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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: History vs Fantasy         Reply with quote

Hello. I noticed in another thread ,about people not dressing historicaly correct ,at Medieval and Renaissance fairs. I thought, it would be interesting, to see, how many of you ,came to collect swords ,because of love of history, or fantasy. Myself, though I`ve allways liked history,I have to lean toward fantasy. If it hadn`t been for,Conan,John Carter or Mars,the Grey Mouser and Fafhard (and yes...Dungeons & Dragons) I would probably never have picked up a sword ,much less bought a wagon load. What do you Think? Karl Knisley
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: History vs Fantasy         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Hello. I noticed in another thread ,about people not dressing historicaly correct ,at Medieval and Renaissance fairs. I thought, it would be interesting, to see, how many of you ,came to collect swords ,because of love of history, or fantasy. Myself, though I`ve allways liked history,I have to lean toward fantasy. If it hadn`t been for,Conan,John Carter or Mars,the Grey Mouser and Fafhard (and yes...Dungeons & Dragons) I would probably never have picked up a sword ,much less bought a wagon load. What do you Think? Karl Knisley


Nice topic!

For me it started when I saw the early 80-th "Ivanhoe" with Sam Niell and Antony Andrews at an age of 6 or so. My pal and I whent out to the woodshop and startted on our first wooden swords. Then a few years later my dad read the whole Lord of the rings as a bedtime story (took him the good part of a year) and The next wooden sword of mine was named Anduril. After that I read alot of fantasy but at an age of 19 -20 I found out that the real history was every bit as colourful as any fantasy. Anyway I still enjoy some fantasy once in a while but mostly in Terry Pratchetts ironic form, as the inspiration for weapons from fantasybooks and films now has lost all it glow because of it´s lack of realitybase. My collecting is still in the startingface (only have a few blades mostly for practise). Hopefully it will grow larger with the better economy my future hopefully incoperate.

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread covers responses for some people: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5407
Happy

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Chris Olsen




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me it was a mixture of Dungeons and Dragons and a bout of the chicken pox combined with pink eye as a child, the mixture of these two illness' caused me to be out of school for a week and a half and my dad rented just about every movie he could from the local video store, I watched the Princess bride along with a ton of Errol Flynn with him, afterward like many children of the early eighties went and built the first of what has to 4,568.984 wooden swords along with shields, etc. oh the warfare we had in the cornfields around my house.. and of course you put several introverted children together the inevitable happens and a trebuchet suddenly appears and all hell breaks lose. As i grew up we went to our local Ren Fest where i watched a very young guy at a place at Arms and Armor who is not so young anymore (hi Craig) do a forging demonstration my mother knew then that I was doomed, especially when she had to endure three weeks of "mom can I have this one?" as I pointed out some sword or another, god bless catalogs. The next spring my friends and I piled into my Buick and i bought my very first real live period piece (a viking long spear for the record) and now its 14 years later (OMG) and other than one fantasy piece (Glamdring.. i had to have it..) I generally only collect historically accurate replicas and when the cost and availability collide with my wallet originals.

So to answer the question.. I started out looking at fantasy and ended up becoming interested in the history
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Matthew K. Shea




Location: Toronto, Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Olsen wrote:
For me it was a mixture of Dungeons and Dragons and a bout of the chicken pox combined with pink eye as a child, the mixture of these two illness'


That sentence made my day! Laughing Out Loud

As for the original question, while stuff like D&D and books like The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time got me into this, this site has changed my preference (once I save up enough to start buying) to be historical, through and through. Thanks a lot, guys Wink
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm,

I seem to be the opposite of many people.

I got interested in swords not from "fantasy," but from an intense interest in castles and siege warfare of the Middle Ages. So, I guess I fall under the "History" category.

See, I had to write a report when I was in junior high. It planted a seed. Now I drive my wife crazy with wasters and steel.

I read some fantasy, including (of course) the Lord of the Rings, but it never really "spoke" to me. I always found more enjoyment in what really happened. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed any fantasy, its just not my "cup of tea."
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Joshua Reptsik




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Conan the Barbarian movie sealed the deal for me when I was around 7 or 8. History became more important as I got older. Now history is everything as I pursue my studies of WMA. It's amazing how well history can ruin once loved fantasy.
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Alexander Hinman




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My induction is probably indicative of my age. My first interest with any kind of medieval warfare came from Lords of the Realm II, a computer game by Sierra. 10 for silliness, 3 for realism, but I still consider it to have been a good primer for me.

It was then only a matter of time, along with some pushing from D&D and the purchase of Sir Charles Oman's famous volumes for me to really get into it. Of course, the first sword I got was a CAS Iberia (Filipino-made), and only within the past few years have I learned about Albion, A&A, etc. Still, I am slowly on my way to the realm of the froth-mouthed collector, with fistfulls of hundred dollar bills and a clean wall space for my future lineup, along with a spot in the corner for my eventual hauberk.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think its probable that at least some of us are a combination of both.

