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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Thoughts on Valiant Armoury Praetorian?         Reply with quote

What do people think of Valiant's new(er) gladius, the Praetorian?

http://www.customswordshoppe.com/shoppe/produ...qgp6subol3


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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it looks stunning, FWIW. Very waspy, if you know what I mean - not just the colors and waisted blade, either, the entire design gives me an overall stinging insect vibe. One of the most visually impressive reproduction gladii I'ver ever seen.
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Joel Chesser




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While I'm sure there are issues with historical accuracy I have always loved the look of this sword. It does seem a bit on the heavy side as well, though if the price was right I am not sure I'd let that deter me.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks beautiful. The shape seems ok but it is too heavy.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a number of historical inaccuracies, but I don't know if the intent was to be accurate or not. So I won't nitpick unless someone wants a list! It *is* a rather smart look, and the workmanship looks good.

Matthew
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
So I won't nitpick unless someone wants a list! It *is* a rather smart look, and the workmanship looks good.


Matthew,
I was hoping you'd chime in. Happy I'd be curious to see what the nitpicks are and how severe as well as how it compares to their Actium gladius -- http://www.customswordshoppe.com/shoppe/produ...ducts_id=4 -- in accuracy.

Happy

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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Matthew Amt wrote:
So I won't nitpick unless someone wants a list! It *is* a rather smart look, and the workmanship looks good.


Matthew,
I was hoping you'd chime in. Happy I'd be curious to see what the nitpicks are and how severe...


Fair enough! Let slip the dogs of wet blanketry... To start with, my gut reaction is that the blade shape isn't *quite* right. The waisted section is too long and the point too short--the widest section of the blade (other than at the hilt) should be higher up. So this looks a little "slumped", to me. I see it a lot in repro leaf-blades. Also, the Mainz style of sword tended to be a little more angular, with the edges at the point being straighter. BUT as I say this is kind of a gut reaction--there was a lot of variation, and it might be possible to find original blades very similar to this one.

The black and gold look is very striking to the modern eye, but the Romans seem to have prefered white and silver. All surviving wooden hilt parts that I've seen identified are boxwood and maple, light-colored woods like that, or they are bone or ivory. Brass was used for fittings, of course, though they liked to tin it, or use silver instead. The alternating wood and metal in the grip is not unknown, though I would say the best parallel is the Hod Hill sword from Britain. But that's a *British* hilt, not something that has turned up in the heart of Italy (where one would tend to look for a Praetorian, though that may be stretching the name too far!). The shape of the guard and pommel look great! Oh, it says the hilt is walnut--I understand that European walnut is not as dark as the American variety. That's a shame, because I really like American walnut, and it's a joy to work with!

Nice brass bands on the scabbard! I would tend to run the "gutters" on the side the whole length of the scabbard, for a Mainz sword, but that's not required by law or anything. The finial is a tad small. (So are some of mine!) Can't really pick at the color of the leather--obviously it's following the color scheme--since we know almost nothing about what colors the Romans used for scabbards.

If the weight given on the website is for the sword alone, yeah, that's heavy. Huh, the blade actually looks more Greek to me than Roman, but I've been looking at a lot of Greek stuff lately so it may just be me...

There, done my worst. Nice-looking piece, but unfortunately I would not approve it for use in my Legio XX.

Quote:
...as well as how it compares to their Actium gladius -- http://www.customswordshoppe.com/shoppe/produ...ducts_id=4 -- in accuracy.


OH! The Actium is lovely! Is the blade shown anywhere? The hilt and scabbard are terrific (though again, pale wood or bone would be FABulous). Better to hang it on the waist belt than a shoulder baldric, and that buckle shouldn't be there, but that IS nit-picking!

Valete,

Matthew
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Apr, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,
Thanks for weighing in. It's nice to have someone so knowledgable on these things. Happy

Matthew Amt wrote:
OH! The Actium is lovely! Is the blade shown anywhere? The hilt and scabbard are terrific (though again, pale wood or bone would be FABulous). Better to hang it on the waist belt than a shoulder baldric, and that buckle shouldn't be there, but that IS nit-picking!


