The news is not good. Production continues to take longer than expected.
I feel as if, for the continued delay, a more detailed explanation is deserved.
What you need to understand is that we don’t own a factory, we do the design of the product in house, but actual manufacturing is bid out to specialized factories. This is the norm in the sword business, and in most modern manufacturing, be they swords or computer chips or flat screen TVs. So, we hired a factory to produce the Longclaw Damascus based upon our specifications, they said sure, it’ll be ready in X months.
Well, they vastly underestimated the time required to make damascus to our desired quality. There is some cheaper quality damascus swords out there, but we wanted to put out something higher quality and so we requested something better. The better damascus is a newer thing and they just, apparently, did not have the experience to measure the time frame correctly, and we have been told their own metal supplier is also giving them problems.
They have also been thoroughly turned off on the whole product, they bit off more than they can chew and are now choking, not just on ours, but on damascus swords for other vendors too. You may have noticed that damascus is the style du jour for many swords lately. We of course wish to make them to be more accurate to the books, not just as special versions, but there is still a lot of demand out there presently which is squeezing quality supply.
Anyways, they have choked so badly on this damascus sword that they’re swearing off future damascus orders. This is probably just a negotiating tactic, but we are exploring other options for an Ice damascus edition. However it does mean our original goal of concurrently releasing two version of Ice is not going to happen.
What we are likely going to do is have a partial release of Damascus Longclaws sometime in early fall (in customer hands in September, we hope), to fill the people with the earliest preorders, with the balance coming two or three months later for the rest of the preorders and for open ordering if there are any left at that time (currently, around 60 sold).
Of course if anyone is tired of waiting they may cancel and receive a full refund. You’d lose your spot in line if you ever changed your mind to buy one again.
In unrelated news, we should have photographs and thus open preordering for the standard version of Ice in late August. And we will continue seeking options for the Damascus Ice, but it may be awhile before that is available. Finally the technical drawings for King Robert’s War Hammer just went off to GRRM for final approval, once gotten we’ll start building a prototype.