Archive for the 'Claws' Category

08
Dec
08

Another Crazy Cool But Worthless Hand Claw…

Hi there folks… I’m back… 😀 With another entry from the “how to get yourself killed in an armed cage match” series. Today we have an interesting hand weapon that had so much potential… but ultimately failed in implementation.

Red Spiked Hand Claws w Knuckle Guards

Red Spiked Hand Claws w Knuckle Guards

[click image to view full size]

Yes, ladies and germs, allow me to present you with this (quite descriptively) named “Red Spiked Hand Claw With Knuckle Guards”. As it’s name suggests, this is a fairly menacing looking gauntlet thingy. Yes, in fact Sinza, over at the Exotic Automatic Forums had a thread on this and we had a good laugh about it, (you can visit his site here: http://sinza.forumotion.com ) but I suppose you’ll need some more details about why we found this so humorous. Well, I’d be happy to oblige.

But first, the basics.

We have what looks to be a large leather base panel, upon which is mounted a double skull laden cast metal emblem, with an recess in the back for a small red blade, with leather tassels attached. Never been a fan of the tassels, but I guess it the little red blade could have been intended for throwing, which would make the tassels have some practical functionality. But back to the weapon.

The leather base is adorned with a set of rivets in the rear, and a row of metal rings on either edge. It is fastened at the wrist by what looks like a band of nylon webbing. Ahead of the emblem and just above the knuckles we have a set of four metal skull medallions. And just after that, is where things begin to get interesting. The front of the leather panel splits into four fingers, and proceeds into a set of four spiked knucke guards, where it is riveted in place, both top and bottom.

Each knuckle guard has a very evil looking spike protruding from the center, at right angles to the guard, and each has ring, through which the fingers fit, which serves as the front attachment point for the gauntlet. And finally, the piece d’resistance, what makes this weapon cool (and also good for a laugh) are a set od deep red blades, attached to the cast metal emblem on the back of the leather base.

Now, we get to the fun (or at least humorous) part. While this design looks good/evil, (evil is good!!) it suffers from numerous rather painful ergonomic and mechanical flaws. I’ll start with the one that had sinza and I laughing. If you go to the link with the product page below, you will see there is a disclaimer.

This disclaimer warns that the coolblades atop the metal base are attached with, get this, GLUE, and is at risk of falling off should your pet kitten so much as sneeze in your general direction while wearing it. Ok, so they didn’t exactly say that. But they might as well have. Honestly who uses glue to attach metal parts to one another? So basically, you can’t subject it to hear, impact, stresses, vigorous motion, etc. Yeah. But they assure us, it’s no big deal, when it breaks you can just fix it using stronger glue…

HELLOOOOO… How ’bout at least suggesting some JB Weld, epoxy or something there bud? More glue? Seriously, that’s just wrong…

Anyway, that is not the end to the PHAIL that is the red spiked hand claw with knuckle guards. If you are in any way familiar with my past reviews of weapons of this type I’ve mentioned how important good anchoring is. This weapon designer would totally phail Phyreblades armblade anchor 101.

Notwithstanding that this leather base is entirely too flimsy for the job it has been tasked with, and that the metal attachement points do not seem sufficently reinforced to handle any kind of stress, (assuming the blades didn’t come off first) look at where the rings for your fingers to slide into those knuckle guards are. See where they are on the fingers in the pic?

Well, If you were to actually punch something with them like that, they would want to slide backwards. Back down and between the fingers. They would not stay up where they are right now. And it looks like there’s a good inch or so of play between where they are and where they are going to end up. What does that mean? No stability. Not good. At all.

And the base is going to go all cockeyed, because the wrist strap is way too close, and isn’t adjustable for length. In fact,  in this balrogs humble opinion, this would be worthless as a practical weapon. Unless you broke off one of the blades and used it to claw your opponents eyes out.  Maybe if you’re lucky and have long hands, the spikes might stay in the right position… But I wouldnt bet on that either…

At least it looks cool. If you’re the type of superficial person for whom looks are enough..

Hey I’m just saying…

Red Spiked Geriatric Battle Drome Hand Claw with Knuckle Guards – [True Swords]

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01
Sep
08

Wolverine Claws… Revisited.

OK, so if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may know that I have several posts related to the topic of the retractable adamantium claws of our all time favorite X-Man, Wolverine.

