Archive for July, 2007

31
Jul
07

Hand claws… Of your nightmares…

As I mentioned in a previous post, it appears that everyone has been jonesin’ for for Wolverine claws, prolly as a result of the X-men movies. Now believe you me, I am as much of a fan of Wolverine as the next X-crazed fanboi/babe, but I recently ran into a set of favorite old blades that I thought I’d share, to remind you that there are other, equally interesting (read “sinister”) claws in Hollywood history.

This particular set could easily have qualified as the most terrifying claws ever to hit horror moviedom. And they were probably just as cool as Wolverines, even though they did not retract. Allow me to (re)introduce you to the hand claws of a classic nightmare, Freddy Kreuger.

Freddie Claws
Freddie Hand Claws
[view full size]

Now any of you who have seen the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies will recognize the iconic ground-down straight razor equipped working gloves used by the infamous child-killing, wise-cracking dream killer Freddy Krueger.

Back when the movie first came out, it was sheer genius, because, unlike most other movies, it went into one of the few places that we always tell ourselves we can escape from if it gets too hairy. Our dreams. This movies transformed your average run-of-the-mill bad dream, into something in which you could suffer horrible torment, gruesome deaths and very well never wake up from. A true Nightmare. With a capital “N”. Or should it be “M”. Whatever.

Anyway the stars of the show, for me at least, (second only to Freddy himself) were always the blades. I loved those sinister razor blades. They always stole the show. In reality however, they prolly wouldn’t be as efficient as they are made out to be in the movies. Finger mounted blades are generally the least effective weapons. You are kinda really limited by the strength of your fingers.

At least compared to knives or swords. Or Tekko-Kagi. Some of the moves Freddy Kreuger performed with those glove blades of his would have been more apt to break a persons fingers in real life. But then again the design was intended to generate fear, not necessarily to be the most effective killing tool.

But that is not to say that they couldn’t be lethal. There is some evidence to suggest that Kuniochi used similar weapons (albeit much smaller versions ) called Neko-te. Which, I believe, were essentially the same thing, claws attached to the fingers. I doubt they were effective for killing though, unless tipped with poison.

Nonetheless I always thought that one day I would make a pair of gloves just like these. And now it seems that I won’t have to. Though I’m still conflicted. It might be more fun to just make a pair myself… Mua ha ha ha ha….! Sleep much lately?

Freddie Claws – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

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29
Jul
07

PhyreBlades’ Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide.

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve realized that, while blade fanatics are not exactly a majority, Wolverine fanatics, like myself, are legion! Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been related to the “who”s, “how”s and “where”s, of buying, (or making), a pair of wrist-mounted, retractable wolverine style claws. Yeah. It’s a mouthful.

Anyway, I though I’d put together a post with all of the pertinent Wolverine claw reference material I’ve come across during my web sojourns in search of the holy grail of all wolverine fanboi memorabilia: the ever elusive pair of wearable, fully automatic, remotely actuated, retractable Wolverine claws. Yes. I am indeed insane. But given the number of X-Men/Wolverine fans out there, I was sure that someone would have put one together.

Alas, No such luck. Apart from a plethora of replica, prop and designer “Wolverine Claws”, there are no commercially available retractable wolverine claws. None. Not One. At least that I have been able to find. Anyone who happens to know different should consider themselves morally, ethically and legally (by Dark Blade Law) obligated to share the juicy details. Or meet your end at the hands of a million ill-tempered gnats. With lasers attached to their freakin’ heads. Or worse. Death by LOLCat.

Anyhoo, until I find out otherwise, Wolverine purists have two options.

  1. Buy replicas of the actual movie prop.
  2. Make a pair on their own.

If you want one that is automatic/retractable, you are stuck with option 2. For those mechanically inclined, mature, dedicated (and brave) enough to attempt it, following is a list of noteworthy Wolverine Claw related links, to help you on your X-Mission, should you choose to accept it (at your own risk, of course). Good Luck!

First, the wannabes (the short list):

Anderson Cutlery Pantera Claw
A pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Cool.

Anderson Cutlery “Special Edition” Pantera Claws
A Chromed pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Shiny. Cool.

X-MEN “Wolverine” Claws (Style II)
The poor mans Wolverine claw. Primal. Dark. Mua ha ha… *cough*

Wolverine X-Men Claw (IMHO, perhaps the best wannabe so far…)
A somewhat more generic version of the wolverine claw movie prop design. Classy. Shiny. Cool.

Wolverine X-Men Battle Claw – In Black!
Yet another version of the Wolverine X-Men Claw, (the one described just above), This time in glorious black. OK, so Wolverines claws aren’t supposed to be black. But I happen to love black weapons, so authenticity be condemned to blazes, I like this one better!! Actually neither of them is particularly authentic, so don’t send any hate mail on account of my saying so, or I will pwn you w1t m4 l337 h4xxor sk1llz.

