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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 12:54 pm    Post subject: First Sword: Abion's Next Generation Gaddhjalt         Reply with quote

Yesterday I received my NG Gaddhjalt . If this sword is any indication, those who have reserved upcoming NG swords will not be disappointed.

Physical stats as measured:
Blade: 34.875" (Note: This is an inch shorter than the published stat, which might be a misprint because the overall length is the same and I don't think they lengthened the grip by an inch!)
Blade at base: 1.9375
Cross: 8"
Pommel width (at widest point): 2.75" height: 1.5" thickness: about 1.125"
Length of grip: 4.375"
Overall: 41.125"
CoB: 6.75" (Right on the published stat)
CoP: 21.75" To the best of my ability to measure it. Seemed a bit farther out on this sword than the published 20.75"
Weight: ?

Details and first impressions:
--The sword was well-packed and arrived undamaged.
--Seeing and holding the Gaddhjalt in person really impresses you with the fact that "this is a big single-hand sword." In pictures it looks perhaps smaller and more slender than it is. This might be an illusion due to the fact that the grip is a bit longer than I expected, 4.375" vs 4.0."
--The overall proportions of this sword are beautiful. In particular I'd like to call attention to the long, parabolic point section. I think future owners of the Gaddhjalt (and Norman) will be very pleased with the graceful point. The point section appears to begin at the CoP and accelerates gracefully to a moderate point. This is probably my favorite single characteristic of this sword, and I might purchase a Norman as well.
--The fuller is very well executed, straight, crisp, and even. Particularly toward the tip-end of the fuller, where Albion managed very well to take away most of the "machine made" look that most production-sword fullers demonstrate, if you know what I mean. The lift at the end of the fuller is subtle and well-shaped, not abrupt.
--The satin finish is uniformly well done.
--The guard is well fit to the blade. There is only a slight hint of the machine operations that formed the slot for the blade. It is also a beatifully designed and proportioned style-1 cross.
--The leather-over-cord grip is attractive and provides a solid grip. The central grip riser falls right between my middle and ring finger and is comfortable and adds visual interest.
--As this is my first sword, I must refrain from much comment on handling. I have handled a fair number of production swords (AT and various others) and this compares favorably to my memory of those.
--Hopefully pictures will follow.

Regards,
Brian M
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations, Brian, on your new NG Gaddhjalt sword! It sounds like a wonderful piece. Happy Looking forward to some photos of it.
"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



Photos : Albion Armorers site


'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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Markus Haider




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:

Photo : Albion Armorers site


If Brian had Heidi Klum over in his house, would you want photos from her website or photos of Brian happily holding her? Big Grin
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If Brian had Heidi Klum over in his house, would you want photos from her website or photos of Brian happily holding her? Big Grin


Hi Markus

Until we see her in Brian's hands I'm afraid these will have to do ;-)

But if he's got any of Heidi by all means get them up !

Happy New Year , Mac

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Stephen A. Fisher




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian, I'd say you did very well for your 1st sword.

Hey Mac, I've got some Heidi Klum pics. Big Grin

Happy New Year everyone!
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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2004 12:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually I'd prefer Sophie Marceau--the French Princess in Braveheart. What a stunning girl. But if Heidi happens along, perhaps I am not too proud to reject her.

I'd like to take a few pictures to demonstrate not only "sword in hand," but some detail pictures, like the terminus of the fuller, the guard-blade fit, etc. It really is a beautiful sword and a steal at the $544 I paid. My biggest problem now is deciding which NG sword to reserve next with my limited funds.
I think the parabolic point section should reduce mass in the very tip while retaining a broad cutting cross-section at the CoP, compared, say, to a moderate straight-taper profile (i.e. "The Templar") with a "spade point." Meaning the sword can be longer and still handle well. Perhaps Mr. Johnsson can comment on this aspect.

Brian M
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2004 6:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
Actually I'd prefer Sophie Marceau--the French Princess in Braveheart. What a stunning girl. But if Heidi happens along, perhaps I am not too proud to reject her.


