and exacting re-creations of swords and armor made famous in film, television,
literature and fantasy art.
The Riddle of Steel Diary The
Remaking of the Conan Swords by
Howy and Amy of Albion
see things; and you say, 'Why?'
But I dream things that never were;
and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
which does not kill us
makes us stronger
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)
Special Message to Our Customers and Supporters
We would like
to thank our thousands of customers and other supporters.
It is because of you that our efforts to bring you
the most authentic and exact reproductions from the Conan
films happened - at least for a short time.
When we first started to pursue this project back in 1998
(hard to believe it has been almost 10 years now), people
told us we were both completely crazy and monumentally naive.
Over the years, we discovered that they were right.
But we did it anyway.
It took three years of bureaucratic runarounds and dead-ends,
fund-raising and contract negotiations to get the rights.
When we finally heard that we got the contract, we played
the Conan score over the shop intercom in celebration.
Now, we had to figure out how to make them.
We were a small start-up sword company with a big empty
building and a small handful of employees, most of whom
had never made a sword before.
And we had to pick two of the most difficult swords to make
as our first projects - The Atlantean and Father's/Master's
Luckily, one of those few people was the legendary Jody
Samson. Jody gave up his shop in warm Southern California
and came to snowy Wisconsin to teach us. He worked tirelessly
under adverse conditions, restoring castings from the original
studio molds for remolding and production casting, designing
the blade blank for machining and production grinding, and
teaching our staff how to hollow-grind.
Jody had made three of each sword for the film twenty years
before, but helping us figure out how to make thousands
of each was a challenge.
We documented every stage of production through the "Riddle
of Steel" diary (below) - customers seemed to like
following the process with us. I guess it was one of the
first "blogs" before the term even existed.
Over the six years of production, we have burned through
a lot of staff people, investment money and machinery to
bring these swords to life. There are so many people to
thank for their part in making this happen that it is impossible
to even make a comprehensive list. Above all, however, I
want to thank my wonderful wife, Amy, who was willing to
throw herself into this and make her crazy husband's dreams
a reality. Next, we all want to thank the amazing Mike Sigman,
who kept everything together through the years.
We would also like to give special thanks to: John Milius,
who loaned us his original swords as reference, and gave
us a lot of moral support over the years; Ron Cobb, who
freely shared his original concept drawings and other source
material; and Tim Huchthausen, who sold us the original
Albion as a start-up sword company was, in many ways, fundamentally
shaped by the Conan Project - the same ethic of going back
to the original swords and recreating every detail, not
just a "look-alike," where "good enough"
is not good enough - these are the same principles
that we apply every day to our historical work. We "cut
our teeth" as it were on the Conan swords - "born
in fire and sword" - and the two quotes at the top
of this page say it all.
Every time we would start to feel depressed about what we
had gotten ourselves into, when things were going badly
and contract renegotiations got ugly, we would go back and
read the testimonials
from our Conan customers. That kept us going and reminded
us why we were doing this.
It was all about making a shared dream come true.
Back in 1982, when the lights went out and the film started
with Conan's father making the Master's Sword, I knew that
I had to have one. When Conan found the Atlantean Sword
in the crypt, I knew I had to have one.
Over 20 years and well over a million dollars later, I'll
finally have a pair of my own when all customer orders are
It has been an amazing experience - someday, we may write
"Crom, I have never prayed to you before, I have no tongue
for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good
men or bad, why we fought or how we died. No, all that matters,
is that two stood against many. That's what's important.
Valour pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request: grant
me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with
Warmest regards and heartfelt thanks,
The Special Conan Issue
of Warrior/Film Swords Magazine
are still available for
$10 plus shipping and handling
The issue is chock full of information
about the making and remaking of the Conan swords, rare
color photos, interviews with John Milius, Jody Samson and
is destined to become a rare Conan collectible - get yours
while supplies last!
It has been a wild ride, but it is coming to a close. We have
decided to not renew our contract with Conan Properties. Therefore,
the Conan items we make will only be available through October
2007. Our authentic Conan pieces are only available through
the Filmswords.com and Albion
The prototype of the Conan the Barbarian Subotai's Sword
is finally complete.
9-3-04 Recent Testimonial ...You totally surprised me with the Father's Sword.
The white Albion box came and I couldn't figure out what it could
be because I thought it would be a while for these swords to be
done but there it was. I had missed it since I handled it at the
Blade Show, but now I have my own. Whoo-hoo!
Now I just can't wait for the Destroyer Atlantean to come and
keep the Father's sword company.
These swords are indeed all people say they are and more. Love
it, love it.
Thanks Mike, and all you folks at Albion for keeping guys like
me happy and broke.... and give my regards to Jody, the master...
who brought these wicked beasts to life. -- Vay
9-1-04 Recent Testimonial My Atlantean Sword #221 arrived on Friday.
It wasn't a suprise as I was expecting it. Michael at Albion has
been great at keeping me informed as to what was going on. I had
the sword shipped to me at work since I spend more time there
than at home, so I had to wait until work was finished to finally
open the package up. After opening the shipping box and sliding
out the wood container that held the Atlantean, I took a moment
and said to myself..."Are you friggin' nuts to spend that kind
of money on something that has absolutely no practical use whatsoever!!!
Maybe you should have your head examined to see just how much
of your brain has turned to mush!!!"
But then I opened the wood box up and took a look at the sword
and the only word that came to mind was..."Damn!"
I couldn't help but shake my head to the fact that I now owned
a sword that was probably worth more than my car. I pulled it
out of the box, I wasn't suprised at the feel of the sword the
quality of the workmanship that went into it, I'd held one before.
A little bit of backstory for you: Like just about everyone else
who has one of the Conan Swords or is going to get one, I fell
in lust for the sword when the movie first came out. And every
time I saw the movie again, whether it was on TV, video, or more
recently DVD, I would get the bug to own one. I stumbled on the
Albion website not too long after they first came out with the
Riddle of Steel Diary (thank you Google), and of course I wanted
one. But once again it was cost over practicality. And the saving
grace in the fact that on the website, anytime that I actually
started to talk myself into one, I could just hit that little
X in the upper right hand corner and I was safe.
That all ended last June in Atlanta. For the past few years I
have been going to the Blade Show in Atlanta, and this year I
noticed that Albion was going to be there. Road to Doom. I knew
that my only hopes were A) Albion wouldn't bring any of the Conan
swords, B) The swords would be overrated pieces of junk, or C)
the guys at Albion would be a bunch of Jerks and I would not want
to buy one just to spite them. No such luck. I entered the show
on the first day, and made my way around the floor drooling at
all the shiny sharp things all around me. This is pretty much
like chum in the water.
I finally make it to the Albion booth and, sure enough, there
they are, big as day, both the Atlantean and the Master's Swords.
I walked up and met Michael Sigman, Customer Service Regent. Unfortunately
he was not a jerk, a Rat Bastard maybe, but not a jerk. Not only
was he nice and helpful, but he actually hands me the Atlantean.
The thing was big, beautiful, and solid as a rock. I was hooked
but good. That was on Friday. The Blade Show is a 3-day deal,
and everytime that I walked by, Michael just grinned and handed
me the sword, kind of like tugging on the line to set the hook
even deeper into my lip.
By the end of the show I had given him my down payment. Don't
get me wrong, I don't blame Michael, or anyone at Albion. Nor
do I have any regrets. The sword is worth every penny, and I'm
proud to own one. Unfortunately, now I can't help but look at
the Master's Sword, Valeria's Sword, and the Vic Anselmo Beastmaster
sword and think..."What the Hell!". The Road to Doom is very long,
and very expensive...but very very cool. Thank you Michael and
everyone at Albion,
-- Chad S. Bishop
7-09-04 Great News for Conan Fans
Due to increases in efficiency and lower costs to produce our
Anniversary Conan swords, we are now able to pass those savings
on to you by rolling back our prices!
