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Christopher Lellis




Location: Houston
Joined: 30 May 2019

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PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2019 7:59 pm    Post subject: Are there any sword makers as good as Albion?         Reply with quote

I'm sure you get questions like this all the time, an eye rolling post for most. However, I have been absent from the sword hobby scene for about 5 years. When I was into this, I bought a few brands of swords, most of them are Albion's and the Albion's were top notch at the time. I still have them, and love them. In the time that has passed, has another sword manufacturer come around that is competitive with Albion's quality? I'm 5 years behind on this so I would like to know, thanks.
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Ryan Renfro




Location: Reno, NV
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PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2019 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My vote for the best new development in the last 5 years would have to go to Maciej Kopciuch over at http://artofswordmaking.com/.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 31 May, 2019 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends on how you judge reproduction arms and what your needs are. Have a look at Tod's Stuff, Arms & Armor's custom items, Josh Davis, Maciej Kopciuch, and many other European makers.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Caslte Keep (Rob Miller) out of the UK!
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Ryan Hobbs




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For high quality production swords, Lockwood would be a peer with Albion. They started selling swords within the last 5 years, and from I've seen on YouTube and forum reviews, they're just as high quality. They're also placed within about the same price point, so a good place to start if you're wanting something on par with what you already have.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry I'm going to do this, but Lockwood is not on par with Albion IMO.

He does some nice work but I suspect his access to period pieces is limited based on my experience with his work. The thing with Albions is that they are modeled on swords that got used. Really used. Many on extant museum/collection pieces that they have been lucky enough to have extensive exposure to. The attention to shaping, detail, and blade form is paralleled by very few makers when Albion are at their best. Lockwood does some nice work but the blades do not show the shaping that I've experienced from Albion and from some of the other names on the list.

His value (to me) seems to be in his comprehensive packaging. Sword. Scabbard. Suspension. As a combination. Matched. Getting something roughly equivalent from an Albion or near peer, unless its been second hand, has usually cost me significantly more than Lockwood costs. Often came with a longer wait as well.

<edit to correct a spelling error>

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sat 01 Jun, 2019 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Take a look at Damian Sulowski's stuff. He sometimes sells swords on this site

http://historicalswordszone.com/?fbclid=IwAR1...4E7BAbuhyU
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Christopher Lellis




Location: Houston
Joined: 30 May 2019

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Renfro wrote:
My vote for the best new development in the last 5 years would have to go to Maciej Kopciuch over at http://artofswordmaking.com/.


Nice, thanks for the link.
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Christopher Lellis




Location: Houston
Joined: 30 May 2019

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
It depends on how you judge reproduction arms and what your needs are. Have a look at Tod's Stuff, Arms & Armor's custom items, Josh Davis, Maciej Kopciuch, and many other European makers.


I will, thank you, as well as everyone else who gave me names.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Sorry I'm going to do this, but Lockwood is not on par with Albion IMO.

He does some nice work but I suspect his access to period pieces is limited based on my experience with his work. The thing with Albions is that they are modeled on swords that got used. Really used. Many on extant museum/collection pieces that they have been lucky enough to have extensive exposure to. The attention to shaping, detail, and blade form is paralleled by very few makers when Albion are at their best. Lockwood does some nice work but the blades do not show the shaping that I've experienced from Albion and from some of the other names on the list.

His value (to me) seems to be in his comprehensive packaging. Sword. Scabbard. Suspension. As a combination. Matched. Getting something roughly equivalent from an Albion or near peer, unless its been second hand, has usually cost me significantly more than Lockwood costs. Often came with a longer wit as well.


I agree with this 100%.

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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, Lockwood have a couple designs that look good.. but most look like borderline fantasy pieces. Really good fantasy pieces.. but something out of Game of Thrones or LOTR, rather than history.

The main thing I think has happened on the past five years, is that Albion’s prices and wait times have climbed exponentially against the market. You can now get a good custom piece, some of these makers have already been mentioned, for roughly the same price/wait as an Albion.

