05
Sep
08

A Black Widow with a Deadly Stinger…

Now we all know how lethal a black widow spiders bite can be. But how much more lethal would a black widow be if it had a stinger as well? Weeeell… I don’t know. It’s a hypothetical scenario for which I lack the prerequisite genetic engineering expertise to replicate. BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t test out the theory… In steel!! >:}

And since some enterprising sword maker has already taken the initiative and put one together for us to… drool over… Eeerrrr, I mean observe, please, step into my specimen room… 😉

Black Widow Death Sting

Black Widow Death Sting

[click image to view full size]

Yes, yes, yes my friends, the pic above is of a rare and excellent specimen of the exotic sword species “Niger Viduata Nex Punctum” – The Black Widow Death Sting.

Clearly, a very beautiful specimen indeed, a sword featuring a single piece blade/full tang construction, sporting triple pinned dark wood scales, and a matching dark wood sheath with a spider emblem carved into the side.

Black Widow Death Sting - Sheath

Black Widow Death Sting - Sheath

[click image to view full size]

The ever so mildly curved blade is tipped with a sweeping and ever so wicked point, and widens out into a lithe but lethal swathe of shiny steel that curves down into the hilt. This blade has a rather unusual feature, in that instead of a single continuous fuller, or blood groove, it has two smaller fullers, ground one after another into the blade.

The hilt is also a work of simplistic art, continuing the subtle undulation started by the blade with a slightly more prominent curve of it’s own – in reverse, and ending the pommel with a mild flare. But as awe inspiring as this swords blade is, one aspect I found to be of particular interest, is the guard. Which I shall henceforth be referring to as “The Stinger”:

Black Widow Death Sting - Stinger

Black Widow Death Sting - Stinger

[click image to view full size]

Yeeeessss… This sword has a stinger… As if the sword was not sinister or menacing enough as it was, the designer thought it would be nice to add a stinger. A very wicked stinger it is too. This stinger is actually a continuation of the sharpened edge of the blade, that flares out just before the hilt, to form a guard of sorts. An evil, sooner-stab-you-in-the-eye-than-look-at-you, guard.

Of course, as with all things in life, it isn’t perfect. Or more accurately, I’m an OC freak who will find any possible reason to fault a sword, no matter how perfect. (Pick whichever suits your fancy 😛 ) Though I think in this case my nit picking is justified.

For instance, the split fuller. In a normal sword, the fuller reduces weight and increases the stiffness of the blade. The stiffness comes from the way that flexion forces are distributed due to the resulting “I-beam” like cross sectional blade geometry that the fuller introduces.

If my understanding of the physics involved is accurate, the result of introducing a heavier, more correction: less flexible section into a fullered blade should be that the surrounding blade areas become weak points. So the blade would be more likely to bend in these areas of the blade, when subjected to shear forces, and will probably also fail there first. So splitting the fuller, in addition to leaving unnecessary weight in the blade, is kind of like building in weak spots into the blade. Yes, it works great for cars. Not so much for swords though.

And then there’s the Stinger of Doom. Great idea in theory. In practice… I have doubts. The first, and perhaps biggest issue I see is this: how would an intrepid sword fighter, with the meanest sword around, avoid getting shanked in the hip when sheathing it? Or while walking around with it? See:

Black Window Death Sting - Sheath Stinger

Black Window Death Sting - Sheath Stinger

[click image to view full size]

The stinger is great, but In addition to taking up valuable grip space that would have been better utilized for a double handed grip, why leave it out there *all* the time? Methinks not such a wise idea. And honestly, it really didn’t need to be sharpened. That section of a sword is, in general, seldom used for cutting, so that was an unnecessary detail. (But it still gets cool points for sheer menace…) 🙂

And, of course, If the blade had been in black, well… let’s just say I would be getting ready to propose… Black Widow or not. At least I’d die happy.

However in spite of it’s flaws, I am still in awe of this sword. Assuming it is made with the right steel, this kind of blade more or less captures a lot of the things I love to see in a blade, and then some. Very strong full tang construction, curves that go on forever, brutal and heartless points that crave no quarter, (and give none, even to it’s wielder), and dark wood furniture that just brings it all together.

Crikey!! It’s a thing of beauty. An absolutely exquisite creature! Ya just gotta be careful it doesn’t shank ya…

RIP, Steve Irwin… Ya nutter… I know exactly how you felt…

Black Widow Death Sting – [Swords Swords]

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14 Responses to “A Black Widow with a Deadly Stinger…”


  1. 1 Niccolo
    September 6, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Well, your physics isn’t too faulty… but an I-beam wouldn’t be stiffer than a solid length of metal of the same dimensions – more mass, more matter, harder to mess with.

    On a blade, the fuller is where it is because that section of the blade (lengthwise) experiences the least force. That’s why metal is stripped away on the middle length of an I-beam – when the bar bends, the middle of the bar experiences the smallest distortion force, thus weight can be saved there.

    But and however, your physics knowledge isn’t too bad – the extra weight will act something like a ball attached to the end of a piece of string.

