A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

A central place to talk about weapons and armour, as it relates to your kit. This is where you show it of or talk about making it. Discussing the relative merits of types of weapons goes in the WMA section.

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redhandfilms
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A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by redhandfilms »

This short sword has recently caught my eye.
Image

Being sold by a few vendors on Etsy and likely elsewhere.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/980147272/ ... ch_click=1

Now, it's a cheap, Pakastani Damascus blade, but I've got to admit I find it pretty. Looks very dwarven to me. I like the idea of a short sword that might actually be of use on the trail. Similar to a machete if I do have to clear the trail a little. Also, being on the shorter side, I think it could actually be worn on the back and still be drawn. I could see this strapped to the side of my quiver.

What does everyone think? Yay or Nay?
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by ForgeCorvus »

You'd need to lose the press studs..... But the rest of it it not far off a couple of designs I've been mulling over in my head.

The hollow square pommel really makes it look Dwavish (I'm going to so nick that idea)

A great sidearm
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Iodo »

redhandfilms wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:57 pm What does everyone think? Yay or Nay?


For looks it is nice, that pommel and the blade shape I think work well as dwarven, and more so if it had runes or something engraved on the brass, but...
...the brass pins/full tang constriction cries out as too modern and really does stop it from feeling Middle earth to my eye

[EDIT] I just read the description and realized that the handle scales are made from micarta, I first thought it was wood, so if it could fool me as well in real life as it did in the picture then maybe not so much of a problem? however in my experience things like this look far more out of place in real life, every time

redhandfilms wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:57 pm Similar to a machete if I do have to clear the trail a little

The handle looks very thin to be able to easily use this as a machete for any length of time, if all you have in mind is a few swings every once in a while then it's probably not a problem. But then again, 2lb is just heavy generally for a blade with a handle as thin as that. I can't be sure because I've never held it, but it does give the "form before function" vibe that I try to steer away from with my kit items

Also, with it being a cheaper Damascus steel probably made with the intention of being hung on a wall, I personally wouldn't feel happy about ending up in a situation where I might have to rely on it for survival


I can't really answer your question because that depends your opinion about what you think best fits Middle earth/your persona, what you plan to use it for and what you like the look of...
...If it were me I would be (and was) tempted by this at first, but after some thought I would decide against it
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Eofor »

Going to be totally honest with my opinion here as I've just read your intro post and think that you're open to it. Please don't be discouraged as it's simply my opinion.

It depends on what you are wanting to achieve in your portrayal. You're still working on the details but the first question you need to ask yourself is are you trying to create a fully functional, lore accurate kit or are you aiming for something that's a bit more generic fantasy/cosplay/larp? Neither are incorrect answers but they will heavily dictate your gear choices moving forward.

If it's the latter then you have to ask yourself why a Ranger would be carrying a Dwarven blade given that the physiological differences between men and dwarves would make for an impractical weapon. There are only two references that I'm aware of to Dwarves carrying swords, one is Orcrist and the other are the Dwarves of the Iron Hills 'each of them had also a short broad sword at his side and a round shield slung at his back' and this blade doesn't seem to match that description.

From a form point of view it's a nay, the design is pure fantasy - there is a reason that sword geometry has stayed largely unchanged over thousands of years and that's because it works. The movies (particularly the hobbit) took the Dwarves down a particular design path which some love and some loathe but the fact is many of the weapons and armour in it are simply stupid from a function point of view. Case in point, Thorin and Co. are all standing around in plate armour which they then take off to charge out the front gate into a battle. Why? It was literally because the armor proved too heavy and cumbersome for the actors to move well in it, let alone fight.

From a function point of view it's going to be quite tip heavy and that handle lacks substance or any sort of shaping which isn't a great combination in my experience. I can't see anything in the description of what type of steel it is (1080, 1095) nor anything about the blade being heat treated in any way. It may just be a trick of the light but in one of the photos on etsy it looks like either the belly of the blade is the only bit sharpened or that it has a different bevel to the tip section. Weird.
This leads me to the assumption that it is probably machined directly out of a cheap Damascus billet, slapped with some micarta handles (that aren't even shaped to feel good in the hand) and given a 300% mark up.

From a cost point of view I was genuinely surprised to see the price was so high. If it's been properly heat treated and balanced then maybe but I doubt it.

If you took this design to a smith and had them make a proper functional version of it? With a more traditional blade, decent handle but keeping that ring pommel? Now that would probably be pretty darn nice.
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Cimrandir »

Can't say much more than Eofor already hasn't said far more eloquently than I. In terms of pure aesthetics, my humble non-Dwarven opinion is that the sword looks far too "fantasy" and not very appropriate for Middle-earth. What that means varies from person to person of course. I believe it was Elleth (?) that first advanced the theory of an "Eastern European" dwarf and I must say I'm quite taken with the idea. So I would perhaps suggest looking toward the (early medieval) swords of Ukraine, Poland, or any of the other Slavic nations for inspiration.
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by caedmon »

Let us not forget, Narsil was a dwarven sword. Made by Telchar of Nogrod. (Which sounds a lot like Novgorod BTW)
-Jack Horner

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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Cimrandir »

I really like Odigan and Bumr’s concept art of Nalaumkhah as well. Somewhere in the gladius/spatha realm seems appropriate.

