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pattern welded blade in a movie


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I think Bulwar's sword in The 13th Warrior was, or it was quickly made to look so. There are precious few scenes where it's shown well enough, but in the cave where he goes after the bear queen, I see an opposed twist core.

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I think Bulwar's sword in The 13th Warrior was, or it was quickly made to look so. There are precious few scenes where it's shown well enough, but in the cave where he goes after the bear queen, I see an opposed twist core.

 

This may be little off topic but there is something about that movie and Bulwar in particular that makes me watch it over and over.

The movie itself is a little off beat and to me Bulwar is the coolest movie hero ever.

 

His appearance is perfect and he projects such an authentic mixture of leadership, compassion, personal excellence and sheer deadly menace it is magnetic.

 

He is truly Beowulf incarnate.

 

Didn't see the sword pattern though.

 

I am with Howard. I guess I will just have to watch it again :rolleyes:

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Most of the swords have a very rough hammer finish appearance to them, which I think is the producer's attempt at historocity, but inappropriate as we all seem to agree on. Finish was as fine as could be, given tooling available at the time. But in that one close-up, as Bulwar is moving through the hanging heads on his way to the queen, it shows a distinct core pattern. I'm guessing it's just etched or colored on the prop sword, but the intent for showing something "real" is there, at least in his piece.

 

Look closely at the beginning of the scene where they burn/bury the old king, and you'll see a couple guys holding a Mastermyr chest, too. Lots of little easter eggs in this film.

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Someone was kind enough to send me this still from the movie...

 

sword.jpg

 

 

Looking at the still, I have to go with my initial assesment of it being an etched pattern, or even drawn decoratively onto the blade, but it sure is reminiscient of something we'd expect to see in a viking blade, if not exact. I appreciate the producers going for the right effect, at least.

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Of course, there's Highlander, with it's legendary blade of 200 folds.

 

Not to split hairs, but I think it was 2000 folds. And that leads me to my next question, which I hope you or another smith here can answer: If you fold steel that many times, do you reach a point of diminishing return?

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I'd say you'd reach a steel that's just homogenous, yet was probably already so many folds before that point.

Wouldn't seem like much of a reason to go that far.

Won't really have a pattern, and it's probably another mistake of swapping "layers" and "folds"

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There are many threads on the internet about this. Between scaling, carbon migration, and ultimate thinness of layers, my personal view is that anything over 15 folds is a complete waste of time. Often, half that will produce a nearly homogeneous steel, barring stark alloy differences.

 

If someone has a pile of steel and fuel and time to waste, it would be interesting to see just how many folds one could get from a 5-pound billet of starting material before you couldn't really make a knife anymore.

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zactly what C says.. ..i've got a couple knives that i forged up to 500 flat layers and made small hunter blades out of them.. forged close to shape... and the pattern sucks bad... waaaay too small.. super difficult to even etch ... so i definitely limit the layers .. so beware of that pitfall... or you'll end up with alot of work and 0 to show for it

 

come to think of it...i've never seen a patternweld sword in the movies... but thats not surprising at all..... movies and historical accuracy Hah ! Not in my experience

 

even Conan... casting a sword in a mold... sigh ^_^

 

 

 

Greg

 

There are many threads on the internet about this. Between scaling, carbon migration, and ultimate thinness of layers, my personal view is that anything over 15 folds is a complete waste of time. Often, half that will produce a nearly homogeneous steel, barring stark alloy differences.

 

If someone has a pile of steel and fuel and time to waste, it would be interesting to see just how many folds one could get from a 5-pound billet of starting material before you couldn't really make a knife anymore.

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There are many threads on the internet about this. Between scaling, carbon migration, and ultimate thinness of layers, my personal view is that anything over 15 folds is a complete waste of time. Often, half that will produce a nearly homogeneous steel, barring stark alloy differences.

 

If someone has a pile of steel and fuel and time to waste, it would be interesting to see just how many folds one could get from a 5-pound billet of starting material before you couldn't really make a knife anymore.

 

 

Thanks. The number (15 folds) was actually what I was wondering about.

 

Typical of Hollywood to make the equation: MoreFolds=BetterSword :rolleyes:

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even Conan... casting a sword in a mold... sigh ^_^

 

Greg

 

I get irrationally irritated with that scene. I loved that movie, but the sword-making sequence just ruined it for me. Like a splinter in my brain. . .

 

I still can't help bursting out with a "Why is the damn anvil ON FIRE?!!" when I see it.

 

I'm in a 12 step program to help me deal with my unresolved Conan anger.