Recent Testimonial On 3/9/04 my Atlantean arrived, a day to remember forever.
I arrived home late from work, and not too happy about that; however,
my luck was about to change. I approached the front door and behold
a large box staring at me. Could this be my blade?
I closed in on the box quickly and indeed it was as I had hoped.
My heart raced and my excitement continued to build, hurrying
to get the door open.
I opened the box and what an excellent packing job. Then I removed
the wooden box that held my blade. The box was very sturdy, also
nicely done. It seemed I could not open the box fast enough. I
removed the top of the box and there was my Atlantean.
For a while I simply studied the incredible detail throughout
the piece. It is unbelievable.
I finally grasped the massive sword and the balance was perfect.
Yes, it's a bit heavy but totally manageable, and actually appreciated
by this warrior. After all, Conan was no weakling.
I have purchased several swords through the years and nothing
compares to this. It is truly my prized piece and I have been
waiting a long time for the "real" Conan sword.
Gene and his Atlantean
Words and pictures cannot fully reveal the beauty and strength
of this weapon. Overall, I am speechless on the quality and detail,
and so thankful that it is authentic and not for only hanging
on a wall.
I wish to say thank you to all who made this possible, it truly
is a dream come true. And special thanks to Jody for the deadly
edge. -- Gene
Recent Testimonials ...Bubbling
with youthful enthusiasm, I quickly opened both crates -- to first
behold the immensely powerful and large, widely bladed Father's
This sword is truly a splendid work of art with a barbarous weight
yet nicely balanced.
The Vic Anselmo sword is
also magnificent. I drew this sword from it's crate and was first
struck by it's lithely curve like a crescent moon. The fine-honed
blade reveals a demoniac tip with potential deadlier than the
strike of a serpent.
is hard work. Hammering out and sculpting a sword is no less laborious
than wielding that sword in battle. I truly appreciate the hard
work and astonishing talent Jody Samson and the entire team of
people are blessed with at Albion Armorers. You definately bring
dreams into reality. With admiration and appreciation...
-- RICK ROBINSON
...Hi, Its me, the proud owner of Atlantean
Well its been Just over a week now since my Atlantean arrived,
I've been grinning ever since!
Firstly I must say I was very impressed with the packaging, best
I have ever seen! When it came to opening the pine box I was literally
shaking with anticipation, The smell of real wood as you open
the box gave me the sensation of being in a wild Cimmerian forest.
At first I was nervous handling this monster sword but you can't
just display this item because it screams "Touch me," it gets
into your soul and cries out for you to study its every angle
and detail, oh and what detail... the volcano, the skull, the
boat, the runes and the fearful sea dogs on the hilt.
I read the independent review on your site and was a little worried
about the casting flaws they mentioned, I needn't of been, if
there is any imperfections they are very small and they belong
there, just as the original Atlantean had them, It looks and feels
like it was crafted in a forgotten age.
No matter how often you pick it up you just don't want to put
it down, 8lbs? I cant believe it weighs so much, it just feels
like a natural extension of my arm! I'm not a huge Cimmerian but
even I can swing this sword about for a while without too much
The sharpening job you guys gave Atlantean #112 is unbelievable,
when you sharpen something you really don't mess about! I have
been waiting for this sword since 1984, 20 years!
Every hour of the wait was worth it, I've followed your website
for ages watching my dream become reality for many people and
now its my turn, I just hope now I can save up in time to get
a Fathers sword.
My thanks go to Jody a true master of steel maybe even a god!
and to all you guys at Albion, Thanks so much for making this
dream come true for me and so many others, especially Mike! for
making the transaction so painless, whatever their paying you
its not enough!
I still cant believe I actually own an Atlantean, It just hasn't
sunk in yet. I have enclosed a pic of me with it.
I can't wait to see what you guys come up with in the future!
Keep making dreams come true, -- Lee Scrutton UK
...Currently I'm a first year law student and now I understand
the kind of hassles Albion had with Conan Properties/Marto to
justify the initial production delay.
I used to think Albion's swords were expensive, now I think they
deals of the century, all things considered with regards to the
legal hoops you have to jump through, and not to mention the quality
your swords exhibit. Anyone who has gone through a closing or
divorce knows how fast your money gets burned up... I can't imagine
what Albion's legal fees were in dealing with [this] alone. Regards
Conan Project Fangs Dagger Casting arrive
The first four Fangs Daggers are being finished, with details
hand-restored after investment casting in steel and the grips
wrapped and detailed in leather.
From Our 2003 Conan Upgrade Contest WInner ...I’m dumbfounded.
Here I am, on the road, and I log in to check my email and find
out that I won!
Holy smokes, it’s just unbelievable! I’m pretty sure the last
thing I won was a free apple pie at McDonald’s.
Now I’m faced with a real dilemma: which one to pick. My favorite
is the Father’s Sword, but the Atlantean is awesome as well. Please
give me a couple of days to think on it and I’ll email you my
decision at the next email check.
Now I need to go find a crowbar to lever my jaw back up off the
My very best regards to all of you at Albion/Filmswords, -- Sam E.
Project Tower Dagger Completed Jason, Rob and
Mark have completed the first run of Tower
Daggers. The hilt components were cast from waxes carved by
Leif, the blade designed by Jason from original prop specifications,
and CADD design and blank milling by Steve Fisher.
In this case, dagger is a misnomer -- with a blade over 16"
long and 1.5" wide, this is more of a shortsword!
Testimonial ...We picked up the Father's
Sword and I was floored by the packaging, and upon opening the
packaging, I was stunned by the quality and workmanship of the
I never expected it to be soooo good.
It is just like the image on the website, and after a less than
satisfactory previous experience [with another company], believe
me, it was such a relief to view such a magnificent piece of art.
I am continually amazed by the detail of the relief work on the
pommel and the guard. The runes on the blade are marvellously
executed, and set it off so nicely.
Even though the weight is posted on the website, I never expected
it to be so weighty, and I wonder how you managed to balance it
A superlative piece of work. Thankyou everyone at Albion Armourers.
Dreams do come true.
Conan Project Update Leif has finished
the Subotai waxes and has fitted them to the tang plug.Now, they will
be sent off for molding and casting in bronze while the first
blades, designed by Jason and Steve, are being ground.
Atlantean™ Prototype Complete! The Destroyer Atlantean™
is complete and we are ready to go into full production, after
we receive final approval from Conan Properties.
The Destroyer Atlantean™ is two inches longer
than the Barbarian Atlantean™ overall --
an inch longer grip and an inch longer in the cutting edge of
the blade. Other differences: the ricasso is slightly wider on
this version of the Atlantean™, the steel
langets are more "hooked," and the grip is wrapped with
round leather lace.
As on the Barbarian Atlantean™, the hilt
components are cast in solid bronze from the original studio molds,
the blades ground from 1075 steel and heat-treated in the Albion
Forge Shop. The runes are deeply engraved on both sides of the
blade. Comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Jody
Wait times for this sword will be only 2 weeks from time of
order. Payment plans are available.
comparison of the new Conan the Destroyer Atlantean™
and the Conan the Barbarian Atlantean™
have begun final design work on 20th Anniversary Editions of
Valeria's Sword ($2,500) and the Mother's
Sword ($1,500) from Conan the Barbarian.
original film prop
Mother's Sword original film prop
Reservations for these 20th Anniversary Editions of 1,000 swords
each can be placed with a $500 deposit.
More details to follow!
Anniversary Atlanteans are now in stock, ready for immediate delivery.
