pommel in their production. To my joy Craig told me they had made experiments with a larger pommel, ultimately not being used but still laying around unpolished in the workshop.
This suited the overall design of the sword even better, the quite thick hollow ground blade needs a hefty pommel. This was made possible through the great generosity from another sword afficiado. Many thanks Craig!
The crossguard was filed into a different shape with faceted knobs.

I filed, sanded and polished the pommel and then spent hours and hours of painstaking filing with a needle file turning the round drilled hole into a square one. I prolonged the tang with a welded part. I made a birchwood handle in two parts removing wood for the tang. I glued and bound it with cotton string. Then I made a template from the handle in aluminium foil and redesigned the Skokloster floral pattern using the contours of this template. I turned two of the panels so that the floral pattern grows towards the tip of the blade. The ”up” of the sword when you hold it.
I cut and punched the pattern with a scalpel and the kind of tool you press down nails in wood with. The leather is naturally tanned cow 1.5 mm and worked flat on a stone surface. ( a floor tile c:a 33x33 cm ) The leather is slightly damped with a damp sponge before compressing the leather with the tools.One have to find the exact time when the dampness is perfect, then the leather holds the pattern dow, if too wet it will not compress enough. The leather is then painted brown. I glued on the handle leather with hide glue which allows a long working time and also makes the leather flexible when wrapping around.The surplus material was cut with a razorbalde at the sides, carfully not to cut the string on the wooden handle. The "thumb protector/ rain guard" Chape is constructed in in such a way it is going under the handle leather. It is also stiffened with an internal cylinder of shellac hardened 1.5 mm leather. The ornament is taken from a late 15th century bishop's effegy carved by Tilman Riemenschneider.

The scabbard is made from two parts of massive birchwood and cut with chisels in convex curves to fit the shape of the blade. After being glued the outside is planed and sanded. Historical scabbards are generally thin and elegant. Look at paintings and sculptures. I made the ornament on the scabbard leather in the same way as I did on the handle. I overlapped the leather on the back of the scabbard and cut in the middle through both layers with a razorblade. In this way the edges will fit exactly. It is not necessary make a seam. The ornament is taken from a late 15th century sword scabbard preserved in Vienna. I refined the leaves a bit. All the background dots are made one by one but it is surprisingly fast. It was then painted black and polished with a wax.

The silver chape is inspired by one in a late 15th century german painting. My original is sculpted in grey SuperSculpey polymer clay, cast in silcone rubber, recast in jeweller's wax and dipped in shell casting products to make a heat resistant mold which withstands the 800 degrees of melted silver, heatened to make the wax melt and the mould ready to pour melted silver in.The so called "lost wax casting process" ( wax was scarce and valueable in the Middle Ages and mostly used to make candles and pay the taxes to the Church with )

To my relief the casting went well. Hours of sanding and polishing followed. It was then glued to the tip of the scabbard. The fittings for the straps were instead sand cast (pressing the original model into a very fine red powder like sand in a wooden box which gives a hollow impression which then can be filled with melted silver). they were sanded and polished and rivited with handmade silver rivets on the straps for the swordbelt. The straps are cut in such a way they keep the sword in a good angle to draw it easily and make walking with it easy. I am actually quite pleased with the result. It does look like a convincing 15th century sword and scabbard. Please do see attched pictures of the building process.

bye from a Stockholm with frost,ice and snow in the air. This is Cimmeria. Winter is coming.

Stefan

Please find pictures of the process here...although I had put them in chronological order they ended up in a random.heap....heck I rather build swords than fiddling with computers..

http://s130.beta.photobucket.com/user/stefanmbop/library/



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Brian K.
Industry Professional



Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 721

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow.

Absolutely outstanding work, and truly awe-inspiring. I'm very, very impressed! Thank you for sharing your work with us.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Peter Lyon
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Location: New Zealand
Joined: 20 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh my. That is beautiful.
Still hammering away
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 245

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amazing work! What Peter said, that looks beautiful.
"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, that is stunning! Truly amazing work and a breathtaking result.
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Ben Sweet




Location: 831
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 512

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Disgustingly beautiful...!
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,492

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very impressed with what a motivated person can do!
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have made rain guards before but that is a unique technique you use with one large supporting piece and then a thin decorative piece of leather over the top to make it one with the rest of the grip. If I ever do another one I may need to try that, very nice.
Newbie Sword collector
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 11:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's one of my favorite customizations I've seen in a long, long time.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A truly excellent piece of work. The decoration just looks so 'right', and is beautifully executed. The late ('high') medieval period saw extensive decoration of practically every single object, no matter how mundane, yet modern taste is for simple, minimal decoration. So many swords and scabbards would have been decorated in this way, yet you hardly see it represented in modern reproductions (cost, time?).

Stunning and very inspiring.

Julian
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's very daring to strip down an Albion, and what an outstanding achievement! You've just raised the bar by a mile for us home customizers (and to be frank for a bunch of pro makers too). I've rarely seen that level of execution and finish.

To be fair I am dumbfound by what I see here, and I'll come back again and again to your pictures for a while I guess. That's pretty much exactly were I wanted to go with some of my projects.

Excellent documentation too. Thanks for sharing it all.

Damn my fingers are now itching to go back to my own stuff so thanks for this wake up call!

J
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Rune Vildhoj




Location: Denmark
Joined: 21 Jun 2012

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is one of the best executed customizations I have seen. There is a consistency in style and detail thoughout the set which just seems to capture a certain feel perfect. It is not only a beautyfull and elaborate work with historical consistency - it has that special feel which makes one resort to giving it a name, not quite certain of whether this is in jest or earnest. Definitely beyond mere craftmanship and in the realm of artistry.

Inspiration for many thoughts, dreams or planning hours during long darks winter-months which soon descend upon us Scandinavians.

Thanks a lot for sharing.
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am in awe. That is simply gorgeous. You should be incredibly proud of your work.
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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Ben Anbeek
Industry Professional



Location: veenendaal netherlands
Joined: 28 May 2007
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Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i just drooled over my keyboard...... damm that is realy nice sword and scabbard
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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
Joined: 08 Apr 2009

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is really amazing, sets quite a high bar for DIY projects. Would a modest school teacher consider taking commissions? Happy
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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with everything above.

I particularly love the scabbard and the grip. The hours and dedication to take this on are admirable, but then again is the skill.

This is no amateur project.

Big congratulations.

Tod

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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 484

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice work with an eye for detail that is fantastic.

I think you are on par with many of the professional sword fitters

and thank you very much for sharing [/code]

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
I agree with everything above.

I particularly love the scabbard and the grip. The hours and dedication to take this on are admirable, but then again is the skill.

This is no amateur project.

Big congratulations.

Tod


Quoting Leo that this isn't an " amateur project ": The appeal of the Albion sword, already high, seems to me to be 2X or 3X at the very least. Impressive work and as good as any I've seen here by industry professionals. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Am I allowed to say that I like the modified sword better than the straight Regent? Eek!
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow!

I actually kind of dislike the Regent's pommel. This is absolutely beautiful. If they made a Regent like that, I would have gotten it instead of the Earl.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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