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Web Video: Man at Arms
"I've built aluminum prop swords for a living. These are not aluminum props, this is a properly forged, deadly weapon."
Tony Swatton

Man at Arms is a show on YouTube's AWE Me Channel, where master blacksmith Tony Swatton and his crew put their skills (providing weapons for well over a hundred movies) to the test using modern techniques to re-create various fictional weapons from films, television, anime, comics and video games.

    Forged weapons 


Man at Arms provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the weapons are this despite all the love put in their crafting.
    • The Buster Sword is just too heavy to swing around.
    • The Diamond Sword has a very uncomfortable grip (but it's still a real blade).
  • An Axe to Grind: Gimli's axe, the Orcish battleaxe, and the Keyblade.
  • Badass Boast: In the episode for Raph's sais, he talks about not being able to supply a computer file for the Asgardian swords he made for Thor to the props department for The Dark World because he made all thirty swords from the first movie by hand.
    Tony Swatton: There are no computer files, I hit it with a hammer! They're like: "No way, there's thirty of them, they're the same!" Yeah, that's what I do!
  • BFS: Cloud, Sephiroth and Ichigo's swords. The Buster Sword in particular wasn't so much swung through its targets as it was dropped on them (and needed two guys to get it up).
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Hit-Girl's naginata is designed to split into two separate pieces.
  • The Blacksmith: Tony Swatton, the person the show focuses on, has, according to the opening narration, worked as a blacksmith for over thirty years, and made props (primarily weapons) for over two hundred feature films.
  • Blade on a Stick: Edward Elric's spear.
  • The Cameo:
  • Cool Old Guy: Tony Swatton. He's clearly also a case of One of Us.
  • Cool Sword: All the swords created, naturally, since they are inspired by examples of the trope in fiction.
  • Creator Cameo: Michael Maurino, art designer on the game League of Legends, is seen Squeeing over the finished Zenith Blade.
  • Defictionalization: invoked The entire point of the series is to make fictional weapons real. It should be noted that by "real", we (and Tony) don't mean the aluminum prop swords he makes for his day job. Each of the weapons made in the series is a real one with a steel cutting edge (except Mjölnir, of course). Yes, even the Keyblade.
  • Drop the Hammer: Thor's Mjölnir.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The workshop equipment is not to be played with. Tony reminds us on occasion that basically everything in his shop can kill or horribly disfigure you if you aren't mindful, as the Too Dumb to Live movie producer described below demonstrates. His old door had a sign on it saying something like "Authorized personnel only. No admittance. Everything inside is hot, sharp, poisonous, offensively rude, or all of the above."
  • Forging Scene: Every episode, of course. This is basically Forging Scene: The Web Series.
  • I Meant to Do That: Said by Grant Imahara on testing Leonidas' sword on a watermelon and only chipping off a little bit.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Once per Episode, one of these gets defictionalized.
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics: Mentioned during the Masamune video; during the Buster Sword's forging, when they stuck the sword into heat-treating oil, it caused an 8-foot tall wall of flame.
  • Living Weapon: Honedge and Black☆Star's Chain Scythe are replicas of such, though this being real life, they aren't actually alive.
  • Nerdgasm: Each finished piece certainly aims at causing this, and they know it:
    Tony Swatton: How many geeks out there are having nerdgasms right now?
    Brian: You mean, besides us?
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Tony Swatton admits feeling affinities with Tolkien's dwarves, being himself a bearded, stocky metalworker.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Finnick's trident.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Tony has said, in response to a question about the sharpest of all his weapons, that his forging will leave blades with a monomolecular edge in nearly all cases, and it's just a matter of which materials will best maintain that edge while being used.
  • Shout-Out: The Keyblade episode concludes with the blacksmith breaking through a door with the newly-forged weapon and yelling "HERE'S TONY!"
  • Take That: The final scene of each episode, where the completed weapon is shown cutting things, often contains some of these.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: Tony bought actual nickel-iron meteorites to forge into Sokka's sword.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tony often relates a story about a movie producer who came into his shop while he was working and, to say the least, did not respect all the dangerous equipment. He picked up a random knife off a table and slashed it across his palm to see if it was sharp, cutting it to the bone in one motion. After getting first aid, he returned to the workshop and picked up a hot chunk of metal Tony was just forging, melting his skin and fusing the chunk to his hand. In a panic, he dipped his hand in what he thought was water, but was actually a vat of acid.
  • Wolverine Claws: One of the weapons forged is a set of claws based on Wolverine's from the movie with the same name.


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