Archive for September, 2007

30
Sep
07

And three is a charm…

If you read my last post, you’ll remember my pointing out how there seems to be one specific sword designer who has focused on making movie themed swords for movies that had nothing to do with swords. In fact they seem to be focused on movies whose lead characters are distinctly not into swords. My previous post compared both the Punisher and the Batman sword.

But you’ll never guess who the latest comic book hero/victim is. Take a wild guess. Give up? Wuss. It’s your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, that’s who! And for good ole’ Spidey, we actually have TWO (count ’em, 2) weapons to add to this impromptu collection of movie swords that never were. Allow me to present:

Spidermans War Sword and the Spiders Fury Dagger:

Spiderman Sword Spiders Fury Dagger
[click images to view full size]

Interestingly, Spidey gets a dagger too. Though I doubt that this was made by the same people who made the swords. But to refresh your memory, below are all three movie swords, side by side:

Fantasy Bat SwordPunisher SwordSpiderman Sword
[click images to view full size]

First, (As the Joker liked to call him) the “Bats” Sword, followed by the Punishers Sword. And last, but certainly not least, we have Spidermans War Sword. And now you can see exactly how similar they are. In fact they might as well be brothers. At least these folks are efficient. Take the same blade, slap on a new hilt, and Voila, a new movie sword. In the case of the Punisher/Batman swords, they didn’t even bother to change the grip.

And the most amazing about all of this is that none of these characters actually use swords. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Not a one. The Punisher is a bona fide gun nut. Batman is all about the technology. And Spidey, well he relies on his trusty web slinging ability above all else. What tickles me the most is the fact that the one character who is least likely to ever pick up a weapon in his life, namely Spidey, actually gets both a sword AND a dagger. What a wonderful, amazing world we live in.

Guard and RicassoPommelHilt
[click images to view full size]

But all that being said, they did some nice things to the Spiderman sword. I like how they incorporated the Green goblin motif in the design. I always did like the aesthetics of the Green Goblins toys. And it works great for the guard design. In fact, if these guys ever made a Green Goblin sword I’d totally buy that. Interesting how the crazy ones always have the coolest ideas…

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29
Sep
07

Another non-movie movie sword…

You may recall a while back a post about a Punisher sword, presumably from the Punisher comic and movie franchise. As I mentioned in that post, the Punisher character was really heavy into the firearms thing, and had little use for swords, so to see that there was a Punisher sword available was, well, perplexing.

But that has not stopped someone from making yet another sword for a comic/movie character, who also really did not use swords: Batman.

Fantasy Bat Sword

Fantasy Bat Sword
[view full size]

Now any Batman fan knows that Batman likes technology. Not swords. It is true that he is a highly trained ninja, however his forte seems to be to apply modern tools (i.e. technology) in innovative ways to solve his various problems. And much like the way the Punisher is really into his right to bear arms, and relies heavily on his guns, the Dark Knight relies equally heavily on his technology. No swords. Not even a knife really. Not much more than his trademark batarang. Or in his more contemporary incarnations, his bat-shuriken. So this is yet another sword that fits in exactly nowhere in the grand schema of the psychotic profile that is The Batman.

That is not to say it isn’t a nice sword. I actually like the lines on it. Which isn’t surprising, because as it turns out, I liked the lines on the Punisher Sword too. On a hunch I went back and compared the two.

Fantasy Bat Sword
Punisher Sword

On the top is our Fantasy Bat Sword. On the bottom, the Punisher sword. (Click the images to see larger versions) Lo and behold! A pattern appears! Look at the grips on both swords. Identical. Look at the blade profile on both swords. Nearly the same. The only things that are different between them are the pommel, the guard and the length of the ricasso.

It’s a fair bet that they were designed by the same person. Which explains a lot. Obviously this designer/manufacturer has decided to fill the heretofore unknown niche market of making fantasy movie swords for movies whose leading characters do not actually use swords. Interesting. Very Interesting.

At least I can say the designer has good taste, if not any originality. In fact I’m fairly certain I have seen the exact same blade profile that the Bat Sword has (with the longer ricasso) in one or two other swords. I hope at least one of those others is an original. I’d like to see one of these designs that isn’t a movie knock off…

Fantasy Bat Sword – [Collectors Edge]

28
Sep
07

Yet another “Tactical” blade…

I have expounded at length on the excessive (imho) use of the word “tactical” used to describe a variety of weapons which didn’t seem to be particularly special. However I came across this “combat system” which I think is a fancy way of sidestepping the old “tactical” moniker:

Invader Combat System

Invader Combat System
[view full size]

Interestingly enough, this lets say “tactical” “combat system” consists of little more than a fancy hand axe… OK, to be fair, it does have some interesting design features that make it quite versatile. For instance, it has that nifty little finger hole that allows for a few secure grip styles. The handle looks like it would allow both a hammer or reverse grip. And you’ll notice that, while offset from where the point of a straight knife might be, the point is still oriented straight forward from the grip, in a way that would make this suitable for thrusting or for stabbing.