You can see pics of the Actium's blade here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12428
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18626 (the scabbard isn't stock in this listing)

Happy

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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
You can see pics of the Actium's blade here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12428
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18626 (the scabbard isn't stock in this listing)


Ouch, I think I remember that one now. Yeah, the "slumped" effect of the blade is much worse on this one--the waisting is WAY too long! And the fullers are entirely wrong. Rats. Sorry...

Matthew
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ordered the Praetorian yesterday after a nice conversation with Sonny. Good guy, BTW.

The Roman period has not been my period of emphasis, but this piece looked compelling, especially for the on-sale price.
I'll give my opinions here once I receive it.

Jon

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to hear your comments on the sword once you receive it. The overall profile of the blade is wrong, as is the hilt material. On the other hand it is an attractive piece and quite striking visually, I like it. If one isn't looking for complete historical accuracy I don't think disappointment is in order.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick:
Sonny & I discussed those points and 'historical plausibility' was acceptable to me. No doubt there were many variations of the gladius, 'not all are exactly like those in museums', as Sonny stated.
It sure is a looker and I was told it is well put together. Opinion forthcoming.

Jon

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Hargis wrote:
Patrick:
Sonny & I discussed those points and 'historical plausibility' was acceptable to me. No doubt there were many variations of the gladius, 'not all are exactly like those in museums', as Sonny stated.
It sure is a looker and I was told it is well put together. Opinion forthcoming.

Jon


Quote:
No doubt there were many variations of the gladius, 'not all are exactly like those in museums'


I think it's an attractive piece and I personally wouldn't have a problem with the inaccuracies since I wouldn't buy it with those expectations in mind. However, the above comment honestly rankles me. There are undoubtedly variations on anything, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence as the saying goes. If any given replica is made with any claim to historical accuracy then the only path is to rely on extant examples for guidance. Anything else is simply creative guess work and should be stated as such.

Let me be clear, I like many of Valiant Armories designs and I think they fill a valuable niche in the industry. I think their product offers a lot of value for the dollar. However, statements like this simply come off as a lazy excuse for shoddy research. They shouldn't be made by an owner of a company that wishes to be taken seriously. Better to say you're sticking to a price point, or even simply, "We think it looks cool." These are far more acceptable than an, "I can't prove it did, but you can't prove it didn't" type of statement.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here we can see replies by Sonny and others on the 'historical plausibility' issue:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12428

There clearly are wide ranging views. And certainly there are other makers which take such liberties. Del Tin is a great example of many technically 'historically inaccurate' products, yet they have devoted collectors.

Jon

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Hargis wrote:
Here we can see replies by Sonny and others on the 'historical plausibility' issue:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12428

There clearly are wide ranging views. And certainly there are other makers which take such liberties. Del Tin is a great example of many technically 'historically inaccurate' products, yet they have devoted collectors.

Jon


Please don't blow my irritation at Sonny's verbiage up into some kind of larger issue, that wasn't my intent and I hope anyone else reading my comments can figure that out. I could honestly care less about who's "devoted" to whatever product so let's not turn this into some kind of dick measuring contest. They all have a place in the market and options are a great thing. Like I said, I think it's an attractive sword.

"Historical plausibility" is a catch all excuse and a circular argument that has absolutely no logical outcome. Why do makers insist on putting lipstick on a pig with that argument? Coulda', shoulda', woulda' doesn't make it so. Why do customers feel the need to use it as a defense? There's absolutely nothing wrong with making a sword from certain materials if a price point has to be maintained. There's also nothing wrong with making or buying a sword simply because one likes the way it looks, regardless of any historical discrepancies. Just be intellectually honest about it and say so. There is either physical evidence supporting something like sword construction or there isn't. Cloaking inaccuracy in the mantle of "historical plausibility" insults the intelligence of everyone involved. Again, it's a cool looking sword.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jan, 2014 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think "historically inspired" is the best term for such swords.
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jan, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I think "historically inspired" is the best term for such swords.

Indeed, a better description. Given that inspiration I think upon first viewing that Sonny has made legitimate piece here. Of course, once in hand it may feel unwieldy. As a novice to the Roman gladius I'll give my opinions accordingly.

