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Nils Anderssen

Snartemo sword

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A couple of months ago I was approached by the National Museum here in Norway and they asked me if I could make a sword for an upcoming exhibition. After talking with them I managed to persuade them that the sword is going to be exhibited in such way that people can pick it up and swing it somewhat around (much like the Albion sword in the Cluny exhibition a couple of years back). This of course got me exited. Form AND function :)

The sword they wanted was a fairly famous 6th century sword from Snartemo here in Norway and with a very detailed hilt.

You might know it:

Original.jpg

 

For more pictures of the original: http://www.vikverir.no/ressurser/hist_mus_oslo_no_part_1/?dir=&page=3

My goal of this was to make something that looked as close to the original as possible, but not necessary created the same way. It should also feel like a contemporary sword, but since the blade is still in he scabbard I had to do some guesses. Due to limitations in time and budget I could only have a mono steel blade, not pattern welded as was on the original.

As I am not very skilled in modeling wax and taking the complexity of the piece into account I decided to 3d model all of the hilt and then getting it printed. I am much more proficient with a 3d program :P. I based the model om photographs, and have not used any 3d scanned data at all. So, everything is "hand made" in the computer with every "point" placed by hand. A lot of work and in only a few places I could speed up the process and make shortcuts compared to doing it by hand. I also put a lot of work into making it look hand made, and not completely symmetrical and "digital".

Here is the 3d model:

snartemo_render_2.jpg


So, the company that did the printing and casting for me was http://i.materialise.com/. They took the 3d model and printed it in wax that then was used for casting. The printing happens with a machine laying very thin layers of wax on top of each other that then forms the model. After that they cast it in the traditional way with lost wax.

Here are the pieces back from the foundry:

IMG_1617.JPG


So after a lot of cleaning up and polishing i got it gilded. The original crossguard and pommel was made out of gilded silver er and the grip was made out of a thin gold plate. On mine everything is made out of bronze. Since the casting introduces small flaws here and there this helps with making the piece look more hand carved.

I made the hilt hollow with very thin walls as was also the case with the original. I filled them with pieces of wood in order to make the constriction more stable and easier to assemble.

DSC00326.JPG



I grinded the blade out of a large blade blank I had laying around in the workshop and the blade is slightly less than 5 mm at the base and slightly above 2 mm before the tip. Concave tapering.

DSC00292.JPG

Then a lot of polishing by hand and assembling the piece.

Here is the result:
Snartemo_Complete_1.JPG

 

The front side:

Snartemo_Complete_2.JPG

The back side:

Snartemo_Complete_3.JPG


The top:
Snartemo_Complete_4.JPG



It is by far the most complex project I have made and all in all I am very happy with how it turned out. I am very impressed with how much details that got through the printing and casting. If you look at the pommel the large triangle in the middle has a pattern running around it. The triangles in that pattern is 0.6 mm at the widest and they are completely sharp. The only change I would have done to it, if I could, was to make it with a pattern welded blade. That would have improved the over all look balancing out the detailed hilt. So, that might be a project for later on ;) After all I have the pattern for the hilt now...

Hope you like it :)

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Wow!!

That is pretty cool!! And very pretty.

I want a replicator. :)

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Wow. Seriously wow. Gorgeous work Nils.

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I spend a lot of my professional life behind a 3D CAD station. I am floored by the effort you would have had to put into those models. That is some beautiful hardware :)

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there are times that I wonder why I even bother to post my work on this forum, instead of just looking and congratulating those of you with such amazing talents.

 

this is one of those time.

 

You have used a creative approach, and obtained a great result, the melds the modern with the traditional (for the best of reasons).

 

outstanding.

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Very pretty. It would indeed have looked even nicer with a PW blade.

Do this blade have a distal taper?

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there are times that I wonder why I even bother to post my work on this forum, instead of just looking and congratulating those of you with such amazing talents.

 

this is one of those time.

 

You have used a creative approach, and obtained a great result, the melds the modern with the traditional (for the best of reasons).

 

outstanding.