In addition, the curvature and cavities on the front and rear of the blade look like it would be excellent for trapping other weapons. And the small blade on the rear is just a bonus in my book. It’s extra weight and the curve of the blade would probably make this good for both hacking as well as cutting. I suppose given all of that you could call this a combat “system”, though I think it is still stretching it a bit.

Overall, I like the overall aesthetic design too. The curve of the blade is fairly swooshy, which I like, and the points are quite uncompromising. I particularly like the aesthetic combination of a curve on the back of the handle, and straight lines and angles on the front. It’s a nice touch. The oval slots in the blade aren’t bad, though I don’t think they are really necessary. Altogether it makes for a pretty cool looking weapon. Be it a “system” or not.

I’m sure six months from now I’ll run into this again, powder coated black, with the words “Tactical” and “Ninja” somewhere in it’s name…

Invader Combat System – [True Swords]

26
Sep
07

A Daywalkers Sword…

It’s time for me to introduce you to one of my favorite swords. The sword of Blade, The Daywalker:

Blade the Daywalker – Vampire Slayer Sword

The Blade of the Daywalker.
[view full size]

Now If you don’t recognize this, it is the sword used by the sunlight-immune vampire comic-book-turned-movie hero Blade. Now Blade is actually a Dhampir. Basically the product of a human mother and a vampire father. Or of a vampire bitten mother. Or some variation thereof. A dhampir generally possesses some combination of both vampire and human traits.

In this case, Blade manages to obtain their strength, speed, enhanced senses, slow aging and healing ability, at the hefty cost of a rather debilitating thirst for blood. But though he still thirsts for blood, he can stand the light of day, unlike his full blood cousins (thrice removed).

Don’t worry, I won’t recap his entire story, suffice to say he harbors what I’ll simply refer to as “a little animosity” to his full-blood relatives for his mothers suffering and his blood thirst. As a result, has dedicated himself to the full time task of hunting them all to extinction. With this very sword. Is that cool or what. I rest my case.

OK, I’ll admit that maybe the fact that Blade is one of my favorite movie characters might make my admiration of this sword just a tad bit biased. But I don’t think so. In fact there a couple of his weapons that I dislike. Such as his cyclone glaive and his sword whip thingy. The point is, this sword is cool whether I say so or not. (I insist.)

Anyhoo, I think the beauty of this sword lies in the simplicity of the blade. Very reminiscent of Anathros, or the Punisher sword, in it’s simplicity. Except this blade is a lot more substantial. Even the handle, which is a little more ornate than the rest of the sword, is simpler than most, and I like that about this weapon. This one even has a hidden blade in the handle. Cool stuff. Nothing compared to what the movie version of the sword could do, but good enough.

One last note. The site I found this sword on makes reference to this being a “ninja” sword. Again. What’s with the stupid “ninja” references. Hello!! You can’t just slap “ninja” in a weapons title willy nilly like that. It actually has to be a Ninja weapon in order to be able to do so validly.

Even if Blade was a ninja (which he’s not, even though he uses bo-shuriken like a pro), that is not a ninja sword. Nowadays It seems like whenever the marketing department of these sword manufacturers want to get more life or better sales out of a product, they slap on the trusty old “ninja” moniker. Idiots. Always tryin’ to ice skate up hill…

The Sword of Blade the Daywalker – [True Swords]

24
Sep
07

A Pseudo Persian Sword…

You gotta love Hollywood. They have a knack for employing liberal creative license with anything and everything that suits their fancy. Especially with weapons. I recently encountered another weapon from the movie 300. The sword of the Immortals. The esteemed weapons of the Elite soldiers of the Persian Army:

Sword of the Immortals

300 - Sword of the Immortals
[view full size]

Now the average movie viewer may not realize this, but this is not a traditional Persian sword by any stretch of the imagination. Traditional Persian swords were usually scimitars. Commonly called Shamshirs. Long, deeply swept or curving blades with simple cross guards. Very effective for melee combat. And these most certainly do not fit that description. Sure, Immortals could have used different swords, but how different? Would they have adopted, lets say, a Japanese sword? I don’t think so.

