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Ant Mercer




Location: Leeds, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 194

PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject: Armourclass Early Baskethilt and Joe Lindsay Targe         Reply with quote

Hi All,

I just received a semi-customised targe from Joe Lindsay (www.targemaker.co.uk), and thought I'd share it with you, along with my new(ish) baskethilt from Armourclass.

The targe is one of Joe's many standard models that he has on his site: 'The Isles Targe', based on an original from the Isle of Skye. The standard version usually has the double-headed eagle of the Macdonalds of the Isles depicted in the centre. However, I asked for something a bit different.

I recently proposed to my girlfriend and, as is traditional, she got a ring out of the deal. I however didn't get anything (apart from a fiancee of course Razz ). So, after a little bit of looking around and really very little cajoling, I managed to convince my better half to get me something to commemorate the occasion: I decided on a targe to go with my baskethilt.

I came up with a very simple design made up of our initials, seperated with crossed swords. I suggested this to Joe, and after some initial misgivings, he agreed to sacrifice his rather better original centre-piece with my doodle. The result is below, and I for one am very happy with it:









The Targe is faced with leather and brass studs, as you'd expect. It's dyed brown, but for some reason comes out as green in areas and under certain light. I prefer this to a uniform brown, and whether it is intentional or not (Joe says it isn't), think it looks very cool.
It's backed with deer hide, and has an arm strap and leather hand grip. It also comes with an informative tag, fastened to the grip, iprovidiing the enquiring party with a bit of back-story to targes in general.

The last pic above shows the targe with my Armourclass Early Baskethilt. I got this just before Christmas after deciding some point last spring that I desperately wanted a decent baskethilt.
I'd been wanting something from Armourclass for a few years, but couldn't decide what. I also couldn't really justify getting one of their more complicated designed baskets. I instead settled for one of their more affordable offerings. I did however ask for a couple of alterations to the sword depicted on their site: a rayskin and wire grip wrap as opposed to a leather one; browned furniture instead of shiny steel; a leather half-liner; and for the blade to be given a satin finish.
Iain was very accomodating and a few short months later I received an excitingly-shaped box from the postman.






Despite this being of a less-intricate design than many of AC's offerings, I like the simplicity, and, combined with the customizable options offered by Iain and crew, it's a great higher-quality alternative to the more widely-available baskethilts that UK retailers are offering.
The browning is well and evenly done, with no patches being missed. The welds are even and also well done. The seem of the grip is visible, as it's shark-skin, but it's straight and there are no loose edges or overlap.
Armourclass are better known in the UK for their blunt reenactment blades. I don't practice any WMA, so ordered the blade sharp, which it is. It is also very thin and quite whippy: I wouldn't like to try it in a thrust, but in the cut the flexibility would definitely be an asset. If I were to order anything from AC in the future (which I definitely will, once I manage to decide exactly what!), I would probably request a blade made from slightly thicker stock.
The blade came with a satin finish, as requested. The were a couple of blemishes on the blade which would easily be polished out with some wire wool, but as they aren't active rust-spots, I've left it as-is.

Cheers,

Ant


Last edited by Ant Mercer on Tue 27 Apr, 2010 4:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How is the blade's cross section? I have one of their hangers from some years back, and I like it, except I wish the forte was a bit thicker.
Jim
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking strictly from experience. Forget the targe. Forget the sword. The very fact that she agreed to the purchase shows she's a keeper. Best wishes for a long and happy life together!!

Oh, nice targe, by the way! Big Grin

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for posting about the Sword. I have been contemplating get one from AC for some time,

Jack
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The targe is great. I've always wanted a Joe Lindsay targe... very nice choice. I'm also impressed with the customization choices for the sword... all good choices, to my eyes.
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Ant Mercer




Location: Leeds, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 194

PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all for your kind comments!

Jim - I'll take a closer look at the cross section and try and take some more pics of the blade. I think it could have done with being thicker, especially at the forte. It does make for a very light and fast weapon though: can hardly tell you're swinging it!

GG - What can I say? Meh, she's a lucky lady! Bear in mind that she's still got to pay for it yet (I paid Joe initially and Laura'll pay me back), so there's still time for her to change her mind! Watch this space...

Jack - you're welcome. I too was considering getting something from AC for a while. Less of a stress for me as I live in the UK, so don't have to worry about taxes and duties etc. I personally wouldn't hesitate in ordering something again from them, especially as they seem to take any modifications you might suggest in their stride. I've heard fellow forumites refer to them as a semi-custom workshop, but always wondered about the limitations of this custom work. At least I now know that they are willing to 'tweak' an existing model on request. Next time I might try and push this a little further...

Thanks Nathan - I took a glance at all the images offered on the AC site and picked the best from what I saw. I was surprised at how little these 'improvements' affected the price of the basic model: well worth it.

Cheers all,

Ant
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ant Mercer wrote:
I've heard fellow forumites refer to them as a semi-custom workshop, but always wondered about the limitations of this custom work.

AC doesn't consider themselves as a production company and as far as I know will do fully custom stuff as long as they think it's possible to do and find the project interesting.

The browning turned out really nice on that hilt. I've only seen the early baskets from AC with either the normal finish or with a blued one.

Your targe looks splendid.

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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David Rushworth




Location: Leeds, England
Joined: 27 Jul 2010

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed 08 Sep, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the same model sword from AC but as standard, bright steel, leather grip and blunt for reenactment. They are a nice sword, and versatile, those early baskets are good for a couple of centuries and anywhere Brit troops got to, that type was issued to grenadiers and cavalry in the 17th and early 18thC.
Nice Targe , and a nice idea to have it initialed.
Best wishes for the future.

Never ascribe to malice what is adequately explained as stupidity.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Wed 08 Sep, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Slainte and congrats on all fronts! As a fellow Lindsay targe/AC sword owner, I can only agree with what everyone else has said so far -- you done good! Now you need a nicer dirk! Razz
David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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