1) Please introduce yourself and provide our readers with some background info on Macdonald Armories.
I am originally from the West Highlands and now work as a professional swordmaker and historical fencing master based in Edinburgh, Scotland. My work involves making custom made swords and edged weaponry and also teaching historical swordsmanship and European martial arts.
Macdonald Armouries was established in 1998 and specialises in handcrafting weaponry to order. These are generally functional reproductions of original historical weaponry and are accurate in terms of form, dimensions, weight, balance and durability. All orders are catered for however, be they variations on an original piece, a specific movie sword repro or entirely the customers own creation.
Work is labour and time intensive but ultimately satisfying
2) How much time and effort did it take to make the Negotiator?
The Negotiator sword was an interesting order, as it was quite a departure from my usual historical based creations, but proved to be a great challenge in itself. There was a lot of detailed planning and carving work involved and the sword has taken around 6 months to make from start to finish.
Much of the work was in the bronze cross-shaped blade overlays, which required close study and replication of each detail, which was hand carved from one piece of wood before being sandcast in solid bronze. The same went for the pommel itself, which was a fascinating design, like an alligator type beast holding more detail in it`s jaws. There were several other individual parts that required carving in wood before being cast.
The detail and complexity was a real joy to work on and realise completion. The finished piece is incredibly impressive in itself and looks as much organic machine as ancient weapon.
3) What are the actual size and dimensions of the sword? It looks huge!
The sword has a blade length of 36″ and stands 49 1/2″ tall overall. The hilt is 8 3/4″ at the widest and the blade 2″ wide for most of it`s length.
4) What materials did you use to make her?
The blade is EN45 spring steel, which is a tough durable steel, ideal for making blades designed for contact use. The blade overlays, pommel and other grip fittings have been hand carved in wood and sandcast in bronze. The grip is wood wrapped in leather.
5) How does the Negotiator stack up against more realistic swords?
Well, the one main difference between the Negotiator and any historical longsword of this size is the weight. There really was no easy way to make the Negotiator comparable in this sense given the width of blade, size of hilt, bronze overlays and the amount of bronze grip and hilt detail. All this adds up to additional weight that a functional historical piece simply would not have. The Negotiator weighs some 3.9kgs or 8.6lbs, whereas a functional historical longsword would be around 1.6kg (3.5lbs).
6) Is it a true bastard sword or of a different type?
The size overall of this sword is really that of an historical hand-and-a-half or bastard sword, such as typically used from the late 13th through to the 16th centuries ( favoured sword of the Templars no less This is the size that I thought it should be given the screen shots and practicalities of wieldability. The proportions are slightly different from any originals in that the blade would usually be slightly longer and grip shorter for any historical piece.
7) Can she be used in actual battle?
The blade and construction overall is structurally sound enough for contact use. The weapon also has a reasonable balance overall and can be handled as a functional sword should. The only impracticality towards use is the actual weight overall, which would slow actions and likely tire the wielder out sooner than a much lighter blade.
8) Are you going to be making any other Hellgate replicas?
I am happy to make as many Negotiator swords as might be called for in the coming years, and should society be headed that way….
9) Is Macdonald Armories taking custom orders from interested fans for the creation of the Negotiator, and if so, how much would it cost?
I am happy to take custom orders for this sword. It can even be customised with the owners own character name, logo or motto on the blade should they like. Price for the standard Hellgate Negotiator – £666
If you’re interested in learning more about Macdonald Armories, just head on over to their website!