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Andrew Sotomayor





Joined: 18 Apr 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 12:10 pm    Post subject: Tips to buying a first sword?         Reply with quote

Hi, My name is Andrew Sotomayor and I'm pretty new here at the forums
This is my first post and I have been lurking around the forums for quite a while, so my apologies
if I make a lot of mistakes in posting this.

I am trying to decide on what the first sword I should buy should be...
after much research in forums and reviews here in the site, I came to the conclusion that Albion swords
have the best quality in swords that I want and at the best prices I can afford.

The sword I picked at Albion is the Baron of the Next generation line, I'm still deciding whether to buy the scabbard or not
I've also looked at the Kingmaker, Sheriff, Berserker, and Vassal

I stand at five foot six and weight in at about 200 lbs or exactly 97 kg with a reach of 2 feet or 60 cm
I'm still wondering if this is the right sword for me, so any input would be welcome.

By the way I like swords with a lot of presence and that are good clean cutters but able to recover or counter quickly
tip control should be not bad able to perform when I need it. Wink
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Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome, Andrew!

Albion makes excellent swords, so you can't go far wrong with one of those choices. Whether a sword is "right" for you depends a lot on what you want out of it.

I haven't handled the Baron myself, but I have handled a few swords of similar class. It is not going to be a Zorro-type fencing sword, and (depending on one's strength) is going to handle a lot better with two hands than one. I would guess that (at just under 48 inches) it is just about as long as you would want. I am 5'10" and find a 50" sword just a bit too long for graceful handling.

A scabbard is a good thing to have, but you can get one made after the fact (Russ Ellis at Tritonworks makes a fine one), or make one yourself, if you are up to it. Many people (but not me!) have made their own scabbards.

The Kingmaker, Vassal, Berserker, and Sheriff are all of quite a different type, of course. I would guess (and this is purely a guess) that the Kingmaker and Sheriff are a bit handier, and maybe faster than the Berserker and Vassal, but the second pair might have more cutting power.
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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Feb 2006

Posts: 387

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Tips to buying a first sword?         Reply with quote

I stand at five foot six and weight in at about 200 lbs or exactly 97 kg with a reach of 2 feet or 60 cm
I'm still wondering if this is the right sword for me, so any input would be welcome.

By the way I like swords with a lot of presence and that are good clean cutters but able to recover or counter quickly
tip control should be not bad able to perform when I need it. Wink[/quote]



First of all welcome to the forums.

With the Albion swords I don't think you will get a much more powerfull cutter than the Baron. Have you considered the Count or Steward. Smaller and lighter swords, they may be more suited to your stature. Saying that I am the same height as you but only weigh about 170 and find my Regent (which is of similar length but different dynamics to the Baron) easy to handle.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Tips to buying a first sword?         Reply with quote

Paul Watson wrote:
Have you considered the Count or Steward. Smaller and lighter swords, they may be more suited to your stature. Saying that I am the same height as you but only weigh about 170 and find my Regent (which is of similar length but different dynamics to the Baron) easy to handle.


This is pretty sage advise.

If the matched scabbard and sword ensemble is a serious consideration, you may want to consider just how long a sword you can comfortably draw based upon your arm length. 36" long blades might be a little tricky if your arm-sleeve length is not at least in the 30" plus range. I still consider the Steward or Count a very nice selection even with a height of 6 feet, and sleeve length of 33-34".

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too would recommend the Count or Steward. Both are excellent great swords, and they'll probably be better suited to your stature than a sword like the Duke.
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Andrew Sotomayor





Joined: 18 Apr 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2007 10:24 pm    Post subject: Changing my sword         Reply with quote

Actually I mentioned the following swords: the Kingmaker, Sheriff, Berserker, and Vassal
because I liked them in that order.

The Kingmaker was my second pick, it would have been my first choice, but I haven't actually read any reviews or opinions about it in the forums or the site.

The Sheriff was my third choice, because I liked the italian cinqueda dagger I once owned but broke and this sword reminded me of it.

The Beserker and Vassal, I chose these two out of pure consideration to their cutting power and generally their utility, these two would have been at home in a yeoman's hands no matter what skirmish faced them.

As for the scabbard consideration, Yes it was a big part of my decision towards the Baron. i wanted a matched scabbard and sword ensemble didn't know where else I could get one besides the Albion site. I was actually hesitating buying one because It would cost almost the same price as the sword.

