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Sword Buyers Digest - May 2009
May 01, 2009

Paul Southren Welcome to the May edition of the Digest!

Hard to believe how fast this year is going – and how far behind I am on all my SBG projects as usual..! But never fear – I can always make time for the digest, speaking of which...

Let’s get right on into it!


3. SBG COMPETITION: Last Call to join the review team!
4. COLLECTORS CORNER: Sword Buddies – Part 1
6. VIDEO OF THE MONTH – ‘Meet the Stagmers!’


There just never is enough time in the month it seems: while we did begin laying the foundations for our new page on Renaissance swords with three new SBG member submitted reviews, I had to put a lot of projects on hold to ensure that current SBG Custom Katana orders and the backordered Valiant Armoury Christian Fletcher and Gus Trim designed swords went out as smoothly as possible (which was no easy task, as we did hit several pot holes, but did my best to sort it all out).

I tell you what, running a review website and a store is no easy task! But in reality, without the store the site wouldn’t really be what it is today (and it does bring a lot of value and enjoyment to members of the sword community), so I guess it is a fair trade off...

There are still several ‘secret’ projects in the works that will be revealed in the coming months that are taking up some time, but next month I hope to take some time out to do some reviews myself (I was hoping to have done at least ONE in April, but recently things never seem to quite go to plan! Oh well!).

To see if I manage it, be sure to visit the SBG News section or better yet – subscribe to the RSS feed for up to the minute additions.


As mentioned, a lot of time was spent this month doing my best to service customers for the SBG custom Katana and the Valiant Armoury Signature Series swords.

While the Signature series and Gus Trim Designed VA swords are in stock (though many won’t be for much longer – the number of backorders from just about every VA stockist where, as expected, pretty phenomenal) – I do have some good news on the SBG Custom Katana…


While I made mention of it in the dedicated Custom Katana blog, I thought it is worth repeating here. The much delayed October-November orders are now finally out the door, and we are only 1-2 weeks away from shipping the Jan-Feb orders, which means that it is nearly time to open up the floor to take some new orders again!

The Custom Katana Notification List is getting pretty darned long now, so I don’t think that we will be opening up the floor for very long… And as you can see, the value these swords represent speaks for itself.

One of the SBG customs from the latest batch



We already mentioned about the collaboration between Odinblades John Lundemo and Valiant Armoury in a previous issue, however below is a sneak preview of his Fantasy ‘Warder’ sword – indeed, it is the actual prototype made by John to be sent to Valiant’s Chinese forge to be meticulously copied and put into production.

John Lundemo Warder Sword

Looks simply stunning, and knowing John’s understanding of blade geometries, if the forge only even gets it half right, it’s going to be one heck of a cutter...


Reclaiming the Blade

I must admit at times I wondered if they were ever going to get it off the ground...

But finally the wait is over and the groundbreaking European sword documentary, RECLAIMING THE BLADE, has been released on DVD!

I just ordered my copy, and while I haven’t seen it yet, I am really looking forward to watching it (after all, I believe that SBG will be mentioned in the credits! Lol).

There is a youtube video explaining everything that is on the Delux 2 DVD edition HERE and you can pick up the official 2 disc DVD here at for just $29.49.

Definitely worth getting, if not for the video (which looks like a heck of a lot of work has gone into making it) to show your support for the community.

RIP: Paul Champagne

Renowned Japanese sword smith, Paul Champagne passed away on the 10th of April this year from a heart attack at just 45 years of age, leaving behind his wife Ann and many lifelong friends...

A full tribute to this extraordinary man can be found at the ARMA website here:

A life much to short indeed…

To stay on top of developments in the sword industry as they happen, be sure to check the SMG Newsfeed often - or better yet, use the RSS feed to get announcements in your RSS reader.

SBG COMPETITION: Free Swords and the Review Team – FINAL CALL

SBG Wants YOU!

As mentioned in last months issue, every one who qualifies for the SBG review team shortlist before the 25th of this month will be receiving a FREE sword – and then, depending on the quality and thoroughness of the review of the sword they will receive, I will personally be handpicking two more members to join the current review team line up to receive even MORE swords!

After this date, the shortlist will be closing off for the foreseeable future (and while we will still be issuing review points, the will be used in a different manner – more on this in next months issue of the digest).

So if you’ve been accumulating the review points to qualify, you had better get to work! There isn’t much time left now, so if you would like to join the review team, don’t waste another second – get those final reviews in well before the 25th!!!

”Sword Buddies – Part 1: Locating Your Sword Buddies”

Dan Dacombe If you collect swords for any length of time, you start to feel a need to share your newfound hobby with others.

