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I joined this wonderful site a while back and never properly introduced myself. I am a sculptor who has worked as a silver and gold smith, operated a bronze casting foundry where I cast my own sculpture and competed for sculpture commissions. I also worked as a freelance artist making prototypes for the toy industry. I worked for Cotswold Collectibles making metal prototype guns, swords, armor and anything else they needed for their line of twelve-inch G.I. Joe figures. The prototypes were created by handcrafting dozens and sometimes a hundred or so individual pieces of brass that were brazed and silver soldered together to form the final object. The prototypes would then be sent to China where a pantograph machining system would create injection molds to produce the final plastic toy. I also taught art at a High School for 38 years. Now I make one-of-a-kind medals using the same techniques used to make the toy prototypes. These pieces are small intimate medallic sculptures which are a combination of many different colored and textured metals. Many of my medals are fabricated from a hundred or more individually crafted pieces of bronze, copper, silver, shakudo, white and yellow gold’s. The medallic sculptures are patinated in many different colors to reflect nature. They offer a suggestion of a biome rather than simply a replica of individual plants and animals. “I create a format of an outer composition encapsulating a hidden inner one. The subjects are a frozen moment in the natural world.” Much of the inspiration for these pieces are Japanese mixed metal sword furniture and tobacco pouch clasps.















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That is beautiful, Dick. Indeed, I have a few guns from you. That’s pretty accurate stuff too! :)


I used to sculpt 1/6 heads for customs back when I had time, so I’m curious, what stuff did you use to make the photos? For sculpting I used sculpt, but I guess sculpting guns requires a completely different process. Is it wax?

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Hi JP,

The Cotswold prototypes are made of different profile pieces of brass rod and different thicknesses of sheet brass. We made some of the weapons out of pewter and had them cast in the US. I had to be careful to make trigger guards and rifle barrels thicker than scale to allow for the shrinkage of the pewter when it cooled. The rifle stocks were made from epoxy clay. I also made 1/4th scale miniature weapons that actually function. I also worked for other toy companies. Here is the Phantom with his two guns.








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  • 5 weeks later...

Greetings all!  I want to introduce myself to the group!  I have had a long-time interest in owning a Japanese Sword but I am just now starting to carve out time to pursue it properly.


I am a retired US Army NCO / Officer, Combat Veteran, living in North Carolina.  In my post military career, I am a self-employed Certified Public Accountant with a business consulting / tax practice.  I have also served as an Adjunct Professor teaching business courses at the College level.


Over the decades I have dabbled in Harley Davidsons, Martial Arts (5 years), Stand Up Comedy, and Improvisational Comedy.


I am now dabbling in Antique Japanese Swords:-)


I have already received excellent value added guidance regarding a Hozon Translation question from this site, and I am very happy to have found this – thank you all in advance!


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Hello, my name is Uwe, I live in Germany. I'm interested in Japanese swords, it's a tough subject and I need help. I would like to show you a few swords from my collection, questions will come later. I want to specialize in making habakis because they are often in poor condition. First of all to me. Uwe

Daisho 2.jpg

Tantos 1.JPG

Wakizashi 1a.JPG

Wakizashi 1b.JPG


Hab 1.jpg

Hab 2.jpg

Hab 3.jpg

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Hello. I have just registered on your site. I collect edged weapons (mostly German). But recently, several katanas fell into my hands and it became interesting to me to learn more about this interesting weapon. Your site was recommended to me. I hope to learn something from you. Sincerely, Alexander.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, folk!  Back again after a long hiatus.  For the newer types, I've been kibbutzing since the old Robert Cole forum days.  Won't have anything spectacular to add now, given the meager retirement income as well as age induced lack of desire to track down old widder women and fake them out of their dear lost hubby's swords.  :glee:  May have some input now and then on bargain basement gunto and the like.  In the meantime, Happy New Year to all. 

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Hi All,


Just signed up but have been reading and learning so much from this forum the past few months.  My appreciation for the Japanese sword started a few months back after watching a documentary on TV.  Since then I have been fascinated with the topic.  This forum stopped me from making the typical rookie mistakes of a hasty first purchase and has given me a good foundation and appreciation for proper handling and care.   Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your contributions to this forum as there are many people out there (especially myself) who are learning so much from all your posts.


Thanks again,

John K

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On 12/29/2020 at 7:57 PM, b.hennick said:

Missed you Rick - good to have the nihonto chicken back with us.


Hi, Barry!  Thanks for the the welcome.  I've missed the last two No. Cal. sword shows (of course 2020 was cancelled, and in 2019 my wife had knee surgery at the time of the event), so it's been quite a while since I've seen the familiar faces.  Hoping to make the 2021 show, assuming it comes off this year.  In the meantime will make sporadic, eminently forgettable comments here.  8)

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