暫くですね It’s been a long time..!

Man, I can’t believe that it has been two years since I last posted on this blog.. But then again, I have been doing almost all the SBG Custom Katana correspondence pretty much directly through the SBG private mailing list, but recently I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a blog and linking to it from the site as a lot of new visitors will have no idea what has been happening over the last 2 years, creating something of an information gap.

Anyway, I am rambling as usual – the point here is to say that the blog is back – at least for now – and I have quite a bit of news to share so let’s get it happening..

Current project status

A quick snap from the most recent batch

Our most recent batch of SBG custom swords (batch 17) is currently on its way from the forge to my agent in Canada for sorting and inspecting before shipping out to each swords new owner, so while it is still a few more days before I can tie up all the loose ends and make sure this shipment goes out as smoothly as possible, the next batch (naturally enough, which we will call – er, batch 18) will be taking orders within the next few days so that the forge isn’t just sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

Since batch 15 we have been offering some ‘optional extras’ to the basic $330 custom Katana design, such as folded steel, engravings, etc and this time around we are trialling two more – an optional battlewrap:

And also a cool black leather wrap option:

I’ve actually wanted to add a leather option for a long time but was originally told we can only do it on orders of 100 swords at a time, which didn’t really suit the project of course.. But the forge was able to find a good supplier so I am really pleased to be able to offer this for the first time..

So anyway, we are definitely gearing up and while incredibly busy doesn’t even begin to describe what is going on behind the scenes at the moment, if all goes to plan we should start taking pre-orders within a week!

As places fill up faster and faster each time the custom swords are offered (last time we reached the swords maximum capacity in a week) it is highly recommended to sign up to the news notification list here because this will be the last batch for 2011 and the next one is not likely to open until Feb/March 2012 (as stated elsewhere, it typically takes around 90 days from batching the swords until they are shipped out to you – but this batch may be slightly longer than this due to Chinese New Year occuring in January – an event that pretty much closes down the entire country for 1-2 weeks, so will likely add AT LEAST this additional time to the production.. We may not be the fastest option, but as far as value for money goes and reliability, I don’t want to sound immodest here but this project has been going for several years now and just keeps on getting better and better with each generation)..

One more thing – A Sneak Peak

As you are probably well aware, SBG is involved in a lot of projects, and one of them is to showcase just how far we have come since I made the first SBG custom Katana prototype in 2008..

So this secret project was to recreate the original two prototypes I had made to see what the forge could do – the two swords you see tested on my site here: The original tests

Here’s a picture of one of the original designs:

And here’s a very quick preview of the “Dragon Claw 2.0″…

Ok, well I know you can’t see ALL that much – but let’s just say that the new design is what I would have made the first time (if it was possible back then)…

Only a VERY limited number of these are being made as commemorative pieces, and they will have a lot of the new upgrades that were offered since batch 15.. So stay tuned for this one..!

Time to wrap up this post as there is an absolute ton of work that needs to be done, so I’ll post again as soon as I get a chance.

Thanks for reading.

– Paul

Jan-Feb orders ready to ship, but small problem with A2 ito color

Hey folks,

Thanks for your patience – I am pleased to let you know that the orders received in January and February have all finally been completed and are being packed to ship out from the forge within the next couple of days.

They are still a couple of weeks away from delivery as they still have to be sent to by agent in Canada by air, clear customs and then be sorted and inspected for final delivery, but we will do everything we can to ensure that it all moves along as smoothly as possible.

The only problem we found is with people who ordered swords with the A2 ito color (and if you can’t remember, I’ve let you know in the email I sent you if you are effected or not) – but for everyone else, I’ll be in touch with tracking numbers soon. But for people who ordered A2 email, please read below for a situation report.

A2 Ito Problem

The big problem is that the A2 ito color in the original stock photos doesn’t really look anything like what it turns out to look like in real life.

Here’s a pic of the A2 ito from the Custom Katana design page:

And here is what it looks like in ‘real life’:

As you can see, what at first looks like a nice golden ito turns out to be a rather pumpkin colored orange… Some people might like this sure, but if you were expecting the original ito color shown in the stock photos, you might be in for a bit of a shock…!