Just my opinion,
Z
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a couple Albions and a semi-custom Lockwood (SL elongated the grip by about half and inch and swapped out pommel and crossguard for me). While I agree that some of Lockwood’s swords are not perfectly accurate they’re not far off either. There’s really only 1 or 2 that stand out as ‘fantasy-esque’. And if you talk to him you can get an accurate sword to your specifications. That said the fittings on his swords aren’t as tight as an Albion. But Lockwood has never made me wait 3 years with poor communication and excuses. All things considered while sword in hand I’m happy with both makers, I’d order from Lockwood again over Albion.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
...you can get an accurate sword to your specifications.


To me that's the problem... creating swords to customer specifications means that they are no longer based on originals. They may very well be historically-inspired, but it's far away from items based on hands-on experience of antiques. Looking at photos just isn't the same.

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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Michael Kelly wrote:
...you can get an accurate sword to your specifications.


To me that's the problem... creating swords to customer specifications means that they are no longer based on originals. They may very well be historically-inspired, but it's far away from items based on hands-on experience of antiques. Looking at photos just isn't the same.


You realize of course that for all the examples we have found, we actually have a fairly limited selection of swords per type. And considering they were all handmade and would have slight variances even among the same types. The point is, as long as you don’t go wildly outside of what we’ve found, any generic variation is probably something that historically existed.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Michael Kelly wrote:
...you can get an accurate sword to your specifications.


To me that's the problem... creating swords to customer specifications means that they are no longer based on originals. They may very well be historically-inspired, but it's far away from items based on hands-on experience of antiques. Looking at photos just isn't the same.


You realize of course that for all the examples we have found, we actually have a fairly limited selection of swords per type. And considering they were all handmade and would have slight variances even among the same types. The point is, as long as you don’t go wildly outside of what we’ve found, any generic variation is probably something that historically existed.


But that's a terribly faulty argument. There's a ton of posts on this site that explain and demonstrate that. It's a tired argument at this point, really, so I won't go into it.

We can't stand on the "well, we don't know everything that ever existed, so this item MIGHT have existed" stance. Instead, we must base our items on extant originals if we are to call them "historically accurate" (or some other similar term). Without that, they simply aren't that.

The problem is that makers who have not had extensive hands-on experience with originals make huge assumptions. Upon examination, their creations really aren't "slight variations" of extant originals but are wildly different in shape, proportion, volume of the parts and even more variation exists when considering dynamic properties. At first glance and especially in two-dimensions, these items look similar but comparing them side-by-side reveals that they're extremely different.

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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Michael Kelly wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Michael Kelly wrote:
...you can get an accurate sword to your specifications.


To me that's the problem... creating swords to customer specifications means that they are no longer based on originals. They may very well be historically-inspired, but it's far away from items based on hands-on experience of antiques. Looking at photos just isn't the same.


You realize of course that for all the examples we have found, we actually have a fairly limited selection of swords per type. And considering they were all handmade and would have slight variances even among the same types. The point is, as long as you don’t go wildly outside of what we’ve found, any generic variation is probably something that historically existed.


But that's a terribly faulty argument. There's a ton of posts on this site that explain and demonstrate that. It's a tired argument at this point, really, so I won't go into it.

We can't stand on the "well, we don't know everything that ever existed, so this item MIGHT have existed" stance. Instead, we must base our items on extant originals if we are to call them "historically accurate" (or some other similar term). Without that, they simply aren't that.

The problem is that makers who have not had extensive hands-on experience with originals make huge assumptions. Upon examination, their creations really aren't "slight variations" of extant originals but are wildly different in shape, proportion, volume of the parts and even more variation exists when considering dynamic properties. At first glance and especially in two-dimensions, these items look similar but comparing them side-by-side reveals that they're extremely different.


I’m not arguing for wild variation like a type XVI blade on Viking fittings or an outright fantasy design, but anything handmade is going to have variation from example to example. If the blade type and fittings fit together in a specific period and are not wildly out of proportion it is highly likely there were sword like that.

And even Albion swords, outside of the Museum line, aren’t perfect recreations... So why argue against a close reproduction that doesn’t have perfect proportions while accepting another? The reality is if you want perfect, nothing outside of an antique is going to suit.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 4:36 pm    Post subject: There is nothing wrong with fantasy!         Reply with quote

Let me repeat...there is nothing wrong with fantasy!

