Ok, just collected this from Parcel force, so it hasn't been used yet, I shall use it for teaching on Wednesday but it won't get a rigourous test until our Friday session. Now, I am going to be ruthlessly honest with this review, because I think thats the best way for it to be useful:
Blade from edge of guard to tip - just under 40"
Weight: - 1.15kg
Pob - just under 2" from guard
When taking it out of the box my first impression was that it wasn't that shiny, more like a Del Tin than say an armourclass, and I am not overly fond of the plain wooden grip, but have no fear, I knew it would have that grip, I already had planned to redo it myself, and I can easily buff it up a bit too. The fit isn't perfect, in terms of the alignment between blade, quillon and grip, but thats not to say it isn't solid, it feels totally rock solid, and this is a minor thing.
Very nice indeed, its very much like a Del Tin Rapier, it had a rubber tip on it, I oulled that off and the actual tip is a little rough, but normally rapiers come pointy, so I am used to having to tidy that up a bit.
At just under 40" its a great length, and far better than AC's standard 37 for what I do, its also a little lighter than the AC blades. I think the stiffness is perfect, its not too stiff that it will be dangerous but neither does it have any of the wobbling and whippy problems with a hanwei of the same length. Again, its slightly dulled like a Del Tin, I would like it to be a bit shinier.
My General Feelings:
Its not finished as nicely as an armourclass, which considering it cost a little more, even with the strong British pound, is a shame, in terms of alighment, polish level and the grip. In many respects its like a slightly plain Del Tin, yet when you think about it, its a lot cheaper than a Del Tin, from my observations it also looks a lot stronger and held together than a Del Tin, I do not expect it will have any of the losening or ratling problems associated with DT. The blade is superior to an AC in terms of length and weight too, which means it picks up on the weaknesses of both AC and DT IMO. Including duties and shipping it cost £252, little more than an armourclass, and a lot less than a DT.
My objections to this sword are because I am being really really picky, both the polish level and wooden grip are something I will work on and improve myself, and both of those were to be expected, so no problem at all. I think the DW rapiers will become a new standard training tool in our club with another already on the way, providing the pound stays strong against the dollar I consider them to be good for the money.
Lastly, on the service provided, its nothing short of exceptional, I have been getting daily email responses and Scott is very friendly and helpful, I recieved the sword in 6 working days of payment, I cannot fault him there at all, and its a nice change from dealing with British swordsmiths, all round very happy, look forward to fighting with it, additional reviews will follow as it gets used, more swords are definately being ordered in the coming weeks and months.
See why I like the design, image out of Capo Ferro: