Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1745 Scot. ceann-cinnidh
>>>>field notes
Subjectceann-cinnidh clan chief
Culture: Scottish Highlander
Setting: Jacobite rebellions, Highland regiments, Scotland late 17th-18thc

1. Mad Piper/Angel Sword claymore
This sword began as an art piece by The Mad Piper, with an original bronze hilt formed by a skeleton (and some extra bones to complete the full basket). It's a visually striking sculpt that continues to attract comment wherever it goes.  Unfortunately this basket hilt was mounted onto a very poor quality blade and scabbard which had to be replaced. These upgrades were done by Angel Sword, so that now both replacements are sturdy and reliable. 
  Despite its upgrades, this claymore still has two endemic problems that prevent it from being a true fighting weapon. First, the bronze hilt is so heavy that it badly affects the weight distribution of the sword as a whole, robbing it of good dynamic properties.  Second, the basket's bars are improperly shaped. True baskethilt claymores have bars which insert from the guard to below the pommel, following the curve of the hand. By contrast, this basket has straight bars (the skeleton's arm bones), which thus close too tightly on the hand. That tightness is made worse because the bars are elongated: rather than inserting beneath the pommel, they extend to its side, which pulls them even tighter against the hand. It's hard to move the sword without knocking your metacarpals painfully against the bars. To avoid injury, you must limit your cuts to simple attack angles.

2. Windlass #501435


3. Cold Steel #88SB


4. Hanwei #SH1048
​Hanwei's backsword has the Stirling style baskethilt, with characteristic wavy bars.  


5. Windlass #500922
​This is Windlass' version of the Eglington pattern basket, one of the later patterns to emerge.  It closely resembles the Eglington baskethilt sword in the Royal Ontario Museum but lacks the hilt padding.  The blade is much narrower than the typical backsword and even the Hanwei backsword above, so this sword behaves very differently when handled -- better point control, but less cutting power.

6. Tote's Toasties
While contemporary, these slippers have plaid highlights to give a Scottish aesthetic hint, and their overall shape looks enough like period brogues that I feel justified in wearing them with period costume.  They have hard soles, giving them enough durability for outdoor use, and as yet they haven't gotten any serious critical comments from accuracy-minded reenactors at events.