I loved Tolkien first (also read first book while sick at around age 13.) The Once and Future King clinched my resolve to one day own a "real sword." Beowulf (1100 A.D.?), Morte d'Arthur (first printed 1485?), Grail Stories, etc. can be dated to Medieval times. Thus I consider action Fantasy and boys playing with wasters to date back to ages when swords were not just historical.

The appreciation for history just happens to coincide with the maturity developed by the point in time when we achieve the income to actually buy some swords.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Matthew Grzybowski
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Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great topic!

For me it was first and foremost Conan that got me interested in swords. Mix that with a health amount of D&D, a random sword magazine from a company in China, and I was hooked. But it wasn't always fantasy for me either. I would go to the library and read about knights (as all boys do I think) and castles. For a long while I was totally into Museum Replicas. And in fact still own a piece or to. From there I collected bayonets for a while. My favorite is the old WWII German bayonets that has a saw toothed back to it. It is the most wicked design I've seen.

These days I've found that my interest in the historical or fantastical is about style. Even in the OlliN shop, it is not all about fantasy, nor is it all about historic. I know that Mark has his influences, but he really works with what comes to when he is designing. And I love what he comes up with. What I've found is that the fantasy pieces that inspire me or that I love are the ones that have some grounding in the historic. Something that fits into a time or genera, but pushes the original concept. Maybe even what the piece would have evolved into at some point. Or would have been made for one person it that time as a custom piece.

Personally I think that is way the Conan movie stood out and touched so many sword enthusiasts was through its design concept. It was not something that was added as an after thought to the movie. It was there from the beginning. There was great symmetry between the story, costumes, set, acting, and the swords fit in to tell that story. Same with the LOTR movies. There was a thought, concept, and symmetry behind the pieces that translated to the moviegoer.

Just some random thoughts. Thanks again for the topic!

Best,

Matt

OlliN Sword Design
Handmade collectible arms, custom swords, and sculpture
www.ollinsworddesign.com
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Ken Rankin




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 12 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good Morning!

Great topic! I think that Robert E. Howard would be proud to know that, years after his death, his words are still inspiring people to not only read his stories and others of the genre, but to pick up swords, as he was a bit of a collector himself. I think one of my first influences concerning swords was 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' with Errol Flynn (which also fired my interest in archery, it's on DVD!), in fact as a child I wrote to the Warner Brothers Prop Department asking if they had any extra swords they wanted to part with (they have yet to write back), movies like the aforementioned Ivanhoe, 'The Hobbit' cartoon, anything about Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and books by Howard Pyle. I discovered Howard,Tolkien, and D&D in high school, and remember making a sword from an old strut. When I was in the Army, I was stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and the bug bit pretty hard, especially after a visit to the Kaltenberg Medieval Festival, I still have a picture of me wearing a heavy chainmail shirt and holding a flamberge. It was my first Ren Faire. My first actual sword came from a PX catalog, my roommate and I bought cheap wallhangers and would engage each other in battle (he's still around, really). I was fortunate enough to visit England and Scotland in 1987, and remember well Edinburgh and the great castle (and all those swords!) I remember going to an antiques store there and holding a very old basket hilt sword, it felt very natural and made me wonder what my Scottish ancestors would have carried.

We're going to the NCRF tomorrow, and hope to see some Albion blades in person.So, I have danced around serious collecting for years, and hope to continue to learn more about the hobby here. When my wife and I go to faire, we don't worry too much about historical accuracy, there are plenty of folks there much better at it than us, but we go to have fun and enjoy the day.

A little aside, I think one of the reasons that the Conan movie resonates with the group is that the art department worked hard to create a sense of pre-history, as if this could have been back in those lost years. I love the soundtrack as well, I listen to it often in the car Big Grin

Ken
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J. Bedell




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been interested in medieval history since i was about 5 years old. I really don't know what started it but ever since i can remember i have been interested in medieval history. By the time i was 7 i had a small library of books on medieval history, and a Toledo rapier. Ever since then i have been collecting historically accurate weapons. I'll admit i have a few fantasy pieces, but my main focus is historically accurate pieces.

Well, to make a long story short, I got into collecting because i love history.

-james
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am a history buff. As I look back at my response on the thread that Chad Arnow mentioned,
Quote:
This thread covers responses for some people: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5407
a specific trigger to my interest was probably watching the film "Ben Hur" (yes, at the theater). The arms and armor as portrayed in that film weren't very accurate, but how was a kid to know? Anyway, I think that left an indelible imprint on my young brain, and, ever since that time, I have had an interest in history: who, what, when, where, how, and, especially, why. While I do enjoy some fantasy stuff, e.g., Lord of the Rings, this is not enough to inspire me the way that history does.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too am a history buff, but never had any particular interest in swords until the summer of 2002, after my wife's and mine first time at the Renaissance Faire on the IL / WI border when I came across the 4th and last sword dealer back by the jousting grounds which happened to be Arms & Armor and for the first time laid eyes on high quality historical swords. Suddenly I was awe struck but my first sword was not purchased until July 2005, which was the A&A German Bastard Sword. Now I am hopelessly hooked. Personally, I have no interest in fantasy swords;