 

I couldn't have said this better myself, so I'll just quote Kevin. :lol:

 

Awesome. In the literal sense. B)

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Outstanding is an understatement. I hope the exhibition goes well for you and the museum.

 

Doug

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This is truly incredible. I've done a large amount of 3D CAD work designing and recreating props from movies and such, and I get flashbacks just thinking about how much effort and ingenuity it took to create that model!

 

As if that wasn't insane enough you finished it beautifully! Really outstanding work, though I agree the one improvement would have been a pattern welded blade!

 

Kudos!

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Well done.

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very impressive work!

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Very impressive! On another forging site is a fellow playing around with 3D printing to make guards and handles on knives. It's a very powerful tool available to modern craftsmen.

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Hey Nils, if you don't mind me asking, what application did you use for the 3d drawing?

 

That is some very, very impressive work.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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What is the purpose of the little ring on the blade-side of the guard? I understand that this is a historical piece, but it seems rather....extraneous.

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Wow, thanks for the kind words everyone!
I have admired a lot of you guys work for years, so it means a lot :)

Mark Green: As far as I know this is not possible with the replicator. For once it cannot print wax (but you can always create wax models from plastic models), but the biggest problem is the level of detail. I guess i should have taken a picture with something to show the scale, but I forgot :(

Jesper: Yes the blade has a distal taper. It is slightly below 5 mm at the base and right above 2. It is also concave. The blade is still a bit hefty since there is no fuller, but then again it is fairly thin.

harry_r: I used 3d Studio Max and modeled it with polygons, not the way that traditional CAD works (as far as I understand). My professional background is from the gaming industry so it kind of matches up with how I am used to work there. I guess I could have used more high polygon modeling tools like zbrush or mudbox, and will try to look into that later on.

 

Stormcrow: Do you have a link to the page and the nick of the user? I would very much like to see that :)

Jim Walker: There is some theories on this, and I have not researched it thoroughly, but as far as I understand the ring itself is some kind of symbolical gift from a king to his most trusted men. It is a tradition you can see on several swords for a short amount of time in Europe. But, as far as I understand, no one knows for certain.


Again, thanks a lot for the feedback!

Yesterday, right before I had to deliver the sword I had the opportunity to photograph it beside the original. Needless to say, it was a very cool experience.

DSC01068.JPG

The original is the one the furthest back. The one in the middle is a replica made for Vidkun Quisling (minister president for the nazies in Norway) during the second world war after the nazies tried to send the original to germany. The museum put it in a vault so that they could not find it and one of the museum workers ended up in a concentration camp for it.

Very interesting to see my version together with these two pieces of Norwegian history.

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Very glad to see the result Nils. It came out splendidly. Spectacular sword and outstanding work.

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The one in the middle is a replica made for Vidkun Quisling (minister president for the nazies in Norway) during the second world war after the nazies tried to send the original to germany. The museum put it in a vault so that they could not find it and one of the museum workers ended up in a concentration camp for it.

 

 

WHOAAA :o

 

That is so cool!

 

Do we know anything about the replica they had made?

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The original was clearly intended to impress. Your work in re-creating it is no less impressive. Still, it should have had a pattern welded blade! Maybe on the next one.

 

~Bruce~

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Thanks a lot Peter and Bruce!


Emiliano: There is this wikipedia article that explains the whole process and the swords role during the war. I tried to translate it with google translate and it worked kind of and I guess you will be able to understand most of it :)

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snartemosverdet


Yea a version with a pattern welded blade is something I would very much like to do. Just hope to come across someone who is willing to pay for it all.

Here is by the way an xray image of the blade where you can see the pattern in the blade. It has not been published before to my knowledge:

xray.jpg

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Wow thats a beautiful pattern, and thanks for the link!

 

What is that, four bars in the core?

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That is just wonderful.

I was just kidding about the replicator. I know they are getting close to that though. :)


Wonderful work all around. Love it!!

It looks like 3 bars to me???

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I've long admired that sword, and mused that should I acquire godlike skills I would love to reproduce it.... you have done a very good job with it.

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