Seen this one? She fences in that one as well. http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0109798/

Quote:
I'd like to take a few pictures to demonstrate not only "sword in hand," but some detail pictures, like the terminus of the fuller, the guard-blade fit, etc. It really is a beautiful sword and a steal at the $544 I paid. My biggest problem now is deciding which NG sword to reserve next with my limited funds.


You have yourself to blame for starting out with an excellent sword. Wink Compare that to us other punters, who started out with crappy $50 swords and who have increased our standards in smaller steps.

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2004 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
I'd like to take a few pictures to demonstrate not only "sword in hand," but some detail pictures, like the terminus of the fuller, the guard-blade fit, etc. It really is a beautiful sword and a steal at the $544 I paid. My biggest problem now is deciding which NG sword to reserve next with my limited funds.
I think the parabolic point section should reduce mass in the very tip while retaining a broad cutting cross-section at the CoP, compared, say, to a moderate straight-taper profile (i.e. "The Templar") with a "spade point." Meaning the sword can be longer and still handle well. Perhaps Mr. Johnsson can comment on this aspect.

Brian M


Brian,
I am glad you like the Gaddhjalt.
Your thoughts on the functional aspects of a long parabolic point section are correct. It is a way to kep down mass in the outer part of the blade, while keeping an effective cutting section. A long parabolic point section also help establishing other aspects concerning distal taper and shape of fuller among other things. And yes, it is an effective way to make a long blade like the "Gaddhjalt" wieldable.
With other outlines you will have to work with distal taper and/or fulllering to keep down the mass, making the blade as agile as possible.
Generally one can assume that a more narrow point makes for a quicker sword.
There is so much variation to this though so it cannot be expected that this will always be the case. A broad blade with only very little profile taper and a broad spade shaped point can still be made into a very responsive sword if the point section is made thin enough.
An effective fuller can also do much to induce wieldability to a blade.

The different blades in the set of swords for the next gens will of course have their specific character that follows from variations in mass and chape.
My goal in their design however is that they all should be as responsive as possible, without compromizing the typical character of the blade styles.

I am not sure what sword will be the most agile when comparing the "Templar" and the "Norman" (or the "Ritter" for that matter). They are of about the same length. Mass in the point section will not be that different, I should think. The long fuller in the "Templar" might actually tip the balance in its favour compared to the "Norman". I have designed the blade for the "Templar" with a rather dramatic distal taper in its outer third. The same goes for the "Ritter". This will help making the blades quick and agile. The long parabolic point of the "Gaddhjalt"/"Norman" swords is on the other hand effective in minimizing mass as well, so this might make it a hair more agile.
I think the difference will be slight.
We shall see, when all tweaking is done and the swords are ready to be delivered.

When deciding the final heft for all these swords I am balancing several different aspects against each other. A pivot point closer to the point will make the sword feel more precise in point controll and will also make the whole sword tend to feel lighter than its actual weight. This heft is not always possible to achieve in every blade type/sword type without changing the weight dramatically from the norm, or doing something irregular with the outline of the blade or its distal taper.
A single hander with a short grip, long blade and broad point will typically have its forward pivot point closer to the blade node (that is: further in on the blade), than a sword with a longer grip and narrower point.

It is interesting to note the variation in the placing of pivot points, balance point and vibration nodes in historical swords. When making the hilts for the swords in the group of next gens I try to choose as beneficial combination as posssible that is in line with what can be seen on historical swords of the same type as far as I can judge from my gathered data.
We must not forget that if swords originally were intended for different use their ideal heft would have varied. This is most obvious when comparing blades with great difference in length, mass or profile. It is more of a subtle variation when comparing blades with more similar outline and intended function. There is still room for personal character for each and every sword though.
To us modern afficionados, it might seem there is a certain setup for balance, nodes and pivot points that is always the "best" solution for all swords. Historical swords show variations in regards to this and I think it is for the better to make use of these characteristics when making recreations of specific historical types.