And now, on to the meat and potatoes:

Kris Abel’s Blog: Making Wolverine’s Claws -> Part1, Part2 – Kris Abel interviews the designer of the original Wolverine blades used in the movies. A very interesting read.

eBay -> Wolverine Claws – You can find almost anything on eBay… Almost…

YourProps.com -> Claws1, Claws2 – A great online prop museum with pictures of aluminum replicas of the original Wolverine Claw props used in the movies.

Dragonfyre Designs -> Resin Claw Kit – A talented prop replica maker. Makes resin copies of the original movie wolverine blade prop, in kit form. For those who would like to minimize the possibility of accidentally losing any much needed digits or optical organs this Halloween.

Gary Fixler -> Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – A site showing how a guy made cheap custom wolverine claw replicas. The materials he used (in particular his aluminum stock) were not the best, but the process is very sound. With some design modifications and better materials, you could use the same process to make some really high quality prop wolverine blade replicas. In fact the next guy did just that.

Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume -> AKA: How To Make Retractable Wolverine Claws – One of my favorite wolverine claw sites. This guy took the whole wolverine claw thing as close to the real thing as I have ever seen. If he would have written a step by step manual of the process with even more pictures, he could have made a killing on eBay…

If I weren’t such a lazy schlub, I might have given the eBay thing it a try. But then again I have the sneakiest of suspicions that, were it actually successful, peeps would start crawling out of the woodwork with “Cease and Desists”… So many haters… So little love…

Anyhoo that is about all I got at the moment. The only thing that I am waiting for (with baited breath I might add), is for someone to integrate some sort of automatic deployment mechanism, perhaps a spring and some sort of trigger, into a set of retractable wolverine claws… So close and yet soooo far….

Enjoy….!

Making Wolverines Claws – [Kris Abel’s Blog]
Wolverine Claw Auctions – [eBay]
Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – [Gary Fixler Site]
Aluminum Wolverine Claw Replicas – [YourProps.com]
Resin Wolverine Claw Kit – [Dragonfyre Designs]
Wolverine X-Men Claw – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

27
Jul
07

The work of a master blade wrangler…

A while back, one of my readers (Thanks Jon!) clued me in on a custom knife maker out of Montana by the name of Harkins. Jeffery A. Harkins. Please allow me the honor to present the work of Mr. Harkins, grand master of switchblade husbandry:

J. A. Harkins Custom Knives

J. A. Harkins Custom Knives
[view full size]

My two favorite Harkins knife styles are featured in the pic above, and are called the Triton, and the “Q”. These are both DA (Double Action) OTF switchblade designs, though they each feature different switch location points. The Triton features a switch on the flat side of the blade enclosure, while the “Q” features an edge mounted switch. Both are awesome. In fact pretty much every knife on the site, even the plain ones, are simply outstanding. In every way. Except for the cost of course. But you couldn’t expect any different. This level of quality ain’t supposed to be cheap.

Now me personally, I think Harkins makes some of the most exceptionally beautiful knives I have ever seen. While there is certainly no shortage of excellent custom knife designers, many of the designers whose weapons I have blogged about on this site so far have made a name for themselves by designing strange, futuristic, unusual or even outlandish weapons, which, while cool, are not exactly practical, or even functional.

What sets Jeffery Harkins apart is not only the beautiful aesthetics, high quality fit and finish, and general overall attention to detail of each knife, but the fact that all of his knives appear to be constructed to withstand the rigors of daily use, just like any regular folding pocket knife. Not that I would subject such any of these knives to such a life. No, that would be blasphemous. This is art. Functional art, but art nonetheless. No, really. I honestly don’t think I could bring myself to blemish one of these blades.

OK, fine, mock me if you will, but go to his site and see for your own eyes what I’m talking about. Just a little warning. If you are a knife fanatic like I am, you will need something to wipe up the drool from your keyboard as you browse…

The Triton & “Q” custom switchblade – [J. A. Harkins]

25
Jul
07

A Ninja’s… Officer… Sword…?

OK, sword designers/manufacturers, ENOUGH WITH THE “NINJA” WEAPONS ALREADY!! It has become painfully apparent that you either have no idea what a ninja is, or you do, but are still letting your marketing folk make you look retarded by letting them slap the “ninja” moniker on anything and everything they think they can get away with. Case in point:

Ninja officer sword

Ninja Officers Sword
[view full size]

Now anyone who knows anything about ninjas would realize that a ninja would not carry around a big heavy sword, much less an overgrown bowie knife. A ninja sword is slim, light, fast and portable, and this is simply not any of these things. This is a freakin’ machete, what a modern day commando might take into the jungle to clear the brush with. Not a ninjas sword.

And then there is the whole “Ninja officer” bit. Somehow we are supposed to buy that a ninja “officer” would use a different sword than a ninja foot soldier. Truth is, any truly high ranking ninja would have been the head of a family or a feudal lord of some sort and, being Japanese, would have opted to use a Samurai sword, or Katana. Not an overgrown weed whacker. But even if we ignore that little factoid, the practicing ninja would simply have used the proven tools of the trade. Ya know? like a short, fast blade. Such as a Ninjatō. Just like any other ninja. Did I mention that ninjas liked a relatively portable, fast, light blades over porky slabs of steel? Good. I’m just saying. C’mon. Give us a break.