Albion is having so much fun with their Economy Sucks
sale, that Film Swords wanted to get in on some of that action.
We're having another Upgrade Contest! Order a 20th Anniversary
Atlantean or Master's (Father's) Sword between July 28th, 2003
and December 30th, 2003, and you will be automatically entered
to win an upgrade* to a Limited Edition version of the sword you
purchased. (Limited #9 of each has been reserved for this contest),
hand-ground and signed by Jody Samson. Only 10 of these swords
will be made, making this a rare collectible with an initial retail
value of $10,000.
winner must be willing to return the 20th Anniversary Sword purchased
in like-new condition, in its original packaging, in order to
receive the Upgrade.
Testimonial ...Dear Mike, Howy, Amy, Jody and everyone else at Albion
who is responsible for bringing dreams to life.
Much the same as the way I felt that I climbed down into the tomb
and pulled the Atlantean (sans dust, cobwebs and decay!) from
the dead king's hand myself when I opened that box last year,
I feel like Conan's parents handed this Sword to me right after
they finished creating the masterpiece when I opened the box today
containing the Fathers Sword.
So true to what appeared on the screen before my eyes for all
these years. There's not much to say that hasn't already been
said. Yes this Sword is at least as impressive as the Atlantean,
but the Atlantean was the one I truly adored since I was a child.
As much as I thought I was prepared for this by having already
seen how impressive your craftsmanship is (Atlantean) I was still
stunned and speechless when I first looked upon The Fathers Sword.
Looking into the empty eye sockets of the elk's skull you can
almost "feel" the dismal spirit of Crom and the Cimmerians, and
the harshness of the land that those grim people hail from.
For some reason I thought this Sword would be more awkward in
handling than the Atlantean but it actually balances better and
actually feels much lighter despite all of its mass.
The castings, the runes, the blade, the leather wrapping.. all
unbelievably perfect. Master's Sword is a fitting name. Stunning.
As I've said before, to thank you a million times still would
not suffice. Owning The Atlantean was certainly a dream come true,
but to sit here and look at both Swords in front of me goes well
beyond any dream I have ever had. Now I am convinced that Crom
DOES in fact listen, afterall, he sent us Albion Armorers! Sincerely
and with my best wishes always,
-- Clifford Catropa
Fangs of the Serpent Dagger Leif is currently working on polishing and detailing the wax
for the prototype casting of the Fangs of the Serpent Dagger.
Here is a preview photo of the mold with the wax in place.
6-2-03 We are happy to announce that we are totally caught up with
20th Anniversary Atlantean Sword orders and now, for the
first time ever, Atlanteans are in stock and ready for immediate
shipment. We are also in full production on Masters (Father's)
Swords and are steadily working our way through the backorders
on those as well.
Here's a photo of some of the swords in this week's batch near
those of us who have been along for every (sometimes agonizing)
step of the multi-year journey to bring these swords to life again,
it is amazing that you can see 10 or 20 Atlanteans or Master's
(Father's) Swords in the final assembly process for shipment
at any given time. Just think, for the last twenty years only
three of each sword existed in the world.
We'd like to thank some of our partners who have been there from
day one helping us achieve this major milestone and for getting
the ball rolling in Year One: Jody, John Milius (and Leonard!),
and of course Jason Dingledine (our first staff person and fellow
dreamer who was there for the very first Conan Toast "...
and hear the lamentation of d'er women") ; and for all those
folks who have joined us starting in Year Two: Mike (for the always
excellent customer service); Mark (production lead), Rob (our
master at figuring out how to replicate the look and feel), Roger
(wood, wood, wood!), Renee (I need this yesterday!), Eric, Leif,
Lars, John (the machine man) and Steve "The Daywalker"
Fisher on CNC designs;and the great folks atMasters
in Metal and Daniels Engraving.
And, of course, every one of the hundreds of people who have bought
one of these swords -- for your patience, enthusiasm, and support
during this long process.
letters continue to come in...
is difficult to put into words my feelings as I opened the box
of my Father's Sword. It was literally a dream come true to be
holding such a masterpiece of art and craftsmanship. In the twenty
years since I first saw the sword on the silver screen, I never
really believed I would ever be able to own one. So to see the
Father's Sword along side my Atlantean sword is simply beyond
description! I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone involved
who helped bring these magnificent swords to life! They truly
are works of art!
I received my Fathers Sword today. Unbelievable!!! What an awesome
weapon sitting there in its crate. When I took the sword out I
was floored by the weight of it yet amazed by the balance, perfect!
This is quite a weapon. I have many swords in my collection, all
finely made but this sword is the crown jewel. I have been waiting
a long time for this, not just since I ordered it almost 18 months
ago but since I first saw Conan at the theater more than 20 years
ago. Well let me tell you all it was well worth the wait. A fantastic
job by all involved from Albion Armorers to Jody Samson. I wish
to express my heartfelt thanks to all for the preparation and
work put into making this sword become a reality for me. Thank
Yours truly, -- Ron Caputo
Mike & all folks of Albion
At last! FATHER'S IS HERE!!!!!! All worth the past week's sleepless
nights & horrible tension! In fact I received it on 20 May,but
it took me a while to accumulate all pics I've been badly wanting
to share with you all!
As to the sword, now... it is with great reluctance that I say,
nay, ADMIT, that in many respects it IS superior to the Atlantean.
That a bad thing? you may ask... HARDLY. So, after the arranged
usual, standard (that befits all Albion products) little ceremony/ritual
of the removal of the wooden lid, we (everyone present) happened
upon a small... well, a 39-inch long and some 7 lbs heavy miracle.
It did strain eyes to say the least, after gazing at it for the
rest of the day. The hilt is phenomenal, just a dream, so beautifully
wrapped in leather. The pommel is a bit bigger than that of the
Atlantean, and the guard.... well, lets just say this is as massive
a guard as you can get! And then the blade with its full-length
runic inscription... unbelievably wide, particularly at its emerging
from the elk's antlers, narrowing down gradually towards the point,
but... with great sadness I realized when I took measures that
it's still a BIT WIDER than my beloved Atlantean blade, whose
blade width I considered as the absolute & perfect max (sigh).
Jody did marvels in sharpening this one, I actually cut my thumb
on its first cleaning & oiling!
All in all, a TRUE MASTERPIECE. Milius was absolutely right to
favor this one over the classic Atlantean. As for Albion's contribution:
lets just say that the 1st one was merely the impression. This
one is the INDICATION.
Keep it going guys! And all the best to that great customer service
guy of yours! He truly delivers. -- Chris
just want to let you know that I received my Atlantean Sword and
that I am overjoyed with how marvelous it is. It is far more spectacular
than I could have ever imagined. When I first saw Conan the Barbarian
at the age of four, I knew that I wanted that sword. For years
I have bought cheap imitations that didn't even come close to
the original. Finally someone is making accurate and FULLY FUNCTIONAL
replicas of the best swords ever made. Once I visited your site
I knew beyond a doubt that I had to have one of your Atlantean
Swords. The most difficult part of buying the sword was convincing
my wife that I absolutely had to have it. But now that it has
arrived, even my wife thinks that it is amazing. My original thoughts
were that I would never touch the sword since it was so expensive,
but I was wrong. It is so beautiful that I can't put it down.
When my sword first arrived, I was awe struck. The blade is wider
than any I have ever seen and the weight of the sword has a perfect
balance to it. The fact that I had mine sharpened made me a little
nervous to swing it around at first, but after awhile you can't
resist. I look forward to getting the Fathers sword next and then
scabbards. Thank You so much for making this Conan fan very happy.
