Well, here’s the latest pair of additions to my Knight Shop [External Link] collection of wasters:
I bought the new wasters as a falchion (top) and a messer (bottom) with some extra pieces. The Knight Shop / Dave Rawlings continue to use a modular design, so my pair of new blades and assorted extras can be put together in four combinations. I’ve put the two new wasters together with the single hander “blade” so you can have an idea of scale. There’s only about ten centimetres difference between blade lengths but the main difference is in the type of blade represented – the new type basically covers “cutting”, single edged blades.
The falchion is a medieval cleaver-type weapon basically considered somewhere between a large cleaver / knife and a sabre – which is a later development. It’s not a weapon I’ve covered so my explanation is probably useless. There’s a Wikipedia article here: [External Link].
The messer should be a little bit longer than a falchion (but there’s only so much one can do with a modular design). While a falchion had a sword-like hilt, messers should actually have the kind of hilt we associate with knives – two pieces of whatever material sandwiched and probably around the metal tang. It also has a slightly more complex guard. That “nail” you can see (I’ve laid one of the messer guards flat so you can see the three protrusions) should go on the knuckle side of the blade to protect your hands. It works. (Wikipedia article: [External Link])
The elongated scent stopper pommel can be used to turn the messer into a grossmesser – in the same way it turns the single-hander into a hand-and-a-half / bastard sword. While it doesn’t capture the lengthier blade of a grossmesser, the extra length over-all gives something of the feel. We tested the wasters in this combination in something vaguely resembling a dussack fight (another weapon I’m barely trained in – and may eventually buy one of) and found that the wasters are a bit more solid than their knightly counterparts but it works okay for the kind of weapons they’re simulating. There is a fair amount of flex if stabbing but it’s not the sole purpose of the waster.
There is a fourth combination, using the basket-hilts to turn the wasters into something like a cutlass. Arguably, the blade is a bit longer than cutlass would be and this combination should also be usable to simulate (some) sabre. However, the wasters are thicker and broader than most sabres and the basket-hilts weren’t always comfortable for larger hands when we tested this out with the single-handed wasters.