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Making of the Master Sword

The Master Sword from the Legend of Zelda came about as a custom sword order to be made by our friends at Blade Culture International in the Philippines.

As it was more economical to make a small run of swords than a one off, we decided to make a small project of it and create a one of batch of 20 swords to offer to other hard core Zelda fans around the world at a fraction of the price it would normally cost to have something like this custom made.

DESIGN CONCEPT – DECEMBER 2019

The initial design was left in the capable hands of Blade Culture International, who spent over a month going over many images of the sword in its original cartoon and game formats as well as all the various replicas that have been made over the years to settle upon the final design concept seen below.

FORGING THE BLADES – DECEMBER 2019

All 20 blades were hand forged from 5160 Spring steel and roughly ground to shape.

After the first rough grind, they are tempered, hardened and further shaped in preparation for a final polish. Note the long, beefy full tang construction,.

JANUARY 2020 – FITTINGS

At the same time the blades were being prepared for final finish, the wooden scabbards are being prepared.

Without exception, all custom sword makers charge almost as much as the cost of a sword as they do for a matching custom scabbard, so having this as a free add on really is above and beyond in terms of value for money (and if you have a look at your typical BCI scabbard, they are NOT just an afterthought)..

For the brass fittings, lost wax molds are created from a prototype based on the original design sketch and fitted to one of the swords to make sure everything sits together properly as it should.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT – THE REDESIGN

It was at this stage that it was brought to our attention that our version of the Master Sword looked a little too much like one of the stunning custom swords made by Brendan Olszowy from Fable Blades, specifically his Gladius Herios Aevi design.

Fable Blades left and our design to the right

While the pommel and hilt are very different and the guard bears a passing resemblance, what we were unaware of is that the Fable Blades design had been ripped off to make stainless steel Chinese knock offs without his permission, and in their research, BCI had clearly favored this design without knowing it was an unauthorized knock off.

So back to the drawing board we have gone, starting with a redesign of the hilt to include an ornate blade collar.

While this is a set back, we have no intention of stepping on the toes of any established artisans and wish to publicly apologize to Fable Blades if we did accidentally get too close to ripping off his design (its not a matter of copyright, but just a matter of principle here).

LATE MARCH

With a new directive in place, the Master Sword continues to evolve.

Here you can see the fitted blade collar and the leather handle wrap – all hand made and hand fitted from solid brass.

No doubt that all this brass will shift the balance point back towards the handle somewhat, though the final stats and balance remain to be seen (though knowing BCI, it will be tending towards the most solid built possible).

Next up, is the refinement of the blade and the scabbards. However, there is a problem – the COVID-19 virus outbreak has locked down all the areas where most of the BCI workers come from, so they are working away as best as they can to complete the project with only a skeleton crew.

SEPTEMBER 2020 – NEARLY COMPLETE

The combination of a re-design and pandemic created the perfect storm, more or less stopping production dead for around 4-5 months. But in September 2020 we see the sword finally coming close to completion with the finishing touches being added to the swords and an original, but still clearly recognizable, interpretation of the Master Swords scabbard.

And finally, the sword itself.

Personally, I love how the sword has turned out. So now we are in the final stages of production and preparing the final details, stats, etc with an eye to offer them for sale by the end of October 2020!

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