Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII

2014-01-19 - Rocket News 24


Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII

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When Final Fantasy VII hit PlayStations around the globe in 1997, featuring some of the most gorgeous graphics and CG cut-scenes gamers had ever seen, it single-handedly opened up the Western market to Japanese console RPGs. In years since, though, there’s been some contention over just how deserving developer Square’s biggest hit ever is of its exalted place in video game lore. Does it have a gripping story, or does the narrative become a confused mess after its midgame plot twist? Do the title’s numerous mini games flesh out its world, or is spending hours breeding giant flightless birds to race for sport both silly and boring?

But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, there’s one thing gamers everywhere can agree on: Final Fantasy VII’s antagonist, Sephiroth, is a stone-cold badass. Now, Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton has brought the villain’s iconic weapon, the gigantic blade named Masamune, to life.

Just how cool is Sephiroth? When the Final Fantasy team decided to make a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, 2007’s Crisis Core, the game was packed full of scenes showing Sephiroth effortlessly fighting off highly trained swordsmen. Final Fantasy VII’s protagonist, Cloud, on the other hand, was shown vomiting and getting stabbed.

Aside from his impressive combat exploits, Sephiroth has an instantly recognizable design, and we see him here with his signature long hair, long coat, and very long sword.

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His weapon is the sort of thing that could only appear in Japanese fiction. No one would actually go to the trouble of forging a blade that massive in real life.

Except for Tony Swatton...

See full article here: RocketNews 24

VSauce2 - Legendary SWORDS -- FAK #28 (Man At Arms)

Check out Tony on VSauce2 displaying several of the swords in the video...

Savage Steel - MAN AT ARMS

2013-09-28 : Savage Steel - MAN AT ARMS

We all love to handle swords. That’s a given. The look, the feel, the shape, even the smell of the steel gets the juice running to the very best places and gives us a unique rush.

But, what gets them from lumps of steel to exquisite works of art that give us unparalleled protection and endless enjoyment? And, don’t take the easy way out and say Kult of Athena! That’s too simple.

I think the better answer reaches back to a time when a certain group of people were invaluable to everyday society. A place and time when striding destriers thundered across the field and required iron shoes, a time when fields needed to be plowed with shares, and of course, a time when swords, glorious swords, and armor needed to be forged from molten steel.

The answer, of course, is the blacksmith.

For thousands of years, these men and women have harnessed the power of the sun to melt and shape the hardest substances on earth into stunning pieces of art for our giddy enjoyment and ever-growing collections. In this modern day, we still pay forges and swordsmiths thousands, literally, thousands of dollars to bend and hammer, mold and meld, solder and grind intricate pieces of metal – of every color, alloy, and hardness - to fit our weapon tastes and styles.

And, in my experience, there is one that truly stands out about the rest. That man is Tony Swatton from Sword and Stone in Burbank, CA.

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When Hollywood Needs Shiny Instruments of Death, This Blacksmith Delivers (Wired)

2013-08-12 : Wired Interview

Tony Swatton is the most famous blacksmith in Los Angeles. But he’s not forging horseshoes. Rather, Swatton has banged out a place in Tinseltown as the go-to guy when a big-budget movie or hit TV show needs custom metalwork. The swords in Pirates of the Caribbean? Those creepy-cool murder weapons from CSI and Criminal Minds? The Infinity Gauntlet from Thor? All were Swatton creations. The 49-year-old got started in heavy metal at the tender age of 17. “I saw a guy making armor at a Renaissance fair,” Swatton recalls. “I watched him work for about two hours, went home, replicated some equipment, shaped a section of railroad track into an anvil, and made a helmet. I went back to the same fair two weeks later and showed [it to] him. He thought it was one of his own.”

As a young fan of fantasy and science fiction books from authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard, Swatton had often visualized the armor and weaponry from his favorite sword and sorcery titles. “I wanted to have them, to hold them tangibly,” he said. The trouble was, he didn’t have the money to buy replicas. He decided to make his own and became very good at it.

His business, The Sword and the Stone, has been going strong for 25 years, and his services range from knife sharpening, which costs four bucks, to massive armor projects that top $100,000. He’s got no end of work to do, and some years he’ll create more than 1,200 swords alone.

“No one is doing that kind of production,” he says. “And each one is handcrafted, one at a time.”

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Something Foul Afoot in Baldur's Gate

2013-08-09: Something Foul Afoot in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast)

Spend the evening in Baldur’s Gate at the official Sundering launch party! On Thursday night from 7 PM - 11 PM, Baldur's Gate will open its gates to travelers from across Faerûn for a one-of-a-kind event. Mingle with D&D designers, authors, and other industry luminaries while enjoying food, drinks, music, adventure and more.

Something Foul Afoot in Baldur's Gate

Amid preparation for Founders Day, a sinister plot unfolds. Those closest to Duke Adrian Abdel will fall to the blade of assassination, and it will be up to attendees to uncover the truth. Join the Dungeons & Dragons community in solving a murder mystery puzzle created by the devious minds of Lone Shark Games. As the evening progresses, party attendees can track down suspects and uncover the truth! Solve riddles, question characters, confirm alibis, and discover who the true murderer is—and what he or she is planning for Baldur's Gate. Those who help solve the mystery and become champions of justice will have a chance to win awesome D&D prizes, including a unique item...

When: Thursday, August 15th from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Tickets: Available here.

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Forging Daggers with MAN AT ARMS (SourceFedNERD)

2013-08-05: Forging Daggers with MAN AT ARMS (SourceFedNERD)

Tony was interviewed by SourceFedNERD on YouTube. Check out the video clip below...

Inside the 'Man at Arms' Workshop: Forges, Steel and Epic Weapons

2013-07-04: Hollywood Reporter Article

Master swordsmith Tony Swatton talks season two of his web series and the movie producer who had multiple accidents in his shop (hint: 1,000-degree metal shouldn't be handled bare-handed).

Man at Arms - H 2013

Though Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton’s weapons have been wreaking havoc in blockbusters for decades, the veteran props creator admits he doesn’t watch a lot of movies.

Video games aren't his thing either. There's something a little old school about the master swordsmith, who prefers being out in his workshop to sitting behind a computer.

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