Archive for November, 2008

13
Nov
08

A Knife On A Rope…

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.

Chain Saber

Blade Trinity: Chain Saber

[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]

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11
Nov
08

“One Piece” can not be this cheap…

For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, I am referring to the “One Piece”, a priceless treasure, sought by Luffy and his Straw Hat pirates, in the Anime of the same name. And yes, there’s a good reason why I brought this up.

I came across a sword that is supposed to be a replica of a One Piece sword. I don’t know which, as I have only followed a few episodes of the anime. However this sword struck me as being rather… Cheap.

One Piece Anime Replica Sword

One Piece Anime Replica Sword

[click image to view full size]

On the surface this sword seems to conform to most of the basics I look for in a good sword, Full tang, simple clean lines, black blade, etc. It’s just… Meh.

It’s basically a cutlass, in black steel, with a simple black steel guard, and a set of silver finished wood scales set against a full tang, and wrapped with red cord. Perhaps one of the most simple sword designs ever.

And yet, I come away feeling cheated. Maybe it’s the fact that the blade seems really flimsy. Or that the red cord wrapping looks like it would come loose if you even looked at it funny. Or the fact that I can’t see how the scales are attached to the tang.

All things that make me worry. And also a testament to it’s ultra cheap construction. Probably not a particularly good grade of steel, and I doubt it is very well put together. It’s a great design in theory, but I think it’s cheapness might have just overwhelmed the draw of it’s aesthetics…

It may very well be possible that I am wrong, and this is not a replica of a “One Piece” sword. In which case, please hit me up in the comments and let me know what it is actually a replica of.

The site I found it on advertises it as a “One Anime Replica Sword – Full Tang Ninja Scimitar” I’m not going to go into the vagaries of why the phrase Ninja Scimitar makes my hackles stand on end, suffice to say that if it is in fact a One Piece replica, I must say, it’s very unworthy of Luffy and his gang.

So here’s another wall hanger for your collection. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing…

One Piece Replica Sword – [True Swords]

09
Nov
08

How to be Kawaii in a Cruel, Cruel World…

OK, so every now and then I run into weapons that cause a big ‘ol grin to split across the face of yours truly. And i don’t mean a grimace of pain from a horrible weapon, but rather from quirky looking weapons that are actually very well designed, but posses some unique quality that just makes them… cute.

There. I said it. Not just cool. But cute. I’m gonna have to wash my mouth out with concentrated hydrochloric acid after this post, but here it is:

Black Cat Defense Key Chain

Black Cat Defense Key Chain

[click image to view full size]

This is the Black Cat defense Keychain. 🙂 Yeah. I had the same reaction. Basically a small stainless steel keychain ornament, finished in black made in the shape of a sitting, wide eyed black cat. My favorite kind of cat, too, just fyi.

Yes, yes chuckle/giggle all you like, I was impressed. First because this design actually makes for a very potent weapon. I mean look at it. Really look at it. It’s a mini punch dagger. An innocuous, easy to use hand weapon. In black. In an remarkably non threatening (some would say cute) form factor.

Perfect for anyone who didn’t want to be blatantly carrying a weapon around, but still wants a little extra protection. Ok, I’m done. Can’t go any further with this without permanently scarring my masculinity…

At least they didn’t try to do this in a “Hello Kitty” form factor… *shiver* I might have had to kill someone to get my testosterone levels back up…

Black Cat Defense Keychain – [True Swords]

06
Nov
08

The Zombies Ate My Brain…

I’m guessing it was while I wasn’t looking. During a movie. Resident Evil, to be specific. How do I know this? Because I just ran into a weapon that is supposedly from the movie RE, and I cannot, for the life (or brains) of me, remember anything remotely similar being in the movie…

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

Alice's Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

[click image to view full size]

Ok, so what are these? Well, to be honest, I haven’t the foggiest. Prolly on account of my brains being consumed and all. But I can certainly try to determine how they might be used…

So what these look like are a set of cast alloy spikes, with a faux Kunai four sided diamond like cross section. With a ring on top. Again like a kunai. What little is left of my brain is getting very suspicious.

Each side if the spike is cast with a rectangular parallelogram. Why? I dunno. But a pattern appears to be emerging. They are thick, low quality castings (like a Kunai) have a ring (like a kunai) come in multiples (Much like Kunai) and even have a leather wrist holster (Can anyone say “Ninja “?)

And to top it all off, I do not recall seeing anything like this in any of the Resident Evil movies… So here’s what I think the real story is. Some enterprising knife designer decided to design an “original” kunai. For some reason, they don’t sell. Then marketing hits on a brilliant idea:

Brand it as a weapon used by a popular (and pretty) protagonist (Alice), from a popular series of movies- Resident Evil. Voila! Alice now uses Kunai to kill Zombies… Alllllrighty then.

Any questions?

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm spikes Kunai – [True Swords]

04
Nov
08

Introducing: The Gun Katar

I’m not really into politics, however it appears that the Good ‘ol U. S. of A. is going to have it’s first African American President. Now while that is of itself a noteworthy and landmark occurrence, as the transition from slavery to presidency is no mean feat, I’m also hoping it will bring with it important changes. Like an improved economy. Reduced national deficits. Better international relationships. You know. Good Presidential stuff.

