I lost a good portion of my photos of my trip to Norway but at least i still have a few gems like this photo taken with @nornewoven at the sverd i fjell monument where Harold fair hair united all of Norway under one crown in 872. largest of these swords representing kind Harold and the two smaller ones representing the two other defeated kings
I’m having withdrawals from dressing up in my kit…
All I want to do is do viking shit with my viking friends ffs, playing mount and Blade has not been a good influence on this mood, now all I want to do is pull on my chainmail, lamellar, sword, and spar with my friends.
Why does Australia have to have 36c 85% humidity days?
Alright so there’s a common theme in modern sword manufacturing that is:
Let’s make sure it’s safe to hit people with -good
Let’s make it out of spring steel- good
Let’s base the weapon on existing artefacts -Bloody brilliant
Now for the bad things
Let’s give them the full length blade but just mill it out of one bar of steel and don’t do any distal tapering -Bad
Let’s give the weapon at least a 2mm edge, but rounding that shit off is too time consuming so let’s skip that part – Bad
though the weapon is based on a real artefact with weight included,
let’s just leave it as is instead of trying for the historical weight.
The problem with this practice, is that more
often than not the sword ends up handling like an axe. This is clearly
evident in “Viking” swords.
Most swords from the viking era
ranged between 800g-1100g, and were fairly quick, with the early ones
being designed to hack like earlier spathas through clothing and padded
armour, and the later ones starting to get more tapered to deal with the
rising use of mail (chainmail) on the battlefield like those seen in
MS1.33. included below are some examples of my current swords and their
respective weights using an electric kitchen scale.
This is the current sword I use when I’m on the field, it’s just shy of 80cm overall and is technically a Norwegian Langseax, I bought it 2 years ago at the Armidale Gathering, a Bi-annual event held in the Armidale pine forest in NSW.
It’s a one of a kind sword I bought from JJ Francis, a fairly well known blacksmith in the Australian re-enactment circuit, for $250 on the day, and fought with it an hour later. So far I haven’t found a better sword.
This is the live sword I bought from medievalshoppe.com.au, a company based near Sydney, it’s a fairly accurate representation of the weapons from 1066 onwards, except for it’s weight. This sword suffers from no distal taper syndrome, it’s based off of a Type X(10) “brazil nut” or “Gjaddhalt” sword that became popular around this time period. Examples of this sword type that have been found, range in weights between 900-1100g with a great deal of point control. This sword I bought earlier this year, just after my birthday in March, and though I love it, It really suffers from the stigma of European swords being labelled as huge cleavers, but as I’m only using it for live target displays at events it’s not so bad, though if I were placed in a live duel, I’d choose to sharpen my current sword, or use my axe instead.
Now we get to the Elephant in the room, Deepeeka. Deepeeka is a company based out of India that is known for making some very cheap historical replicas. This sword I bought 4 years ago at Viking Culture Day 2013(? could have been 2012) I don’t remember how much I paid for it, the thing that drew me to this sword was the fact that it looked like a viking sword, it had the five lobed pommel, the scabbard that came with it was “accurate” enough that you could get away with it, it had the blunt edges for reenactment/stage fighting use, and It was cheap. What I forgot to think about, was how heavy this thing is. Now when you’re fighting with any weapon, point of balance is important, example, pick up a hammer, where’s the weight? right up the tip yeah? that’s what this thing feels like, an axe or a hammer.
Ok, so finally we have the blade of my very first sword, this is the blade from Medieval-Fightclub.com.au’s viking reenactment sword, currently i have it stripped bare as the handle broke and I’m repairing it. This sword, from tip to tip is the full 31 inches, I learnt how to fight with this sword, it when all assembled weighs about 1.2kg. The problem with this sword is that they have been proven to be somewhat unreliable, firstly the weld that was keeping the pommel to the blade cracked and I ended up casting the blade into the dirt going for a thigh shot, then some of the ones that other members bought, snapped during combat, needless to say that our group now steers clear of these swords when possible, just incase.
Now, when holding these weapons in your bare hands they’re manageable, however, once you armour up, less so.
Due to the fact that we like to keep our fingers intact, we wear steel/leather/chainmail gauntlets that add about 800g to the sword arm. The add the vambrace, more often than not people go with leather, some like myself go for leather with steel splints because we’d rather have it just incase a Dane Axe meets your radius, which will weigh around the same.
So now you have to ask, you’ve already got 1.6kg hanging off your shoulder, how much do you want your sword to weigh?
Lots of the time, we see people say “you don’t lot ok like you’re swinging it that hard, it shouldn’t hurt when you get hit by such a slow moving object” , Nah mate, unlike the stage fighting you see in movies, we strike with enough force for it to be felt through the armour, so to accelerate and stop the weapons enough to have an actual duel with someone sometimes looks slow, but it really isn’t. People get hurt, break bones, lose teeth etc, it’s the same as if you were to go to a martial arts tournament, just looks a hell of a lot different.
The importance of having the appropriate weapon weight is down to safety, the lighter the weapon, the quicker it moves to intercept the enemy’s weapon and respond.
It should weigh around 1100g as it’s advertised at 2.7lb, but has a distal taper that is still safe to use in combat. I decided to bite the bullet and buy this because it was on sale, $150 USD for the sword, on sale from $375 USD with $180 shipping to Australia, which i think is scandalous but they were the rates i was given, all amounting to around $450 AU.
This should hopefully be a good investment, I’ve heard bad things about their 2 handed sword having VERY skinny tangs, but this leaves me hoping that they won’t have messed this up as it’s designed to be taken into Battle of Nations according to the information given on the web page.
If nothing else, It will become my dress sword if it’s unable to be used safely for combat, because those fittings look nice.
This is my current full armor outfit. The chainmal is made of punched and riveted rings. On top of it, I’m wearing a leather armor, which I made some years ago. It really needs an update. The helmet is a reconstruction of a vendel period helmet, loosely based on the Vendel 12 helmet. The sword is again my Hanwei Godfred.