2013-07-04: Geek Exchange Article
Man at Arms weapons master Tony Swatton fulfills all your sword and armor needs.
By Jeff Bond
Photos by David E. Williams
It’s a typical day on the set of the web series Man at Arms: Some guy is getting out of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle van and being attacked by martial arts experts: nunchaku, tonfa and sai clash, and skulls appear to get smashed. It’s a chilly February day in this miniature backlot off of Victory Blvd. in Burbank, CA, but there’s a young woman in a bikini standing out of range of the cameras shooting the action sequence, waiting for whatever use the director will find for her.
Meanwhile, in the stygian recesses of his workshop just a few feet away, weapons maker Tony Swatton is beating a replica of Oddjob’s razor-brimmed bowler hat into shape. Literally. With a hammer and a blowtorch. Big and burly, his face covered with a blacksmith’s mask of soot, Swatton runs his shop, Sword and Stone, by day and labors creating medieval battle implements — swords, shields, lances and armor — for film and movie productions, or just for rent by deep-pocketed cosplayers. He seems like a cross between a Viking and a bookworm, exactly the kind of guy who would happily wade into a battle to slay a few dozen invaders so he could get back to his reading.
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