17 Aug 2013

When Hollywood Needs Shiny Instruments of Death…

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Wired profiles “Armourer to the Stars” Tony Swatton.

Tony Swatton is the most famous blacksmith in Los Angeles. But he’s not forging horseshoes. Rather, Swatton has banged out a place in Tinseltown as the go-to guy when a big-budget movie or hit TV show needs custom metalwork. The swords in Pirates of the Caribbean? Those creepy-cool murder weapons from CSI and Criminal Minds? The Infinity Gauntlet from Thor? All were Swatton creations. …

His skill, not to mention his eye for detail, have made him the go-to guy for anyone who needs the most realistic, and awesome, weapons. He’s got a knack for coming through with just the right thing.

“When you look at actual historical weapons, they often don’t live up to your expectations,” says Shawn Strider, the organizer of the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade in Los Angeles, who has used Swatton’s swords and armor in several of his events. “But when you look at Tony’s work, it’s exactly what you wanted it to be like.”

Demand for Swatton’s creations is huge, and the odds are you’re familiar with his work. The hook from Hook, the blade from Blade, creepy weapons from the Hellboy movies, Batarangs from Batman Returns and even custom crucifixes from Sons of Anarchy all came from the forge at The Sword and the Stone. All the vikings in Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?” commercials carried Swatton’s gear, and Rihanna, Katy Perry and Britney Spears have worn his armor in videos. It’s an odd occasion when Swatton’s fingerprints aren’t on something seen in a big-budget flick.

Hat tip to the Dish.



Swatton forges Jamie Lannister’s Sword for Game of Thrones.

One Feedback on "When Hollywood Needs Shiny Instruments of Death…"

Daniel L

Tony Swatton might, MIGHT, be a blacksmith. He is not, however, any form of bladesmith or maker of medieval weapons. Swatton is a prop-maker, and not a very good one either. He doesn’t know what a fuller is, and CERTAINLY doesn’t know what it’s for. A person with his supposed experience perpetuating myths about weapons that were tired and old long before HE became such is a joke, at best.


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