28
Dec
08

Happy Holidays!!

Just thought I’d pop in to wish you all a Merry Christmahanukkwanzastivus and a Happy New Year…😀

08
Dec
08

Another Crazy Cool But Worthless Hand Claw…

Hi there folks… I’m back…😀 With another entry from the “how to get yourself killed in an armed cage match” series. Today we have an interesting hand weapon that had so much potential… but ultimately failed in implementation.

Red Spiked Hand Claws w Knuckle Guards

Red Spiked Hand Claws w Knuckle Guards

[click image to view full size]

Yes, ladies and germs, allow me to present you with this (quite descriptively) named “Red Spiked Hand Claw With Knuckle Guards”. As it’s name suggests, this is a fairly menacing looking gauntlet thingy. Yes, in fact Sinza, over at the Exotic Automatic Forums had a thread on this and we had a good laugh about it, (you can visit his site here: http://sinza.forumotion.com ) but I suppose you’ll need some more details about why we found this so humorous. Well, I’d be happy to oblige.

But first, the basics.

We have what looks to be a large leather base panel, upon which is mounted a double skull laden cast metal emblem, with an recess in the back for a small red blade, with leather tassels attached. Never been a fan of the tassels, but I guess it the little red blade could have been intended for throwing, which would make the tassels have some practical functionality. But back to the weapon.

The leather base is adorned with a set of rivets in the rear, and a row of metal rings on either edge. It is fastened at the wrist by what looks like a band of nylon webbing. Ahead of the emblem and just above the knuckles we have a set of four metal skull medallions. And just after that, is where things begin to get interesting. The front of the leather panel splits into four fingers, and proceeds into a set of four spiked knucke guards, where it is riveted in place, both top and bottom.

Each knuckle guard has a very evil looking spike protruding from the center, at right angles to the guard, and each has ring, through which the fingers fit, which serves as the front attachment point for the gauntlet. And finally, the piece d’resistance, what makes this weapon cool (and also good for a laugh) are a set od deep red blades, attached to the cast metal emblem on the back of the leather base.

Now, we get to the fun (or at least humorous) part. While this design looks good/evil, (evil is good!!) it suffers from numerous rather painful ergonomic and mechanical flaws. I’ll start with the one that had sinza and I laughing. If you go to the link with the product page below, you will see there is a disclaimer.

This disclaimer warns that the coolblades atop the metal base are attached with, get this, GLUE, and is at risk of falling off should your pet kitten so much as sneeze in your general direction while wearing it. Ok, so they didn’t exactly say that. But they might as well have. Honestly who uses glue to attach metal parts to one another? So basically, you can’t subject it to hear, impact, stresses, vigorous motion, etc. Yeah. But they assure us, it’s no big deal, when it breaks you can just fix it using stronger glue…

HELLOOOOO… How ’bout at least suggesting some JB Weld, epoxy or something there bud? More glue? Seriously, that’s just wrong…

Anyway, that is not the end to the PHAIL that is the red spiked hand claw with knuckle guards. If you are in any way familiar with my past reviews of weapons of this type I’ve mentioned how important good anchoring is. This weapon designer would totally phail Phyreblades armblade anchor 101.

Notwithstanding that this leather base is entirely too flimsy for the job it has been tasked with, and that the metal attachement points do not seem sufficently reinforced to handle any kind of stress, (assuming the blades didn’t come off first) look at where the rings for your fingers to slide into those knuckle guards are. See where they are on the fingers in the pic?

Well, If you were to actually punch something with them like that, they would want to slide backwards. Back down and between the fingers. They would not stay up where they are right now. And it looks like there’s a good inch or so of play between where they are and where they are going to end up. What does that mean? No stability. Not good. At all.

And the base is going to go all cockeyed, because the wrist strap is way too close, and isn’t adjustable for length. In fact,  in this balrogs humble opinion, this would be worthless as a practical weapon. Unless you broke off one of the blades and used it to claw your opponents eyes out.  Maybe if you’re lucky and have long hands, the spikes might stay in the right position… But I wouldnt bet on that either…

At least it looks cool. If you’re the type of superficial person for whom looks are enough..

Hey I’m just saying…

Red Spiked Geriatric Battle Drome Hand Claw with Knuckle Guards – [True Swords]

13
Nov
08

A Knife On A Rope…

A long while back, Sinza, a friend of mine who runs the Exotic Automatic Forums, suggested I look at on one of the weapons used in the movie Blade Trinity. Specifically Blades Chain Saber. At the time I wasn’t too keen on posting about it because, from my perspective, it was an Epic Phail of a weapon.

However in retrospect, I probably should have done it, because I do just as much griping about flawed weapons on this blog as I slobber over the cool ones. (My bad, man, my bad…🙂 ) So when I happened to run across it again, I thought it would be a good time to rectify my mistake. And also point out why I didn’t like it.

Chain Saber

Blade Trinity: Chain Saber

[click image to view full size]

So what we have here is a knife on a rope. Kinda like a Soap on a Rope, but not quite as useful. Essentially what is a wide split blade with a rat tail tang, attached to a length of black elastic, that is connected to a black and chrome grip.

