"Zurich" Bastard Sword
***as Mr. Kew points out below, this sword is clearly very much inspired by Peter Johnsson's "German 15th Century Long Sword", so I amend my accreditation of it's good looks...clearly I've gone to school off Peter's work***

I just finished up this bastard sword. It's pretty nice looking, and much of the credit for that goes to Mike Jia of Printed Armoury, who designed the hilt fittings.

They are cast in stainless steel and took a bit of cleanup and fitting to get looking their best. They are, however, very nicely designed. I believe Mike's process is 3D-model to 3D print to moulding to casting.

These were prototypes, but I understand he will have similar fittings for sale soon.

This set of his "Zurich" hilt fittings are mounted on a Tinker/Hanwei blunt bastard blade. The grip is hardwood wrapped in leather with a half wire wrap. The hilt secures with a 6mm allen nut.

Some stats:
Weight is 2.3 lbs
Blade is 33.5"
Sword is 43" OA
POB is +6"

Tip is currently squarish for HEMA, but it can easily be made pointy looking for stage work. The blunt blade could also be replaced with a H/T Sharp.

For more pictures, or if you're interested in purchasing: www.jessebelsky.com/stageswords

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Last edited by Jesse Belsky on Fri 23 Oct, 2015 7:36 am; edited 1 time in total
That's rather beautiful.

However, I find the hilt fittings astonishingly reminiscent of this Peter Johnsson piece. The guard profile, pommel shape, and half wire wrap are all extremely similar.

[ Linked Image ]
You are absolutely right Mr. Kew, it is remarkably similar. It's interesting, I picked up these fittings from Printed Armoury and I was actually drawings inspiration for the grip shape and half wrap grips from Peter's Viceroy, in the Albion lineup when I mounted it up.

I have of course admired photos of Peter's German 15th Century Sword before, but I wasn't thinking about it or looking at it when I put this together. Clearly it left an impression.

I had originally planned a red grip for this sword, but then I didn't have enough red dye left in the bottle. I also hadn't planned the half wire wrap, but then I bolloxed up the lower part of the waisted grip and needed a new design choice to cover the flaws. The end result is extremely similar to Peter's, although sadly not nearly as good.

I assume that Mike was aware of all this when he designed the hilt fittings based on the same original in the Landesmuseum, Zurich as Peter's sword is based (as, more loosely, is the Viceroy pommel). That picture is below. But the proportions of my sword with Mike's fittings are definitely closer to Peter's interpretation than the very narrow-bladed original.

So, as is so often the case, I am wandering a path already tread by the formidable Mr. Johnsson. I hope he does not take offense at my reproduction. It was not my intention to present this sword as an example of my design work, and I appreciate your pointing out how close it is to his. To give clear credit, Peter's sword (and style) very much influenced my work on this particular weapon, intentionally or no.

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they all look good,
FWIW, I would not have directly related this piece to the PJ or A&A sword but I appreciate your abundance of creative credit. I think this is lovely interpretation of a distinctive hilt type that also has inspired others. Specifically, I think the grip treatment is among the few known historical options for swords of this culture, type and period. If we're going to rule out historical choices because other craftsmen have chosen them for their projects, we're all going to have to stop working.

As I once heard a man say, "light your fire where you can, but burn your own wood." I see you clearly burning your own wood here and in your other impressive projects.

One of the great things about this work and this site is that you and other craftsmen have been so generous in sharing details of your methods and research. Our heads are packed with the stuff by now.

I also think this sword is very exciting, given the cast-from-print fittings and HT blade. With this and your other experiment in printed fittings, you seem to be pushing the edge of what's possible with this technology. I hope to benefit from that someday (and give you credit for your pioneering)! :D
Nothing to do with the hilt, which is beautiful, but I'm wondering about the H/T Bastard blunt blade. The biggest criticism against the H/T blunts is that their edges are weak, and that, especially in stage combat, they are quickly chewed up. Maybe OK against another H/T, but a Maestro or BKS will mess them up. They can be made a little sturdier by filing around the edges - giving them a rounder shape.
Thank you Sean, I appreciate that.

And, I agree with you entirely Roger. I discuss this with my customers...the H/T blades definitely hold up better against their own kind. I do also put a fully rounded bull-nose edge on them, which is far better than the hard corners they come with.

I find that the folks who are most interested in the H/T bastard blunts for stage combat are of slighter build, and they really respond to having a broadsword blade who's weight they can control. It's often a complete novelty for them. More control makes casting the energy of the cut more effective, which in turn also helps protect the edges and lengthens the life of the blade.

I feel I owe an apology for casting unjustified aspersions on your work.

I hadn't realised how closely all of the existing examples were based on the originals that survive. When your lovely piece was posted, Peter Johnsson's example is what sprang to mind for me, and so I incorrectly assumed that may have been the model.

However, it is now quite clear that they are all derived from a common historical source.

The piece is lovely, and the fusion of new and traditional technology is a very interesting space in sword making - I'm very interested to see what you do with it next.
Thank you T., but no apology is owed.

You were absolutely correct in your observation, and my piece landed closer to Peter's than it did to any other originals or reproductions I have seen.

I thank you for pointing it out and allowing me to clarify my own inspirations, both conscious and subconscious. It is gratifying to be part of a community with such finely tuned sensibilities.


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