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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2005 5:38 pm    Post subject: A & A 15th century Twohander first impressions         Reply with quote

Well it's big! First handling when picking it up gives some contradictory sensory input: It looks huge, but feels much lighter like very little effort needed to get it moving or change the direction of movement, at the same time if just holding it vertically it does not feel light as in flimsy.

Not a practitioner of swordsmanship here so some might have more credibility than me when describing handling characteristics: "Disclamer" aside, this sword handles almost as easily as a heavy one hander like my Gaddhjalt or a hand and a half sword. ( A 1 3/4 Hand sword ........ LOL. )

I don't know how fast recovery from a missed blow would be, but I can see using it one handed if necessary at least during some sort of transition to using the second hand for recovery or for a maximum range slash?

Although this sword has a very wide blade compared to most, it doesn't look that wide due to the extreme length of blade.
Halfswording seems doable but I would want to have gloves on and hold it fairly forward where the blade is a bit narrower.

The blade tapers from about 2.4" near the guard to about 1.5" wide 6 inches from the point, this taper is a constant strait line with very little to no curve to it, the next 5" of blade has a gentle curve to about 1" from the point, the last inch produces a parabolic point very similar in shape to my Gaddhjalt. Also there is a distal taper from guard to tip, point of balance is about 6" from the guard. ( Very similar to my Gaddhjalt, although the total weight of the sword is about triple that of the Gaddhjalt: So it does balance like a One hander with the weight of a Twohander! )

The blade has a distinct centre ridge running to the point arrow strait on a diamond shaped section.
The blade seems to get sharper the further from the guard one goes: Not razor sharp but definitely sword sharp.

The blade is slightly whippy but not to the degree that a thrust would be compromised: This is very much a cutting blade with good thrust potential, in comparison my DelTin 2162 Twohander is much more dedicated to the cut: One could compare this A & A to the Albion Baron, while the Deltin 2162 would compare to the Duke in the way that the Duke is a dedicated cutter.

Although the complex and bigger guard of the historically later 2162 has it's own charms and tactical advantages, the smaller and simpler guard of the A & A Twohander would seem to me to be have the advantage of not getting in the way or adding extra weight to the sword: Sort of a low drag high efficiency FAST but HUGE sword.

The usable and visually pleasing length of blade is maximized on the A & A and although the parrying hooks of the 2162 have some useful specialized uses I do like the simplicity of the A & A. ( Well I still like my Del Tin but it's interesting to compare them. )

In look it reminds me a great deal of a Albion Castellan on a high dose of steroids ......... LOL.

Might have further impression later as I play with it some more. ( Sorry, don't have a digital camera yet: will have to buy fewer swords if I want to buy a good one. Any advice about getting a good digital camera ? )

(Edited once for typos.)

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just me shamelessly bumping this one up as I would like to get other people familiar with the Handling of this sword to confirm or contradict my impressions that this sword could almost be used one handed in spite of it's great size.

Another discussion asking about the A & A English long Sword got me curious. ( Point of rotation etc... I am not knowledgable enough to have an opinion about, except that I love how this sword feels in my hand. )

Oh, Craig did tell me on an E-Mail that the pommel is lighter than what they used to make them and that the last third of the blade is ground lighter: This following a question about how do these swords ( All of their line. ) evolve over years of making them as they gain experience and learn new things about how historical swords were made.

Since making the same swords over many years you are bound to get better at it and new knowledge would cause some subtle tweaking and refining.

So a 15th Century A & A Twohander made now is to a degree different from one made a few years ago and probably much different from the first ones they made.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You bring up a very interesting point about A&A that's worth emphasizing:

A&A is constantly improving their product. Though they have had many of their current offers in their catalog for some time, a constant evolution has taken place. As you mention, they continue to do research and this research is put to good use as they learn more about the authentic pieces they're replicating. They do this without much fanfare or hype, often making the transition without even mentioning it their customer base. There are no marketing terms added to the product names, and often no significant price increases to compensate for extra R&D or even production costs.

A&A is quite unique in this regard. I've been telling them for years that I think they need to emphasize this part of their company, as I think their customers would find it as appealing as I do.

Case in point: Check out my photos of the A&A Writhen Rapier in my collection. You'll notice the backguards are not of the "writhen" pattern, but rather are straight bars. Their current version of this same rapier has the rearguards fashioned in the full writhen style and this happened without an increase in price or so much as a mention.

Many more of these changes are more subtle, such as the one you mention. Often times, the changes are a shift of blade geometry or the weights of components that results in subtle, but important, dynamic properties.

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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean;

Thanks for bumping this one, I had managed to miss it somehow the first time around! Sorry that I did indeed.

Glad to hear the good things about the sword. 46"??? Lord, BIG is right! Almost a fool longer than my Dresden, or the Regent! Well, if that doesn't keep your opponent at arms reach, then not much will, I suspect!

Interesting about the "whippyness" of the blade, but then we tend to be introduced to real swords with 19th Century versions of the saber, and THOSE are VERY stiff, so "real" swords of an earlier vintage tend to seem a tad "whippy" to us, even when they aren't, at least compared to the originals.