Thank you Felix for the recommendation of Russ Ellis at Tritonworks

My thanks as well to the advise towards changing my picks, I guess I agree with all of you, Felix, Paul, Jared and Craig.
The baron would have been too big for me and the options of the Steward,Count and Regent are the best choices for me
But can we also explore the other swords that I did pick out?

P.S. Laughing Out Loud
Anything, Any Info that will save me from buying an $800 scabbard is welcome, Any Advise is welcome!
Thx Felix!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: Changing my sword         Reply with quote

Andrew Sotomayor wrote:
Actually I mentioned the following swords: the Kingmaker, Sheriff, Berserker, and Vassal
because I liked them in that order.

The Kingmaker was my second pick, it would have been my first choice, but I haven't actually read any reviews or opinions about it in the forums or the site.

The Sheriff was my third choice, because I liked the italian cinqueda dagger I once owned but broke and this sword reminded me of it.

The Beserker and Vassal, I chose these two out of pure consideration to their cutting power and generally their utility, these two would have been at home in a yeoman's hands no matter what skirmish faced them.

As for the scabbard consideration, Yes it was a big part of my decision towards the Baron. i wanted a matched scabbard and sword ensemble didn't know where else I could get one besides the Albion site. I was actually hesitating buying one because It would cost almost the same price as the sword.


Andrew,

When you decide upon what swords interest you, do basically go by whatever designs look appealing to you in a sword? Or do you like to buy swords which fit within a certain time period of interest for you? The reason I ask is that if you are interested primarily in swords from a certain time period, that can help us with making recommendations for you. Based upon the swords you've selected it appears you have a preferance for swords from the later Middle Ages, roughly the 14th and 15th centuries. But I'm not sure if this is because you prefer swords from this period, or if it's simply because you just so happen to like the particular set of swords you've mentioned.

I'd like to point out that the Berserkr is a Viking era sword, so it wouldn't have been wielded by yeoman.

I don't think there is any reviews or even informal write ups about the Kingmaker on this site, though I rather doubt you'd be unhappy with it if you ordered it given the quality of the other Albion Next Gen swords. The Sheriff will handle quite similarly to the Sovereign, so if you haven't read it already I would recommend checking out the Sovereign's Hands-on Review: http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_sov.html. I also seem to recall that Chad Arnow really likes his Sovereign a lot too- you should consider PMing him about it.

As for the Vassal, you might consider PMing Bob Burns and asking him how it feels in hand.

Sorry that I can't be more specific, but I haven't personally handled any of the swords you've mentioned.
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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Feb 2006

Posts: 387

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My apologies, the only reason I mentioned the Count & Steward is because of their similar "type" to the Baron. The other swords are all very different but based on purely personal preference I would pick the Kingmaker. It is such an elegant sword although it is not as dedicated to the cut as the Baron is.

If the Baron is your first choice you should buy that sword, and it is good value for money, not being as expensive as some of the more ornately hilted swords. If you have read the experiences of people using it you will see it is a supreme cutter. When enquiring about this sword some time ago I was told by Mike at Albion that it was probably their best two handed cutter, along with the Duke. If you have any questions, direct them to Mike. He is ver helpfull. Once again from a personal perspective that sword is on my short-list for my next Albion purchase.

As described earlier I am of similar stature to yourself and although not historically correct, I have display swords with scabbards. One, the LOTR Glamdring sword, has a 36" blade that I can draw from it's scabbard with realative ease, whereas the Anduril replica with a 40" blade I can not draw easily. Please do not take these comments for anything more than they are, as stated the swords and scabbards above are not historical.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Kenton Spaulding




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the Baron is your favorite sword, than I say get it. Yes, it is a big sword, but it isn't huge. I think you should be able to handle it. Maybe it wouldn't be a sword that you would want to bring into battle, but I doubt you'll ever find yourself in that situation anyway. I think you will probably be able to wield it in cutting practice and the like. I have handled a kingmaker briefly, and I can tell you that that is one beautiful weapon. I don't really know how I felt about the handling (bear in mind I only held it and did not swing it) but it felt a little odd to me. The Vassal is also very nice.