When retracted, the blade locks to the handle/grip. The grip has a set of buttons, one cosmetic, and the other functional which releases the blade.

Now this is certainly an interesting design, with lots of potential. I cannot argue that. A blade swinging around at the kind of velocities you could generate with something like this would be quite the formidable weapon. The only problem I have is that this replica gets all the important parts horribly, horribly, wrong.

Take the elastic band, for instance. Mating a piece of steel to some fabric covered rubber is never a good idea, expecially in a high stress environment. Mr. little rubber bungie cord is really is not a particularly tough fellow, and when made to rub elbows with Mr. Steel, a rather notoriously hardened chap, well… Bad things can happen.

Just picture a Wiimote going airborne and becoming embedded in wide screen TV. Except with a hunk of sharp steel instead of a small plastic brick. You get the idea. Not good. especially if you like wide screen TVs. Mr. Bungie was a good man. Pity he just snapped like that. Please do accept our condolences Mrs. Bungie… A moment of silence please… Ok… I’m rambling aren’t I… Right. Back on topic.

In fact, the weapon used in the movie employed a chain with a retraction mechanism in the handle. A much more sensible implementation. But it too, suffers from a rather insidious design flaw. Have you ever tried to swing a blade on the end of a chain? I have. Really fun. Except for one thing.

Unless you are using a quad edged blade, your chances of hitting anything with the *edge* of your blade are about 50/50. If you are good, you can get the point to bear fairly reliably, but edgewise strikes… Meh. So the way it is used in the movie is… You guessed it! Magic!

If I were designing such a blade, I would do one of two things. Either use a chain that is rotationally stable about the lengthwise axis of it’s links (like a bicycle chain), or use a bade that will cut no matter what  side it hits. IE use a quadruple, quintuple or sextuple edged blade.

Personally I think a fine, highly flexible, high tensile cable attached via a freely articulating joint to a quadruple edged blade would be the best design solution for a weapon of this nature. Especially given the design challenge of fitting a retraction mechanism into the handle. But that’s just the design nerd in my head talking.

What’s funny is the site I found this on touts the replica as an “exact” replica of the original. huh? *Exact*? Are you saying a fixed bungie cord is *exactly* the same as a chain attached to a button activated retraction mechanism?!? I think not.

Either way, great concept, not so good implementation, and total humiliation on the replica. Certainly cool to look at, but I really wouldn’t try to swing it any harder than you would an ostrich feather…

“Exact” replica… Pfft.

<Inigo Montoya>This word. I do not think it means what you think it means…</Inigo Montoya>

Blade Chain Saber – [Kingdom of Swords]

11
Nov
08

“One Piece” can not be this cheap…

For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, I am referring to the “One Piece”, a priceless treasure, sought by Luffy and his Straw Hat pirates, in the Anime of the same name. And yes, there’s a good reason why I brought this up.

I came across a sword that is supposed to be a replica of a One Piece sword. I don’t know which, as I have only followed a few episodes of the anime. However this sword struck me as being rather… Cheap.

One Piece Anime Replica Sword

One Piece Anime Replica Sword

[click image to view full size]

On the surface this sword seems to conform to most of the basics I look for in a good sword, Full tang, simple clean lines, black blade, etc. It’s just… Meh.

It’s basically a cutlass, in black steel, with a simple black steel guard, and a set of silver finished wood scales set against a full tang, and wrapped with red cord. Perhaps one of the most simple sword designs ever.

And yet, I come away feeling cheated. Maybe it’s the fact that the blade seems really flimsy. Or that the red cord wrapping looks like it would come loose if you even looked at it funny. Or the fact that I can’t see how the scales are attached to the tang.

All things that make me worry. And also a testament to it’s ultra cheap construction. Probably not a particularly good grade of steel, and I doubt it is very well put together. It’s a great design in theory, but I think it’s cheapness might have just overwhelmed the draw of it’s aesthetics…

It may very well be possible that I am wrong, and this is not a replica of a “One Piece” sword. In which case, please hit me up in the comments and let me know what it is actually a replica of.

The site I found it on advertises it as a “One Anime Replica Sword – Full Tang Ninja Scimitar” I’m not going to go into the vagaries of why the phrase Ninja Scimitar makes my hackles stand on end, suffice to say that if it is in fact a One Piece replica, I must say, it’s very unworthy of Luffy and his gang.

So here’s another wall hanger for your collection. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing…

One Piece Replica Sword – [True Swords]

09
Nov
08

How to be Kawaii in a Cruel, Cruel World…

OK, so every now and then I run into weapons that cause a big ‘ol grin to split across the face of yours truly. And i don’t mean a grimace of pain from a horrible weapon, but rather from quirky looking weapons that are actually very well designed, but posses some unique quality that just makes them… cute.

There. I said it. Not just cool. But cute. I’m gonna have to wash my mouth out with concentrated hydrochloric acid after this post, but here it is:

Black Cat Defense Key Chain

Black Cat Defense Key Chain

[click image to view full size]

This is the Black Cat defense Keychain.🙂 Yeah. I had the same reaction. Basically a small stainless steel keychain ornament, finished in black made in the shape of a sitting, wide eyed black cat. My favorite kind of cat, too, just fyi.

