Well, this time I've really done it. There's a reason (there's always a reason, rationalization being what it is...) I'm working on the new fantasy, and both Kieri Phelan and Dorrin Verrakai use longswords. Yes, you can sort of do longsword moves with a rapier, but ever since a couple of people in our fencing group armored up and did a bout with the longer blades...which is exactly how I "see" Phelan and his officers and the Lyonyan nobles working out--I've realized that I really need...for research purposes...to mess about with a longsword myself. After all, I used a scythe and a sickle and made pseudo pole-arms to drill local kids with, as aids to writing the Paks and Gird books. I have a crossbow and have lost a number of bolts in the big field. This is just the same, right? I mean, I'd have used such a sword then, if I'd known then what I know now. I handled one of the longswords--the balance is different, the kinds of moves are constrained (as they are with all blades) by the shape and center of gravity and other physical characteristics of the blade, as well as by the skill of the swordsperson.
So here's my new blade (not yet here, but maybe in the next 2-3 weeks.)
I don't expect to do anything full-speed with this (for one thing, I'd need far more serious armor and I'm not willing to put the time or money into that.) Learn the movements until I can do them fast when alone, and then some quarter-speed work with a partner so I can write a believable scene or two. I need to know the feel of it, where the user gets tired, where hands get callused, etc.