This isn’t just true for sword collecting; in fact, it applies to any new interest in someone’s life. You just want to be with people of common interest. It’s natural! For example, as a recent first-time father, I tried hanging out at “Parent’s Groups” in our community – to be around people at the same stage of life that we are currently in. (Unfortunately, this did not work out so well – some of the young mothers in the group seemed offended when I speculated that the fumes from my baby’s diaper might be giving me brain damage).

Finding people who share this interest, however, can be difficult. These days owning a collection of sharp objects is not considered “socially appropriate” by some, or “a sign of good mental health” by others. To that end, we here at SBG have put together a fool-proof list of ways you can locate people in your workplace who would be interested in swords as a hobby – for people who could be your “Sword Buddies.”

1. Dropping hints around the watercooler – that is, casually mentioning your hobby to co-workers in roundabout ways, such as “So, what do you think you’ll do when the zombies come?” or “She’s so ugly, I wouldn’t touch her with a Type XVII!” (Note: Avoid phrases that can be mistaken for euphemisms for other activities, such as “So I was polishing my sword the other day…” – this could get you fired or even arrested, depending on where you work.)

2. The “Bring a Sword to Work Day” approach – not only will this give people an opportunity to see your hobby first hand, but a sword at work could come in extremely handy (ie. As a pointer during presentations, picking up dropped papers/donuts, personal cubicle security, motivating the interns, etc.)

3. Continually use clips from movies like Braveheart, Gladiator and The 13th Warrior in work-related presentations, and observe which co-workers react positively to them. It may be difficult to shoehorn William Wallace into a budget meeting, but I assure you there is always a place for William Wallace. Especially at budget meetings.

4. Continually push for Medieval-themed work parties for Christmas, Easter, Summer Solstice and Yom Kippur, to see if any swordaholics emerge. If your bosses ask why, just get a faraway look in your eye and remind them that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it (after all, it is entirely plausible that your company may someday be asked to invade the Holy Land). Tears are usually helpful.

5. Sign up all of your coworker’s email addresses for the Sword Buyer’s Guide Digest. Because there’s nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion as far as I’m concerned.

Follow these simple steps and I guarantee you – you will have Sword Buddies in no time (and possibly a criminal record). That’s all for now – tune in next month for Part 2: The Different Kinds of Sword Buddies!


New Russell Crowe Sword Movie – Robin Hood!
Forumites opinions on the upcoming sword movie starring Russel Crowe. No matter what you may think of him, there is no doubt that this should be an interesting remake!

Unbelievably Bad Tang
A European sword with arguably one of the worst tangs under the hood that I’ve seen in a while.. No wonder it broke when dry handling...!

Weird things up your saya...
Pieces of plastic, carpet, pool-noodle foam, scrunched up asian porn mags, styrofoam, newspaper – all of these have been found inside the saya of low cost Katana to stop the rattle... What is in yours?

Naginata Under Construction
Ichibans thread on how to mount and decorate a Naginata blade from scratch!


In this video interview we get a rare chance to have a look behind the scenes at Kerry and Matt Stagmers workshop, how they got started, and why their proudly made in the USA Baltimore Knife and Sword company products have been around for the last 25 years.

A great video, showcasing two very humble but extremely talented American sword smiths without whose work and dedication, the local industry would be a much poorer place.

Youtube vid of the Month

You Tube Video of the Month


A selection of hot product discounts and clearouts from our affiliated vendors. Grab a bargain and support SBG at the same time!

Looks like Musashi and Trueswords have done it again...

These budget Katana have only just landed, and because of this I don’t really have a lot of details on them other than they are made from 1060 carbon steel, are differentially hardened, come in a variety of saya colors – and are priced at a RIDICULOUS $84.99!!

Musashi Bamboo Katana

If you recall, the last Musashi swords that were similar to these sold out in a matter of days, and NO-ONE had a bad word to say about them, especially considering the price (I must admit, I’ve been a bit cheeky and grabbed one for myself this time!)...

So have a quick look below, I have listed the four variations of this line in order of my own personal preference: Black Saya Bamboo Version
Red Saya Bamboo Version
Blue Saya Bamboo Version
Musha Shugyo Variant

Of course, with the only differences really being the color of the saya in the first three, the most important thing is if you want to grab one of these, just get in there quick, because they really are quite a steal and I don’t believe that the supply even comes close to the demand…

Definitely a bargain!

Hope you enjoyed this months issue!

See you again next month, so until then stay safe and have fun with the sharp and pointies!

Paul Southren

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