V. A. Signature Series "Hedemark" Review (with video)

This section is for reviews of stuff that is commonly available, or from a vendor that has more to get. New sword from Albion, or Windlass? Great. Leather work or cloak from a vendor or another board member who has hung out her shingle? Excellent. Discussion of the finer points of the arrows you just made. Not so much. Put that it in the Weapons & Armor Section.

Moderators: caedmon, Greg

User avatar
Avery P.
Silent Watcher over the Peaceful Lands
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:18 am
Location: Harmony, N.C.

V. A. Signature Series "Hedemark" Review (with video)

Postby Avery P. » Sun May 19, 2013 8:27 pm

Valiant Armoury Signature Series "Hedemark" Review
by Avery Pierce

Image

Stats

Steel - 1060 High carbon
Weight - 3lbs 2oz
Overall length - 38 3/8"
Blade length - 31 3/4"
Grip length - 4 1/4"
Fuller length - 30 3/16"
Crossguard length - 4 3/4"
Blade width at guard - 2"
Blade width at fuller termination - 1 1/2"
Fuller width 5/8"
P.O.B. - 5 7/8" from guard
C.O.P. - about 15 1/2" from guard
Tang width - 5/8"
Hex nut assembly

Baldric length - 79"
Baldric width - 1 1/16"

Introduction
As soon as I saw the first pictures of this blade earlier this year, I knew I had to have it. I bet I bugged Richard Tabor so much he probably wanted to slap me. I constantly asked for updates on the release 'till I was blue in the face, and he was always patient with me, promptly answering all my questions.
My love of the Viking culture and their blades stretches back to my childhood. I've always Been fascinated by the "barbaric" raiders who ravaged Europe during the dark ages, and am always glad to add a good Viking weapon to my collection.

Upon Arrival
Image
The Hedemark arrived in the above box. This is the first V.A. sword I've bought, so I didn't know what to expect with the packaging. The box was well taped and secured, no complaints there. After opening the box I found another box inside.
Image
"Solid packaging so far" I thought. I cut the tape away and flipped open the box. There it was, My long awaited Hedemark.
Image
Held in place with Styrofoam cushions, it looked well rested and ready for action. Overall I give the transit packaging an A+, I doubt this would've been hurt if the delivery truck turned over.

First Impressions
Image
I quickly pulled the sword out of the box to have a closer look, and was really just blown away. My overall first look was more than worth the wait. I gently drew the sword from its scabbard to examine to tightness of the fit and the blade itself. The blade was coated with the usual oil which I wiped off before taking it outside for a few dry swings. More on the handling later.

History
The history of the name Hedemark is simple enough. Hedemark is the name of a county in Norway. As for the history of this sword, well I'm not really sure. I assume it's named for an artifact find in said county, but I really have no idea. But the history of this type of sword, man what a rich history. This sword would've been carried by a Viking warrior who dared to sail into the unknown with his brothers, fearing nothing.


Scabbard
Image

First off, this is one of the coolest scabbards I've ever seen for a Viking sword. It's certainly the coolest I own. The sword fits tightly in the mouth of the scabbard. Tight enough to be turned upside down without falling out, but not tight enough to hinder a draw. It appears to have a wood core, but I couldn't see deep enough in the mouth to get a picture. The leather joint on the back is even and tight. Honestly, I can't tell if it's stitched or glued. I can't see a stitch anywhere. Also the leather wrapping that holds the wooden Baldric loop on this one meets evenly and appears to be glued.
Image
On the face of wrappings there is a type of knotwork that adds a bit flair to it as well as holding the wooden belt loop.
Image
The other cool thing about the scabbard is the chape it has. I'm not entirely sure it's period correct, but I still like it. It looks to be just a bit of polished metal and I can see no imperfections.
Image
The only downside to the scabbard is that it doesn't meet The crossguard completely. The arc of the scabbard mouth is shallower than the guard. But since this was the first run and I think they were a bit rushed to get these out, it's no big deal to me.
Image

Hilt
Aside from the fact that this is a Gus Trim blade, it was the hilt that immediately drew me to this sword. Many of the Viking blades I've handled in the past had a cramped grip. Almost too small, especially if you have large hands. This one, however, just looked comfortable in the pictures I saw. But I was still surprised at how good it did feel in hand. The first thing I did was break it down and have a look at the tang. I know alot of folks don't like the hex nut attachment, I'm actually one of them. But with anything it has its pros and cons. The biggest pro is the fact that you can break it down. With just a few quick turns of an Allen wrench and she was loose.
The pommel is a 2 piece construction which I think ROCKS! Plus the tang is a full 5/8"s wide.
Image
The components are all satin polished to a clean finish. There is some light pitting on the back of the pommel, but I couldn't get a good picture of it either.
As I said, this is a very comfortable grip. After reassembling the hilt, I took a few pics in the hammer and handshake grip. You can see in the hammer picture how much room my hand has.
Image
Now the handshake pic turned out a bit odd. I was taking these myself and it looks like the pommel is digging into my wrist. But when holding it to cut I never really felt it.
Image
The grip appears to be glued and cord wrapped. The seam of the leather is so clean I couldn't even get a picture of it.

Blade
Image

I think most of use know the story about Gus Trim's and Chris Fletcher's involvement on the new blades. So I won't dwell to much on this, I'll just say their work is AWESOME! The blade has a satin finish which I prefer to a mirror finish. The fuller is even and has no deviations, terminating under the crossguard. The blade is lenticular in cross section with a sharp edge. It's sharp enough to cut a piece of thick paper but not sharp enough to cut note book paper. I've always been a sucker for Type X blades and this one is no let down. The blade has a nice distal and profile taper leading into a nice spatulate tip.
Image

When holding this sword, the blade just begs to cut something.

Handling
With the P.O.B. on this sword it feels lighter than what it really is. After dry handling it a bit I figured it was time for some bottles. While I was cutting I realized 2 things.
1) I really need to work on my recovery. To used to axes I guess.
2) This sword doesn't need near as much power as I was using.
But I'll let the video speak for itself.



Realize that I'm out of practice with swords and I'm so used to axes now that it's hard to change up. I was swinging using more force than necessary, and I got to get out there and work on that. As for the sword itself, it handled like a dream. For a Viking type X, I was happily impressed.


Conclusion
Even though this one is over our standard $300 price point, I figured it was worth a review. And really, it's not that far over the mark. Plus, for the way that this blade is weighted and the way it handles, I believe the value for money on this one is through the roof!

Pros
1) Lenticular sharpened edge
2) Very comfortable grip
3) Attractive grip and scabbard

Cons
1) Hex nut assembly
2) Poor fit at the scabbard throat (at least on mine)
3) over $300 USD
If it be a sin to covet honor,I am the most offending soul alive.
- W. Shakespeare
User avatar
Ringulf
Naugothrain
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:50 pm
Location: Central Florida
Contact:

Re: V. A. Signature Series "Hedemark" Review (with video)

Postby Ringulf » Sun May 19, 2013 9:00 pm

That looks delicious! I am drooling!
A heartening sight by Day or Night, Dwarven warriors bold! To add their Might to any Fight, Precious more than Gold! A Dwarven friend is to the end, Never shall they fail! Their word does not bend, wherever they wend,
through Cavern, Hill or Dale!"

Return to “Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest