Surely this thread will be a delight to Hugh's heart.
having said that, i will freely admit that I would rather be shot than: a. give up one of my blades or b. get cup up by one.
There are three new sources of Katana that are worthy of note as, as did Hanwei 15 years ago, they are making a decent, although not totally traditional product for reasonable prices.
They are Shinwa, Mushashi and an E bay Seller YingSwords as well as the Hanwei items (not are reasonable in price).
The Gladius purchased was a purchase borne of desperatation.
The so called "Gladius of Maximus" is toooo big. Perhaps an 8 foot roman might have handled it. Therefore, as the resin work was not bad and the guard appeared to be Brass inserted, I am undertaking to reshape the blase into a Spatha of about 35" in length. I will post a pic of the work in progress later.
Myslef and my 'swordmaster' ron (he hates the label but his skills are good) have spent days reshaping various blades and hand polishing them with 600 then 1700 grit mirror shine wet sandpaper, by hand of course.
I will post the ersatz spatha and Gladiuii we deemed worth saving later.
Mushashi's "last Samurai" katana, very reasonably pricer at under $100, and I actually appreciated the lack of an etched 'false hamon' since we do not have to polish it out. Rather have a clean blade than a faked temperline.
The Saya is not lacquered but the Same is rayskin.
The Mushashi blades, machine made at a chinese forge, seem OK. they are not traditionally made, but should satisfy the impecunious colllector.
Only purchse those marked 'fully functional' and fitted with a Rayskin Same.
Shinwa blades are similar. Some have temper line on machined blades showing good polish and if interest persists, I will post some photos.
The furniture on the katana of both manufactuters is generally unremarkable and the "Brass Tsuba" Shinwa Sword (not pictured) became instantly unavailable.
The Mushashi "Sea Dragon" katana has a very nice Brass tsuba but lacks rayskin Same for example.
Sorry, flickr is not cooperating on psoting the photos of same and I will try again. In the meantime if anyone wants photos and info, just ask.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2334/163 ... 5c.jpg?v=0
Just posted link, I will have to find another way to post pics I think. Last is Paul Chen Gladius.
Too Cool the Last Samurai Sword Posted. Nice reaonable and attractive, very light Cutting.