--Jason T. Pope
5-22-03 Here are some emails we received in the last couple of weeks
from our customers:
... I just wanted to say that I have looked upon the greatest
piece of art I have ever seen in my whole life. Words cannot describe
the beauty of the Father's
As much as I love the Atlantean,
this sword just jumps out at you. The blade and runes are flawless.
I can't thank you guys enough for recreating the two greatest
swords of all time. Keep up the great work. -- Vince Votta
...I'd just like to say again how much I appreciate your work!
Yesterday I received the US version of "Conan the barbarian" on
DVD. I only knew the German version - the US one is at about 5
minutes longer, and the German version has different soundtrack
in some scenes also. I love that movie, especially the original,
that you can not buy here. Well, I own it anyway now, thanks to
Thank You again for making that fantastic sword! Keep up the good
work! When the scabbard no. 3 for the Atlantean
is ready, count me in for a new order. A true "fan" -- -- Joerg Hennies
... Dear Howy, Amy, Jody, Mike, Jason and everyone else at Albion/FilmSwords:
On Monday I received my Atlantean.
What a beauty! Thank you so much!
After I have seen the movie for the first time in 1981, I never
thought for a second that twenty years later I would own a perfect
copy of the sword. That's a real miracle, thanks to you guys.
Thanks again for making me happy. Warmest wishes -- Thomas Mulack
If you like our work (or even if you don't!) and
want to rate us, visit the Castles
on the Web site and register your vote!
3-17-03 Conan.com is
up and running -- a great new website devoted to our favorite
character, hosted by our good friends at Conan Properties!
are a few shots of the Master's (Father's) Sword fully assembled.
Now, we will ship off the prototype to Conan Properties for approval.
has almost completed the carving of the hilt components from Subotai's
Sword, based on the original prop in our collection.
Roger Ellis of Treasures Unlimited has prototyped a very cool
display box for the Atlantean Sword. This box will be available
in oak and will be lined with felt or velvet, and will be available
soon in both tabletop and wall-hanging versions.
We have finally obtained an orignal screen-used prop (shown below)
of the Fangs of the Serpent Dagger and have begun the remolding
and restoration process to bring you an accurate and authenticated
replica. This original was loaned to us from the private collection
of a person involved in the making of the film.
We also began assembling the first prototype of the Conan Tower
of the Serpent Dagger. The initial wrapping has been done,
now it must be wrapped again, starting from the pommel side.
Atlantean customer Troy Bargatze has continued his work developing
the awesome display he has designed for the Atlantean. Here is
an "in process" picture of the carving of the sea-dog
heads and the braziers that will adorn the display.
Another customer sent us this cool picture of his Atlantean display
-- complete with Certificate and film poster!
We received another great email from a customer who just received
...Well, after enviously suffering through reading other's
glowing testimonials about their glorious Atlanteans, I finally
get to add mine! (It seems like after awhile, all of these " I
finally have it!" stories begin to sound like the same person,
and in a way they are...)
Now I've known since first seeing Conan in '82 that I must
have this sword, but I was amazed to discover when I read the
Riddle of Steel Diary and testimonials just how many others felt
this exact same call. That film has turned out to have inspired
so many of us with its incredible production design, stirring
music, and epic scenes. It even steered some of the most fortunate
of us to become professional artists, designers, and of course,
Thanks, of course, go to all of you at Albion for finally
making this "destiny" achievable. I would also like to add my
special thanks to the Albion crew for holding such a high standard
for the quality of products and excellence in customer relations.
You have definitely earned your solid and well-deserved reputation.
Now this part is for the folks who like to peruse the testimonials
like I did: What is the Atlantean sword really like in person?
Well, when you open the box, you are struck with the fact
that this really is THE sword from the Atlantean tomb. After all
those years, here it finally is! And it is old -- I mean ancient
old -- "fresh from the tomb" so to speak. Crom!
If you had it sharpened by Jody, there's a charming little
warning paper folded over the blade informing you that it is "VERY
SHARP, MORON!" (ok, I added a word, but it's basically there in
So after about a minute of just staring dumbfounded at the
thing and trying to take it all in, someone probably says, "Aren't
you gonna pick it up?"
Oh yeah, you can do that now. After all, it's YOURS isn't
Somehow it doesn't seem yours, though (your thoughts are
still of it firmly clutched in the Atlantean general's hand).
You suddenly remember to press "play" on the paused Conan
Soundtrack CD -- carefully cued to "Atlantean Sword".
So you slowly reach down and grasp the handle (so that's
what the cord feels like... wow, it's a lot more rugged that it
looks in the pictures), and you start to pull it out of the box.
There, it's out!... and, whoa, it's HEAVY (my God, was this
the sword Arnie was swinging around like that?!!!).
You instantly picture yourself dropping it clean through
your foot, and grip it tighter with both hands. You hold it up
and, of course, look right at those crosspiece heads and blade
runes. Grrr- little bronze sea monsters of death! (So that's what
the top/bottom sides of the head look like! Wow, these runes are
Damn, this is too cool... Wow!... Damn.
You have an idea! After looking around, you pick up a scrap
piece of paper, pause a second, and then run it slowly along the
edge of the blade. It splits in two without effort...
(You become even more aware that this is indeed a real honest-to-God
weapon, and reaffirm your desire never to be the dope in the idiot/sword
injury story that leaves respectful folks shaking their heads).
Then, of course, you immediately head for the nearest mirror.
(Oh, yeah- bring it on, Thulsa Doom!).
Cue the title music...
Enclosed is a pic of my Atlantean when it arrived on Christmas
I'm off to continue work on my Atlantean swordmount! --Troy Bargatze
got some great news from our friends at Conan Sales Co. (Paradox
Entertainment) -- they have found blueprints for several helms
from Conan the Barbarian and will be sharing them with us, to
assist us in getting our re-creations perfect!
Troy Bargatze was kind enough to send us concept art for the beautiful
display he has designed for his Atlantean sword
by Lazarus Nin
countless hours I sat there staring,
studying every curve
My bloodshot eyes gazed and quivered,
like the tingle in my nerves
these years that i had been searching,
All quenched for what I sought
The sword bringing what was best in life,
albion had finally wrought
the magnificence with the film,
The images did not lie
I knew what i saw and saw what i knew,
all of fate could not deny
price was so high yet justly meant,
For a weapon so finely made
I hone my skill and gather the money,
For the future the sword will aid
cannot tell what lies in the future,
except for what I can feel
Many Questions I will seek and ponder,
even the riddle of steel
has finished grinding and polishing the first Father's Sword prototype
blades and they will go off to Daniels Engraving for EDM early
We received this great email, along with pictures, showing how
one of our customers converted the wooden shipping crate into
a nice display for his Atlantean....
have to say that I am still coming to grips with the fact that
this is not a dream. My initial interest was in the Father's sword,
but knew that I would eventually want a set, so I went ahead and
started with the Atlantean. Wow; I cannot wait to see the fathers
sword now! My friends are awe struck and most won't even touch
it for fear of hurting themselves or it! "Bah!" I say, and thrust
it into their shaking hands. "This is no toy; This is an artifact!"
The look on their faces and the smile and warmth that radiates
upon them holding this sword is awesome. Heck it's been over a
week and one of my friends is still grinning like a fool.
decided to make the box a little more presentable by staining
all the wood with an Ebony wood stain. I then knocked out the
wooden braces, and lined the inside with Red Velvet. I then placed
the wooden rests back and re-nailed them into place. I picked
up a sheet of Lexan (yea, the stuff they make bullet-proof windows
out of!) and cut to fit. Slapped on some hinges and hand painted
the Albion Mark fire red. I shall be doing the same with the Fathers
Sword next March; they will make a nice combo next to the hearth...
