functional Boromir's sword

Discussion in 'Fantasy Weapons and Armour' started by Grabsteinkraut, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Elladan

    Elladan Son of Elrond

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    Given your knowledge, Justice, which of the LOTR swords would be the easiest to 'functionalize'?

    I'd say Sting, given its small size, or the Ranger Sword. Something about it looks rather mass-produced, as swords go.
     
  2. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    The ranger sword or Faramir's sword seem fairly easy. The Edoras royal guard sword would also be very easy because it is so similar to Germanic migration era swords of the 7th and 8th centuries. Because of it's size Sting would be cost effective, but the lettering on the blades would have to be engraved instead of laser etched. Heat can severely throw off the temper of the steel. And the engraving would be hand done, therefore it would be almost as high in price as a full sized sword. Glamdring would be very expensive, especially after engraving the runes in the hilt.
     
  3. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    Ooo, ooo! I heard faramir's sword mentioned! Please make it and make it functional!
     
  4. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    The market will dictate the price. Obviously if Windlass can make fully functional swords like the Arbedo and Towton for less then $300 (and i do recommend taking a look those, they are really nice) then the fully functional UC swords shouldn't be much more once the license fee is taken into account. I'd also vote against making them very limited, whats the point of making them limited if you can't buy one they're so rare?

    I personally dont like the twisted guard on Boromir's sword, and if making the guard without the twist would make it less expensive, then I would prefer it. UC could make their "limited version" with the twist in the guard for authenticity sake and charge more for it, and the regular functional version with an un-twisted guard for the rest of us. Just a thought.

    Either way, count me among the ranks that will buy a functional Boromir's sword, but i wont spend much more for it then $350. For all the people complaining about how difficult it is to maintain a high carbon steel blade, its really not that difficult. I've had a high carbon sword for over a year and I haven't had to do anything to it other then applying a carnuba wax to it once. If i use the blade on something then i'll have to rewax it but other then that it doesn't have a spec of rust on it and probably wont develop any since the wax seals out moisture and air.

    -Will
     
  5. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    By the way, This is my favorite thread on this entire forum.
    -Will
     
  6. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Well, Windlass pieces are arguably 'functional.' They're better than most of the swords readily available to the general populace, but they can't hold a candle to something like a Del Tin, Albion, or Angus Trim. I've been educated to this recently ;)

    I think licensing fees account for more of the cost than we might originally believe. Look at Kit Rae's Swords of the Ancients... they're very similar to the LotR swords in that they are fantasy blades, complex hilts, antiqued finishes, etched blades, made through the same process... etc, etc. But they run about $100 from most resellers. The LotR swords are going for $170+ depending on who you shop with. I'd say that extra cost is coming from licensing the name...

    If they make a functional Boromir sword, they should do it right all around. Probably $650 a sword. And because of that, it will likely be a limited run. It should also be true to the prop (if UC is going to 'bother' with doing it), so I'd say the twisted guard is in. But we'll see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2004
  7. Yasmar

    Yasmar New Member

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    Hi all,

    I hope some will find this relevant to certain parts of this thread (speculations about weight, and what may or may not work with a functional version of Boromir's sword, or other LOTR swords for that matter).
    This is a link to a thread on another site where Peter Lyon (designer of the LOTR movie swords) addressed these questions himself. There is a brief mention of Boromir's sword, but the whole thing is interesting (the whole thread, as well... other makers such as Angus Trim speculate on what's needed to make LOTR swords functional).
    Anyway, here is the link (Peter Lyon's post is about 2/3 of the way down this page):
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?threadid=10291&perpage=25&pagenumber=3
     
  8. Sandbaggins

    Sandbaggins New Member

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    Good stuff in that thread, thanks for the link.

     
  9. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    Seems to me you're hoping they charge $650 because it falls in line with your desire that it will be an extremely limited production run since at that price almost no one will be able to afford it. If one follows your logic then the current LOTR swords carry a $70 license premium. (but it can't be this high though, just look at any of the sub $70 LOTR licensed products, trinkets, etc..). But, if the licensing fee is in fact $70... then if Windlass can sell a fully functional Towton for $240 then for $70 more they can make a fully functional LOTR sword. That comes to $310, not $650 like I think you're trying to condition people into thinking.