Bob
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Shae Bishop




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My love of swords really started the first time my dad read "The Lord Of The Rings" to me when I was 3 or 4. It took a while to get through the books but I loved them. I watched Errol Flynn's Robin Hood and any other movie I could with swords in it. I had a couple sword catalogs that my dad had brought home for me and I would look through them all the time. I was playing with toy swords before kindergarden and making wooden ones in middle school. I re-read all Tolkien's books several times and I also read Beowulf, The Illiad, and The Oddyssey, which all fascinated me. Snce then, my knowledge and interest have grown emmensely and I am now focused almost entirely on historical weapons. I am always pointing out innaccuracies to my friends when we go to see movies. However I still love Tolkien and the legends of Beowulf, King Arthur, and Robin Hood that got my love of arms and armour started.
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James A. Vargscarr




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think for me it was neither predominantly history or fantasy that spawned my interest in swords - it was always about what captured my imagination. As a child, a good story was a good story; just as it is today. Thinking about it, those stories were mainly the Norse and Greek myths, Beowulf, or Tolkien; but many of the images that I remember moving me in the early days were oil paintings depicting historical events, or photographs of arms and armour. Of course I saw a lot of great swords at the cinema, but one can only see a real sword in a museum, so I visited my share of those as well.

Knowledge has made me more critical over the years; and I'm unimpressed by inaccurate weapons that purport to be historic, or fantastic crowbars that purport to be weapons. However, my interests and tastes remain unbiased, and I still lack any preference for accurate historical weapons over well-executed fantastic pieces; or for the fantastic over the historical.
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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Apr, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

History or Fantasy?

For me, it's history all the way. I don't know why either. It just is. It's taking me several minutes to conjure up an informative response. I guess it's the profound sense of awe whenever I see the swords pictured in one of Oakeshott's books or when I see one of the castles in the British Isles or France. I guess you could call it a liking towards the "real thing." Charlemagne, William the Conquerer, William Wallace, Edward the Black Prince, and even Joan of Arc didn't use -- or need -- magical or mystical powers to do the deeds for which they are now remembered. It's fascinating to me learning about the real people, places, and events and how they shaped our world. To me, that goes beyond all the fiction. Wink

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Apr, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oddly enough it was a real sword that got me into first the D&D craze of the eighties then later into collecting swords. My grandfather was a Mason and one of their branches had as their ceremonial garb a funky hat and a simple hilt smallsword. I still have a polaroid picture of me at five years old wearing my pyjamas and that hat and holding aloft the sword. Everytime we went there (which was twice a year), I'd beg my grandfather to let me see it, and when he died, my grandmother tried to give me his sword, but the Masons demanded it back (super secret handshake nonsense I guess). Of course, that sword sparked an interest in knights and swords that found fertile ground in the RPGs of the eighties. This ground was fed by various fantasy stories like Tolkien's works and the Chronicles of Narnia, the Prydain Chronicles, the Dark is Rising Sequence, and various pulp SF&F works. Wooden sticks and trash can lids in the backyard. World History and British Literature classes in High school (we had a dinner party for Brit Lit where we dressed up as people from the Canterbury Tales and of course I went as the knight). Then, I see an advertisement in Dragon magazine for Museum Replicas Limited, sent away for the catalog, and bought my first sword from them, the Del Tin bladed Norman sword, in 1990.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Elonas Kvietkus




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Apr, 2006 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So far fantasy wins over history I see Happy
As for me I'm from the same camp of RPG fanatics and that means my interest in swords and other "cold weaponry" came primarily from fantasy stuff. Though I've never played D&D 'cause it's not very popular here (it's mostly GURPS and Rolemaster which concerns the use of blades). And I should be honest an say that I found and joined "myArmoury" just because ever lasting argumets about "Estoc" in our company:
- I'm tellin' You: it has no blade! You can't perform any cuting attacks with it! Thrust only!!
- No shit! Read "triangular blade with diamond cross section"! It's a blade by default!
- Just look at the attack table! Only "Puncture critical" might be delivered!
- Oh, go to hell!...

And so on.
And articles and images from "myArmoury" finaly put an end to this. Now for the most of the time this place it's the best source for chekin' out if this or that was available at the playable period, who could use some sort of weapon or armour and who not.
Then again the articles and discussions here can make everyone turn nuts about real historical weaponry. And I'm glad and thankfull for my growing interest in this area. The only real blades I ever owned/held in my hands was WW2 german dagger and AK-47 mountable knife. Now with every trip to some European country I try visit every possible workshop and look for some new REAL blades.

There's one drawback in all this though. Before "myArmoury" I used to see "big beautiful swords and even bigger beautiful swords".
Now I see "Oakeshott Type XI ... and this is Oakeshott Type XVII ... and that should be Oakeshott Type XIII..."
Not much of a romantics in this Confused Laughing Out Loud
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Drake Abram





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PostPosted: Thu 13 Apr, 2006 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Conan and The Beastmaster got me into swords, which got me into history. I like a mix of both, but find history more interesting.
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