Archive for the 'Blade' Category

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
07

Another Vanquisher of Vampires…

You’ll remember a while back I did a couple of posts about the proliferation of Vamp on Vamp crime in the media and such, and on the unique weapons they used. Well, I found yet another vampire-terminating sliver of soulless steel:

The Vampire Vanquisher

The Vampire Vanquisher
[view full size]

Now I am not a professional vampire slayer by any means. They don’t come round these here parts. So I never had to learn. But if I were, this would be the sword I’d use. Why? Because it’s cool. Obviously the first thing you notice is it’s basic cruciform shape. Built-in Vampire repellent right thar. Until you meet one ‘o them super master vamps, at which point that keen edge would come in mighty handy for some quick decapitation work. Or you die. Depending on how much you suck. Or how experienced the vamp is at sucking the life out of hapless humans. But I digress.

What I really like about this sword is it’s aesthetics. As I mentioned before, It has a really neat cruciform shape built into the ricasso/guard, but even cooler is that there are some wicked looking curved blades at the ends of the guards. A rather practical design, I reckon, that also enhances the aesthetics of the weapon. The guard and substantial ricasso are also etched with a cool looking set of runes, which add to the overall appeal of the weapon. Though I’m betting they’d be a pain to clean, should you happen to get vamp juice all over them.

Now maybe I’m nitpicking a bit, but the grip and pommel don’t quite cut muster in my oh, so humble opinion. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just, umm…, meh. I’m not a big fan of colored grips. Unless it’s black. Then I’m all about it. The red grip? It’s just not me. And I’d actually be fine with the pommel, IF it didn’t have those funky, dangly hook things on them. Looks like a prime way to get the sword hooked on your clothing or something. Definitely wouldn’t be a good position to be in while battling a really hungry blood sucker.

But those are the only areas I have any complaints. The blade itself is simple, bearing the slender, fairly straight lines that I find quite appealing for this kind of sword. This, in combination with the other aesthetic features of the guard and ricasso, make up for it’s other shortcomings. Which might just be me being nitpicky. Hey! No comments from the peanut gallery! Ya can’t can’t blame me for wanting perfection out of my vamp slaying weapons. Even if I might never use them…

the Vampire Vanquisher – [Collectors Edge]

24
Oct
07

Halloween (or Cosplay) Treats…

Over the past year or so, during my frequent intarweb sojourn for interesting weapons, I’ve come across an inordinate number of wooden replicas of otherwise lethal weapons. Now I have to admit that the first time I saw them, I was a bit puzzled. I thought maybe they were safety weapons for the accident prone. Or ultra cheap knock offs. Or something similar.

It wasn’t until I happened to come across a couple of pics of Cosplayers (CosPlay or Costume Play – folks who dress up as anime or movie characters and gather are conventions of the same) wielding some pretty authentic looking weapons, (in wood) that I finally understood. BTW, if you are an anime fan, you might very well be impressed by how realistic these cosplayers look:

Here’s one of Naruto (one of my favorites):

Naruto Cosplayer
[click to view
The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

Here’s a couple of the bad guys, Itachi (Mr. Red eyes on the right) and Kisame (Mr. Blue face on the left) (and yes, that is how they are supposed to look):

Itachi & Kisame Cosplayers
[click to view The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

How about an Afro Samurai? (The hair isn’t quite big enough, but oh well… 🙂 ):

Afro Samurai Cosplayer
[click to view jpassionpats flickr gallery]

I was particularly impressed by this Blade cosplayer:

MorpheusBlades flickr gallery
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

And, of course, Morpheus and Neo…

Morpheus And Neo
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

I’ve linked the pictures above the to the flickr pages I found them on. Very cool. But more importantly, I realized that all of these folks had to use wooden weapons, since none are allowed to bring real weapons into a crowded cosplay convention hall. Mystery solved!