    :)
     
  10. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    That's still not exactly how it works.

    Windlass can supply an unlimited amount of weapons because they have a large staff and they pay them almost slave labor prices. The swords cited like the Towton or the Arbedo sword. However these ones are not nearly as intricate as Boromirs sword would be. The twisted quillons, cast guard, machined or turned pommel, hollow ground blade, not to mention the detail it takes to create a harmonically balanced sword with a blade width like that, it costs a lot. If we look at some of the more inticate Windlass swords which require a lot more hand done work, we see huge price jumps. The Leif Ericson sword is over $500. The damascus version is over $700.

    And Windlass does not do hollow ground blades. A blade like Boromir's would have to be hollow ground because of how large it is. I have a sword about the same dimensions as Boromir's sword, but with a smaller blade. It still weighs 3 pounds 8 oz, as much as a 50" long two hander I have! Any larger and we would be going well over 4 pounds, maybe even 5. In other words they'd be as heavy as the current UC non-functionals.

    $650 I think is a good price range. That would dictate at least a decently high end sword which is to be expected when you figure in the detail levels of the current UC products.
     
  11. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Yes, there's no conditioning, there are only our opinions as buyers of other swords. If you look around for truly functional swords, you will see that Windlass is not a good example (for reasons stated by Justice) of a swordmaker for Boromir's blade.

    As for licensing, I can only theorize how UC handles it. Sword retailers have a "retail price" for their offerings and sell these swords to retailers (BBB and any others) at a certain discount rate (say 50% off retail). The retailer then has to make a profit, so they charge... say... 70% off UC's retail. In the end, UC makes profit because their retail price is high compared to materials/labor/etc that went into making the sword (very little in this case). How much of that is licensing... who knows. It is a certain percentage and is probably not the same across all items that carry the "LotR" copyright.

    And on the topic of Windlass... they can certainly make a "functional" Boromir sword, but it will not be as great as it should be. It would be baseline functional for $300 or so - heavy, capable of taking a beating. I can't say that for that price it will be light and alive in your hands like a truly functional sword, though.

    Remember, nobody has a "mission" here... we're all trying to get what we want: a Boromir's sword that is worthy of the warrior who carried it. To settle for something less is perfectly within reason, but in my opinion it falls back under the category of the other LotR swords.
     
  12. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    I'm not sure how many people are expecting this sword to "come alive" in their hands. Some of the blade harmonics issues seem a bit beyond the average demand for functionality. I suppose there are atleast a few people as evidenced by this thread that are already "converts" of the justification of a $700-$1000 level sword, so to them this would just be yet another to add to their collection.

    For the sake of this discussion, let me suggest there are 3 types of sword buyers:

    1. Buyers of non functional swords for ~ $180.
    2. Buyers of functional swords up to ~ $350
    3. Buyers of custom functional swords ~ $650+

    I'm appealing to the idea that if you're going to spend almost $200 for a fake sword, that i'd be willing to spend a little more for a real one. Which places me (and probably the majority of the proponents demanding a functional version) in category 2.

    You are clearly in category 3. And although I respect your view, It doesn't represent or support my view :)

    To the person suggesting that Windlass swords are heavy, unweildly things, I believe the weights are kept to a minimum and compare quite well to the custom Del Tin's and other higher end sword's weights. For example, and to bring them back in the discussion again....The Arbedo ($228 ) is only 3lbs despite having a massively wide blade and similar dimensions to Boromir's sword. The Towton ($242) is only 3lbs too and it has a similar dimension to Strider's sword.

    -Will


     
  13. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    I never said that Windlass sword were unwieldly, I said that there is no way that company can produce a blade of Boromir's size without it being in the 4 plus pounds range.

