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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2018 9:01 am    Post subject: My Albion Munich came in...         Reply with quote

Finally received my Albion Munich a few days ago... This is my second real sword after a type XVI I ordered from Stephan Lockwood earlier this year and an Albion Liechtenauer Iíve had for a while. Officially it only took 11 months to get the Munich from order, but that was after I cancelled a Trajan Gladius that they couldn't get the grind right on after almost 3 years, so I guess the reality is it was closer to 4 years. You would think that after waiting for so long for a sword they couldnít get right they would have bumped me up to front of the list for one or given me a discount, sadly no.

The blade is beautiful and near perfect, and the balance and handling belie itís size. Overall I'm very pleased with the sword, but I do have a few criticisms Iíll mention. When I first got the sword I was in full Ďnew toyí giddiness. The only thing I noticed that was kinda off was the grip color which is supposed to be ox-blood but looks more brown in most lights. I will say that having handled it some, the color is fading to a more traditional ox-blood. But that could also be my eyes just getting used to the color. Either way it is definitely not the same shade I normally see as ox-blood. More significant criticisms I noticed after a couple days when I started to look closer at the details... When you look at the cross guard youíll notice two small lines cut in pairs on each side of the blade and on both sides of the guard. Three of these pairs are cut straight, one isnít. It isnít something that is so bad it jumps out at you, but once you get past the Ďnew swordí happiness itís very noticeable when looking at the hilt. The other criticism also pertains to the cross guard, itís just slightly uneven. At first I thought this was an illusion created by the sweeping of the guard but nope, itís actually uneven. Neither of these are so dramatic that I have any intention of returning the sword, but for a 4 year wait and at almost $2,000 I am disappointed when you consider how highly people speak of Albion and their QC.

I really do like this sword a lot. But when I compare it to the Lockwood sword I have Iím not sure itís worth the cost and wait time. Lockwood uses 6150 spring steel (Iím not sure what Albion uses, Iíve heard different numbers), and while the peen on that sword isnít perfect and the cross guard fit not quite as tight as the Munich, when you consider that Mr. Lockwood worked with me and made small alterations to the furniture and grip length to my specifications at no extra cost and that the Albion certainly has its imperfections, unless itís an offering that is exactly what I want I canít see me going with Albion over Lockwood again. But with the sword in hand I have no regrets over purchasing the Munich.

http://imgur.com/jgi3jSp

http://imgur.com/gEWdgFn
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Preben B




Location: Norway
Joined: 02 May 2017

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great looking sword, congrats!

Shame about the small issues you had, but they seem aesthetic at least, I have suspected the pommel of one of my Albions to not 100% line up with the hilt either but its such a small thing and barely noticable, so much so I'm unsure if its just my eyes..So I don't let it bother me.

And Albions Oxblood is definitely more of a brick color, same with my Yeoman, looks brown in some light, proper oxblood in other, I quite like it but it's something to be aware of for sure.
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not going to comment on the sword itself..but rather the grip colour. Leather is an organic substance,,subject to so many subtle differences. Two different hides can go the tanning process together , yet come out slightly different in colour. Then, even if you apply the same dye to each hide, you can wind up with a slight variation in the finished result. I suspect that's what has happened with your ox-blood grip. They applied their "standard/commercial" Ox blood dye..but got a variation in colour. Personally..that's what I love about leather..no two pieces of work are exactly the same Happy
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The lines on the cross-guard are not "cut" or incised into the guard. The cross-guard is a cast piece and of course significant clean-up must be done by hand on these pieces.I haven't examined a Munich first hand, and certainly would probably never do so to the degree you are, so I cannot say if the original casting had one of the lines somewhat off or if this was done in the clean-up process. Either way, I personally would not mind that one bit since it would really be in line with details found on antique swords.

That peen in your photo looks beautifully done. Looks better than an antique sword would look.

I know mileage varies, but for me, my critique about Albion is that they're too perfect looking and this is more of a departure from the antiques than I'm comfortable with. To each their own, of course, but it is funny how exactly opposite this is from your own position.

Some people want swords that mimic antiques. Other people want exacting modern instruments sort of "in the style of" an antique sword. I imagine a swordmaker's job of finding the right balance between these two is a major pain in the butt, especially while also trying to navigate each individual customer's expectations.

I have often wished customers would spend some time examining antiques. I suspect most would be shocked at just how non-exacting they are. Seeing an Albion sword in period would have given the impression of pure science fiction. haha! There really aren't many examples to be found that are anywhere close to being as exacting as an Albion.

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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,527

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The new Albion rubs for me are that:

1) It Seems like everybody has three of them
2) I just don't have the patience for the usual wait from retail
3) After-market tends to be quite a bit cheaper

All of that said, some of them are pretty darn spectacular and it can be real (REAL) hard to find some of the models executed as well, or at all, without going custom.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 426

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov, 2018 9:24 am    Post subject: Munich         Reply with quote

Michael,

Sorry about the problems with your sword. These swords are individually assembled, so there is always some imperfections that result from humans doing the work. To some degree, these imperfections are part of the character of recreating a medieval sword.

With that said, if you are not happy with the sword, Albion has a stellar return/repair policy. Simply call Mike and tell him your issues. He will arrange for a return. You can work with him in regards to corrections or replacement. I can't speak for Mike, but just talk to him. The folks at Albion want you to be satisfied with the sword, and as I said, Albion has always done their level best to satisfy customers.

Hope this helps.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov, 2018 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Iíve unfortunately given the impression unhappy with the sword... Not at all. My criticisms are small imperfections that I have to look for, that 98% of people would never notice, and are certainly a product of admitted and unreasonable expectations I built up in my mind over the last year. As has been pointed out I shouldnít expect or want a perfect sword. In the end the imperfections I pointed out are extremely minor. The sword is beautiful and phenomenally balanced and lively in the hands. So please donít misunderstand me, for my (probably overstated) criticisms this has quickly become my favorite sword.
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael, I certainly didn't think you were dissatisfied with the sword. I did find it interesting because everybody has different expectations. It's not just that... I think everybody has different preferences, too, and that's pretty fascinating in this hobby.
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