Hope you find the sword that is best for you,

Kenton
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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Feb 2006

Posts: 387

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenton Spaulding wrote:
If the Baron is your favorite sword, than I say get it. Yes, it is a big sword, but it isn't huge. I think you should be able to handle it. Maybe it wouldn't be a sword that you would want to bring into battle, but I doubt you'll ever find yourself in that situation anyway.


The (un)likelyhood of actually fighting with this sword aside, I couldn't disagree more. Being a great war sword, I can't imagine many better swords to take into battle unless you were (equally unlikely in the modern world) up against someone in a set of full plate armour. Big Grin

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andrew,
Welcome to the site. I love my Baron and think it would be a fine first sword. It's a bit of a beast but perfectly manageable even with my couch potato physique. Happy It's simple, clean, and austere and absolutely classic in looks. It's a great battle sword, too; after all, that's what it (and its inspirations) was designed to be. Happy It handles really well. There are other swords that are more nimble, but swords like the Baron weren't designed to be like that. These were purpose-built tools in their day after all.

I do own the Sovereign, as has been mentioned, and I've handled the Sherriff. Albion really does Type XIVs well. You won't go wrong with any Albion sword. They make a nice product. It usually comes down to budget and personal preference.

As for scabbards, there are alternatives to Albion. Christian Fletcher (see our links page) makes nice scabbards. Russ Ellis also does, though you're looking at around 10 months or so from order to completion. I'm not sure what Christian's wait time is.

You could also try Jesse Bailey. He made the scabbard for my ArmArt crusader sword. His work is very historic (period correct homemade dyes, etc.), his wait time low, and his prices very competitive (really good) when I ordered from him. The scabbard is bulky, though. If I order from him again, I'd just ask him to slim it down. You can PM me for contact info or see here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=932 .

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Kenton Spaulding




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, Paul, I think you missunderstood my meaning. What I meant was based upon Andrew's smaller stature, the Baron might not be the best sword for him to actually fight with. Even that statment could be wrong, as he might find that he is strong enough to wield the Baron effectively. I was simply encouraging him to choose whichever sword he likes best, even if it is a bit oversized for him. I've handled the Baron, and trust me, I would not want to face it in battle, it is quite a sword.

Kenton
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Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Christian Fletcher does make excellent scabbards. I also have one from Art Elwell, who doesn't specialize in scabbards, but made a superb one for me a while back.
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Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr, 2007 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owning a Baron myself I have to tell you it is a wonderful sword, and one hell of a cutter. It's well worth the money invested in her. As for the Kingmaker, I was on the shelf about her until the New York Knife show where I got to handle her for a bit, now she's on my short list Big Grin . Either way you go I guarantee you won't be disappointed. for scabbards I've been going to Russ Ellis of Tritonworks and have been so pleased with his work that all my future scabbards will be from him. Good luck and don't forget to post pics of your new sword when she arrives!

Blessings,
Michael
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome Andrew! I Love Arms & Armor and Albion. From Albion I have two of the swords that you listed. The Berserkr and the Vassal.
My own personal opinion, since your looking for an Albion, I would definitely say, get that "Vassal" Exclamation
I have written a few posts about my Vassal in here and if you read them, you will understand the level of my enthusiasm for this magnificent sword!

I am Totally Nuts about the Vassal Exclamation

Bob
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Andrew Sotomayor





Joined: 18 Apr 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 11:13 pm    Post subject: My Apologies...         Reply with quote

I ask forgiveness for not replying in a while especially to those who have given me their sage advice and time.

It has been a hard week for me and I will not delve further in the details.
(Let us just say that Revenue Canada has gotten much more wealthier and I much more deeper in the pit of poverty Razz )

Sadly, it means a postponement of any plans I had of buying anything in the next three months or so.

But to be candid I have already chosen what sword to buy over these past days, which is to buy both the Baron and Kingmaker swords at the same time with a carrying case and have them both shipped in Canada at the same time.

As you can see my solution is not that economic but it will serve me best.

Now the only problem is coming up with the loot to pay for it all.


The Kingmaker ($1,055)
The Baron ($888)
Large Carrying Case ( $100)
Shipping ($50)
-----------------------------------------------
Subtotal ($2,093.00) US Dollars
Convert ($2,333.91) Canadian
14% Sales Tax ($326.74) Canadian
5% Sales Tax ($116.70) US
-----------------------------------------
Total ($2,777.35) Broke for 3 months after

Thats not including the scabbards I plan having made yet... Eek!
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