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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject: Initial Impressions: Generation 2 River Witham         Reply with quote

Stats:

Weight: 2 lbs 15 ounces
Overall Length: 37 inches
Grip: 4 inches
Blade Length: 30 and 7/8 inches from end of guard
Blade Width at Cross: 2 and ½ inches
Point of Balance: approx. 5 and ½ inches from guard
Center or Percussion: approx. 20 inches from guard


Initial Impressions:
Bright blade and fittings, very mirror polished, imposing, yet clunky.

Appearance:
I have followed the Development of the Generation 2 Hank Reinhardt line since Clyde from Imperial Weapons began his initial postings on the models. At first I was unimpressed by the River Witham, but the model I received for review has been modified to be a better representation of a Viking blade. All current offerings on the market should be this model. I honestly found this blade to be too polished for my taste. I think alone, the highly polished blade and highly polished guard are nice, but together, it is almost overwhelming. I think visually the piece would look nicer with an aged or perhaps even slightly blackened pommel. Perhaps a grip color other than black would reduce this effect. The blade shape and design are good examples of a 10-11th century Viking sword. The blade is perhaps closest in Typology to a type XII, although depending on how much you want to stretch the range, it could be pulled off as almost a type X. The Crossguard and pommel have the copper inlays, which are a nice idea, but visually, they don’t work for me as well as I thought they would. There is also an odd addition to the grip, where a small metal spacer is placed below the pommel. Also the grip has a small flaw. One side of the grip is not rounded properly, making a more oval shape than the corresponding side, which is rounded. Also, the scabbard and grip are made of two noticeably different types of leather, with the grip being an almost upholstery suede material, while the scabbard is covered in a dimpled hide. Finally, the scabbard is about 4-5 inches longer than the actual blade, as the pictures show. In my opinion, the best part of this overall piece is the blade, which has an excellent shape and a precise fuller. The grip and fittings are not what I was hoping for.

Handling:
The blade feels clunky when being held. I think this is partly due to the base of the blade being so wide. It feels a bit heavy when not in motion, but it honestly handles well for its type. Its not as fast of some Viking blades I have owned, but its not slow either. I think the classical Viking grip works will when using it for slashes and cuts. The grip could be about a half inch shorter for the best fit, but the leather on the grip gives you a secure grip. Overall, I would say there is nothing really remarkable about the handling of this sword. Its neither better or worse than most other Viking swords in this price range. I am sure it will cut about any target well, from soft targets like milk jugs, to harder targets. However, I am not going to do any cutting with it.

What you should expect:
This sword costs $300 shipped. Its more expensive than the Cold Steel model, but its also a bit more in line with a classic Viking blade shape and fittings. Its roughly the same price as a Kris Cutlery Viking sword, but less than an Albion Squireline Model Viking. It has a better scabbard than the Kris Cutlery blade, but I honestly preferred both the Albion and the Kris Cutlery blades to this piece. I would say that if you are trying to make a decision about this sword, compared to similar offerings, you are really going to get similar performing swords, so its all going to come down to which one you think looks better. For myself, this Viking sword is about number 4 or 5 on my list of the roughly $300 offerings.

Mike J Arledge

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since I just ordered the Dordogne sword I'm curious about how it will compare ? Some things like the mirror polish can be fixed in a home project to give it a more satin finish with or without some antiquing.

How solid is the construction/hilt assembly ? Most of the criticism of this line seem to be on historical accuracy grounds and maybe other design subtleties missed as well as a more " modern " style or interpretation, but the solid construction seems to be a characteristic that is not in dispute although handling can be good or bad depending on which sword in their line is chosen.

Again, some of the aesthetics I can fix. Wink Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2007 5:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Since I just ordered the Dordogne sword I'm curious about how it will compare ? Some things like the mirror polish can be fixed in a home project to give it a more satin finish with or without some antiquing.

How solid is the construction/hilt assembly ? Most of the criticism of this line seem to be on historical accuracy grounds and maybe other design subtleties missed as well as a more " modern " style or interpretation, but the solid construction seems to be a characteristic that is not in dispute although handling can be good or bad depending on which sword in their line is chosen.

Again, some of the aesthetics I can fix. Wink Laughing Out Loud


Oh, its solid. But I think in their efforts to make it REALLY solid, they have sacrificed to much of the finer handling. I think my initial impressions were over generous. After handling it more, I really have to go back and requalify it as slow in handling and not as good at recovery as other viking models.

Mike J Arledge

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Clyde Hollis
Industry Professional



Location: Tennessee
Joined: 06 Jul 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Initial Impressions: Generation 2 River Witham         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
Stats:

Weight: 2 lbs 15 ounces
Overall Length: 37 inches
Grip: 4 inches
Blade Length: 30 and 7/8 inches from end of guard
Blade Width at Cross: 2 and ½ inches
Point of Balance: approx. 5 and ½ inches from guard
Center or Percussion: approx. 20 inches from guard



Just a quick question. Have you looked at our stats and see how they compare to the original?

Ours does come out lighter and better balance.

Believe me I am not jumping in defense of our product, but we did try to get it near or better than the original in weight & balance and still have the durable feel. Also the copper diamonds were on the original.

If you wish I can post the original stats from "Swords of the Viking Age"
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clyde. I'd be happy to know the stats of the original. I still have it, so perhaps I can use it more before I send it back.
Mike J Arledge

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Clyde Hollis
Industry Professional



Location: Tennessee
Joined: 06 Jul 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
Clyde. I'd be happy to know the stats of the original. I still have it, so perhaps I can use it more before I send it back.



Here are the original stats taken from Ian Peirce's Swords of the Viking Age. They are in cm and I converted them to inches.
Overall Length: 91.5 cm = 36"
Blade Length: 77.8 cm = 30.6"
Grip: 8.8 cm = 3.46" We did 3 7/8".
Balance Point: 17.4 cm = 6.85"

Did not have the weight but according to Hank: Several years ago I had the chance to visit Sweden and Gotland to look at Viking artifacts as well as the remains from the Battle of Visby. One thing that I noticed, but have not encountered in any works on the Viking sword, is that the Swedish swords all seem to be a bit large than those I saw in Norway and Denmark.

That tells me we should be close.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As you may all know there is another current Topic on sword balance POB that is relevant to this discussion also:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

The more extreme swords tend to not be made but did exist in period and might feel unwieldy depending on what one is used to or expect or personally like. ( Sort of oversimplifying that whole topic thread ).

I'm just looking at both sides of the coin and open to learning more and reserving judgement(s).

A POB can be good or bad or looked at personally as " Like/don't like ": Seems from that other Topic thread that the physics are very complex. Confused

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William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bought one of these recently and it is a nice sword for the price and fits well into my collection of viking inspired swords. Will be adding a custom viking next month which will pretty much put everything else to shame Laughing Out Loud
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,606

PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Initial Impressions: Generation 2 River Witham         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
I think visually the piece would look nicer with an aged or perhaps even slightly blackened pommel.


I had a similar reaction to the Windlass Leuterit, based on the same sword, so did this to it: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...s+leuterit

Believe me, I'm not very skilled, but was proud of the result, although eventually gave it away to make room in my collection.

The handling you might get used to, like Jean said. It sounds like most of the other troubles are fairly superficial and a matter of taste. I wouldn't accept this from a $700 sword but at $300 it might make a good project sword.
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