19
Jun
07

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]

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5 Responses to “When The Heavens Fall…”


  1. June 19, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    It’s a button lock and they can be very strong. It’s a good design, simple and strong.

    Cool idea, gotta build at least one of every cool idea even if it’s not a aparent improvment right away.
    Ya see, this gives me a lot of ideas. I could build a knife with a dagger on one end of the blade and a tanto on the other. Or plain on one side serrated on the other. It’s like having two fixed blades in one. The groove down the middle is for the button lock travel, not to lighten the blade. It’s a thin blade so it really wouldn’t need lightening.
    I’m not sure if you understand how a button lock works, if not I’ll try to explain. Think of a barbell or a spool, thick on the ends and thin in the middle. Stand it on end and put a spring underneath. The blade has holes and slots between the holes. The bottom thick part of the button fits into a hole and holds it sturdy and strong. When the button is pushed down the thin part is now in the hole and this gives clearence of the slot for movement of the blade. When the blade reaches the end another hole is at the end of the slot and the thick part of the button is sprung up into the hole, holding it locked again.
    Here’s a picture of one.

    Not sure if the picture will work so here’s the link
    http://www.knifekits.com/store/s-pages/kk_store_1mainframe.htm?kk_store_productList_main.htm~smain

  2. June 19, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    O.k. that didn’t work. If interested….click on the link and go to the ‘Specality Parts…about halfway down just under the springs…’Automatic Switchblade Knife Button Lock/Release Kit’

  3. June 19, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Actually I do know how a button lock works. : ) Thanks for sharing the link though! Actually when I first looked at this sword, I thought there were two different points at either end. Upon closer inspection, they appeared to be identical. So my only real question was, why go through all of the trouble? As you pointed out, such a blade would already be pretty light, so obviously lightness wouldn’t be a good reason for this. And as far as I can tell, having that groove would only make the blade weaker.

    If I ever decided to implement such a design, I would sandwich the blade in a special steel track running the length of the handle, and secure the blade in position with one or two short spring loaded pins that would fully clear the blade when retracted. That way I wouldn’t need that big slot down the middle of the blade. Just a few holes for the pin. This would work just as well, and make for a stronger blade to boot. The button lock is certainly a simpler solution, but I still can’t see sacrificing blade strength for this dubious additional functionality.

  4. 4 Dids
    March 4, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I think this weapon is more suitable for training and tasks that don’t actually require blades vs blade. Even if it did, as a weapon it would be good to fight against several oponents rather then just one since you can quickly change the blade’s side while in combat which means precious seconds saved. you could hit someone behind you and then almost immediatly stab someone in from of you if you have enough practice and you know just when to make the blade “switch sides”.
    And if I’m not mistaken there’s too kinds of this sword. One that can also convert into a spear. And that can’t.

    At first I also though this weapon would be better if instead of that big slot there were just some holes but now im wondering if that’s true. The reason I’m thinking about it it’s because, as it is now it works as double bladed sword as if it had two seperate blades that happen to be united in the end. This means the weapon is only as strong as each blade is and the weak point would not be the entire sword but only certain parts. As opposed if it was only one sword with holes it would make the sword with more weak points that would make the overall endurance of the sword much weaker because instead of working as two separate, yet united blades, it would be like having a wall filed with holes.

    If you have a wall with has several holes and if you hit it in one place hard enough then it would crumble because each hole would make it that much weaker. But if you have a wall without holes but is instead divided in two by a door if you hit it in one place it wouldn’t crumble, at most you’d make a whole instead of damaging the entire wall and the weakest point of the wall would be the areas surrounding the door.

    Even so this design doesn’t seem to obtain much endurance, which makes me assume it would probably be used more to gain an advantage against fast attacks by several opponents, like I said before. It is a very cool design though! And I think in “Seven swords” it’s even used as a flute?! What more can you ask besides playing a nice tune after beating your opponent. Eheh 😀

    Thanks for posting. I really like your posts! AND I get to know more about cool weapons!

  5. 5 Dids
    March 4, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Oh, and sorry for all grammar/spelling mistakes. I only noticed after posting…


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