-- Alex Oster
We have added a long list of new collectors-edition products we
will be introducing in the coming months, thanks to our new sublicense
with Conan Sales Co. (now managed by the really nice folks at
Entertainment ) and Marto, all made here in Wisconsin to the
same exacting standards as our Atlantean and Father's Swords and
with the assistance of the original artists.
Conan's Helm (CTB, Battle of the Mounds)
Subotai's Climbing Knives (CTB, Tower of Set scene)
Conan's bronze axe (Battle of the Mounds)
Fangs of the Serpent Dagger
Conan's Dagger (CTB, Tower of Set scene)
Atlantean King's helm (crypt scene)
Atlantean Shield (crypt scene)
Conan's Shield (Battle of the Mounds)
"Mother's Sword" (Cimmerian village/beheading scene)
Wheel of Pain Amulet (CTB and CTD versions)
Conan´s Girdle/swordbelt (CTB and CTD versions)
Conan's leather vambraces (CTB and CTD)
Conan's Pitfighter weapons and armor
Conan's Headband (CTB and CTD)
Conan's Katana (from Khitan training scenes)
Unique wooden display plaques, boxes and stands for each sword/dagger/helm
Scabbards for each sword
other Hyborean Age products not from the films, but from REH's
(Howy's personal favorite: a shagreen hilted Western Broadsword
with a shagreen scabbard) and signature Conan items from the art of Barry Windsor-Smith
We have a lot of work to do! If you have any suggestions or wish
to be the first to place a reservation, please let us know (email
or call 1-888-806-HELM)!
At long last, we have the first few Father's Sword guard castings
-- and they look great! We'll post more photos after we have them
antiqued and highlighted.
We also just received this fantastic poem from one of our customers
about his Atlantean Sword:
Poetic Gratitude by a Poetic Wiseacre Long ago my Path began,
When I was of age to decide.
It happened when I read a comic book,
A tale of Thor's wildest ride.
So young, no words were spoken,
But understanding was instinctive.
Right then I chose, without a doubt,
The Warrior's Path; it's distinctive!
My parents took it not too serious.
They figure, like all things done,
By the young shall soon be purged,
Once I had aged near twenty-one.
Then they let me watch the movie,
Of Conan and his Riddle of Steel,
And then all other Paths were broken,
Beyond any argument or appeal.
The later study of martial arts,
Taught me of the knife & the stick.
It gave me love of the hammer & the sword,
And even the lightsaber, made with movie magic.
At "fever pitch" of my weapons training,
I chose my personal prizes.
First of them was the Atlantean sword,
Among my armaments & surprises.
For all this time there were none who sold it,
And I just settled for fine custom work,
For I had pondered buzzing Mr. Samson,
To one day help me settle this personal quirk.
You can imagine my surprise,
When Albion advertised!
And a year-and-a-half later,
The Atlantean Sword had finally arrived!
It was the first November morn,
When the package finally came in.
Crom must've smiled at me,
When I popped the top & looked in.
What Craftsmanship! What Quality!
What Beauty! What Magnificence!
Such a fine blade of power & fury,
Balanced with Timelessness & Excellence!
Happy & proud, I truly am! I hold a piece of Heaven.
'Tis more than enough to overlook,
My so-so listing as number fifty-seven!
And the timing was fortuitous.
The opportunity so clear,
To be a showman just two days later,
At the local Renaissance Faire!
I walked among the crowd,
The blade cradled in my arm,
Careful not to poke or jab,
Or put anyone to harm.
I was met with many stares & gapes,
And several had asked me about,
Where did I get such a weapon,
A blade so strong and stout?
Many thought I'd done the impossible,
Perhaps by Chance or Divine Mishap,
That I managed to buy this big baby,
From the local blade-vendor's pile of crap!
I gave many of the admirers,
The chance to heft the blade.
They took the moment and were thankful,
Their smiles certainly did not fade!
Thank you all for bestowing me,
A weapon of power & wrath.
Though if the truth were spoken out,
'Tis a stepping-stone on the Warrior's Path.
May Fortune, Luck & Prosperity,
Bless & benefit you all!
And I will wait for the Father's Sword.
Is it going to arrive next Fall?
-- Daniel Woon, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Today we received another, very touching testimonial from a customer
since I made this order, several months ago, I was wondering what
I could write about the Atlantean which had not been written before.
My first experience is rather short, but I'm going to try
to share it with you, for it may be of some interest. I received
this morning a statement from Japanese Customs telling me that
there was an issue about the package, because Japanese law is
quite an inconvenience about possessing a sword.
A phone call later, it was explained that I had to acquire
an import certificate from another service which, in turn, required
me to ask for a sword holding licence from my local police office.
So I had to go to the police, to whom I explained the characteristics
of the Atlantean (I had brought a copy of the special issue of
the magazine with me). The policemen of the weapons division were
very kind and understanding -- and by the way one of them did
know of Jody Samson, whose fame has reached Japan... But law is
law, and the Atlantean being a real weapon which, even unsharpened,
may be used to kill somebody, it is forbidden to buy one. Only
a sword inherited from one's parents may be, as they told me.
So the licence had to be refused.
As a consequence, permission to receive the package containing
the Atlantean was not granted to me, and I went to the Tokyo International
Post Office, where it was held by the customs, to have it sent
out of Japan.
I sent it to the house of my parents, living in France.
Before that, the Post Office employees let me open the box to
see and hold the sword, one single time, before it left the country.
I want here to underline the fact that all these people,
policemen, as well as post office employees, were not vindictive
at all, but could not break the law. What they did was only their
duty. Moreover, letting me holding the sword was not their duty,
but they did it out of kindness. It's something I feel thankful
about. So I had a few minutes during which I discovered this great
object I could only see photos of, or read other peoples' impressions
for months until now. All that time waiting for the sword to be
made was worth it. Even if it was for a short moment, I held my
own Atlantean, I could feel the blade in my hands, and I could
admire the artwork of the castings. I understood why a sword so
perfectly achieved could not be considered as something other
than a weapon. It is so well balanced that I did not have the
impression of wielding a 4 kg heavy sword!
At the end of this perfect moment, I had to send the sword
away, where my parents will take care of it until I can take it
again. I don't know how long it is going to take until I see it
-- months, years or never -- but thanks to your work and thanks
to these very kind Japanese people, I think I know, now, what
this sword means.
Thank you so much, again.
-- Augustin Vidovic
10-28-02 The nice folks at Daniel's Engraving sent us a transparency
proof of the Father's Sword runes -- we checked it against an
unground blade blank for scale, positioning and proofed the runes
-- it looks great!
Today we received another touching note from a customer who received
his 20th Anniversary Atlantean. We are deeply honored to
have been of some small service to this fine member of our United
States Armed Forces:
Mike, Howy, Amy Jody, and Everyone at Albion Armorers,
Where do I begin?? I guess the beginning would be the best
place. I have been a fan of the Conan movies since they were first
released over 20 years ago. I remember sitting in the movie theatre,
and watching with anticipation as the movie came on and the scenes
started to roll across the screen. I remember sitting there in
awe as Arnold fell into the hold of the Great King that died on
his throne. When he took that awesome blade from the hands of
the King, and began to remove the crust that formed on the blade,
I was so engrossed. I remember telling my sister that I would
one day own that blade, and I am so very proud to say that my
day has finally arrived. I am serving in the U.S. Army and while
I was taking some driver's training for some new vehicles that
we will soon receive, a package came for me, from your wonderful
I must say that when I got to the box, my heart almost jumped
out of my chest. I felt like a kid in a candy store. My hands
started to sweat, and I was shaking nervously in trying to get
it opened. All I could do is STAND THERE !!!. I was frozen in
the moment, to see that blade for the first time. There truly
are no words to describe what I felt. When I touched the hilt,
and removed it from the box, I was awe struck to finally be holding
a true work of art, after so many years of searching, and wanting
-- to just be in the presence of this blade is overwhelming for
me. This blade, with it's wrapped cover announcing that it was
sharpened by Jody Sampson, was too awesome to even believe. To
hold it, and feel it's weight in my hands was an experience that
I have waited for all of my adult life.
