The smiths of Baltimore Knife & Sword have brought to life one of gaming’s recent iconic weapons, the Shovel Blade from Shovel Knight, in the latest episode of their YouTube series. If you’re not familiar with MAN AT ARMS: REFORGED, it chronicles the work of this top replica weapon shop as it recreates weapons from popular culture. Past episodes (which you should definitely check out next) include the 3D Maneuver Gear Sword from Attack on Titan, Genji’s Sword from Overwatch, Link’s Fierce Deity Sword from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and that’s just scratching the surface of what they’ve been up to.
The video starts out with Matt Stagmer designing the different pieces that will be cut, welded, sharpened, and heat-treated for the project. The crew takes great care in capturing the weapon’s cartoonish appearance, even dying the leather wraps blue after Shovel Knight’s color palette. Brass is applied to the guard and handle, and the blade given a crease to match the game’s sprites and official artwork. The end result is pretty amazing, and it’s fascinating to watch each stage of the process.
The most impressive thing about the weapons forged on this show is that they’re not only crafted for accuracy, but functionality. Each episode ends with a rather satisfying demo segment where the smiths and various guests test their creations on fruit, bottles of soda, and other breakable objects. The Shovel Blade slices through soda bottles and cans, and flattens a melon with surprising ease. In the case of Squall’s Gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII, the weapon wasn’t a working firearm, but it was still sharp enough to cut through everything they threw at it. Meanwhile, the Gravity Hammer from Halo ended up being so heavy that it could barely be lifted (it was 100lbs!), which at least made it effective on watermelons.
Baltimore Knife & Sword is owned and operated by brothers Matt and Kerry Stagmer. The shop makes stage combat swords and other weapons, and took over the MAN AT ARMS series starting with its second season. Last June, they landed a show on the El Ray television network entitled MAN AT ARMS: Art of War, which stars Danny Trejo and explores the history of the craftsmanship of various iconic weapons.
The weapons they create for their YouTube show come directly from the comments sections of their videos, so let them know what you’d like to see them bring to life!