Peter
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Jay Barron




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2004 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, I wonder if it would be possible to include a description of the general feel of the new Albion swords coming out. I'm not talking specifics as a sword's weildability will be different to different people. I'm just talking the basic handling characteristics (like you described above) when compared to other swords in the line. Does that make any sense? I would love to have any kind of opinion on such matters when I go looking for another model to try.
Constant and true.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan, 2004 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jay Barron wrote:
Peter, I wonder if it would be possible to include a description of the general feel of the new Albion swords coming out. I'm not talking specifics as a sword's weildability will be different to different people. I'm just talking the basic handling characteristics (like you described above) when compared to other swords in the line. Does that make any sense? I would love to have any kind of opinion on such matters when I go looking for another model to try.


I see what you mean and I whish it was possible to do include such comparisons. This is difficult while the swords are still being developed, though.
I´ve tried to describe the character and handling of each sword in the preliminary descriptions. Generally they are as detailed as is possible on this stage, but I understand that there might always be new questions that needs to be answered. To make comparisons between the different swords while they are still being developed can be misleading. As aspects are tweaked during development, it will change the feel and handling. When the swords are ready and fixed in their shape they can be better compared to each other.
I will try my best to clarify various aspects both comparing and regarding specific details, but this is best done in a discussion forum such as this one.

In the development I will strive to give each swords as attractive and responsive heft as possible. I also want them to be as effective as possible in cutting/thrusting as the type allowes while still being precise in handling.
In decriptions of the various swords I try to make the best use of what experience I have from handling originals and present this in a clear way. A problem is that the vocabulary, the ideas and notions available to describe swords and their handling characteristics have been hijacked and used as sales boosting for anything that resembles a sword. I can only try my best to make sure that the descriptions are as clear and correct as possible, striving to describe actual characteristics. Hopefully some of this will come across in an understandable way.

It is important to remember that the feel and quality of a sword depends on many separate things taken togehter, and by focusing on some aspects, describing those in high detail and exact numbers, important things will be left out or forgotten about. A higher detail is not always the best way to present a better picture of the sword. Physical statistics like weight and size will give some idea of the feel of the swords, but it is rather a rule that the true weight of a well balanced weapon feels much less than it actually is when it is wielded (this is especially obvious in heavier swords).
On the preliminary stage it is impossible to state the exact placing of the point of balance. Even if this was possible it would only give a very rough idea about the feel, and more often than not be misleading. More important than the placing of balance point is the distribution of mass in the sword and the effect of this cannot be described in simple numbers. The best I can do is to try describe the feel and heft of the weapon. I can only do this by comparing to originals. An original sword that is unsusually heavy and porwerfiul in character might still be much more agile than the typical modern replica. So by saying about the sword that it is "heavy and powerfull" I might still give the wrong idea to a customer. I do not know how to best get around this problem.

The basis of these swords is being the result of hands on research and personal experience of originals, detailed and decdicated design, a high level of craftsmanship resulting in swords of high preformance that have a strong feel of the style and feel of originals from various times and cultural areas. I do not know if it is a help, but each of the swords are meant to be good representatives of historical sword types and their actual performance and handling characteristics. Any of these swords should compare well to their historical counterparts, both in looks and performance. There is then the case of personal preference in the choise, and that is unfortunatly difficult to satisfy fully through texts on the internet. One really need to handle them to get an idea of what they are all about.
As these swords reach new owners, I hope we will see rewiews and personal impressions that might guide other potential customers in their choise.

To describe the feel or performance of these swords poses certain problems. Some swords are heavier while still being quick in the feel, others are lighter and can still have a strong blade presence. Some will be more aggressive when cutting a neutral cutting medium, while others are more thrust oriented. When using various neutral cutting media to rewiew the performance of a sword an important aspect is easily overlooked: they were originally designed to preform in certain specific combat situations. A type XV will most probably never outcut a XIIIa when pool noodles or cardboard boxes are used to test them. On the battle field they would both be effective weapons, though, but used in different ways. Light cutting media is also best cut by lighter, quicker swords. This is something to keep in mind when choosing a sword: If one prefer to do cutting training on lighter targets a quicker sword should be the obvious favourite. If a certain time period or sword type is the focus of ones interest, then it is more a situation of learning to use the potential of the sword to best effect. A big XIIa will always be more ponderous than a slim XVIIIb. Both will cut well but need different handling by the swordsman to preform at their best.
What sword is the best cutter? Well that depends on ones concept of cutting performance. The speed and precision in the delivery of a cut migh be of equal or greater importance than actual depth of cut for some types (as long as the result is a killing or incapacitating blow). Other swords are designed with a capacity of "overkill" and then it might be interesting and entertaining to see just how deep one can cut in various media, even though a cut that is a third of the full potential could be instantly killing.