Ever since I found you (Albion Armorers), I have been looking
forward to this wonderful day. In my many conversations with Mike,
he never once told me just how perfect this blade would be, he
never said to me just how awesome it would be to actually hold
it in my hands -- he did however tell me to be prepared for an
experience that I would never forget. I must say that his words
don't even begin to describe the feelings that I had today. I
want to thank you all, for all of your hard work, your dedication,
your love of swordsmanship, and your attention to the most extreme
detail in this blade. It is truly a MASTERPIECE of art and workmanship.
I will truly treasure this blade, and I will be sure to pass it
along to my son and make it a family tradition, when my time comes
to an end here in this life. This labor of love that you have
undertaken has not gone unnoticed, it is sincerely appreciated
from the depths of my heart and soul. I am forever in the debt
of all of you for making this dream of mine a reality. Thank You
-- Leonard Campbell, Infantryman, United States Army
Last weekend Albion held demonstrations at the Village of New
Glarus "Tastes and Treasures" Festival, including some tameshigiri-style
test cutting by Jason Dingledine with our most popular stock sword
models, and the show stealer was the 20th Anniversary Atlantean
Sword. Both in Asia and Europe, test cutting was an integral part
of a swordsman's training and the testing of sword blade performance.
These Japanese straw mats were supplied by our friends at Bugei
Trading Co. and are the standard test cutting
material at Albion. The more mats included in the rolled target,
the more difficult the cut for both the swordsman and the blade.
is a short mpeg video showing the results of the cutting demonstration
with the Atlantean Sword: (The file can be played or downloaded
and played -- for best viewing, we recommend that you download
the free version of RealPlayer
Basic at real.com
Media Player 7.1 available free from Microsoft.)
An email and photos we just had to share from a customer who received
his 20th Anniversary Atlantean yesterday:
Mike, Howy, Amy, Jody and Everyone at Albion,
Today, at , my
20th Anniversary Edition Atlantean arrived. Forever will the 17th of July 2002 remain a memorable date
throughout the rest of my life. The sword arrived safely
and on schedule without flaw in the shipment. Even as I
signed for the sword I knew I stood upon the threshold of a major
and momentous event in my life which is the realization of what
so many have expressed in their testimonials before me ... the
achievement of a long-awaited 20-year dream. Looking back,
as I read their testimonials before my sword arrived, I could
only imagine the magnificent masterpiece of work that their eyes
were witness to and what must have been going through their minds
and hearts as they wrote their excellent testimonials and thanks
for their dreams being fulfilled by Albion.
Yet, even those wonderful testimonials could not prepare me for
the true magnificence of what my eyes beheld when I opened the
superb packaging that the sword was shipped in.
Crystaline and clear, as though being shot with a diamond bullet,
the realization of the fulfillment of this beloved and long-awaited
dream impacted me as I drew this marvelous masterpiece from its
well-crafted shipping crate for the first time ... and I am not
ashamed to say that some tears began to flow as I was emotionally
caught up in the joy of the moment. As I drew the Atlantean
from its shipping crate the blade dragged for a moment against
the wood making it sing just a bit and the sound of it alone was
enough to make one realize that what was being held in hand was
not a mere look-a-like replica, but an individual work of the
greatest craftsmanship and diligent attention to detail.
Gazing along the lines of the blade, its straight trueness graced
with intricate and supple curves in the right places heralded
a beauty that was difficult to take in all at once. Even
the fuller is the most perfect I have ever seen. The excellence
of the EDM engraving of the runes exceeded my wildest expectations.
The detail in the sword's hardware is far beyond the scope of
justice that could be rendered to it through any photograph, no
matter how excellent the photography. It is literally a
piece of art, a master's work, that must be seen in order to be
truly appreciated in its complete fullness.
I am forever grateful for the sharpening of the sword that Jody
placed upon it. He has given it an edge that is Excalibur
sharp and the edge is so perfect that one does not readily realize
that the blade is sharpened until one feels the edge itself (very
carefully I might add!). Jody, thank you most graciously
and sincerely for the excellent sharpening that you gave to my
blade. You are truly a master craftsman who is unparalleled.
I once sent Albion an email in which I said that I believed the
creation of the Conan swords would become a hallmark in swordmaking
history ... without a doubt I believe this has already happened
with the creation of the very first of your Conan swords and that
each succeeding one is yet another piece of swordmaking history
added to Albion's well-deserved credit.
With the fulfillment of this dream, Albion
has touched my life in a very profound and wonderful way.
Were it left to my own device, I could go on and on about Albion's
excellence and quality, yet I think I would just be reiterating
the sentiments of those who've rendered testimonials before me
and those who will be receiving their Atlantean and/or Father's
Sword after me. Likewise, if I were to try to articulate
just exactly how much the achievement of this dream means to me
personally or how deeply I respect and revere Albion Armorers
and all the excellent people who comprise it, I believe I would
only fail for there are no words adequate enough to render my
deep and heartfelt gratitude to all of you for making this dream
come true or the credit for your excellent work that you so richly
deserve. Therefore, I will close my email by merely saying
a deep and heartfelt "Thank You!" with all sincerety and with
every essence and fibre of my being.
Albion truly is the benchmark for quality
and excellence in swordmaking be it a sword from the Conan project
or one of their many other exceptional items. I must add
sincerely that the professionalism, excellent character and genuine
courtesy of everyone at Albion is without
With Warmest Regards,
-- Jim Lindsey
This was a busy week for Conan deliveries! More customers received
their swords, and wrote to tell us what they thought. Man,
do we love our jobs...
Dear Howy, Amy, Jody and everyone else involved with the Conan
We all have dreams. Very rarely in life does a dream come true.
One thing I can think of that may be comparable to the joy of
having a dream come true is the pride that can only come from
making someone elses dream come true. Everyone at Albion Armorers
should have that overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. If half
of the people who have received their Atlantean feel the same
way I do about finally posessing this thing that was for all of
my childhood and on into my adult life, nothing more than a dream
and a fruitless search, then you have touched that many people's
lives in a way that most people never will. I'm not even going
to try to describe my feelings about the Sword itself. A thousand
e-mails and a thousand dictionaries full of words could never
justifiably describe the quality, craftsmanship and detail of
this fully functional, beautifully deadly work of art. Nor could
they describe my personal feelings. It is impossible to prevent
your mouth from hanging agape from merely looking at the Sword.
Actually handling it is almost paralyzing. My hands were shaking
as I was untying the leather thongs holding it in place in its
shipping crate. I only hope that I never need to use it to defend
life because I don't think I would be able to take my eyes off
of it long enough to concentrate on my foe!
For those of us who read the Conan novels, we know how picky he
was about his swords and his uncanny eye for good steel. If there
was a Conan, he would be proud to make this Sword the prize of
his collection. It cannot be matched. In my opinion, not even
on The Anvil of Crom could such a Sword be forged. I wish I could
say more but I truly have been left speechless. I just can't find
the words. To state it straight forward and simple, Thank you
Albion Armorers, for the dream of a lifetime finally realized.
