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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Armart safe? Reply to topic
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David Etienne




Location: Ittre, Belgium
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 7:17 am    Post subject: Armart safe?         Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm a newcomer in the world of sword collecting and I've just ordered an Albion 13th C. Knightly Sword. Now I'm looking for a SB4 Knightly Sword (the one with the engraved bronze pommel and scabbard) from Armart. I've read many negative comments about this firm and I'm just wondering if it's a good idea or not to order them a production sword. So, what do you think about it?

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Russ Ellis
Industry Professional




Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Posts: 2,607

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it were me I'd wander over to SFI and do a quick search on Armart, that should give you the information you need to make an informed decision...
TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ordering Armart to make a sword for you would be a very poor risk. There are people who paid and ordered 3 years ago, and they are still waiting for their swords.
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Gary Grzybek




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would say avoid them at all cost and stick with Albion.

I've watched the threads concering Armart and it appears they fall short of their promises continuosly. There's a lot of frustrated people out there Sad

Gary Grzybek
ARMA Northern N.J.
www.armastudy.org
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Kenneth Enroth




Location: Finland
Joined: 04 Dec 2003

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aren't those old infamous orders all custom swords, not from the standard line? Last summer I asked about an #S35 and they said delivery time would be three months. They usually have some in-stock items for immediate delivery too. There is a place in sweden that has some Armarts. www.knightsofthule.com
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Gary Grzybek




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:
Aren't those old infamous orders all custom swords, not from the standard line? Last summer I asked about an #S35 and they said delivery time would be three months. They usually have some in-stock items for immediate delivery too. There is a place in sweden that has some Armarts. www.knightsofthule.com


Some were standard items and some were custom. If they have it in stock then you might be safe, otherwise be cautious.

Gary Grzybek
ARMA Northern N.J.
www.armastudy.org
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Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why don't you try LUTEL? They usually dispatch orders within two months, price range is the same and they make customized blades also. For feedback you can read reviews on this site and look through SFI and The Duellist for example. Personally, I am satisfied, though I prefered to do some finishing work on their blades but it wasn't really necessary.
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

I was a customer that had a custom order pending for 2+ years.

I took a "standard" model sword that was very different from my order, as a substitute.

Good news was that ArmArt did deliver the substitute and a simple transport scabbard to close the deal.

Bad news is that I was not terribly impressed with the "feel" of the piece when I received it.

The substitute sword I had was a "Lord of Milan" model. It looked nice, and had decent fit and finish. However, in my personal opinion, it felt quite "dead" in the hand. I rather swiftly sold it off to Nathan Robinson, who was kind enough to take it off my hands at a more than decent price. He also sold it, but unfortunately lost some $$ on the deal. Either Nathan R. or whomever bought the piece subsequently could add their own comments on the handling, fit and finish, etc (whether they agree with me or not)....

So, for my personal opinion, I could recommend that you could get a nicer "feeling" sword from any of the Angus Trim dealers, at the same price range or very close to it.

At a higher price range, you could get a nice looking AND handling sword from places like Arms and Armor or Albion.

N
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, yes, the ArmArt Milan sword. First, why did ArmArt have to pick a model name already taken by another maker? (A&A, in this case). Many makers are guilty of this practice and it's always been a bit of a pet peeve for me.

Anyway. I wanted that sword since it was first shown on SFI by the person who ordered it as a custom piece. As I remember, that gentleman had specified characteristics from two different hilts found in Oakeshott's Records, combining to form his custom reproduction. When ArmArt/ SFI Museum Store had announced that it was to then be a standard model, that person was upset by the news. I think he may have had a point.

Now for my personal opinion on the sword:

When you had told me that the sword was available I was eager to get it. Upon opening the box, I have to say that I was quite impressed with the aesthetics of the piece. Everything was very clean and ArmArt got many of the subtle details of shape and volume correct for the complicated fishtail pommel. (Though this would be an example of one of a more "crude" style than some of the really complex-shaped ones) These details are often missed on modern reproductions, but clearly show that the people making this sword were basing it on more than a simple 2-dimensional photo. The guard was particularly attractive, again exhibiting the subtle sloping and changes of cross-section that are found on originals. The blade was done well and the edge bevels were blended nicely as well.

In terms of its handling, my initial impression was that it was a bit dead in the hand. After using it for a month or so, I had formed a completely different opinion. I felt that it had the dynamics appropriate for its purpose of a riding sword or even a light cavalry sword (secondary weapon, generally). The nodes on the weapon were all in the right places, and the point of rotation was placed extremely well for the cut. This is not a sword intended for agile point control or fast recovery from "fencing moves". It is, however, a sword appropriate for its purpose and I'd recommend it on those factors alone. Those consumers who are used to the types of lighter weighted swords that all seem to have the same dynamic characteristics of being "lively and fast" would probably not like this sword at all.

