Real Steel: Shadow Bane, A Benefit Roll Off

Once in a while, I get asked to make a piece for a benefit raffle or auction. A few months ago, I was contacted about doing a piece to benefit Ernie Gygax, the eldest child of Gary Gygax. Ernie has had some medical issues, and the bills have been piling up. Ernie and I conspired, and we decided on a short sword, with the design left mostly up to me. Shadow Bane: A Work in Progress There are fewer pictures as when I did the Cthulhu cutlass to...

A Hoard Fit for a Kobold: Anthony Jennings, Real Steel Contest Winner

Just a little window into the days and nights of the Kobold Blog-Mines… Here’s a pic of Anthony Jennings, Real Steel contest winner. This talented wizard designed the fantastic Blade of Ancient Visions for the recent Real Steel contest.  Winning the contest. And this is the fat treasure pile he received. Notice the cutter from blacksmith Todd Gdula. Anthony will cut you. He’s needs XP just like the rest of us. Fair warning....

Real Steel: Contest Finalists

Arr! And ia ia! It’s that day on Real Steel when we announce the finalists to our contest. Finalists The five finalists—Blade of Ancient Visions, Cutlass of the Eldritch Deeps, Cutlass of the Shattered Mind, Eye of the Deep One, and R’lyeh’s Gaze—are listed below. Please, vote for your favorite in the poll at the end. Polls close on May 23, 2016. 1. Blade of Ancient Vision by Anthony Jennings Weapon (cutlass), legendary (requires...

Real Steel: Kerambit

Gamers are fairly well versed on the wide variety of real life weapons that have made their way into our campaigns. It’s pretty unusual that I feel like I can show you something that there’s even a small chance you haven’t seen before. I’ll bet that for some of you, this is one of those rare gems. Blade-Rich Archipelagos The region that includes the Malay and Indonesian archipelagos has a long and rich history of martial arts that include...

Real Steel Contest: Date Extended

In an effort to gather more entries for our judges to enjoy — especially from those of you who were working on your taxes until today — we’re extending the contest deadline until April 25, 2016. So, if you haven’t yet pulled together an entry for this contest, you have some more time! If you’re not aware of this contest, please do check out the rules — the prizes are absolutely awesome and include something...

Real Steel: Cthulhu Cutlass—A Work in Progress

I make some fairly unusual blades and metalwork, but it’s not often that I get commissioned to make a pure fantasy piece. When I got the initial call on this one, I knew it was going to be fun. I did a fairly comprehensive WIP (work in progress) that I’m very excited to share with the kobolds. Better yet, it’s time for a Real Steel contest! (Take a peek at the contest rules to learn details about this contest.) Step by Step Let’s take a look at...

Real Steel: Short Sword

The many types of short swords have origins from almost everywhere in the old world. Indonesia has an amazing variety of big knives and short swords. The Indian region and Africa offer some of the more unusual types. Asia has a number of entries into the category, while Europe offers the small sword and the gladius, among others. I think the gladius is probably the closest thing to what we, as gamers, think of as a short sword: the classic...

Real Steel: Falchion

Historically, falchion come in two basic varieties: heavy and light. The heavier type arrived earlier and is a somewhat crudely made, heavy, cleaver-like sword. The lighter type is a longer and more finely made sword. They appeared in the eleventh century and persisted into the sixteenth century. Very few originals have survived to the present day. The heavier type was likely used by peasants and served as a chopping tool as well as a weapon....

Real Steel: ABS Journeyman Smith Performance Test

The American Bladesmith Society was founded to promote the art and science of the forged blade. It provides resources for bladesmithing students, as well as a rating system for smiths and standardized testing for the achievement of those ratings. The earned ratings are Journeyman Smith and Master Smith. There is also an Apprentice Smith rating, but it serves as a starting point and is not earned. The test for each rating is divided into two...

Real Steel: Fantasy Metals

Recently, Wolfgang and I were exchanging emails, chasing down a few ideas for some Real Steel. One of the things we discussed was fantasy metals, and then he said this: “Or maybe elven chain is really titanium?” This is something I’ve often thought about, so I knew right away fantasy metals were going to find their way into Real Steel. Could Mithril be Titanium? Let’s start by talking about titanium. A question that is often asked at...

Real Steel: Throwing Knives

Daggers, darts, and staffs. That was your choice of weapons when you rolled that level 1 mage with 1 hit point and one sleep spell way back when. Many of us chose the dagger or darts (more on darts and spikes another time) because they can be thrown and keep that single hit point out of melee. The Bad News Unfortunately, in the real world, throwing knives aren’t very effective. It’s hard to get enough force behind the point to get any real...

Real Steel: Spiked Targe

Whether called target, targa, targo, or targe, it’s a round shield ranging from approximately 18”–21” in diameter, used by infantry forces in various European armies from the 13th through the 16th centuries. Constructed of wood and usually wrapped with leather or rawhide, it was designed for close quarters combat and offered good protection for its size. Scottish, and Spiked The Scots developed a unique style of this type of shield, and the...

Real Steel: Cutlass

The cutlass is a short sword in the saber family, usually having a broad, curved blade. It was commonly seen in naval service, most likely due to its ability to cut, thrust, and brawl in close quarters. It was also no doubt used to cut rope, canvas, and even brush when carried as a side arm by landing parties. This One Is a Hybrid This is a custom piece that evolved over time as my client and I discussed what he was looking for. We talked about...

Real Steel: Mammen Axe

The Mammen axe is known from a single example found in a grave at Mammen, Denmark, and it dates from about 970-971 CE. The axe is very well made and inlaid with silver, and it was probably ceremonial and purpose-made to be buried with its rich and powerful owner, likely a Viking Jarl. OK, Not Exactly… The client for this commission wanted a Mammen-like axe, but wanted to be able to use it for camp chores. Inlay is easily torn out and is usually...

Real Steel: Mjolnir

Mjolnir. The name conjures images of godly strife, powerful storms, and supernatural battles. This is something my brother, David, and I had wanted to do for a long time. Some of you followed or backed our Kickstarter. Thank you! For those that didn’t, this is how I made Mjolnir. The Process For this project, David did all the graphic art, which helped guide me in the metalwork. We wanted the project to make backers feel like they were in...


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