Yes, yes chuckle/giggle all you like, I was impressed. First because this design actually makes for a very potent weapon. I mean look at it. Really look at it. It’s a mini punch dagger. An innocuous, easy to use hand weapon. In black. In an remarkably non threatening (some would say cute) form factor.

Perfect for anyone who didn’t want to be blatantly carrying a weapon around, but still wants a little extra protection. Ok, I’m done. Can’t go any further with this without permanently scarring my masculinity…

At least they didn’t try to do this in a “Hello Kitty” form factor… *shiver* I might have had to kill someone to get my testosterone levels back up…

Black Cat Defense Keychain – [True Swords]

06
Nov
08

The Zombies Ate My Brain…

I’m guessing it was while I wasn’t looking. During a movie. Resident Evil, to be specific. How do I know this? Because I just ran into a weapon that is supposedly from the movie RE, and I cannot, for the life (or brains) of me, remember anything remotely similar being in the movie…

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

Alice's Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

[click image to view full size]

Ok, so what are these? Well, to be honest, I haven’t the foggiest. Prolly on account of my brains being consumed and all. But I can certainly try to determine how they might be used…

So what these look like are a set of cast alloy spikes, with a faux Kunai four sided diamond like cross section. With a ring on top. Again like a kunai. What little is left of my brain is getting very suspicious.

Each side if the spike is cast with a rectangular parallelogram. Why? I dunno. But a pattern appears to be emerging. They are thick, low quality castings (like a Kunai) have a ring (like a kunai) come in multiples (Much like Kunai) and even have a leather wrist holster (Can anyone say “Ninja “?)

And to top it all off, I do not recall seeing anything like this in any of the Resident Evil movies… So here’s what I think the real story is. Some enterprising knife designer decided to design an “original” kunai. For some reason, they don’t sell. Then marketing hits on a brilliant idea:

Brand it as a weapon used by a popular (and pretty) protagonist (Alice), from a popular series of movies- Resident Evil. Voila! Alice now uses Kunai to kill Zombies… Alllllrighty then.

Any questions?

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm spikes Kunai – [True Swords]

04
Nov
08

Introducing: The Gun Katar

I’m not really into politics, however it appears that the Good ‘ol U. S. of A. is going to have it’s first African American President. Now while that is of itself a noteworthy and landmark occurrence, as the transition from slavery to presidency is no mean feat, I’m also hoping it will bring with it important changes. Like an improved economy. Reduced national deficits. Better international relationships. You know. Good Presidential stuff.

However we will just have to wait and see. Politicians are politicians after all, it doesn’t matter whether they are black or white, which is a fact many seem to have forgotten. The proof is in the pudding. Whatever that means… I never really liked pudding anyway. Only time will tell how well campaign promises equate to results…

Anyway, in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d break out a beauty of a weapon I ran into a while back. I have done a few gunblade posts in the past, but none of them compare to the sweetness that is the Gun Katar:

Gun Katar

Gun Katar

[click image to view full size]

Is that not completely and uncompromisingly awesome? Now this is a weapon for which a Gun Kata would make practical sense. Yes, A Gun Kata. You know, that little gun dance that seemed to occur at random in the movie “Equilbrium”? The one with Christian Bale before he became the “Dark Knight? Yeah. That one. Go look up Gun Kata (not Katar) on the YouTubes or something. But I’m ranting here. Back to Gun Katar goodness.

What you are looking at here is a Katar, a traditional Indian punch dagger, primarily a thrusting  weapon, often designed to penetrate chain mail armored opponents. It has a thick wedge shaped blade, and unlike most other weapons, the blade is held vertically, by a grip and a set of side bars that sit at right angles to the blade.

Gun Katar - Side View

Gun Katar - Side View

[click image to view full size]

This one is a particularly ornate one, featuring some very intricate engravings. You can see an elephant and a boar on one side, as well as flowers, leaves in the center area where the blade emerges, and other traditional Indian adornments.

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Like many other katar, this features a double bar center grip, with the traditional side bars that run down either side of the blade and acts as guard as well as added support for the weapon.

Gun Katar - Side Guards

Gun Katar - Side Guards

[click image to view full size]

Under normal circumstances, that would be the sum total of the design of a traditional Katar. Except this one takes quite a hike from the traditional beaten Katar path. This Katar is loaded. With black powder. A double charge no less…🙂

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

[click image to view full size]

This Katar is sporting a pair of flint lock pistols, one attached to either side of the weapon. If you look closely at the grip, you can see a pair of triggers recessed into the front bar, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

[click image to view full size]

As you can probably imagine, a person wielding this in battle would have a healthy advantage over your poorly equipped standard Katar wielding schlub. I can just imagine how confrontations with the original owner of this weapon would have ended. Indiana Jones style.

I love weapons that make the old saying: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” redundant…😉

Anyway I thought this was a cool weapon for a special day… There are one or two more pics at the link after the jump. Here’s to great things in our future…🙂

Peace!

Gun Katar – [CollectorEbooks.com]




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