Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A sample of styles for Medieval Swords

1. German Bastard Sword

A replica of the famed Wallace Collection and a perfect example of a true bastard sword. A good bastard sword has dimensions nearly identical to a one handed sword, but the grip is extended and the pommel stretched so that a second hand can comfortably be used. Thus they are also known as hand-and-a-half swords. These swords came to prominence as a cavalry weapon. They allowed enough reach to be used from horseback but should the rider be unseated, they could also function well on foot. Now these medieval weapons maintain their popularity through there versatility.

Falchions were a family of single-hand Medieval and Renaissance swords that included the Messer, Storta, Braquemart, Badelair and Malchus, among others. So named for it’s single-edged “falcated” blade, from the Latin falcātus and falx meaning sickle, it refers to a sword that widens or curves forward at the point. A true working-man’s weapon, the falchion served as a kind of “temperate zone machete” as well as fearsome tool of war. While sometimes lacking the cut to thrust versatility and warding capacity of a straight double-edged arming sword, it made up for it with a robust design that permitted viciously powerful blows. Commonly used by archers and lower soldiers as it was easier to produce being a single edged weapon.

The sword of Tancred is a cruciform sword, a straight double edged sword that combined with it's hilt resembles a cross. This made it a favorite among knights of all Holy Orders. While the flat hilt was inspired for it's symbolism, many find that it is a very combat effective design.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Finding the line of Fantasy Swords

Fantasy Swords. For many of us this was the first foray into the world of arms and armor ownership. The out of this world and awe-inspiring designs of these blades made them an attractive first purchase. In many cases the swords where replica models of popular blades from film, books and television (like J. R. R. Tolkien's Sting or the sword of Blade from the Marvel movie series) making them even more desirable. While these blades tend to hold a sentimental place in the heart, eventually a person wants something more to cut with. In short, most fantasy swords can only serve as decorative swords.

Typically, a decorative sword is one that does not have a high enough quality of steel to be suitable for cutting or combat. Many decorative swords have stainless steel blades. This allows them to require little maintenance to ward off rusting but also is too soft or brittle a steel to withstand abuse. Of course there are exceptions to rule, Twinkle and Icing Death from the books of R. A. Salvatore were made in high carbon steel, capable of holding a beautiful edge. There is also a case for arms made of great steel being strictly decorative swords, the jewel encrusted ceremonial swords of kings, sultans and the like. Whatever your preference in fantasy swords, whether it be decorative swords or functional swords, know that Museum Replicas supports them all!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two-handed Swords and Longswords

As arms and weapons evolved knights could find themselves in situations where they might enter a battle on horseback but leave it on foot, thus the need  arose for a sword that was short enough to wield on foot and yet long enough to reach targets from horseback. Enter the longsword, which was really just a longer and heavier version of the typical sword. These blades were effective against plate armored foes as well as being devastating against lightly armored soldiers. Used with two hands, they generated power; however, knights sometimes preferred to use them with one hand and kept a shield in the other. The biggest longswords were known as great swords whose sheer size made them ineffective on horseback. However, great swords saw infantry action from the 13th century up to the early Renaissance and are viewed as the predecessors to the two-handed swords.

Contrary to popular belief, two-handed swords are not medieval weapons and differ from both longswords and great swords. Technically, the two-handed sword belongs to the Renaissance period. It was popular during the 16th century with Swiss and German infantrymen. These swords could be over six feet long and even at a relatively light 4 –6 lbs, you had to be a preternaturally strong human specimen to brandish it effectively with one hand. The German Zweihander was one such sword. The English Slaughter-sword was another. These weapons had surprisingly good balance and were destructive with wide sweeping blows. Primarily used to counter long weapons such as halberds and pikes, their great length meant that two-handed swords could also take the role of spears. Of course, only the stongest wielded them and these men were duly compensated (sometimes paid twice the regular soldier’s salary) for their troubles.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Who has an eye on the Iron Throne?

July 16th! Game of Thrones season 7 is finally arriving and there are quite a few of us here at Museum Replicas feeling the excitement!

Of course, our history with the franchise makes it easy to enjoy. Even after our licensed line ran its course, we still can't part with the wonder of author George R.R. Martin's book series. It could be that that has something to do with how often we see ourselves in the series. For instance, the Dothraki raider knives that seem to be poking out of the sashes/belts of warriors like Qotho. Recognize those distinct handles? It's hard to hide the profile of the Raven Claw Fighting Knife. Although his actions were deplorable, the daggers carried by Karl Tanner in season 3 were in great taste. The orchestrator of the mutiny at Crastor's carried both the Poignard and the Soldier's Dagger (on closeout!). We even did some custom costume work, too! See those nice breastplates worn by the soldiers of house Tyrell? The moment may have been brief, but the armor still had time to shine! There are probably far more examples that I have yet to notice, what have you seen that looks familiar?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Death Dealer Collection

