A Scots business is looking for recruits who want to take a stab at a new career - as an apprentice swordsmith.

Macdonald Armouries, which makes high-quality reproductions of edged weapons for fencers, collectors, museums and theatre companies, is offering two new recruits the chance to learn the unusual trade.

The Edinburgh-based company was founded in 1998 and is one of only a handful of swordmakers left in Scotland.

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Applicants do not need to have any experience in the rare craft but are expected to be a dab hand with power tools and able to learn quickly.

Macdonald Armouries owner Paul Macdonald, 41, described the job as "demanding but rewarding".

He added: "A passion for history has to be there because we research and study original pieces - it's an essential part of the job.

"And a design and craft background is helpful too."

The firm, which produces replica weapons from the Bronze Age through to the present day, is expecting hundreds of applications for the unique positions.

Macdonald Armouries has earned a reputation for making one of the biggest ranges of Fairbairn-Sykes commando knives in the world and also produces a replica of the Montoya Rapier - a 17th century sword from the fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride which starred Robin Wright, Peter Falk and Billy Crystal.

The firm also stocks the only commercially available full-size reproductions of swords of legend from hit animation series He-Man.

The most impressive apprenticeship applicants will be invited to the company workshop for a trial day.

Mr Macdonald added: "I've taken on two apprentices before, and at that time we had something like 150 applications. A lot of people were very keen but of course they have to have the skills too.

"It is difficult to find somebody because it's quite specialist. You need to have patience and perseverance, because a sword can take anything from a few days to a few months to craft."