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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by redhandfilms »

All very good advice to consider. I'm going to hold off for now. If I do get it in the future, it definitely needs some work. New sheath, leather wrap over or replace the micarta handle, brass etching, etc.

Right now I'm focused on getting camping gear together for my upcoming trip. As far as weapons right now, I do already have a bow/arrows (mongolian horse bow style), tomahawk, seax, and hunting knife. Keep it simple and practical for hunting and bushcraft.
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by ForgeCorvus »

How do you do an "Embarrassed " emoticon??

I looked at the shape and thought it was nice, I didn't read the spec..... And I'm horrified by the price.

The full tang with scales and rivets just made me think Messer, so I don't have a problem with that.

However, I thought it was a big knife not a shortsword. Because I saw the handle is roughly one third of the weapon I assumed that it had only a foot of blade, after all why would you ever need a two handed grip on anything less then an arms-length long?
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Iodo »

redhandfilms wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 3:28 pm All very good advice to consider. I'm going to hold off for now. If I do get it in the future, it definitely needs some work. New sheath, leather wrap over or replace the micarta handle, brass etching, etc.
ahh, this is the age old middle earth ranger forum debate, do you buy something expensive that is still not exactly what you want and spend time making it something else, or do you instead buy materials to make it yourself/commission someone to make exactly what you want?

This is a very difficult conundrum that I'm quite familiar with, it's always very tempting to try to get something that's nearly what you want but in my experience it is often the same amount, or sometimes even more work, to change the thing so it fits your mental picture

You could buy or commission a blade blank and make something similar to this yourself, it might even turn out cheaper than buying that and you would probably get a higher quality finished product
redhandfilms wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 3:28 pm Right now I'm focused on getting camping gear together for my upcoming trip
If you feel like you might need a machete you could just take a machete, there's no shame in substituting modern items in the place of middle earth appropriate ones that you don't have yet, particularly on your first trek
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by ForgeCorvus »

Iodo wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:17 am
If you feel like you might need a machete you could just take a machete, there's no shame in substituting modern items in the place of middle earth appropriate ones that you don't have yet, particularly on your first trek
I think most of us will agree that Kit is an on going project . Also placeholders that make your setup useable so you can get out there are preferable to waiting until your gear is perfect (which it truly never will be.)

Ultimately your setup will be a compromise between finances, authenticity and Real World concerns..... Everyone decides where they will draw that line for themselves.

You can buy an awful lot of fabric and other less Gucci gear for the thick end of 200 notes
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Togon »

I swear! Eofor always has the best advice put very tactfully! From my first view, the outlines did look dwarven, although more fantasy. It somewhat reminds me of some of the weapons in The Hobbit films, although those are definitely more fantasy. I do like the angles and square pommel. The rivets are modern looking as well as some of the cuts in the blade. It looks pretty tip heavy, which may not be something you like as far as handling goes. I'm not a fan of "damascus" steel; it makes things look modern and maybe a little cheap to me. There's a lot of "damascus" steel of this type on places like BudK. The square handle doesn't seem very comfortable to me.

The sheath looks modern. It reminds me of the sheathes on Rambo knives. Something more period would bring your kit together. Afterall, your blade will probably be spending most of its time in said sheath/scabbard on your treks.

For something similar, may I suggest Windlass's Hattin Falchion. It's short, tip heavy and a wicked cutter. Its like the Konami cheat code of cutting swords. Well made with a peened pommel. I got mine a while back because I wanted a cutter for my ranger sword, but found it wore out my forearms quite a bit but it does handle well. I also got a good deal on a Cold Steel seax which has damascus. It's short, with a 17 in blade and a handle too long for it's hilt fittings, but its well made with a beautiful single bevel. When I was trying to assemble a more dark age kit, I carried the Windlass Runic Seax which I loved. With the runes etched on the blade, I think it looks more Dwarven than anything. I find choosing a sword is very personal. In a way, its kind of the signature of your character. I would say, handle some swords to see what you like and what you don't. I like learning how to use my weapons, so to me, handling is important.
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Re: A Dwarven Sword? What do you think of this?

Post by Iodo »

Togon wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 10:47 pm For something similar, may I suggest Windlass's Hattin Falchion...
I have wanted one of those for a long time :lol:


[EDIT] or perhaps this is a potential solution: viewtopic.php?t=4880 if it hasn't already sold???

I have one of those, and I agree with the OP that the handle wrap is cheap/tacky feeling but it's a well made blade that would serve you well
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Aragorn: It's the beards.
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