I've seen some fantasy pieces that just flat out ROCK!.

However, what I'm angling at is probably most commonly referred to as blade geometry and a smith's understanding of how some subtle changes in thickness and profile at different places in the blade can give the sword distinct character. Can change handling. Can make it better. Completely different from something else that looks superficially similar. If you are lucky enough to get to spend sometime with some historical pieces out of collections I think you will begin to appreciate that our ancestors understood this. Understood it well. Today, most manufacturers just don't pay attention to it. Probably because most modern consumers don't value it. Albion pays attention to this detail. Its sort of their thing. Some of the custom or custom-ish guys do too and nail it. Still, not all of them.

Now, I have to admit that I don't really understand it all well enough to articulate how I want it done in a custom design. That's unfortunate because I've yet to be satisfied with a custom design I dictate, because I just get it wrong. Not bad. Just not quite right for me. Still, I can still appreciate it when I notice it done right, and I do notice when its not done at all.

Even if my ability to talk about it borders on rubbish.

Again, there is nothing wrong with fantasy and there is some great fantasy stuff out there. Fantasy does not mean these details are ignored. There is also some utter garbage that bills itself as historical. So neither label is definitive by itself.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
And even Albion swords, outside of the Museum line, aren’t perfect recreations... So why argue against a close reproduction that doesn’t have perfect proportions while accepting another? The reality is if you want perfect, nothing outside of an antique is going to suit.


Since there are several lines of discussion going, I wan to be sure its clear where I am responding. So I'm shortening the quote.

I'm not arguing against a close reproduction while accepting another reproduction. I'm arguing the the work of two specific vendors is not equivalent. I am not saying either vendor is bad. I am stating that one makes a product that demonstrates a deeper understanding of sword construction (reconstruction) than the other vendor does.

I am also asserting an opinion that this is probably because one vendor is known to have extensive experience with museum pieces, and in my experience, many makers do not have this. Because of this, they simply overlook some details that can make a meaningful difference to me.

In fairness this may all be a matter of choice. Maybe both makers target different consumers and different value positions? Business (except for Amazon which is just trying to Borg up everything) do this all the time. Maybe both makers have equivalent knowledge and could make products that I would judge equivalent (they just choose not to)? In my experience with both makers, this is not the case, and the original poster asked specifically for Albion equivalence (to me).

That said, at this point I'm only only inclined to buy Albion on the secondary market. New is just too expensive (for me) and the last sword I bought directly from Albion was not a great experience.

<edit to clean up a grammar issue...knowing myself I probably left several more in place>

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Mon 03 Jun, 2019 6:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, from that point of view I can’t argue. All I can say is my sword came out very well and handles at least as good as my Albion if not better. This is a pic I posted when I got it...


 Attachment: 60.13 KB
4C4F0E1B-3B46-40F0-9E74-FC91996FC400.jpeg



Last edited by Michael Kelly on Sat 01 Jun, 2019 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
I’m not arguing for wild variation like a type XVI blade on Viking fittings or an outright fantasy design, but anything handmade is going to have variation from example to example. If the blade type and fittings fit together in a specific period and are not wildly out of proportion it is highly likely there were sword like that.


I'm not talking about variation. It's not even part of the point I'm making. I'm talking about a complete misunderstanding about the subtleties of shape, proportion and volume of the components that make up a sword along with a lack of mimicking the dynamics of extant examples. This isn't about variation, it's about being wildly different than the originals as I've already stated.

Adding a wheel pommel to a sword type that generally resembles a Type XII that is visually similar to an original does not make it mimic that original. When one compares most replicas to extant originals, they are wildly different from one another and this is due to the lack of hands on experience from most of the folks making these items.

The bigger point is whether this matters to consumers or not. Overall, it does not. Most consumers simply want something that is visually similar to something that may have existed. There's nothing wrong with that, but calling it "historically accurate" (or some other similar term) or saying it is as good as another version that more closely resembles an antique is simply factually incorrect.

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