    I used to own the Arbedo sword. The Arbedo sword is a paper thin flattened diamond cross section sword, it actually weighs less than the listed 3 pounds. It is hardly like boromirs sword, which has a wider blade, much less profile taper, and has no fuller which pushes the steel in the blade towards the edges. The thickest part of the Arbedo is the spine, probably at 3/16ths of an inch and then getting progressively thinner to the edge. Boromirs sword would be the thickest right where the fuller ends on both sides, and most likely a 1/4 inch stock instead of 3/16ths (which is visibly different). That means Boromir's sword will have probably 50% more steel in the blade.

    Also the blade, as mentioned before, is hollow ground, which always adds a few hundred dollars to the final cost. The only way to get a blade like Boromir's, without compromising the size, is to go hollow ground. Otherwise you are holding a very large and broad crowbar. Other sword smiths might be able to do it with out enormous weights, but I do not think Windlass can handle such a product, at least not for $350. And because of their shaky quality control, I fear that the customers of the "functional" Lord of the Rings swords would feel the quality of them is a step down from the current UC collectibles.
     
  14. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    There's a lot of back and forth here, and a hint at underlying bitterness from Will_K that I do not understand, nevertheless...

    If you want the harsh truth, a $350 Boromir sword would not be considered functional by any true collector of swords. As Justice stated, it would most likely be sword-shaped crowbar or SLO (Sword-like Object) as many collectors call them. I personally do not like using that terminology and instead try to stress that a truly "functional" or "battle ready" sword should be expertly made, otherwise you're being short-changed. Harmonics ARE important. Blade geometry IS important. Balance IS important. If these are not considered, then a "functional" sword is simply a little more sturdy than a decorative replica.

    The terms "functional" or "battle ready" gets thrown about a bit too liberally, unfortunately. They often get paired with any sword made out of "carbon steel" when such steel is only one part of a functional blade. A functional/battle-ready sword should be something you can trust your life to.

    UC should either go the "right" route for a functional Boromir sword or simply make one in line with their current display offerings. And that's probably what they will do. That, or they'll make a $350 version, call it "functional" like numerous other mass-makers, and again will miss the mark.
     
  15. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Actually, what i think a lot of people are forgetting is that UC swords STILL wouldn't be functional if they had a blade swap, say a tempered carbon steel blade instead of the stainless steel. The UC fittings aren't weant to hold the sword together during combat either. It is easy to use cast zinc parts on the UC swords because they are easy to make. Cast steel fittings are much more expensive though. And they have to be built in a way that doesn't impede the harmonics (the vibrations swords recieve when they hit something).

    Although I'm not saying you can't get a functional UC sword at $350 (Del Tin swords cost around that) you won't get a pretty one for that much. Any quality sword at that price range is usually bare bones in inticacies. They'd feel really plain, then buyer would wonder why they can't use their stainless steel UC's instead because they look better and are cheaper.

    And let's not forgt that the UC swords are machined out. Hammer forging swords costs quite a bit more than punching a few buttons on a machine.
     
  16. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    Back and forth is the stuff for a good friendly discussion. There is absolutely no underlying bitterness at all, I assure you. We're all trying to explain our points of view, unique as they are, which is the whole point of this forum, after all. We all agree on one point though, I believe, and that is we definately want a functional Boromir's sword!

    regards,

    -Will

     
  17. Will_K

    Will_K New Member

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    Thanks for your comments on the Arbedo sword. I'm surprised that the blade was paper thin, the pictures are decieving since it looks extremely substantial. What was your reason for getting rid of the sword? I personally dont really like it's diamond cut design as I prefer a fuller atleast, but I do like that its a wide blade, total size under 40" and that its a hand and a half.

    -Will

     
  18. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Paper thin might be a bit exageratng, but it is a thin blade. As opposed to a thick diamon cross section, a flattened diamond cross section blade is usually pretty thin.

    I sold it because the blade wasn't quite to my taste. I prefer something a bit heftier if it is going to have a blade that wide.
     
  19. Elvenblademaster

    Elvenblademaster New Member

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    Functional boromir sword or non functiona. I don't care I gotta have it.
     
  20. Doombringer

    Doombringer The End of All Things

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    Yes, one way or another, UC already has my money for Boromir's sword. Even if it's another stainless display piece, I'll buy it and hang it and I'll love it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2004
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