Among the Zelda fanbase, there’s really no artifact as sought after as a perfect Master Sword replica. Unfortunately, the sword design is copyright of Nintendo, which means that unless can make one yourself, knows someone who can or has a lot of money to go around, you’ll never get a perfect replica. What we do have though is a surprising amount of close-enough models. You’d think one or two would be enough to satisfy the fans of a single video game franchise, but I think I’ve seen at least half a dozen, just counting the ones made out of actual steel.
I’ve been wanting to get a Master Sword replica for quite some time but I haven’t really found anything to my liking. The best ones I’ve come across are these black ones. What these manufacturers have done is making a much more accurate replica than others on the market in terms of the shape and details. However, the hilt is nowhere near black which I assume is their way of getting around the copyright issues.
This model was given away as one of the prices in our Temple Quest contest back in May and you can find them for around 80$. Now, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for something more authentic-looking, here’s my review of a hand-painted model I purchased from Etsy store LegendofZeldaBazaar run by a mr. Patrick Dickson.
This sword is 38 inches long with a blade made out of steel. It weighs quite a bit and if you want a Master sword to use for role playing or making video, I don’t recommend this one for that very reason. It’s a one-handed sword with a lot of weight to it. The hilt is made of hard plastic and I’d actually be worried that it’d break if I swing the sword too hard at something (if you’re looking for something to actually use, then I suggest getting something smaller or a sword made out of wood). This sword is made for decoration, it comes with a plaque on which you can hang it on.
So let’s go into details of how it actually looks. Overall, the painting is very well done; the colors capture the Twilight Princess style and it feels really authentic. The only thing that I feel need to be improved is the sense of detail. If we take a close look at the hilt, size compared to my index finger, everything looks fine apart from a few dark spots from the purple undercoat.
If we take an even closer look and watch the golden decorations from an angle, we see that it’s not quite perfectly painted on. Now, in this picture below I’ve compared the size to my pinkie, so we’re not talking about anything that you will notice unless closely examining the paint job. Personally, I do notice these kinds of things because as you can see on the right, I’ve been painting Warhammer figures for quite a few years. Compare to my pinkie again, this is the kind of stuff that I paint and the standard I’m used to.
So my standards and attention to detail are probably a lot higher than most people’s, and that’s not something I feel like I’m justified pushing on other people, but I still think that improvement can be made. I’m trying to make myself clear here because this is not only a review for all you people out there, it’s also my feedback to Patrick.
He’s been very good with communication and we’ve exchanged several emails about progress, shipping etc. This is partly the reason why I wanted to get a sword from a private person rather than a larger store. Those who work at stores rarely have time to really stay in touch with their customers at a meaningful level. People who do crafts to earn a living or just to make some extra money on the side depend on happy customers and word-of-mouth in order to be successful.
I was also very happy with the package sent. The sword was well protected in a plastic bag, Styrofoam, bubble wrap and two layers of cardboard.
Finally, on to the plaque. This one I got had a bunch of scratches on it for some reason, though I doubt this is at all regular. I don’t really care because the sword covers it anyway, but if you’re picky about that sort of stuff, I want to mention it anyway. The plaque has one hole in the back you can use to hang it on the wall and there are two hook-like things you use to hand the sword itself on. As you can see, I have padded mine with foam to protect the paint. I also have foam taped to the wall so the tip of the blade don’t scratch against the wall.
The only place I don’t have foam is on the plaque itself. The round thingy on the hilt does scratch against the plaque when you remove the sword and hang it back (this is mostly due to my padding taking up space) which after a while result in the paint being scratched off. Mind you, these fragments of scratched off paint are tiny, we’re speaking millimeters. But still, you might want to take padding and such into consideration if you’re keen on taking really good care of the sword. Though of course, since these scratches are so small, you can probably just paint over them.
To summarize, I’m really happy with what I got. I know I’ve spent the most part of this review talking about the (very few) flaws, but I feel like the positive aspects speak for themselves. It’s an awesome-looking steel sword that looks great and also very authentic. It’s not perfect, but it’s by far the best in its price range in my opinion. It looks great on my wall and I know many walls that are crying in jealousy. If your wall is one of them and you feel like this kind of sword is right for it, check out LegendofZeldaBazaar, and don’t hesitate to shoot Patrick an email with any questions you might have, he’s been a great seller that I highly recommend, as well as this hand-painted Master Sword.
P.S. Now that I have an awesome Master Sword, I just need to get an equally awesome Hylian Shield to review. Tips, anyone?