Whoa. Did I say a Japanese sword? Yep. I did. A Japanese sword. What we have here, ladies and germs, is a Japanese sword. Closest in form to what is called a Wakizashi. More so than any Persian sword I have run into. Hmmm? Of what am I babbling, you say? Need proof, you say? I’m all too happy to oblige. This is a persian sword:

The Shamshir – A Traditional Persian Sword

A Shamshir
[click to view full size]

Notice the deep curve of the blade. See also the simple cross guard, and simple blade design (i.e. no complex tempering). Now this is the blade of the sword of immortals:

300 – Sword of The Immortals – Blade

300 - Sword Of Immortals - Blade
[view full size]

Look closely. I’ll grant you that the handle is devoid of the traditional Japanese fittings. But the pattern… Hmmm. Vaguely Japanese. And look at everything else. Look at that blade. It has a shallow curve, just like a Japanese sword. It has a hamon (differential temper line) just like a Japanese sword. And it has no cross guard, but rather a habaki to keep the sword in it’s scabbard. Totally Japanese. Speaking of which, lets look at the Scabbard:

300 – Sword of the Immortals – Scabbard & Fittings

300 Sword of the Immortals - Scabbard
[view full size]

Look at that! It’s a black laquered scabbard, wrapped with nylon braid, just like, you guessed it! A Japanese saya (sheath/scabbard). Like I was saying. Japanese. Massive creative license taking FTW! Which is humorous, because I don’t think the Persians were Japanese.

But when all is said and done, I ain’t hatin’. It is a beautiful weapon. Regardless of whether it came from Persia or Japan. Or is a some form of mutant weapon heretofore never seen by man… Stranger things have happened…

300 – Sword of the Immortals – [True Swords]

22
Sep
07

German Engineering… In a pick axe…

Given my recent diatribe on the subject of spears, medieval castles and other miscellaneous and random ravings about knights and defense, I found it interesting that I should run into this little piece of German engineering:

Classic German Pick Axe

Classic German Pick Axe
[view full size]

Unlike what it’s name might suggest, this is not intended to dig holes in hard earth, but rather to… err… “pick” mounted knights in armor from their horses as they rode by… Ok, so that was bad. So sue me. But I think that this weapon appears to have been designed and balanced specifically for the purpose of defeating heavily armored opponents.

This design would work equally well on leather, chain or plate armor. Basically swung it exactly like a regular pick axe. Except at an enemy. An interesting feature is the fact that each side of the pick has a “blade” rather than simple points. This might have been done in order to allow greater splitting power with chain mail, and could possibly have been used along with the flat spine of the weapon, to split plate armor as well. Not unlike a can or sardines. Or tuna. I much prefer tuna… But I digress…

Now you might notice that the shaft is actually about mid length as opposed to full spear length. This would provide better control for close in work, (you know, of the “can opening” variety). And notice also that it has a spear head on top, which, for pick work, would be more of a hindrance than a help, but against lighter armor, I could see how it might be very effective. (I’ll leave that up to your imagination)

OK how many of you read the title and thought I was going to be talking about German gardening tools today? By show of hands please…

HAHAHAHA!!! SUCKERS!!!! LOL… I PWNZ0R3D J000!!11!!11!…. Yeah… I’m a dork…

Classic German Pick Axe – [True Swords]

20
Sep
07

An culturally diverse axe…

I ran into this interesting (read “eclectic”) Axe not too long ago:

Tribal Dragon Fantasy Axe

Tribale Dragon Fantasy Axe
[view full size]

I found this axe interesting for several reasons. First there is the rather ornate dragon design of the handle. The handle basically consists of a dragon head butt cap, with a kind of coral-like pattern on the grip itself, topped off with with what looks like the dragons tail wrapped around the top of the handle.

But even more intriguing was the design of the axe head. Lots of wicked points and cut outs to make it appropriately menacing. But most curious was that the overall design seems to be an eclectic combination of contemporary and old fashioned styles.

Look at the white print on the blade, for instance. There are two distinct designs at work here. There is a tribal marking on the shaft of the axe head, whilst there is a more contemporary skull and cap with two medieval crossed axes behind it. And then there is the design of the axe head itself. I like it, but it appears to be a fusion of medieval and contemporary lines.

Throw the dragon handle motif into the mix, and you can see where it got it’s name from. “Tribal Dragon Fantasy” axe. Tribal Axe, OK. Fantasy Axe, cool. Fantasy Tribal axe, Sure, why not. But Tribal Dragon? Whenever has anyone seen a “tribal dragon”, except perhaps in the designers fantasies? What makes this even more senseless is the fact that I think the dragon motif could have carried the weapon nicely all by itself. No need for contemporary tribal fantasies at all.

In my oh-so-humble opinion, the designer was either smoking a controlled substance, or marketing was running out of ideas. If it had been me, I’d have just stripped it all down and powder coated the whole thing black. All the other print was entirely unnecessary. I’m sure the dragon would have thanked me for it…

Tribal Dragon Fantasy Axe – [True Swords]




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