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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Albion 'Trajan' Gladius...         Reply with quote

So I ordered this sword more than 2 years ago and have yet to receive it. I've contacted them a few times over the course and they've always been quick to respond, but with a different reason for delay [almost] each time, including issues with the tip grind and their grinder leaving. I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up on this sword until they have the grind issues worked out and just have them switch my order to another type I like...

Has anyone ever experienced similar issues with Albion?

Has anyone ordered and received a Trajan yet?
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Albion 'Trajan' Gladius...         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
So I ordered this sword more than 2 years ago and have yet to receive it. I've contacted them a few times over the course and they've always been quick to respond, but with a different reason for delay [almost] each time, including issues with the tip grind and their grinder leaving. I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up on this sword until they have the grind issues worked out and just have them switch my order to another type I like...

Has anyone ever experienced similar issues with Albion?

Has anyone ordered and received a Trajan yet?


Wow, that's a very long time for one of the plainer simpler swords they make, I mean it's just a Pompeii blade with a simple all wood hilt. Yes the tip is reinforced, but that shouldn't take two years! No doubt it will be very well made as my Albion Augustus is about as perfectly produced a Roman sword as is available today, but such a sword as yours at that price can be made by any of a dozen good swordsmiths. I have a very similar sword as yours made by Matt Lukes of Canada.

Albion seems to be a very reasonable company so I'm sure they will do you right.

Please let us know how it goes.
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K. Robert




Location: Poland
Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At this point they should give you two lol

I know of people mentioning they got their swords after 6 months nowadays, so I am really sorry you have to wait this long
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been involved in the arms and armour hobby for a very, very long time. It still confuses me how many business problems the American makers have always had. Things like scheduling and maintaining timelines is at the top of the problem list, but employee retention, quality control, vendor management and other issues have been ever-present, too. Unfortunately, Albion isn't the only maker to have some of these issues. The European makers, big and small, seem to have their stuff dialed in a lot better.
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Christian Short




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 21 Jan 2017

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Albion Trajan Gladius         Reply with quote

I don't understand this at all. I keep hearing how great their customer service is from other people. I for one have experienced it and I can say they treated me great but for all the Albions I own none have come straight from Albion. I'm waiting for a Discerner right now. There at 9 1/2 months. They just told me a couple more months. I hope they are being honest. Nothing is worse than giving someone your hard earned money then having them bullshit you. It's the fastest way to become past tense. Especially with all the new guys out there creating beautiful work.
Christian
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2017 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally something really seems to be going downhill at Albion on the business side. I used to purchase a few swords a year from them.. but recently the wait times are getting more and more excessive, and they keep firing many of the staff (or the members are leaving voluntarily?).. it sounds like quite a bit of drama. It is looking more and more like it might be easier to just purchase on the secondary market, and/or to buy instock from conventions.

-Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect part of the problem at Albion is likely that rising costs of living, and wanting to pay their workers a decent salary while maintaining at least a shoe-string profit, means that they have had to downsize to the point where they probably only have a few employees full-time in the shop, and those guys likely do several different jobs rather than specializing. I'm certain this is probably also the case at A&A as well. There aren't many other sword-smith shops worth the name in the US, after that point it's pretty much individual makers (I wouldn't put, say, Badger Blades or BKS in the same category as Albion/A&A).

Part of the overall situation as well is that the sword market is declining to some degree. The boost it got in the 2000s from Lord of the Rings has passed, the people who got their start with 80s and 90s fantasy like Conan and Highlander are probably less interested than they used to be by now as well, and the younger crowd are more interested in anime, sci-fi and comic books. Certainly the re-enactor, medieval/history-phile, sword collector market is still out there... but as far as buying real battle-ready swords goes, the market isn't there like it used to be anymore.

The Internet is partly to blame for this as well. It fueled many an American company's rise, but at the same time, it made cheaper alternatives readily available-- not just the Indian or Chinese blades, but European as well. Frequently for the cost of an Albion, you can get a full-custom sword with scabbard and leatherwork from Europe, and with far less wait. Macej K, Mateusz, and Tomek Kowmal have come right up in the past couple years or so, for a few names off the top of my head, though they are higher end guys now.

I suspect also that Albion's fixed output and limited availability are a turn-off to a lot of people. You get to choose your leather colour on your hilt, and you can add bluing or antiquing to the fittings... and that's about it, and you get to wait a year for it! Whereas if you E-mail, say, Mateusz, and tell him you want a sword like this one he made before but with a different set of fittings... odds are he'll either say yes, and come up with it and do a pretty darn good job at it too, or say no and explain why and perhaps offer an alternative, and you'll probably get it in less time.
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,059

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:

Part of the overall situation as well is that the sword market is declining to some degree.


This is another topic all together but I was under the impression that the sword market had never been in a better place.
Most smiths I know have more work than they can handle. The LOTR boost only faded to be multiplied with the overwhelming success of game of thrones, Vikings tv shows etc. I strongly feel the level of interest is now at its peak.

Anyway, this is too long a wait for a semi production sword.
And yes, Albion may be suffering from new Eastern Europe competition, speared by Maciej Kopciuch, Mateusz Sulowski etc. who offer equal or possibly better quality (full custom), tackle new designs constantly at an insane pace while the Albion next gen line has not changed for years. As awesome as it is, I've looked and drooled at the next gen lineup for over a decade and seeing new stuff is, well...refreshing.

Whatever issues Albion is having, I hope they overcome them promptly - I would really hate to see them decline.
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder if this is just about their Roman swords, a niche within a niche. Although costly to the buyer, they probably have a razor thin profit margin on those swords.
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