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Alex Ostacchini

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Alex Ostacchini last won the day on August 9

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About Alex Ostacchini

  • Birthday 10/09/1994

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    Historical things

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  1. Sorry for bringing up an old topic, but was having a browse and noticed this. When there isn't a pandemic going on I normally work within an armoury department for the UK film industry (though usually doing leatherwork). I did not have any involvement in this particular movie but personally know the team who did and have worked with them many times on other films. I certainly recognise the imdb names and am friends with many of them! In this case I believe the hero swords were made in house. Rather than individual craftspeople working from their own workshop, each department is brought in and setup under one roof within a film studio. It is generally speaking quite rare that any one person will make a complete piece from start to finish. Each person has their own skills and specialities, and jobs are allocated accordingly. So for example in a sword like the King Arthur excalibur prop, the blade would most likely be milled out of aluminium, the pattern welding effect would be CAD designed, printed onto a vinyl sticker, and used as an acid etching template, the hilt components would be sculpted or carved by a sculptor/modelmaker, moulded, and sent to a foundry, and the handle wrap would be done by a leatherworker. So while the initial design may have come from one hand, the final product could easily be the work of many people within the team. This is not always the case but in my experience it often is. One thing I can say with pretty much absolute certainty is that the sword in question was not forged. Things are done a little differently in film, and I have so far never been on a job where any forging work occurred at all, and it would be very unusual if it did. In my experience sword blades are almost always aluminium, or occasionally steel for hero props, with cast urethane versions for the extras. Prop making is it's own skillset and the background of those within a film team is usually in model making, sculpting, mould making, painting, CAD, and other such skills, so geared quite specifically towards props rather than authentically made weapons. The makers (myself included) for the most part do not solidly do armoury work, but will work within different departments making completely different things from job to job depending on what work is available. I think I am fairly unusual in trying to get involved with armoury department stuff due to having an outside interest in historical weapons. Tod's video is very good and raises some good points about necessary compromises to fulfil the various requirements. Anyway I hope this sheds some light on the process! Alex
  2. This is great, just read through from the start and that is one pretty blade
  3. Thanks for the kind words all That's a nifty looking trick. I am basically still a novice when it comes to forging and finding my way a bit- with these I start with 3 or 4mm flat stock, so the main work I do with the forge is drawing out the tang and the tip, and try to establish the bevels as best I can, but the thickness is already there pretty much and any substantial distal taper I do during grinding. To be honest stock removal would probably make more sense but I really enjoy the forging aspect and would love to get better at this. I assume I would need to start with thicker stock for integral bolsters and draw out the blade from that, leaving it thick for the bolsters? Or are there some cunning tricks to upsetting a small area in the middle of thin bar enough to work as bolsters? Sorry for my ignorance, that might be a really dumb question! I forgot to say this earlier. Agreed! Thanks, I have been a leatherworker a lot longer than doing knives, but mainly Western style floral tooling, so it's always nice and refreshing to try and throw all of that out the window and freehand something medieval looking. There's more than one wonky line in this lot and nothing is measured at all but hopefully that makes them look a little more authentic...
  4. Cheers Alan! Have noticed that you always take the time to offer feedback, I've seen some of the spectacular stuff you can make and it is greatly appreciated. I would love to attempt integral bolsters at some point, though I suspect my current skills are way off and i'm sure there will be an awful lot of cock ups along the way... Thanks, only simple things but I am glad you like them. That one is yew and I also think it is nicest of the bunch- got quite lucky with the nice grain! Alex
  5. Hi all, Here is a batch of lockdown projects just finished. These are all late medieval style eating knives and sheaths. The blades are all just very simple designs forged from 1075+cr, with as close to a flat grind as I could get. The handles are a mixture of apple, laburnum, yew and walnut, with brass pins and bolsters, and the sheaths are all inspired to some degree by originals from 'knives and scabbards', though not exact copies. Since making the blades I have acquired a lot more reference for this kind of knife, and in retrospect they are a little broad bladed so will be tweaking the proportions for the next lot. Also looks like the brass bolsters are more commonly bent sheet rather than the blocks I have used here. Obviously not the same calibre as the incredible pattern welded swords and so forth that are posted here, but it was a good noob learning curve making a batch of knives like this, and I hope you like them. Cheers! Alex
  6. Thanks all I saw a review of a Tod's Workshop messer where the pommel was brazed and wanted to try something similar, though in this case was silver soldered. Not quite as strong of course, but should be plenty strong enough I hope..
  7. Hi all, Just finished another lockdown project, only a small piece but the biggest blade I can currently heat treat and a milestone project for a noob like me! This is a late 15th/early 16th century messer. I've always liked the little Breughal inspired peasant knives that a few people have made replicas of, and also the Wakefield hangers, so smash those two designs together and you get this. The dates are of course a little out but not by much so hopefully It looks like something historically plausable. I don't know if there's some weird perspective thing or what going on but to me it definitely looks bigger in the pictures, this is only 43cm long, but I think that is about right for the sort of knife in the 'peasant wedding' painting. Certainly civilian rather than battlefield weapon. The blade for this is forged from 1075+cr, with a distal taper going from 6mm at the guard to 3mmish around the tip. The fuller was roughed in with an angle grinder and then filed in. Hours of fun. I like shiny knives so this has been mirror polished, though I know this is not to everyone's tastes and maybe not how a real one would have looked. The hilt fittings are mild steel, and the handle scales are walnut. The sheath is double layered with an integrated belt. I am mostly a leatherworker really and it's always fun going against all of my instincts to make something that looks medieval. Goodbye tracing paper and measuring tools, freehand it is. Anyway I hope you like it! I have a photo of 9 year old me at a reenactment event holding one of these and it's stuck with me since. 15 years later and I finally have my own, so quite a special project for me, and a nice big tick on the bucket list. Any comments or critiques welcome. Cheers! Alex
  8. Thanks for the kind words all While I have tried to file in some detail to match it with everything else, it is essentially just two two components soldered together, so I suppose I mean in terms of construction really. Thankyou, while I am new to blades and certainly no blacksmith I am lucky enough to make things for a job so have a little experience with working with tools and particulary leatherwork . It is only because of quarantine that I have had the time to spend on this! Cheers Alex
  9. Hi all, I have just joined here but been reading and browsing for quite a while. I've been making knives for around half a year now, with this being number ten (and eleven), but this is my first big one that isn't a simple little eating knife so wanted to share. This is 15th/16th century German style Bauernwehr, I say style as it is not copied from anything in particular and i'm sure there will be something i have not done quite right, but I hope it looks the part. I have done this as a three piece set in the manner of medieval hunting sets, so there is a little byknife and pricker too. The blades are forged from 1075+cr (bauernwehr) and 1080 (other two), with mild steel fittings and yew handle scales. The sheath is multi pocketed to hold all three pieces, and has tooled vine decoration and a simple fabricated steel chape. The whole point of this was as an experimental learning process really so I tried to pick a knife with as many new things as possible. Probably took much longer than it should have done but I am pleased with the final result and lots learnt for the next one. Any critiques much appreciated as I am very new to this and finding my way a bit, I hope you like it! Cheers Alex
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