However we will just have to wait and see. Politicians are politicians after all, it doesn’t matter whether they are black or white, which is a fact many seem to have forgotten. The proof is in the pudding. Whatever that means… I never really liked pudding anyway. Only time will tell how well campaign promises equate to results…

Anyway, in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d break out a beauty of a weapon I ran into a while back. I have done a few gunblade posts in the past, but none of them compare to the sweetness that is the Gun Katar:

Gun Katar

Gun Katar

[click image to view full size]

Is that not completely and uncompromisingly awesome? Now this is a weapon for which a Gun Kata would make practical sense. Yes, A Gun Kata. You know, that little gun dance that seemed to occur at random in the movie “Equilbrium”? The one with Christian Bale before he became the “Dark Knight? Yeah. That one. Go look up Gun Kata (not Katar) on the YouTubes or something. But I’m ranting here. Back to Gun Katar goodness.

What you are looking at here is a Katar, a traditional Indian punch dagger, primarily a thrusting  weapon, often designed to penetrate chain mail armored opponents. It has a thick wedge shaped blade, and unlike most other weapons, the blade is held vertically, by a grip and a set of side bars that sit at right angles to the blade.

Gun Katar - Side View

Gun Katar - Side View

[click image to view full size]

This one is a particularly ornate one, featuring some very intricate engravings. You can see an elephant and a boar on one side, as well as flowers, leaves in the center area where the blade emerges, and other traditional Indian adornments.

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Like many other katar, this features a double bar center grip, with the traditional side bars that run down either side of the blade and acts as guard as well as added support for the weapon.

Gun Katar - Side Guards

Gun Katar - Side Guards

[click image to view full size]

Under normal circumstances, that would be the sum total of the design of a traditional Katar. Except this one takes quite a hike from the traditional beaten Katar path. This Katar is loaded. With black powder. A double charge no less… 🙂

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

[click image to view full size]

This Katar is sporting a pair of flint lock pistols, one attached to either side of the weapon. If you look closely at the grip, you can see a pair of triggers recessed into the front bar, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

[click image to view full size]

As you can probably imagine, a person wielding this in battle would have a healthy advantage over your poorly equipped standard Katar wielding schlub. I can just imagine how confrontations with the original owner of this weapon would have ended. Indiana Jones style.

I love weapons that make the old saying: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” redundant… 😉

Anyway I thought this was a cool weapon for a special day… There are one or two more pics at the link after the jump. Here’s to great things in our future… 🙂

Peace!

Gun Katar – [CollectorEbooks.com]

02
Nov
08

The Midnight Dragon Corps…

So a while back I ran across a rather interesting polearm:

Midnight Dragon Blade

Midnight Dragon Blade

[click to view full size]

Yes. The Midnight Dragon Blade. Dunno if it was intended for hunting dragons at midnight, or is the signature weapon of the secret sect called the Midnight Dragon Corps. Personally I’d much prefer the latter. anyway, I haven’t blogged about a polearm in a while, so when found this while looking through my archives, I thought it would make for an interesting post. Expecially since this is of a rather unusual design.

Like your average polearm, this one has a suitably lengthy shaft, in sweet blackness, tipped with a silver pommel cap sporting a design I had a hard time placing. On one hand it looks like a chain mail pattern covering some kind of flowerbud, and on the other, it could be scales on the outstretched talons of a dragon. Hm. My design-fu is weak today…

Either way, it thought it was cool. Three quarters of the way up the shaft we have a silver band, and just below the head, a dragon is depicted wrapped around the shaft, looking up towards the head. Now the head of this polearm is where it gets interesting.

The flat black head of this polearm is an eclectic collection of curves, arcs, and points, which I normally love to see, except in this case, there does not seem to be much purpose behind the arrangement. However, just for giggles, I’m going to try see if I can classify it based on it’s general features. 🙂

On one side we have what looks like the outstretched wing of a black dragon, which I thought looked very cool. It’s rearward orientation would suggest that this could be used in a bill hook fashion, however billhooks generally did not have an additional large blade on the opposite side as an accoutrement.

Opposite the wing hook we have a large beautiful crescent of black steel. Almost looks like an axe head, which would put it in Bardiche or pole cleaver category, except pole cleavers are usually single edged. Not to mention the little sub crescent in the top of the curve, besides being really annoying, really kills the axe head shape. Which is possibly why I find it annoying. But I digress.

There is also no real forward point to speak of, the top of the axe head curves too far in to make a good thrusting point, so this would probably be best used as a hacking, hooking or or cutting weapon. So we are left with the generic “random blade on a long stick” polearm, AKA – the Halberd.

Halberds perhaps come in the widest variety of blade shapes and sizes, but to be honest, they also generally all have a good useable thrusting point as well, which this doesn’t have. However, since there are versions of polearms with bill hooks on one side and large axe like blades on the other, I’m gonna stick with that, as two out of three isn’t bad.

Meh. Who am I kidding… This thing is unclassifiable. It’s a fantasy weapon. They threw me for a loop by omitting “fantasy” from the name, but the “Dragon” in the nomenclature should have given it away. You’d think i would have figured all this out by now. Live an learn I guess…

It’s still a cool looking polearm, though… 🙂

Midnight Dragon Blade – [King of Swords]




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