    Uneven weight distribution aside, this is a helluva mean weapon… and I greatly like.

  2. 2 CapnPervy
    September 6, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    WOW…this is one gorgeous sword.

  3. September 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    @Niccolo
    Ah, yes, my mistake. My experience tells me that breaking up the fuller like that generally increases the likelyhood of a fracture if the blade strikes something beneath the unfullered section hard enough, I just should have thought through the physics of it a little bit more…

    The weakness should actually occur in the fullered section beneath the unfullered strip of blade, as it would be more prone to flexion than the unfullered section. The problem would be having a heavier, stiffer section of blade next to a lighter, more flexible one. It is that imbalance that will create the possible weak point, and not the unfullered section of blade…
    I’ll update the post to reflect that… Great explanation, thanks!

    @CapnPervy
    Indeed. Dead Sexeh… 😀

  4. 4 MoZZA
    September 6, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    id hit it 😉

    LOL nah its a pretty cool decent looking thing tbh i like it

  5. September 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    It looks like it the sting will cut open your index finger and thumb when you move it around alot. Its a blunt edge, but it would still hurt. And if you were throwing it from hand to hand because you were being fancy, it would be difficult to avoid grabbing part of the stinger.

    I love the design of it, i would love too have one though;)

  6. 6 Mario
    September 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    well, i just thought of something, due to its impractical though quite cool properties what if you simply cut off the stinger? maybe you could find something useful to do with it later on, though that might create a weight unbalance on the sword; also, would there be a way to add a continuation to the fuller so it ties both of them together without damaging the blade? I’m already thinking of a couple of things that could be done, though I’m not sure how well they would work or if they would actually improve the blade’s overall resistance to impact

  7. 7 Niccolo
    September 6, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    “The weakness should actually occur in the fullered section beneath the unfullered strip of blade, as it would be more prone to flexion than the unfullered section. The problem would be having a heavier, stiffer section of blade next to a lighter, more flexible one. It is that imbalance that will create the possible weak point, and not the unfullered section of blade…”

    Dead on.

  8. 8 ladyofspiders
    September 7, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Well as you can guess the name of this one did catch my eye, and it is not a bad looking blade, but really I am not so sure I would want a sharp pointy object sticking out the part of the sword where I am going to be holding it, thank you very much. I mean unless you want to be a kamakiaze swordsmen. With a sword that is just as likely to cut you up in the process who needs opponents.

  9. September 8, 2008 at 2:39 am

    @Mozza
    I’d go picking out curtains with it. 😉

    @Jordan
    Well, fancy stuff like throwing from hand to hand is generally not recommended even with regular swords, but I agree, this would not be a very finger friendly wielding design.

    @Mario
    Sure, you could cut off the stinger without any negative effects, but what fun would that be? 😉

    Actually I was thinking that if I were to redesign the blade I’d increase the length of the Tsuka a few inches, shift the spike up a few inches so that it sat in line with the diagonal at the top of the grip scales. Then I’d throw a small tear drop shaped guard on there, that followed the diagonal of the spike but tapered at the front to a point to match the stinger.

    Finally id modify the saya so that the mouth flared out to cover the whole spike and sit up against the small guard, so that you could push up on the flat of it with your thumb…

    Meh… Too much work… Kind of hard to rememdy the negatives of that stinger without messing it’s aesthetics up…

    @Niccolo
    Okeydokey… I guess I wasn’t thinking straight the first time around…

    @LadyofSpiders
    Ah, Yes I figured the name might draw you in… Wasn’t sure you’d like the sword though… Indeed, that stinger kind of gives new meaning to the phrase “double edged sword” 🙂

  10. 10 chuck
    November 28, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Man i don’t care what phyreblade says that stinger is the hottest thing i’ve ever seen. it makes this sword a multy function weapon, good for sift kills, and sword on sword combat. In the swift kill scenario the stinger would be great for throat slitting, and in sword combat the stinger would work great at reflecting the opponents blade away from your hand

  11. December 8, 2008 at 4:30 am

    I agree with you about the deflection, though I don’t think you’ve fully thought through where the incoming blade will be going once it’s been deflected… And so far a as cutting, you do know it is usually done from hilt to tip, not the other way around right? The stinger would be largely pointless (pun intended) for cutting purposes…

  12. 12 dcyphered
    January 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I really like this sword. Though I have not yet bought it. If anyone has I would like to know if it is sharp. I hate spending weeks trying to sharpen a blunt sword. Also I like the ideas of modifying the stinger. What if you made it a oblong ring guard… it would like like a huge japanese bowie knife. Just an idea. I will have to buy it and see what else I can think of.

  13. 13 BLACK WIDOW1300
    May 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    one thing to say about this sword…
    (screamed at top of lungs)

    RIGHTOUS!!!

    i absolutly love the design of this thing. good “point” about the stinger though

  14. 14 kuu
    August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Every time i remember this blade i remember the guard and shiver, its just an accident waiting to happen.


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