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Thread: Gold-Painted Shin Guntos!

  1. #26
    I think you're right on with the lighting effect and although I still haven't found any myself I did spot the rather flashy (cloisonné?) tachi that John Wayne takes home for his kid in "The Flying Leathernecks"!

  2. #27
    Oh, I'm going to have to watch that now!!!
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  3. #28
    Andrew, If you're still monitoring this thread - I just got my own copy of Jim Dawson's "Swords of Imperial Japan" and have gotten more educated on the Type 32. The real determining factor between Ko's and Otsu's is the length. Ko's were longer (1000mm or 39 3/8 in total in scabbard) vs the shorter Otsu (933mm or 36 3/4 in total in scabbard). Both Ko's and Otsu's were originally made with leather finger loop, but later in production, the leather loops "fell from favor and were eliminated. The extra hole in the guard was probably not considered sufficient reason to rework metal stamping dies that most likely punched the rivet hole at the same time the guard was being formed."
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  4. #29
    Hi, doing research as I am looking for a few more Japanese NCO swords to acquire. One that I picked up a few weeks ago was painted gold. The gold paint came off after sitting with citrus stripper applied. The overall condition is very good. I posted a thread with pics in the proper section.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal , Canada
    Posts
    973
    Good morning Gentlemen,
    Glad I tumbled upon this thread for I seldom go to Nihon-to forum.
    I, for long, tried to find an answer to the same question.
    I have an early serial numbered copper-hilted gunto, about 60-70 of them known remaining.
    The saya seems to have been painted in gold, but under the greenish paint; traces of gold remaining do not seem to be applied with the round the corner hardware store gold paint but to be a metal treatment.
    The saya paint is completely worn out at the hanging ring, as it is the norm for a field carried sword.That means the gold was there when the sword was in service.
    Gold is faintly glittering close to the drag where the greenish paint is usually worn out, when the paint of the middle portion between the ring and the drag is more solid and gold faintly shows when scratched.
    If a paint stripping agent had been applied, I believe the end result would have been messy; my saya has really the original look of "I have been there".
    The discussion is resumed....
    Hoping to hear from you gentlemen,
    Best,
    Dan

  6. #31
    Interesting Dan,could you post images?I'm not entirely sure that it does extend the discussion because what you're saying is that this gold-looking coating was used as a base layer or metal treatment which was then covered by green paint as opposed to the premise that gold painted gunto were carried with some frequency,different scenarios I think?

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal , Canada
    Posts
    973
    Good morning Chris,
    Exactly.
    If you divide the saya in three zones :
    - ring area : finish completely worn out to bare metal.
    - middle : solid paint (about 90% left), traces of gold but very very little.
    - drag area : traces of gold seeming "protruding" through the greenish paint, more than in the middle, and, curiously, more where rust spots seem "lifted".
    I'll try to post photos if above can show.
    I also adhere to the fact that, if Jim Dawson and Richard Stein do not mention the gold plating, we have a problem.
    What puzzles me also is, from the different provenance of the sayas, why gold ?
    Hope my English is clear enough.
    Best,
    Dan

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal , Canada
    Posts
    973
    Good afternoon Chris,
    Sorry to be so late....tried to take photos but not clear enough.
    I just checked Japan E-bay....a first model T-95 is on the market with the same traces of gold on the scabbard ( item # 2315 6406 7385 ).
    The mistery remains....
    Dan

  9. #34
    Dan,how on earth did you find it?I looked but without success it seems ebay Japan no longer exists?
    I'll look again tomorrow when not half asleep!

  10. #35
    Update: After getting some experience under my belt, and gathering more opinions, I decided to strip the gold from both of them.

    The late-war gunto had the original paint underneath (halleluyah!). Acetone removed the modern paint and left the original intact.
    The aluminum handled gunto didn't have any original paint. Who ever did the gold had totally stripped the saya! So, I asked around about paint; got a friend who does model paint work, and had him re-paint the saya. Came our great, in fact, it looks TOO good! He's working on the tsuka now.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  11. #36
    Ok, it's finished. Looks way too perfect, but it's preferable to all gold or all silver bare metal.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  12. #37
    I think you have done a great job of restoration and very pleasing to my eye,at least.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by DanR View Post
    Good morning Gentlemen,
    Glad I tumbled upon this thread for I seldom go to Nihon-to forum.
    I, for long, tried to find an answer to the same question.
    I have an early serial numbered copper-hilted gunto, about 60-70 of them known remaining.
    The saya seems to have been painted in gold, but under the greenish paint; traces of gold remaining do not seem to be applied with the round the corner hardware store gold paint but to be a metal treatment.
    The saya paint is completely worn out at the hanging ring, as it is the norm for a field carried sword.That means the gold was there when the sword was in service.
    Gold is faintly glittering close to the drag where the greenish paint is usually worn out, when the paint of the middle portion between the ring and the drag is more solid and gold faintly shows when scratched.
    If a paint stripping agent had been applied, I believe the end result would have been messy; my saya has really the original look of "I have been there".
    The discussion is resumed....
    Hoping to hear from you gentlemen,
    Best,
    Dan
    After stripping mine, I found stained-in fingerprints and other stains on the blade (even the blade had been painted a transluscent gold!). You can also see it was field sharpened, and all under the paint. So, mine wasn't done at the factory. That certainly doesn't preclude it being painted by the Japanese soldier who carried it, later to celebrate a special occasion. My problem with that idea, though, is that the only known time that happened was the only inauguration of the emporer. That was clearly before this gunto was made.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by Bruce Pennington; 04-15-2016 at 06:39 PM.
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  14. #39
    Ok a real mystery just popped up. A good friend and collector has a copper handled Type 95 with remnants of gold gilding on the saya. The wear marks from the belt hanger seem to support that this was done during the war! The guy is a metalugist and knows his stuff.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Melrose, Scotland
    Posts
    75
    Gentlemen, i hope you don't mind if i dip my oar in too. A few years ago i bought a couple of swords and a bayonet from an amateur theatrical group. They were all painted. They were an 1899 pattern British cavalry troopers sabre by Wilkinson which was painted gold, a German WW1 S98/05 also painted gold and an Italian 1860 pattern heavy cavalry sabre painted silver. They were all used as props. I can't help thinking that to a production company with no interest in the history or origins of a sword, any sword would do, especially when it was going to be painted to shine brightly under the stage lights. For what it's worth, i too believe that your swords were props.

  16. #41
    Richard, thanks for the input. I think, now, that 99.99% of these were post-war. All 3 of mine cleaned off with acetone, which only affects non-leaded paint (after 1978). This latest one has me interested, though.
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  17. #42
    Agree with Mark,nice job of restoration.

  18. #43
    Found this Type 98 with gold-painted saya on this Wehrmacht-awards thread: https://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/for...officer-katana

    I've asked for more photos to investigate the paint. Will update when I get them.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  19. #44
    Here are some more pics from the owner. Seems to have age appropriate wear for a WWII paint job!
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

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