 

Grins,

 

Dave

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I get irrationally irritated with that scene. I loved that movie, but the sword-making sequence just ruined it for me. Like a splinter in my brain. . .

 

I still can't help bursting out with a "Why is the damn anvil ON FIRE?!!" when I see it.

 

I'm in a 12 step program to help me deal with my unresolved Conan anger.

 

Grins,

 

Dave

 

But Dave, wouldn't a flaming anvil help keep the work hot longer? :blink:

 

Regards,

Tim

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Hello:

 

Actually the first scenes in that rather awful Tony Curtis/Kirk Douglas movie "The Vikings" (OK it had some great scenes like the oar dancing and the soundtrack was pretty good) it shows the "e-vile" King with the sword "Requitter" and the blade, if you watch close enough does show a "Cheveron" pattern running down its length..If only shows for a split second but it is there....

 

Geeze I is getting old...

 

JPH

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I liked the 13th Warrior but there was one scene in it that almost ruined it for me. It was where the Muslim character was lifting one of the Vikings swords but found it too heavy too even lift. So he proceeded to grind it to a more recognizable Islamic shape. Unfortunately the sword being too heavy for mere mortals to lift seems to be a recurring Hollywood theme, arrrgh where do they get that?

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I liked the 13th Warrior but there was one scene in it that almost ruined it for me. It was where the Muslim character was lifting one of the Vikings swords but found it too heavy too even lift. So he proceeded to grind it to a more recognizable Islamic shape. Unfortunately the sword being too heavy for mere mortals to lift seems to be a recurring Hollywood theme, arrrgh where do they get that?

 

Actually, I thought that was kind of cool. Not nearly as cool as jumping his Arabian horse over the great big Viking horse and rider but cool nonetheless.

 

Just another way to point out that finesse can be just as effective or maybe more so than sheer force.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I liked the 13th Warrior but there was one scene in it that almost ruined it for me. It was where the Muslim character was lifting one of the Vikings swords but found it too heavy too even lift. So he proceeded to grind it to a more recognizable Islamic shape. Unfortunately the sword being too heavy for mere mortals to lift seems to be a recurring Hollywood theme, arrrgh where do they get that?

It's based on Michal Chrichton, so we should be thankful the swords didn't glow, or have CGI snakes running down their lengths to mimic the poems :) I love 13th Warrior, flaws and all. The first 11 minutes of Conan will get me in the shop faster than anything, ready to heat treat my current project, or have a hot German former-model do some leather wrap on my handle... wait, that sounds bad :\ Beer might be better for forging, but it seems to affect my postings :)

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Conan anger, but i remember when the film came out ... for me it was waaaay cool

 

just a confession, but when i was young we had no real tv ....actually we had 3 channels.... 1) local with soaps all day and the other 2 were french channels...... so basically no tv ! <_< so after reading alot of comic's, i became hooked on Conan magazines... those blacknwhite comic stories were out of this world

- it was a tribute to rugged individualism with adventure..... it was a good day when the convenience store got that months issue in.... just roll it up and tuck it in the back pocket, grab the pellet gun, and head up to the tree house to read and daydream :lol:

 

still liked the comic's better than the movie... but the movie still was cool.. especially the part when he's in the tomb and gets the sword.. epic !

 

 

G

 

ps.. only have one conan mag left... that whole collection of magazines sadly somehow dissolved over time

--- maybe its abit embarrassing that i developed my interest in swords from comics, but you just can't hide from who you are.. ;)

 

 

hey... another odd thing... have you even seen a samurai film with a hamon on a sword ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get irrationally irritated with that scene. I loved that movie, but the sword-making sequence just ruined it for me. Like a splinter in my brain. . .

 

I still can't help bursting out with a "Why is the damn anvil ON FIRE?!!" when I see it.

 

I'm in a 12 step program to help me deal with my unresolved Conan anger.

 

Grins,

 

Dave

Edited by Greg Thomas Obach
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I liked the 13th Warrior but there was one scene in it that almost ruined it for me. It was where the Muslim character was lifting one of the Vikings swords but found it too heavy too even lift. So he proceeded to grind it to a more recognizable Islamic shape. Unfortunately the sword being too heavy for mere mortals to lift seems to be a recurring Hollywood theme, arrrgh where do they get that?

 

It's an old theme- Thor's Hammer is too heavy for anyone else to lift (in fact, he needs a belt and gloves to really wield it.)

 

Also, Beowulf uses a huge sword, 'forged by giants,' and found in Grendel's mother's lair to kill her. Of it it is said that no other man could have fought with it.

 

Old tales are the best tales. ;)

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