|Posted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 6:58 am Post subject:
We are testing a sword from the Maestro line, the one-hander "I-33" model, a sword made after one of the swords represented in the earliest known fechtbuch, the Royal Armouries I-33.
The swords are in stock, therefore we have only to wait the postage times; furthermore, as the Albion has an European branch, the times for delivery are quite short.
We have received the sword in a rigid plastic case, the kind used for sporting rifles. The sword comes with a small flask of oil as well, and in the package an Albion catalogue is included as well. All the packaging work is very good, in order to avoid any damage to the sword. In fact, the weapon appeared to be in prime conditions upon opening. The package works well also as a transporter for the sword when going to training, the only flaw is that you have to pay for the package as well.
The sword itself shows essential lines, sober elegance, detailed
finishing, all packed together in a weapon that weights just about 1.1 kg, and with perfect balance.
The pommel is rounded with the tang passing through and beaten on it in a button shape, with mirror polishing; the handle allows for very good grip as it is wrapped in cord and not in leather (please note that this means that the handle will get dirty more easily), and the guard is slightly curved forward, with two flaps that seem to be welded to the tang and that possibly keep the guard in place.
The blade tapers towards the end, with a wide fuller that also narrows towards the tip, and shows an extreme flexibility; the blade is polished but not mirror-like, and seems to be quite resistant to rust. Also, it must be mentioned that the edges are not very thick (1.5 mm) but are perfectly rounded, as the tip of the sword itself.
These characters allow for the best safety in sparring coupled with a true authentic feeling. When first wielded, the sword felt pretty much light and extremely comfortable, easy to wield and very, very quick.
All in all the impression is to wield an authentic medieval sword.
We have tested the blade in several ways. Although it must be pointed out that these swords are not intended for "theatrical" combat (that is, a lot of blows edge-to-edge, the rounded edges of the I-33 sword are extremely strong. We wanted to test its resistance upon receiving a strong impact edge-to-edge. The results are noteworthy, the edge deforming only very slightly, in this behaving as other swords with an edge twice as thick!
Using the sword in proper combat, that is agains armoured and unarmoured fighters, and also against wooden shields and metal bucklers (after all, being a I-33 item, it should work well against a buckler), we have found its maneuvrability pretty much absloute. The perfect balance and the light weight allow for incredbile speed and accuracy, really a lethal weapon! The grip is strong and comfortable, allowing for a perfect hold on the hilt, and the sword can be wielded at high speed always retaining full control of the blow.
Blocking incoming blows with the flat of the strong is also a great characteristic of this blade, leaving only sort of "scratches" on the polish.
The sound it makes upon impact is cristalline with a lot of harmonics, and is very pleasant to the ear. Impact on armour and shields leave the sword undamaged; but otherwise the excellent flexibility of the blade and its very good temper assure to this sword a very high lifespan in combat.
Of course we will check during time if this characteristic will stay the same, and with what duration; we wil also take care to verify the pommel and guard stability, and the handle resistance as well.
A thing that will never be stressed too much, in my opinion, is the maneuvrability. The combination of weight and balance, as said before, allows the wielder to perform any kind of combat maneuvre without effort, from the disarms, to the stabknock, to changing hand for feints and blocks; furthermore, as the weight is "realistic", many guards and positions can be easily done or held (such as Langost or Vom Tag), that instead with other swords would result very hard due to their weight.
This sword is a winner in all senses.
The cost may seem high, but it worths every cent spent in it. The manufacture is excellent to say the least, the balance perfect, the weight light, the structure compat and resilient, overall perfomance are all excellent. The sword is also very accurate historically (rounded tip and edges aside, of course) and honestly a comparison with another famous brand of historically accurate swords comes immediately to mind. The Albion overperforms the others in many aspects. This is a combat swords that really, and i stress this word: really, gives you the feeling of a medieval sword. There is no problem in using this sword in any kind of combat, althoug, let me say it, if you want to buy it just for theatrical fighting, well... that's a pity. Although perfectly capable of surviving edge to edge combat, this sword really deserves what it was made for: real medieval swordsmanship. In conclusion, if you look for a realistic sword that can survive strong punishment if needed, well, the Albion Maestro I-33 is what you are looking for. And the price is right, because you won't possibly need another sword after this one for quite a long time
for all photo http://www.battlesword.net/public/openasp/def...idpage=109