A long while back, Sinza, a friend of mine who runs the Exotic Automatic Forums, suggested I look at on one of the weapons used in the movie Blade Trinity. Specifically Blades Chain Saber. At the time I wasn’t too keen on posting about it because, from my perspective, it was an Epic Phail of a weapon.
However in retrospect, I probably should have done it, because I do just as much griping about flawed weapons on this blog as I slobber over the cool ones. (My bad, man, my bad… 🙂 ) So when I happened to run across it again, I thought it would be a good time to rectify my mistake. And also point out why I didn’t like it.
[click image to view full size]
So what we have here is a knife on a rope. Kinda like a Soap on a Rope, but not quite as useful. Essentially what is a wide split blade with a rat tail tang, attached to a length of black elastic, that is connected to a black and chrome grip.
When retracted, the blade locks to the handle/grip. The grip has a set of buttons, one cosmetic, and the other functional which releases the blade.
Now this is certainly an interesting design, with lots of potential. I cannot argue that. A blade swinging around at the kind of velocities you could generate with something like this would be quite the formidable weapon. The only problem I have is that this replica gets all the important parts horribly, horribly, wrong.
Take the elastic band, for instance. Mating a piece of steel to some fabric covered rubber is never a good idea, expecially in a high stress environment. Mr. little rubber bungie cord is really is not a particularly tough fellow, and when made to rub elbows with Mr. Steel, a rather notoriously hardened chap, well… Bad things can happen.
Just picture a Wiimote going airborne and becoming embedded in wide screen TV. Except with a hunk of sharp steel instead of a small plastic brick. You get the idea. Not good. especially if you like wide screen TVs. Mr. Bungie was a good man. Pity he just snapped like that. Please do accept our condolences Mrs. Bungie… A moment of silence please… Ok… I’m rambling aren’t I… Right. Back on topic.
In fact, the weapon used in the movie employed a chain with a retraction mechanism in the handle. A much more sensible implementation. But it too, suffers from a rather insidious design flaw. Have you ever tried to swing a blade on the end of a chain? I have. Really fun. Except for one thing.
Unless you are using a quad edged blade, your chances of hitting anything with the *edge* of your blade are about 50/50. If you are good, you can get the point to bear fairly reliably, but edgewise strikes… Meh. So the way it is used in the movie is… You guessed it! Magic!
If I were designing such a blade, I would do one of two things. Either use a chain that is rotationally stable about the lengthwise axis of it’s links (like a bicycle chain), or use a bade that will cut no matter what side it hits. IE use a quadruple, quintuple or sextuple edged blade.
Personally I think a fine, highly flexible, high tensile cable attached via a freely articulating joint to a quadruple edged blade would be the best design solution for a weapon of this nature. Especially given the design challenge of fitting a retraction mechanism into the handle. But that’s just the design nerd in my head talking.
What’s funny is the site I found this on touts the replica as an “exact” replica of the original. huh? *Exact*? Are you saying a fixed bungie cord is *exactly* the same as a chain attached to a button activated retraction mechanism?!? I think not.
Either way, great concept, not so good implementation, and total humiliation on the replica. Certainly cool to look at, but I really wouldn’t try to swing it any harder than you would an ostrich feather…
“Exact” replica… Pfft.
<Inigo Montoya>This word. I do not think it means what you think it means…</Inigo Montoya>
Blade Chain Saber – [Kingdom of Swords]