Archive for June 19th, 2007


When The Heavens Fall…

While rummaging around on the intarweb looking for some old school Hollywood movie martial arts swords, I ran into a very cool weapon, one of the seven swords featured in the movie Seven Swords. The Tian Po or Heaven’s Fall sword.

The Tian Po / Heaven’s Fall Sword

Heaven's Fall Sword
[view full size]

Now I found this weapon intriguing on several accounts. The mechanically inclined among you may have noticed from the picture that this sword is a convertible of sorts. This unique design is reminiscent of a gravity operated switchblade. Except that instead of retracting and deploying a blade, it actually switches blades! Actually it would be more accurate to say that it switches ends, but who cares? It’s still cool.

If you look closely you will notice that the blade of this sword is one continuous piece of steel with a spear point on each end and a notched track hollowed out of the middle, designed to allow the handle to slide from one end on the other. On the handle you can see a pin or button, probably used both to release the blade for sliding, and for retention once the conversion is complete. From the design, it appears that the handle can be locked at either end or in the middle. Quite an interesting idea.

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t understand why anyone would go through so much trouble just so that they had the option of a Darth Maul saber staff type weapon to fight with, especially when, unlike the double bladed light saber (aka saberstaff) that Darth Maul wielded, this design would seriously reduce your range. As far as I can tell, the long notched groove simply introduces some major structural weakness in the blade, without providing any major advantage. Apart from (maybe) making the sword lighter. And perhaps confusing your enemy. And I can think of at least two ways to implement this functionality without having to introduce a hollow the entire length of the blade, simply holes for the pin, like any regular sword. However I have yet to see it in action, so who knows.

Nonetheless, it is still a cool idea, however flawed the design. Or the intention. Or the designer. Ok so it’s prolly flawed on many levels. But it’s still a cool lookin’ weapon.

Tian Po (Heavens Fall) Sword – [Anime Castle]

June 2007

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