Also, since it is about Halloween, I thought I’d round up a few of the wooden movie, video game and anime weapons I’ve come across recently for your viewing pleasure. There are actually quite a few out there, but I thought these ones looked the best:

300 – Spartan Sword – Wood

300 Spartan sword
[view full size]

<^>

Naruto – Ninja Kunai – Wood

Naruto Kunai
[view full size]

<^>

Legend of Zelda – Links Sword – Wood

Legend of Zelda
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Bankotsu’s Banryu – Wood

Banryu
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Inuyasha’s Tetsusaiga – Wood

Inuyashas Tetsusaiga
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Renji Abarai’s Zabimaru – Wood

Zabimaru
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Ichigo’s Zangetsu Bankai – Wood

Zangetsu Bankai
[view full size]

<^>

God of War – Kratos’ Blades of Chaos – Wood

Karatos Swords of Chaos
[view full size]

I guess it’s cutting it close for Halloween, but if you plan on being one of these characters, or plan to cosplay any of these characters in the near future, these weapons actually do look good enough to perfect your look. And could save you from inadvertently relieving yourself or a friend, of a limb. Or of sight in one eye…

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]

14
Jun
07

Some Contemporary Glaives.

Since I’m on a roll with the glaives, I thought I’d blog about a few more glaive designs. Today we will be looking at not one, but TWO of the more contemporary incarnations of the infamous glaive. Thats right ladies and jerks, today we will look at two modern and well publicized glaive designs, made famous by the comic vampire hunter Blade, and the resulting movies. I bring you none other than Blades Shredder and Cyclone Glaives.

Blade’s Glaives

Shredder<–>Cyclone

Blades Shredder Glaive Blades Cyclone Glaive
[view full size] [view full size]

I won’t bother to recap my previous comments about the weaknesses of a folding blade, ’cause (assuming you have been following along) you now know them all. Right? Right? Oh Come ON!!. OK. You fail. Start this class again from the beginning. The rest of us are going to continue on. Those still with us are in for a treat, because the design of Blades Glaives present a unique set of potential problems, which we will cover today in class, one by one. Woot!

First off, you can’t see it from the pics, but Blades glaives are centrally spring loaded. The mechanism that keeps the blades secure in both the open and closed position requires a hub mounted spring in order to keep the blades in whatever position they are locked in. Personally I think this is a risky design move, especially for a weapon that experiences high impact or G forces, because the same forces could “pop” the mechanism on impact, causing the mechanism to fail. See if you can find an abused novelty store display model of one of these and you will see what I’m talking about. Just pray that after repeated use it doesn’t decide to fold up on you while still in your hand. Strike 1.

The second point to note on both blades, is the exaggerated size of the central hub around which the blades rotate to close. No doubt this is a direct result of the requirements of the centralized blade locking mechanism and the spring thereof. The resulting hub is large, unwieldy and eats up a huge section of the real estate that might otherwise have been used to hold it. Wheeee! Strike 2.

Which brings us to yet the third problem. That huge hub means that these glaives have no real handle. The Shredder glaive design does allow for a bit more hand room in the middle, but between the huge hub and the short blades, you would be hard pressed to throw this cleanly while still imparting enough rotation to make it stick in anything more solid than the seat of yer pappy’s overstuffed wing-backed chair. And it’d probably still bounce off that.

And just forget about trying the palm grip throw with one of these puppies, like Blade does in the movies. Much like the Beastmaster Glaive, it would very likely hang up in your hand or on your fingers on departure. Though unlike the Beastmasters Glaive, (if it’s any consolation), it probably remain open while it does so. Probably perform a 180° in your hand too, resulting in an “incident” that your idiotic friends may think hilarious at the time, but you might not find too humorous. Steeeeeerike 3! Yer Out!

All of this leads me to one undeniable conclusion. For any and all practical intents and purposes, the average hollywood glaive stinks! These particular designs, especially the Cyclone, are possibly some of the most impractical designs ever in the history of glaivedom. (Yes, I said “Glaivedom”. This is my glaivesphere, and I can use whatever glaivey word I want. Glaiveify at will, if you will. Now back to the Glaivespiel at hand. Glaiveisms Rule!! Ha!)

But practical considerations aside, these glaives (heh, heh, heh, I said “Glaives”…) do appear quite menacing, and that is a quality that can stand on it’s own merits. They look… mean. Especially the Shredder. Just don’t go confusing them for athletes when they are really just runway models… Doing so could literally come back to bite you in the proverbial ol’ hiney…

Blades Shredder Glaive – [Medieval Weapon Art]
Blades Cyclone Glaive – [Medieval Weapon Art]




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