Cheers, Jon

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Sonny Suttles
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jan, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
However, statements like this simply come off as a lazy excuse for shoddy research. They shouldn't be made by an owner of a company that wishes to be taken seriously.


Wow. I haven't even posted in this thread before now but here I am being quoted. The statement I made to Jon during our phone conversation on historical plausibility is something I said in the general context of various designs of medieval swords and not pertaining to the Praetorian specifically. The Praetorian was a design that I introduced prior to any dealings with Gus or Christian and even before I had ever heard of myArmoury. I thought it was a nice design and I put it into production. I will say that going back to 2006, which is the year I bought Valiant Armoury, this is THE BEST selling sword I have ever made and the 2nd best is not even close. In the end, as a person who runs basically a one man shop and who has a wife and kids who need to eat and have a roof over their head, whether or not a sword is Historically accurate or "plausible" means little to me as long as there are customers out there who like it enough for whatever reason to be willing to fork over their hard earned money to buy it. I believe everyone on this site is in entitled to speak their opinion. To imbue their theories on the work I put into or not when developing a product is naive at best especially when all the information is not known. There are many reasons to choose a design. The first question I always ask myself is, 'Will it sell?' Everything thing else is secondary to that question. This is all I will say on this issue and I will not elaborate further.

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jan, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sonny Suttles wrote:

Wow. I haven't even posted in this thread before now but here I am being quoted. The statement I made to Jon during our phone conversation on historical plausibility is something I said in the general context of various designs of medieval swords and not pertaining to the Praetorian specifically. The Praetorian was a design that I introduced prior to any dealings with Gus or Christian and even before I had ever heard of myArmoury. I thought it was a nice design and I put it into production. I will say that going back to 2006, which is the year I bought Valiant Armoury, this is THE BEST selling sword I have ever made and the 2nd best is not even close. In the end, as a person who runs basically a one man shop and who has a wife and kids who need to eat and have a roof over their head, whether or not a sword is Historically accurate or "plausible" means little to me as long as there are customers out there who like it enough for whatever reason to be willing to fork over their hard earned money to buy it. I believe everyone on this site is in entitled to speak their opinion. To imbue their theories on the work I put into or not when developing a product is naive at best especially when all the information is not known. There are many reasons to choose a design. The first question I always ask myself is, 'Will it sell?' Everything thing else is secondary to that question. This is all I will say on this issue and I will not elaborate further.


Everything here sounds perfectly reasonable and I don't disagree with any of it. It sounds like you have your priorities in line.

However, cherry picking one sentence out of an entire statement, thereby removing that sentence from its context, is not the best way to respond. It makes it appear as if this is some kind of personal issue, which it isn't. It can also make it appear as if I'm making a personal attack against you as an individual, which is honestly laughable. You're not the only one who doesn't appreciate being taken out of context. Apparently you didn't notice I was defending your product. The only issue was your choice of verbiage used to describe it.

"Historical plausibility" is a nebulous catch-all term used in defense of inaccuracy, there's really know getting around that. It falls into the same group as, "A little bit pregnant". Simply put, it is or it isn't. We judge accuracy based upon extant examples of any surviving artifact. There's no other way to make a judgment on the topic. When further examples come to light that differ in design we rethink our approach. Until that happens all we have to go on is the actual physical evidence. Anything else is simply junk science, no matter how many opinions differ. "It could have been" just doesn't get it. Stating, "I thought it was a cool design and believed it would sell." is a much better approach. If that's the quote Jon had used rather than, "No doubt there were many variations of the gladius, 'not all are exactly like those in museums', as Sonny stated." then we probably wouldn't be having this exchange. "Historical plausibility" is typically used as a weak defense and doesn't sound nearly as upfront and honest as choosing a design based upon sales potential.. The Praetorian is a cool design and I'm glad it's a big seller for you.

Jon,

When you get the sword please take a photo with it in hand. I'd like to see the overall proportion of the piece.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jan, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Kelly:
Quote:
Jon,

When you get the sword please take a photo with it in hand. I'd like to see the overall proportion of the piece.

Sure Patrick, will do.
Best, Jon

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