Every single sword is actually a compromize or balance of opposing qualities and characteristics. To judge the quality and performance of a sword, one need to take into account how the sword was meant to be used at time it was first made.
When choosing a style of sword I think it is neccesary to also give a thought about what characteristics one personally apreciate most in a sword. It can be many things that taken toghether are hard to include in the description of a sword. That is why it is good to have this opportunity to answer detailed questions on this forum.


An interesting problem, this Wink
Keep the questions coming Big Grin
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Jay Barron




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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan, 2004 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great info, Peter. Thank you. The depth at which you answer all these questions really shows your passion for what you are doing and I greatly admire you for that. I understand that at these beginning stages of development the swords' feel are not easily described. I certainly wouldn't expect a spot on accurate description of any of them until the production version has been completed. But I still like the idea of seeing a basic comparison once the swords are out on the market. This would be particularly important when trying to decide between two swords of very similar dimensions or even two swords of the same typology. A maker like Angus Trim offers an incredible amount of different sword models. Many of them are quite similar in appearance yet they all exhibit their own unique feel when cutting. I have often found myself a bit intimidated when pouring over all of Gus' offerings trying to decide which model is the one I'm looking for. At this point, Albion is starting to offer a large number of sword models as well, and will continue to do so for some time to come. Once all those swords hit the market I think descriptions of general behavioral characteristics will be a great help to customers like me. Again, thanks so much for your continued input to the industry and to us nutty collectors. Happy
Constant and true.
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Stephen Pearson




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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jan, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
To judge the quality and performance of a sword, one need to take into account how the sword was meant to be used at time it was first made. When choosing a style of sword I think it is neccesary to also give a thought about what characteristics one personally apreciate most in a sword. It can be many things that taken toghether are hard to include in the description of a sword.


Peter --

Thanks for the great answer! Many of us in the sword community are used to asking "is this sword a good cutter" because our standards of comparison have historically been cheap, stainless steel wallhangers. I'm not sure that this question applies to the medium and high-end production market anymore. All of swords in at this price point are "good cutters." There's enough research, material, and production quality invested in these swords to guarantee that they are good cutters. I think the question we should be asking now is, "what was the threat environment this sword faced and would it have done a good job of defeating the threats it was designed to defeat?"

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we can no longer only judge a sword by its feel and ability to cut the light targets we're able to reproduce in our back yards. Instead we need to understand the historical context of the sword to fully appreciate its characteristics, handling, and aesthetics. This applies especially to the Albion NextGen line because they are designed to be “History in the palm of your hand.”

-- At what time in history and where in the world would this sword have been used?

-- What kind of threat environment did this sword face? What kind of armor would your foe have been wearing? What kind of weaponry would your foe have been using?

-- How would this sword have been used on the battlefield? As a primary weapon? As a secondary weapon? As a cavalry sword? etc...

-- What kind of battlefield environment would this sword have been used in? (i.e. by a Viking raider against unarmed civilians? or in a formal battle against knights in full plate, etc...)

-- What kind of people would have used this sword and what would have been their general skill level?

With this context in hand, you (and Albion) could more effectively explain: why a sword was made the way it was made; why you chose to incorporate a particular set of characteristics in this sword; and why this set of characteristics made it superior for its time and threat environment.

I don't know if anybody has given this any thought, but I'd love to see Albion add this level of historical background to its descriptions of the swords in the NextGen line. Maybe include a map of where the sword was used and a page or two of text describing the historical context of the sword. I know that this will probably entail a fair amount of extra work to develop this information, but I think it would go a long way towards communicating the intangibles that are difficult to appreciate without actually holding the sword in one owns hands.

--Steve

The only situation a commander can know fully is his own: his opponent's he can know only from unreliable intelligence.
Clausewitz, On War
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