Having said that, I still would suggest other makers over ArmArt for the specific fact that it's often been extremely hard to get a product out of them. Often, their newly delivered products are pushed ahead of orders that have been in place for 2, 3, or even 4 years. There has been a wake of dissatisfied customers (myself included) left behind over the last 4 or 5 years. Despite them being capable of making a damn fine product, my personal recommendation would be to give your hard-earned money to other businesses.

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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am another whose custom sword was turned into a standard model, in this case the S34 (Alexandrian XIX). I found that a little irritating, but it wasn't that big a deal.

I was one of the first to order a custom sword from Armart in August of 2001. I received it in April, 2002, 6 months past its initial due date. At the time I was angry with them, especially because they made and broke estimated due dates about 5 times. I didn't realize how lucky I was to get it just 6 months late.

Still, it is a fine sword. Armart said it was the best one they had ever made. It looks wonderful, and is light and fast. It has an unforgiving COP - if you hit outside it, the blade does buzz - but I believe most XIX's have that characteristic.The only thing that really bothered me about their design was that they played it very safe with the grooves in the ricasso, and didn't execute them to the fullest amplitude that one sees on most original XIX's. Interestingly, it looks like Albion is going to attempt that full amplitude in their upcoming XIX designs. I really want to see how Albion's Condottierre compares to Armart's similar effort.

I got a really fine sword from Armart, but considering others experiences, I quickly decided not to attempt to get another one from them.



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armart hilt.jpg
Armart S34
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David Etienne




Location: Ittre, Belgium
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK! Now I've got a more precise opinion about Armart.
In fact, I was also interested by the Milan sword from A&A but It's unavailable at the moment.
I can't buy an Atrim as we're not allowed to have a sharpened double-edged sword in Belgium (sharpened kat's and sabers are legal, go figure...) and asking a blunt AT would seem pretty weird !
Lutel looks great but I don't really like (and trust) those welded tangs.
So, in definitive, I'll begin to save money for an Albion NextGen or an A&A.

Thanks to you all for your answers,

David
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Kenneth Enroth




Location: Finland
Joined: 04 Dec 2003

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2005 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you considered Vladimir Cervenka?
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David Etienne




Location: Ittre, Belgium
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2005 1:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah! Thanks! They have wonderful models. I think this is a very interesting dealer for all European customers.
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Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2005 1:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple of months ago I sent an inquiry to Vladimir Cervenka and received his full price list next day by e-mail. The sword I liked costed 290 Euros. Waiting time was 8 months then. I have not seen his blades yet, but those who ordered from him seem to be delighted. As far as I remember there was a thread about his rapier here with great pics and a lot of comments. Or was it SFI?
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Carl Croushore
Industry Professional



Location: Monticello, WI
Joined: 03 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2005 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Konstantin is correct. Here is a link to member James Aldritch's experience:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=cervenka

I hope this aids you in your quest! Cheers!

-- Carl Croushore
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Brock H




Location: West Central ND, USA
Joined: 17 Dec 2003

Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2005 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even though you've made your decision, David (and a wise one I think), I have to add my ArmArt experience.

I placed a custom order over 3 years ago. Unlike others, I did expect they would offer it as a standard model, just not as fancy a one as I ordered. However, I did expect I'd get mine first. For just over 2 years now they have been offering "my" sword as a standard model and I have yet to get my customized one. I also went two years without hearing a damn thing from them despite several e-mails inquiring about my sword.

Two months ago I was finally informed that I'd receive my sword or a refund during the first quarter of 2005. Nothing yet, but there's still two months to go.

Personally, the only way I'd get an ArmArt from them (as opposed to buying one someone else has for sale) is if I could walk into their shop, pick it up and walk out with it then. I no longer trust them enough to buy even an in-stock, standard item. There have been stories of their in-stock swords taking too long for delivery.
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David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was one of the first to order from them after SFI made them "hot" internationaly. ETA at that time was three-four months. It took eleven, and I had ordered a standard model (S-6)

My experience was shockingly similar to Nathan's. When I first got it, after the initial joy of "new sword!!!" wore off, I was tremenously dissatisfied. It felt dead in the hand, sluggish and hard to cut with. I STILL think the pommel is undersized. But, after a few months, using the sword as it was intented to be used -as that first step on the road that would make rapiers- I came to appreciate it's fine tracking in the thrust and how it seemed to "lock in" to positons so handily.

I *am* pleased with the sword, but even if ArmArt mannages to cut their waiting times in half and starts nailing delivery dates, I'll never order another one from them.
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