“Man at Arms” Craftsmen to Return to Otakon

The master craftsmen behind the TV series “Man at Arms:  The Art of War” — Matt Stagmer, Ilya Alekseyev, and Bill Collison — will be guests at Otakon 2017 which takes place from August 11 to 13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C..

Stagmer, host and bladesmith, has been making swords for 19 years. He is the lead blade grinder at Baltimore Knife and Sword. In the summer of 2014, he began hosting the hit web series “Man at Arms: Reforged.” Teamed with other talented craftsmen, he brings to life the most requested fantasy arms and armor from your favorite video games, anime, and other pop culture genres. In 2017 he became the host of the TV show “Man at Arms: The Art of War,” starring alongside Danny Trejo to make history’s most devastating weapons.

Alekseyev was born in Troitsk, Russia. From an early age, he developed a liking for the art and craftsmanship of bladed weapons. He likes to bring his background in art history, Asian studies, and philosophy into his craft. Alekseyev is currently an armourer working with Baltimore Knife and Sword as well as one of the product designers. Among the skills that he brings to the Man at Arms project are his expertise in armour, damascus steel, bloomery steel, and engraving.

Collison has been working with Baltimore Knife and Sword off and on for the past 20 years and on a full-time bases for the past two years grinding blades. His craftsman background started in armor making and progressed into casting, mold making and heat treating. His knowledge with sheet metal work has made it easy to transition into prop armor and costuming. He has worked with the Freelancers as their jousting armorer for 17 years and has a background in martial arts as well as the SCA. Collison is contributing smith on both of the “Man at Arms” series (TV & YouTube).

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