I bought a larp sword from calimacil. It's... interesting. It's a "pirate" model, I think. So the form is a falchion/cutlass - pointed single edged blade with the top third being double edged, and a simple but effective knuckle guard.

The total price including shipping was just over fifty quid. So this isn't the cheapest of the cheap, but it's not expensive for a larp sword.

Construction:
It seems to be moulded rubber or rubber-like substance, over a barely-flexible core. The rubber is in two grades of hardness - the blade is softer silver stuff, handle and knuckle guard are harder black stuff. The knuckle guard is actually sturdy enough that it probably won't buckle when hit with a larp sword, so that's nice.
This construction method should be pretty durable, and should retain its current appearance well too - there's no paint to come off.

Appearance:
The handle and guard are all black, and the blade is a uniform shade of silver. There are visible mould lines, and a couple of air bubbles in the back of the blade. So it's uglier than most larp swords. The shaping and lines are nice, though, and the blade cross-section is pretty. So if I removed or covered the mould lines and repainted it, it would be very pretty. On the other hand, that would involve quite a lot of work on something I bought new, so this is a point against.

Competitiveness:
It's about 32" long, so even if it was the lightest and flickiest it could be, it would still not be a terribly competitive toy. It compounds this by being rather heavy. I mean, it's nowhere near the weight of the re-enactment swords I use, but it's obviously heavier than all the other larp single-handers I have, and indeed it's heavy enough that flicky wrist actions are going to be a considerable strain. So this is not a competitive toy at all. The bright side here is that if you want to roleplay big heavy cutting actions, the toy will help you do that.

Safety:
It's not dangerous per se - I mean, it deforms when hit and it's lighter than metal. But, if you're used to lighter larp toys this one will need using in a different way. Slower and more cautiously. In itself that is no bad thing, but if you're getting one of these you should absolutely get it ahead of time and practice with it, rather than going straight on the field with it. Obviously that's generally good advice, but here it's more important than usual.
Also, the grip is the wrong shape. It's fairly standard - wider at the top, narrows a bit as it goes down - but then at the bottom it widens again but only on the finger side. This means if your hand slips down the toy slides by default into a point-forward more fencing grip. This would be fine if it were a thrusting weapon. But it isn't, and I mention this in the safety section because as I put cuts in, this grip configuration is altering my hold on it toward the end of the swing. This means I'm losing track of where the toy is, right as I'm about to hit something! Obviously this is a problem.
I'm trying to work out a fix. The grip is slippy enough that this is going to keep happening. I could wrap the grip and that would help, but it's already pretty wide so that might not be comfortable. I could wrap just the bottom part I suppose. Or I could hold it toward the pommel to start with, so that at least my grip won't be changing. But none of these are good options.

Overall conclusion:
For a HEMA or re-enactor type, this would actually be pretty good as a safe waster. For a larper - well, I think a few people would love it. But for most people I can't recommend it. It doesn't look great and you'll probably hurt someone.

Company!

Dec. 2nd, 2011 02:27 am
On Tuesday I went to see the public dress rehearsal of company, which is on at the theatre now, with the cheapest tickets at £12. So I'm going to review it,briefly.

It's a Sondheim musical, the plot being from a book by some dude. I'm not writing his name, because then I might remember it and read something of his. The music is...good. Well, would you expect differently? There's a little more use of the main theme than I'd like, but that isn't bad enough to complain about. The singing was all good, as was the choreography and acting. If the real performances is better than the dress rehearsal, then it's great.
So, it was well made. The problem is... it's a well-made piece of crap. Well sung well written songs. Well choreographed and performed dances. Nice lighting and so on... and all of it completely wasted, because the plot is a piece of crap. This is the plot: A man is 35 years old, in New York in 1970. He isn't planning to get married and apparently this is really weird/. Well, maybe it was, then and there, I don't care. So his five married couples worth of friends do a lot of singing and dancing and talking, and at the end of it it's two years later and he's decided he wants to get married. He hasn't actually met anyone he wants to marry, he's just decided this.
So, yeah. It's fair to say I have almost no emotional connection with monogamous straight men, and that doesn't endear me to this plot. But even if I were mono, straight, and male, I'd still be bored by this. Dude, work out what you want and do it. Less whining, more action.
There are some good lines and funny bits in the second half, but overall I'd say don't bother.

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