Museum Replicas is proud to announce it's collaboration with the Frazetta Art Museum to bring you the licensed Death Dealer line! Drawn by legendary artist Frank Frazetta, this iconic image of a dark warrior has made a lasting impression on the fantasy community. First commercially used as the cover art for the debut album of the band Molly Hatchet, the Death Dealer has seen consistent action since then. The popularity of this artwork inspired it's own novels, soon to be followed by statues, action figures and a comic book series! As if that wasn't impressive enough, since 1985 the Death Dealer has been the mascot of the US Army III Corps. They even have a full size metal replica at their headquarters! The Death Dealer pulls double duty though and also serves as a mascot for the USMC VMM-164 helicopter squadron! Frazetta's artwork has been an outstanding symbol of American fantasy and the time has come for it to be immortalized in a collection that does such a warrior justice. Museum Replicas' licensed props hold nothing back. Awe inspiring arms and armor made with real steel in proportions fit for a nearly 7 foot tall veteran of combat.

The Death Dealer Shield is massive and nearly classifies as a tower shield, with the Death Dealer falcon emblazoned upon it. 

The Death Dealer Sword is equally impressive at 41 inches in length. Forged with high carbon steel to give you a real working blade. 

The Death Dealer Axe is a fantasy cleaver of warriors dreams. Also made with high carbon steel and weighing in at a monstrous 10 pounds! 
Finally and most notably is the Death Dealer Helm, constructed with 18 gauge steel this ominous helm steals the show! 

The limited edition, numbered, signed version is now available for pre-order which includes a certificate of authenticity hand signed by Frank Frazetta Jr! You can even register your collection on line to protect its integrity through the ages. This stunning collection stands as glorious as the artwork itself and deserves a place in any true warriors collection!

Hand Sewn Clothing

In the world of historical re-enactment and role play costuming, few eras are as popular as that of the Renaissance Period. While many manufacturers offer garments that are constructed in the style of days long gone, few fulfill the promise of authentic production. Museum Replicas has noticed this lack of reproduction and has decided to address the issue with it's own line called; Windlass Authentics. This Hand-Sewn line is as implied, sewn by hand. But these period pieces are also loomed by hand as well! Even the lacing used on these garments is stitched by hand.

The unaltered fibers of the shirts and chemise are naturally off-white in color, producing the classic look that blends into the period. However, we do hand dye the pants to add a splash of color! These items will take you back to the festivals with triumphant authenticity, making you the rival of all your peers!  Order from Museum Replicas Hand Sewn line and see your look transcend time!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Rapiers – Faster, Lighter Swords

As the Middle Ages drew to a close, firearms, such as the matchlock, became more common. Other weapons evolved as well. Consequently, the Knightly suit of armor began to fade into obscurity and so did the weapons meant to combat the armor, such as the mace and war hammer. The need was for a faster, lighter tool. Enter the rapier.

The term “rapier” is believed to have come from the Spanish espada ropera or “sword of the robes.” In other words, it was a dress sword more common among the civilians.  Were they truly “faster and lighter”? Yes, in comparison to swords of that time. However, rapiers were far from the sleek, elegant-looking blades depicted in modern times. In fact, they resembled the medieval swords that preceded them, with a long and narrow body, a blade over an inch thick, and a hilt with a heavy quillon. 

Before the Renaissance, the rapier was exclusive to the elite but the weapon soon gained popularity among the masses, especially the merchant class. It was a self-defense tool and a status symbol. However, the rapier did not win over the military ranks; its effectiveness in the battlefield was questioned.  Armor, though outdated, was still worn, and soldiers preferred a heavier tool to wield.
Over time, the rapier’s hilt and blade became lighter and shorter, respectively, as swordplay necessitated the lightest and most effective weapon possible. The result was the “small sword” which consigned the rapier to history in the 18th century.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Medieval Helmets

The importance of helmets to Knights during the Middle Ages is obvious – they protected the head. Over time, as weaponry and methods of warfare improved, helmets duly evolved.  In this post, we will take a brief look at three types of medieval helmets.


From the Early Middle Ages to the end of the 12th century, helmets were primarily the type that had a casque protecting the nose and the face, also called the “nasal helmet.” This helmet was easy to make due to its simplistic design but it did not completely protect the head.

The great helm entered the scene towards the end of the 12th century. Unlike the standard helmet of the time, the casque in the great helm enclosed the whole head of the Knight. It was either one piece or featured a moveable ventail. There were different forms of the great helm during the 13th century, including the round-topped, flat-topped (see pic), and the sugar-leaf form. While there is no doubt that these helmets provided greater safety than their predecessors, they offered limited vision and little ventilation.

Helmets became more sophisticated in the 14th century. One such helmet was the bascinet, comprising the visor and the skull piece. The visor was removable, which enabled the great helm to be worn by placing it over the skull piece. However, there were times when the bascinet was the better choice on its own as it offered clearer vision and easier movement in melee combat.