Who does the best? And of them, who’s the cheapest? I’ve got plans for an uber-badass, unique axe that I want done really well, but i’m a student, so money is an issue
The best value custom weapon maker I know of is In Your Dreams FX. Quality custom weapons at surprisingly low prices.
Prices are pretty comparable between the good makers, and quality is pretty similar as well. What’s a lot more relevant most of the time are style and reliability.
Different makers have different styles. Tallows does historical and celtic fantasy stuff, narrow thin light blades, ornate carving. Saxon Violence is also historical, but thicker, more solid and more realistically heavy. Some makers have very distinctive ways of doing certain things — lots of Medlock weapons have repeated latex mouldings as parts of their grip and decoration, while Eldritch makes all his grips in a certain way with stitched suede. Light Armouries tends to be thin and whippy, but very fast, while Skian mhor is heavier, a bit slower, but much less whippy. IYDFX is good at making stuff that looks fairly realistic, but does cosplay orders as well.
In short, each maker has their own distinctive fingerprint, ways they do things and styles of weaponmaking that they have and other people tend not to. You can get something of a sense for their aesthetic style from the internet, but you’re best off doing so at an event or kit fair or something, so you can handle the weapons and get a sense that way. Remember that there’s very few “right” answers about who’s best, only “this is the maker who does weapons that are most suited to my aesthetic and fighting style”. You don’t have to agree with other people about if swords are nicely weighted or good to fight with, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Also highly relevant for custom orders is reliability (Edit: For clarity, this is reliability of service, not the reliability/quality of the weapons themselves). Some makers are basically uncontactable and you can’t get them to do customs (Medlock springs to mind as an example here). Some are fantastically reliable, and everyone I know who’s done business with them has good reports: Saxon Violence and Skian Mhor both fall into this category. Some are reasonably good (I know someone with a bad story from IYDFX, but another one or two with more recent good stories), some are quite variable (Eldritch has a mixed reputation among people I know, and most of us only buy things if we can pick them up on the spot). A few are dire—Irregular Props has quite a bad reputation for reliability, although the weapons themselves are fantastic.
Other people will have different evaluations here. Some makers are apparently a lot better if you can go and visit them fairly regularly, some just haven’t had problems with particular subsets of larpers and so have good reputations there. The preceding list is my own opinions based on my own firsthand reports.
Having said all that, I’d drop Chris at Saxon Violence a line. Lovely weapons, very well made, and he’s done very good service for everyone I know of who’s commissioned stuff from him.
(Or for a cheeky plug, I make weapons. Whaddya need? )
After a lengthy post detailing other people who make weapons, I hardly think that qualifies as cheeky.
So, It really depends what I want doing as to who I should get to do it? Who would you recommend for this one then?https://scontent-a-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1379318_10201251856795849_1314860086_n.jpg
Sorry the picture is a bit rubbish, I cant draw, so its the best I could manage with paint
That is an awesome concept…