Who says Crom doesn't listen?!? Sincerely and with my best wishes
-- Clifford Catropa
Here is a shot of the latest batch of Atlanteans being final
We recently had John Milius' original Conan the Barbarian swords
independently appraised by Darren Julien of Entertainment Rarities
LLC, an associate of Sotheby's auction house. Below are the two
An Associate of Sothebys.com
Atlantean Sword From The Epic Film "Conan The Barbarian"
is the sword that Conan finds it in the tomb of a warrior-king
of Atlantis in the 1982 Epic film "Conan The Barbarian". The basis
for the Atlantean sword being valued higher than The Father's
Sword and/or The Master's Sword, is that it is the one of only
three ever made (and the only one known to have survived) as well
as it being Conan's sword used throughout the film. The nick in
the blade of the sword is certified by the Director, John Milius,
to have been caused during the filming of the climactic "Battle
of the Mounds" scene, where it was used to break the blade of
a Father's Sword prop in a key action of the film."
By: Jody Samson
An Associate of Sothebys.com
Father's Sword and/or The Master's Sword From The Epic Film "Conan
sword was made by Conan's father on the film's opening scenes
in the 1982 Epic film "Conan The Barbarian"
By: Jody Samson
appraisal would indicate that the original Atlantean Sword
is quite possibly the highest-valued sword in film history, with
the Father's Sword a close second.
20th Anniversary Atlantean alongside the original movie sword:
We got our first email from a customer who has received his Atlantean™
Albion Armorers and Mr. Samson,
The purpose of this e-mail is to tell you my thoughts on
my new Conan Project 20th Anniversary Edition Atlantean Sword
that I received yesterday.
First, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you that
I have been waiting for this sword to come into production (or
reproduction) for roughly fifteen years. I have been paying close
attention to all of your "Riddle of Steel Diary" postings over
the past year and a half, and my expectations rose steadily higher
with each one. I am not a poet, but I will do my best to describe
my feelings about the sword.
The 20th Anniversary Edition Atlantean Sword is simply
Your work has surpassed my expectations. The sword is larger
than life. I know it sounds like I am embellishing, but it is
truly amazing to look at.
I cannot thank you enough for taking up this endeavor and
doing it the right way. It is a credit to your company's integrity
by analyzing every detail by using the experts who created the
sword in the first place.
I am very satisfied with my purchase and I cannot wait
to show this sword off. If anyone were to have any questions on
the meaning of an "investment grade sword", they just need to
look upon and hold one of your 20th Anniversary Edition Atlantean
Swords created by your company.
I am impressed with the packaging of the sword as well.
The sword arrived quickly and without any problems.
In conclusion, I would just like to thank you once again
for the sword. All of you should be very proud of your hard work.
This sword will surely impress a lot more people in the future.
I will do my best to get the word out on this sword. Something
this good should not be kept secret.
that's what its all about.
It is a great day! Conan Properties has approved the Atlantean
Sword prototype! The first Atlanteans will be shipping
today -- unfortunately, a little out of sequence, as the blades
that have been fitted to certain castings came back from the engravers
before others. However, by the end of the month that will be all
straightened out and all of the early orders will be filled.
The first 20 blades are now at Daniels Engraving in California,
ready to be EDM deep engraved, using the original electrode from
20 years ago. We should have the prototype back next week, and
the remainder of the first batch the following week. Pictured
below is Mariah cleaning and oiling the blades as she packs them
into the specially made shipping boxes (10 blades each) a few
And the winner of the upgrade contest is... Matt Skrobanski
Here is what Matt had to say when he was notified:
Howy and Amy,
This truly is a wonderful surprise !!!! When Mike contacted me
at work, I could barely contain myself, and I'm sure he can confirm
that!!! Winning the contest has made me happier than you could
imagine. It was amazing enough to me to own a reproduction of
the Atlantean, but now to own a Limited, is comparable to owning
the Holy Grail !!!! ( O.K. maybe a little exaggeration, but that
is the feeling!!) I never would have thought that an ordinary
Joe like myself would be given this opportunity. The Atlantean
was the sword that started it all for me and has been a constant
dream. Just ask Beth, Lil' Matt, and my parents back in New York.
Everyone knew that I was already getting the Father's and Atlantean,
but now, well at least when I called everyone at 10:30 P.M. last
night, they know that if you wish it, and believe it enough, anything
is possible. I cannot seem to put in words what this means to
me. You have given me not only a lifelong dream, but the start
of a family tradition where I may hand down these swords to my
boy, and then to his children.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Honor and Light.
Matthew R. Skrobanski
Matt, from Jody and all of us here at Albion!
We installed a grip on the prototype, complete with cord wrapping.
The blade is still unfinished and without runes, and the castings
are still not antiqued and buffed. Other than the aging apparent
on the original sword, the two are identical.
Jody's shop has been working overtime, finishing Atlantean
blades. The first 25 should be ready for heat-treating at the
end of this week, then they must be cleaned up and sent for etching.
Jody has personally supervised every step of the finishing process
(including a lot of hands-on with each blade) to make sure that
these replicas are authentic and perfect in every detail.
We received samples of the Atlantean and Father's
Sword pommels -- they look great! The bronzes will now be cleaned
up, antiqued and the highlights buffed, just as Jody did on the
We received the wax of the Atlantean pommel and the first
casting of the Atlantean guard today. The guard is perfect
-- the casting now needs to be detailed and polished. The wax
is perfect as well and casting will begin on those this week.
the picture below, the rough casting has been placed on an unfinished
blade to show the final fit.
shop has completed the final grinding on the first 5 Atlantean
blades (they look fantastic!) and they will be ready for heat
treating over the next couple of days -- then it is off to hand
finishing. After that, they will be sent to California for the
EDM engraving, then back here for final assembly. 20 more blades
are ready for the final grinding of the edges, and ten more are
getting the flats and tangs finished.
The sample investment wax for the Atlantean guard arrived
from Equestrian Forge -- it is perfect! Jody was very pleased.
Casting can begin immediately.
We received the first sample wax of the Father's Sword guard
today from the foundry. There are a few tweaky changes that Jody
wants to make, but we are very close to casting bronzes now. The
Atlantean guard and pommel should be here by early next week for
final approval of the waxes.
has been training staff to finish-grind the blades the way the
originals were done. Here he is teaching Michael "Mikey" Guenther
how to correctly grind an Atlantean blade on the same BurrKing
machine Jody used 20 years ago to make the first blades.
The first Atlantean Sword blades are being run on the CNC
(Computerized Numeric Control) milling machine. Yesterday, Jody
and I went to High Tech Machine (in nearby Paoli, Wisconsin) to
watch the process, compare the rough cut sword to the original,
and make a few minor changes to make them more exact. Once the
blades are rough cut, the swords will be heat-treated and finish
ground and polished under Jody's supervision here at Albion. More
pictures to follow over the next few days!
Work is being completed this week on the remolding of the hilt
components, under Jody's supervision. Here is a preview of the
pommel of the Father's Sword, with the wax next to the pommel
of the original sword from the film. Next week we'll add pictures
of the final waxes for the Father's Sword guard and the
Atlantean Sword components.
We have tabulated the results, and the winner of the contest is
Donivan Potter, with a guess of 309.69" (25.8 feet) --
the correct answer is 26 feet (312"). Congratulations, Donivan!
We received the first prototype Atlantean blade and two
aluminum blades (from which mold plugs will be made for casting
hilt components.) Jody was thrilled with the machine shop's progress.
There are a few minor tweaks that need to be made in the programming,
but everything is working out extremely well.
has ordered 500 lbs of the specially made cord for the Atlantean
grip (that should last us a while!). Can anyone guess how much
cord (in inches) it takes to wrap one Atlantean grip? Send
your answers to email@example.com
and the closest guess received by next Friday (9/28) wins an Albion
approximately 2 weeks, we'll be starting on the cutting and finishing
of the first 20 Anniversary Edition Atlantean and Father's
blades, and Jody will be starting on the Limited Editions.
Jody has arrived! He has been busy all week setting up his shop
here in New Glarus, Wisconsin, and preparing for the making of
the Limited Edition blades.
took Jody over to the machine shop last week to meet the machinists
and look at the programming and prototype blades so far -- he
was pleased with their progress. They had finished the aluminum
plugs for the Father's Sword and we'll be sending the plasters
and the plug to the foundry this week.
I got a chance a chance to read some of Milius' script for "King
Conan -- Crown of Iron" -- wow! If it moves forward the way
John envisions it, it'll be even better than the first film! "Moriarty"
on Ain't It Cool has a review of it as well, with lots of excerpts
here to read all about it (and remember to leave some feedback
-- let's make sure this movie gets made, the way only Milius can
It has been a busy month since we last posted any news. This will
bring you up to date:
will be moving here by the end of August, to supervise the production
have located a manufacturer who can exactly duplicate the cord
for the wrapping for the Atlantean sword, size and color
are perfect -- it will be custom made, so we'll have to buy a
ton of it (literally!). Also found another source that can supply
us with the leather lacing and wrap for the Father's sword
-- again custom made to our specs -- David Morgan, the same guy
who made the whips for Indiana Jones...
a source for the skins and other furs needed to do exact reproductions
of the 4 versions of the Atlantean CTB scabbards and the
Father's sword scabbard... We will also be recreating the
Atlantean scabbard/belt from CTD and another Father's sword
scabbard based on Ron Cobb's production drawings...
be running the prototype blades on the CNC machine as soon as
the custom tooling arrives (to get the hollow-grinding correct,
we had to have special tools made) -- probably at the end of August
(when Jody arrives). One challenge after another, but when you
are trying to recreate something *exactly*, 20 years later, it
gets a bit insane...
Steve Peffley finished the Atlantean blade drawings today. Now
we can proceed with making aluminum plugs for the molds and making
the first castings. Also from these drawings, we'll be making
wire-frame images that can be fed into the CNC machine.
The Atlantean plasters arrived from Jody today -- they look even
more fantastic than he described. The level of detail is amazing
-- even sharper than that on the original swords. I took a few
pictures to share. Jody also supplied an aluminum model of the
tang and ricasso, which we have shipped to Steven Peffley for
reference, which shows the side bevel on the ricasso of the sword
-- a detail often missed. Once the CADD drawings are complete,
we can start making blades.
finished the Father's sword CAD drawings and sent those to us
as well -- they look perfect and exact to the originals in every
detail. From these, wire frame models will be made that can be
imported to the computerized milling machine to make exact duplicates
Jody has completed the minor corrections to the Atlantean plasters
and will be sending them to us next week for review and photograph,
before we send them to the foundry for production remolding. He
says that they are fantastic, and he compared them to the original
swords used in the film and they are a perfect match in size and
detail. He has almost finished the Father's sword plasters as
well. I (Howy) sent Ron Cobb's original drawings of the Father's
sword to Steve Peffley, our researcher and designer, to create
CAD drawings of the blade. From these, we will create aluminum
tang inserts for the molds (to ensure a perfect fit for the blade)
as well as the production blades. Jody will check them for accuracy
and the machine shop will also create a prototype for him to look
at from these drawings. We will preview the drawings here when
they are complete and approved.
Brian Q. Kelley's video footage of John Milius' original set of
swords is up on the page and available for viewing. Check
it out here. For best viewing, we recommend that you download
the free version of RealPlayer
Basic at real.com or Windows Media Player 7.1 available free
Received the plasters from the foundry of the Father's sword
guard-- took a few pictures and then sent them off to Jody. Jody
will restore fine details and remove bubbles and other imperfections
and return them to the foundry for remolding for production castings.
The Atlantean plasters should be arriving any day now...
We traveled to L.A. to visit Jody (what a great time!). He made
arrangements to have John Milius' original swords there for us
to examine and photograph. (Complete weights and measurements
are now listed under each original sword's page).
hilt components of both swords have developed a rich dark green
patina over the years. Both are in remarkably good shape as well.
The swords came complete with their scabbards and we documented
those for replication as well.
few observations: the original sword blades did not have any distal
taper (per the studio's instructions to Jody -- they were concerned
about breakage) -- our replicas will have a full 50% distal taper.
Hefting the original swords made me (Howy) also want to rethink
the solid bronze castings as well. I spoke with Jody and Alex
at the foundry -- they both believe that we can lighten the castings
by as much as 50% without compromising strength or design integrity,
while making the swords fully functional.
in LA, we also stopped by Daniels Engraving and met with Bill
and Judy and took a tour of their plant. We saw the original EDM
machine that did the runic engraving on the original swords (still
functioning well after 20 years) and on which the runes for our
replicas will be done. Bill still had the original graphite electrode
for the Atlantean, and believes he still has the electrodes from
the Father's sword runes and the special fixtures they manufactured
for the EDM machine. Both Bill and Judy expressed excitement about
being able to do these replicas for us. Bill said it before, and
he said it again, "It's like visiting a dear old friend." When
we were surprised that they still had the electrodes after all
these years, Judy said "It was one of our favorite projects. It's
hard to part with things like that!" They were so pleasant --
we look forward to working with them on this.
While we were at Jody's shop, Brian Kelley of Personal FX stopped
by to document the original swords on digital video. He will be
editing a short video on each sword for us that we will be featuring
on the page soon.Well, it was way too soon, but we had to bid
Jody a fond farewell and take the redeye back to Wisconsin --
we still have a lot to do!
Spoke with Alex at the foundry. The molds, though in perfect condition
otherwise, are 20 years old and as a result are brittle. To make
an original set of waxes and remold would mean losing between
3 and 5 percent of size (wax shrinks as it cools). He suggested
a unique solution. Certain mixes of plaster expand rather than
contract as they dry -- by mixing the correct formula, he can
achieve a 1:1 ratio and get exact plaster castings from the molds,
then make new molds from those for production. This way, the waxes
we get from each mold will be exactly the same size as the original
waxes, hence the castings will be exactly the same size as the
castings for the original swords. Jody was pretty excited to hear
Spoke with Bill Daniels of Daniels Engraving, the company that
did the engraving on the original swords 20 years ago. Made appointment
to see him, and bring him the original artwork by Ron Cobb of
the runes. He believes that they have one of the original electrodes
for engraving and we appear to have the other one (courtesy of
Tim H.) Bill is looking forward to working on these swords again
-- "it's like seeing an old friend again" he says. The runes,
as a result, will be deep and clear like the originals were, not
like the surface etching seen on imitations.
Jody got a chance to see John Milius' original swords again today
(thanks to Leonard, John's excellent assistant). He was both awestruck
by the chance to see the swords again after 20 years, and humbled
by how much his technique has improved over the years. "The ones
I'll be making for the Limited Editions will be better than the
originals," he told Howy.
Received the original molds and drawings from Tim Huchthausen,
via Jody Samson. The drawings include originals and copies of
production sketches by Ron Cobb of an earlier version of the Atlantean
Sword. This version has a blade with a sharper point and
longer quillons, along with some runic detail on the hilt components,
some of which did not make it on to the final Atlantean. Jody
actually likes this one more.
molds are in great shape for having been in storage for 20 years.
The detail is amazing, and much more refined than the film castings.
Howy took some clay impressions from the molds (not as fine detail
as the wax will be, but it gives a good idea of size and basic
shape.) They match up perfectly with Ron's original drawings.
Now, it is off to the foundry.
note: Film Swords recreations are NOT intended for use as a weapon.
Any such use voids all warranties and no liability of any kind for such
use can be assumed by Film Swords, LLC or its licensors.