Nathan, glad you mentioned what A&A is up to. They need a plug here and there, as they are providing a WONDRFUL product at a reasonable price. In fact, we are enormously lucky to have representitives of a NUMBER of fine sword manufacturers here on the boards to discuss things with us, and to take what is said here seriously to improve their products. From the feedback I have gotten, I am VERY impressed with the products AND customer services of almost all of the vendors who post here... I only say "almost" because there just might be someone who doesn't, but I don't know who that would be.

Anyway, thanks again Jean for posting this. VERY cool new toy to play with! One of these days we'll have to meet in Montana or Alberta or somewhere to play with these darned things.

Gordon

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wholeheartedly agree with Nathan. I've seen the dedication to detail first hand in the form of the A&A German Bastard Sword. I've owned two of these and the second one showed significant improvements over the first. Although i haven't done business with them in a while they're still one of my favorite companies. They've always been the first ones I contact when I'm looking for a rapier.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thought I would add that I've never been disappointed with the product or experience of dealing with A&A.

I really wish I had spare money to get that Rondel they make.

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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Thought I would add that I've never been disappointed with the product or experience of dealing with A&A.

I really wish I had spare money to get that Rondel they make.


I don't have the cash...but that's what plastic's for, right Question Eek! So I ordered me the rondel............I had resisted it for too long.

Alexi
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2005 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi, Joe;


NO NO NO NO NO: Don't get me thinking about it so soon.

Hmmmmmmm: Rondel dagger, YUM !

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Joel Whitmore




Location: Simmesport, LA
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2005 12:48 am    Post subject: I have this sword         Reply with quote

I bought mine about a year ago. I posted some pics here once so the thread shoudl still be around. About the 'whippiness" of the blade, it's no more whippy than other 2-handers have handled, as a matter of fact it's stifffer than most. I don't want people to get the iplression that the blade flops around like a wet noodle. That is not the case. It does flex when held with the blade flat parallel to the ground and shaken. This being said, I had one of the original Atrim Type XIIa's and this blade does not flex much more than that one when performing the same manuver. The distinct center ridge goes a long way towards keeping the blade stiff. I thinl that anytime you get a blade over 40" or so, this will occur. Now, from my experience, one has to practice more to get the sword to track accurately because of the big blade. If you want to slice water bottles, for instance, you have to hit it just right. However, what this sword makes up for bad edge alignment in cuts with sheer mass and the torque one is able to generate with the large handle and blade. I believe this is a wonderful sword and I just love cutting with it. IT is just not as forgiving as the aformentioned Type XIIa. The proportions of this sword are so good that one might think it's much smaller than it reall is ! There are also details that don't really sho up on the A&A site, such as the little clamshells on the langets, and the way the ends of the crossguard become octagonal. I hope everyone enjoys the pics.

Craig and the guys are wonderful to work with. I remember a post back on SFI a couple of yeaars ago where Craig mentioned they had switched steels and also strengthened the center ridge . One may think because A&A's catalogue does not change as quickly as some others' that they sit back on their laurels. This is not the case. They are always researching and improving their product. This is the mark of people who love what they do and care about how well they do it.

Joel



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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2005 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joel;

Thanks for the reply and mentioning that the whippyness is far from extreme and compared to my Del Tin 2162 this sword feels like a thrust would not be ineffective.

The 2162 is much more a specialysed slasher, the A & A can do both equaly well I think.

I did not want to give the false impression that it was a wimpy noodle and I am glad that your response will clear that up in case others got the wrong impression.

Lets call it flexible and resiliant then, not whippy in the negative sense.

I have smaller swords that feel much less agile than this one.

As this is my first A & A sword I can say that I am very impressed by it. ( First sword but not first A & A product as I also have their Pollaxe and two of their spears. )

Oh, and I saw your pics a year ago, and you are right the A & A catalogue does not show all the nice details.
I think one can assume that a lot of their other product shots also do not show everything and that all their stuff is even better than it looks on their site,
Absolutely first class customer service also.

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Joel Whitmore




Location: Simmesport, LA
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2005 7:23 am    Post subject: Jean, wouldn't it be neat if...         Reply with quote

...A&A would made a matching single-handed sword with a blade of about 33" to 30" long? I think that would just too cool to mention Big Grin As I said before, the proportions of the sword are just outstanding and it would look great. How about a matching dagger whle we are at it?!

One note, Craig sent me a pic of the original as it resides in the Wallace Collection. I asked about the braided wire on the grip and he said it was added much later and is not original. HEhe then he says, "we can put it there if you want us to". Tre' nice guys over there at A&A!

Joel



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Original of the 15th Century Englsh 2-Hander as it Resides in the Wallace Collection
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to add to the kudos, the majority of my collection consists of Arms and Armor pieces and I can say that their product is a match for any productions stuff out there and far better then most. As Nathan mentioned they constantly improve their product through research and design. I've noticed this over the years as I've seen multiple iterations of some of their swords. The newer ones are inevitably better then the ones that came before.
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