Anyway, to rectify this the forge has been scrambling to find something that better suits the stock photos (which really is more a fault of the component supplier than the forge) and we have come up with three alternative ito colors…

The first one is truly quite golden – which I call selection one, looks especially nice with a black same background I think:


The other two still look a little orangey, but not as much as the original color:



Anyway, please have a look at the selections above and let me know as soon as possible what ito color you would prefer. Of course, you can still select the A2 ito color as shown above or any of the other ito colors from the original Custom Katana Selection here – but please confirm your selection as soon as possible as I’ve had to hold back these particular A2 swords out of the shipment rather than have them come in and lead to surprise or disappointment.


Paul Southren

Status Update

Ok folks, a few bits of news in the one post.

The first thing is that after some additional unexpected delays, 98% of the custom Katana from October->December have been shipped out and you should have received and email with the tracking information by now (the main delay was everything was inspected, sorted and handed to a third party shipping agent – who failed to send them out promptly! Naturally, we weren’t very happy with that – but now they are definitely on the way).

The second bit of news is for those people waiting for their Jan-Feb orders. These swords are very close to completion – with only 1-2 weeks before they leave the forge and start flying across the world to my agent in Canada. This means that, unlike the October-December orders, we are pretty much on track (I really can’t believe how long the October-December ones took, hopefully that will never happen again!).

It does seem that this project tends to stray outside of the optimal 90 days from ordering to receiving that we have been aiming for, but we are refining all the time. Speaking of which, the third bit of news is that as soon as the Jan-Feb orders have left the forge, we will be opening up again for another batch – which with several hundred people already on the Custom Katana Waiting List may not be open for long before we get too many swords to be able to fulfil within the allocated time frame…

Anyway, everything does finally seem to be coming together – so to everyone who has been waiting for one thing or another, thank you so much for your patience. I have definitely been doing my best, and this is most certainly a very time consuming project, but oh so worth it when I read the feedback from customers who receive their own, one of a kind differentially hardened T-10 steel Katana for around the $300 mark…

Thanks again everyone,

Paul Southren


Thanks for bearing with me guys.

I am pleased to let those of you who have been so patiently waiting for your swords since October to December, they have finally cleared customs and are with my agent in Canada being sorted for delivery very early next week..! (I’ll be in touch with you all individually soon, so look out for my next email!).

The good news is that it looks like the QC policies that we implemented that were partly responsible for this slowdown were well worth it, as he reports that the quality overall is even better than the very first swords (one of the first ones pictured below)

So hopefully it has been worth the extra wait to you all (though again, I apologize for how long it took).

The other current Jan-Feb orders are progressing along nicely, and that means that very soon, to all the people who have joined the Custom Katana Waiting List that once I am certain that it’s all going smoothly, we will be again opening up for new orders.

Be in touch again VERY soon (and I must admit, I do feel very relieved that they are finally here, the pressure and responsibility has weighed heavily on me as I don’t take the trust you put in our store buying these lightly!), but as always should you have any specific concerns not addressed here just let me know.

And happy Easter too!

Paul Southren

Shipping has commenced

Sorry it took so long to get to this stage, but I am pleased to let you know that we have finally started shipping the swords out from the forge after pre-inspection.

We had some delays with the shipping boxes and it seems that some of you will be receiving them in the old style ‘display boxes’ and others may be getting them with the new form fitted styrofoam, wont know for sure who will be getting what yet until they arrive at my Canada agent for a final inspection and shipping.

Hopefully customs will not delay our airfreight shipments too much, my Canadian agent will be doing everything possible to get them through so we can get them out as I know some of you have been waiting 2 months more than the originally stated delivery time, and trust me, this has caused me considerable stress as I pride myself on taking my responsibilities very seriously and to say that it is frustrating is no exaggeration.

Because of this, I haven’t taken any new orders for some time – getting these orders cleared is my top priority! For casual readers of this blog though, I have created a ‘notification list’ where you can sign up to be notified by email when we have things back under control again here:

Custom Katana Notification List

Finally, for those people who placed an order in mid-January to early February – your swords are still on track for delivery in May. I will most certainly close off on taking any new orders any time close to new years though (both occidental and oriental) – that is for sure…

So apologies again to those people who have been patiently waiting, I assure you that your orders have definitely NOT been forgotten and I will be in contact with you again soon once your sword comes in, has been inspected, and is shipped out to you with the relevant tracking information. But in the meantime, as always, any questions or concerns please contact me directly.


Paul Southren