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?