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Do you do custom orders?
Right now, we're solely focused on bringing our major product lines to life. Scimitars, Sabres, Axes, and Ancient weapons are now available for pre-order on the website, and will soon be available to buy outright. We are very keen to work on custom jobs in the future, but we first need to finish our crowdfunding orders. We are considering finding a committed and talented partner to supply with our curved cores do custom orders, and we have contacted some already. Feel free to contact us with an idea, we're always happy to chat and get the ideas flowing. Most likely, when we are ready, we'll make a queue of people who've inquired, contact them in order, and work through the queue. The cost of a custom order will be determined based on an hourly rate of work plus materials, but our rule of thumb currently is to expect a piece to be roughly double the price of the most similar off-the-shelf item.
Do you sell the cores on their own?
We'll consider it in the future, but for now we are just trying to establish ourselves and to market our own products. One-off custom cores are definitely something we'll consider, and we may consider supplying to makers who are making products well outside the scope of our own. We're not trying to hog our idea, we're just trying to find our way in this market without going bankrupt. If we start supplying makers who will compete directly with us, we'll die as a business, and then so will the maker who's trying to buy our cores!
Are your weapons approved for LARP?
We have had weapons tested by Swordcraft at Quest and approved for battlefield use. We also had one tested to destruction by Of Science And Swords, and they were astounded by the durability of the core. We've displayed our weapons to equipment testers from various LARP groups including Warsong in Brisbane and had great feedback about the safety requirements for these groups. I'll update this when they've been approved by those LARPs.
Why are they so expensive?
Basically, the process for making the core is very labour intensive currently. It takes nearly twice as long to make one of our swords as to make one with a straight core. Labour is the greatest cost for us, so the swords have to be expensive to justify us working on them. Right now, we can't charge any less or we'll have too many orders and not enough time.
We are always looking to upgrade our facilities and processes, but that takes time and money and we're short on both. Hopefully one day we'll have more staff, more streamlined processes, and we can offer products for cheaper. For now and for the foreseeable future, this is the price, and we think it's worth it.
The finish seems a bit rough in the pictures.
Those pictures show our first production model swords. We had huge time pressure and had to get them done quickly. I'm somewhat proud of them, but I do realise that the products appear a bit rough in places.
For the most part, weapons we deliver to customers are better than this. The flashing is better trimmed, the foam is better fitted and sanded, and paint is more smooth. However, if you go looking for seams, bubbles, brushstrokes, etc. you will almost certainly find them. Though we are looking to expand, we are currently a small operation, and we have a lot to do in a short time. There are slight inconsistencies in the finish, and yes some parts are a little rough.
We do quality control our products and we reject those where these issues affect the use of the product, or if there is an issue that is particularly noticeable. We are always looking to improve the quality of the finish, and work tirelessly to do so, but currently we feel that the quality is at a level where the small issues that can be found by looking hard up close are far outweighed by the beauty of the design, the feel, the weight and balance.
Why a patent?
Patents exist to encourage innovation by providing a temporary monopoly on a technology, and in exchange the invention is made public. If we fail to make our way as a business, or after a set period even if we do, the knowledge of how to make our cores will be free for all, and we're more than happy to share as long as we are given a fair chance to make our way as a business.
We're aware that lots of people try to share their knowledge rather than hoard it, and we definitely appreciate the sentiment. Unfortunately, it's been a long road developing the technology to make our curved cores, and our journey is far from over. We want our business to be a success. Curved cores are our main advantage as a manufacturer, and in order to survive we need to protect ourselves.