That’s not to say this isn’t a beautiful blade. It is actually quite impressive. The lines on the blade impart a no nonsense look to the blade, right up to the clip point at the tip, as does the black coating. And the beautifully simple guard and curved handle with the silver accent is an excellent finishing touch. Black blade, black handle, no nonsense, yes, this knife is very cool. It just has nothing whatsoever, to do with ninjas.

So stop marketing things as ninja weapons when they aren’t. Especially for weapons like these that, honestly, need no additional hype. This blade could have stood on it’s own merits. You blithering idiots. You’re only displaying your stupidity. And hacking off folks like me to boot. Hmph. I’m going to go hack away at some random foliage until I calm down…

Ninja Officer Sword – Full Tang Predator – [True Swords]

23
Jul
07

An Uber Battle Blade…

I found yet another example of over-the-top, wrist-mounted weapon madness from Tom Anderson, in the form of the menacing, multi-bladed, and totally overkilled, Critical Mass:

Critical Mass

Critical Mass
[view full size]

Now this is one of those wacky, off the wall deals that is probably more practical as a conversation starter than a weapon. Yes, it does appear to be functional, but this isn’t the kind of thing you would take into a fight unless you’re the kind that spends your Saturday nights in a 50’x50′ steel cage. In a secret underground arena. With one other barbarian, similarly equipped, each of you trying to bring the others life to a swift and decisive end, while a galleria of wealthy spectators watch, for ridiculously obscene amounts of money. I’m just saying.

However for pure aesthetic impact, Critical Mass is “Teh Pwnerer”. I mean look at it, it’s a big ol’ honkin’ piece o’ black metal, sharp edges, lots of blades, points all around… Kinda hard to beat the intimidation factor of this thing. I’m talkin death-match quality folks…

Tom Andersons’ Critical Mass – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

21
Jul
07

Yet Another Wolverine Claw… Will It Ever End?

I recently ran across yet another Wolverine claw design, with perhaps a hint of promise as, unlike so many of the other Wolverine Claw pretenders out there, it is a fairly interesting variation of the prop blade design used in the movies:

Wolverine X-Men Claw

Wolverine X-Men Claw
[view full Size]

Overall, it is a fairly convincing design. About the only major demerit I can see with this design is that, unlike the original prop, the aft end of the blade spine terminates abruptly. Rather too abruptly. In the original prop the spine (top) of each blade extended back far enough to rest on top of the hand, between the knuckles. Here however, the blade stops considerably short of the knuckles, probably in order to accommodate a wider range of hand sizes.

The problem is that, depending on your hand size, the metal nub that supposedly constitutes the rear of the blade could end up resting between your knuckles, instead of on the back if the hand, where they should be. And if you ever struck anything with it in this position, well… I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.

Now, much to their credit, whoever designed this appears to have been thinking along the same basic lines of the original prop designer. Like the original prop, it incorporates three blades attached to a bar that is held in the palm. Now this bar is round, and considerably larger than the prop version, which makes it a little more conspicuous, but they have given it an attractive black and polished finish, which looks good and probably feels much better in the hand as well. And in the right hands… Well…

Snikt…! Come get some!…

Wolverine X-Men Claw – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

19
Jul
07

A Wrist Mounted Dragon… Blade…

OK, I just had to show you this rather unusual… well, let’s just call it a “designer weapon”. It is basically a forearm mounted blade in the shape of a winged Dragon. Yep. You read right. A wearable Dragon Blade. Who would a thunk it. Certainly not I. Take a gander:

Flying Dragon Claw

Flying Dragon Claw
[view full size]

Now this is certainly a unique, if rather impractical, weapon. From it’s design it would obviously only be useful at very close range, (obviously) and probably more for blocking another blade than for actually inflicting any damage. Unless you used the tail blade (which, coincidentally, is removable) as a dagger of sorts. And even that doesn’t have the best grip design I’ve ever seen either. Ok, so it’s more of a conversation piece than a weapon, but oh my, what a conversation piece it is!

Notwithstanding my love of dragons, this is certainly a beautifully designed piece of faux weaponry art. The dragon design itself is pretty sweet. From it’s large black bat-like wings to it’s severely bladed ears, and even to the removable push dagger tail design, it all speaks to a level f detail and aesthetics that are impressive to say the least. The outstretched hind claws just add that last finishing touch to the entire design that makes it a work of art.

Truth be told, however, I didn’t really see the need to turn the wings ears or tails into blades. I honestly think the general design would have stood on it’s own merits as a metal sculpture. But what do I know. I’m not the “artiste” type. But there it is.

Flying Dragon Claw – [True Swords]




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