In fact, I have talked about several different kinds of Wolverine claws, and innumerable miserable replicas and wannabes, from X-Claws that would most likely implant themselves in your knuckles, to the Bear and Pantera claws and so on, that would probably rotate down and try and embed themselves in your wrist if you ever tried to do anything even remotely Wolvie-like with them.

I think I even looked at the practicality of having claws surgically implanted in ones forearm… (Just as a quick reminder to everyone, that was a distinct “No Go”). However there is one last way to get Wolverine claws that i don’t think anyone has talked about. At least not until now. Probably because it would be the fastest way to get good old Wolvie to relieve you of your lease on life.

What is this new and exciting trick? Well… How about this. You cut off one of Logans hands, extract the adamantium skeleton (including, of course the precious claws) Extend the claws, fix them in place, and strap the whole thing to your wrist…

Yeah… I never said it would be easy. Or even survivable. But it appears that someone has replicated just that particular option. I give you: the Skull Gauntlet.

Skull Gauntlet

Skull Gauntlet

[Click Image to view full size]

Ok, ok, yes, yes yes, so Wolvie never had little skulls on his knuckles or embedded into his wrist. But the guys who are selling this assure us that it will make you and I look like wolverine, except better… Honest!

OK. Whatever you say. But I have one word for you:

BLASPHEMY!!!!

Absolute heresy. No external claws of any kind will EVAR look better than Wolverines. Just not gonna happen. No. Don’t even think about it.

BTW, In case you hadn’t realized, that last paragraph was my feeble attempt to short circuit any possible subsequent fanboi rant comments resulting from this post. I do not expect to see any more. Be warned. Lest you want a claw, upside your head. With a swiftness.

What? Don’t think I can deliver a claw upside your head over the internets? Please. Try me. Just try me. Please.

But back to the nitty gritty. What you are looking at is a very stylized satin finished stainless steel skeleton of a wrist and hand, with small skulls over each knuckle, and a larger stylized skull over the wrist, with what looks like skeletal bands extending down on either side of the wrist. By no means an anatomically correct representation, as it appears to be missing a set of phalangeal bones, and has some sort of structural webbing between the metacarpals, probably to short circuit any “Hey! You ripped off Wolverines skeleton!” claims, but good enough.

However what it does have are claws. Beautiful, beautiful claws. A set of three sweet steel claws extending from between the knuckles. And, in an unprecedented act of practicality, the wrist of this hand is attached to a what appears to be a leather band in the back, and in front, attached to the knuckles, a steel bracket with an actual grip!! Ye Gods! Someone could actually use this! AMAZING!!!

Providing no ridiculously weak joints exist between the blades, the bracket and the rest of the gauntlet/hand, I must admit, this is one of the first truly practical implementation of wolverine claws I have come across. I could seriously do without the skulls, (I see human, elven, dwarven and orc skulls all over the place in my cave here, thanks to the roach-like orcs that appear to have infested the place, and frankly, it’s getting old…) and all the extraneous steel (which we have discovered, thanks to the hands-on review by Sinza over at Exotic Automatic, is actually a plastic covering over a steel frame) wrapping down around the side in the back, but I’m stoked enough that it is actually a practical, though rather non-conformist, design.

And it’s a clever, if a little twisted, idea. to boot. Why try and remove the claws from the Wolverine? Just leave them on and strap his whole hand to your wrist instead. Heh. And I thought I was nuts. But in the greatest of ironies… I think this would actually work!

Who would have thunk it. I think I may have to restructure my universal paradigm…

*Edit*

Just a quick update. Sinza, a buddy, and founder of the Exotic Automatic forum, has done a full hands-on review of these claws, and has posted a lot of great details about it’s construction, as well as some practical insights it’s design strengths and weaknesses. He also provides some excellent suggestions on how to improve the design. If you are interested in this weapon, you should go check it out out here:

Fixed Blade Xiphoids @ Exotic Automatic

It’s about the 4th post in the thread. Enjoy… 😉

PB out.

Skull Gauntlet – [eBlade Store]

21
Jul
08

How NOT to design a wrist blade…

So today I found some time to do my internet blade browse thing, and came upon this little no no…

Close Quarters Combat Fighter - Click to view full size

Close Quarters Combat Fighter

[click image to view full size]

Now this is a no-no for reasons i will get into shortly, but it is ostensibly a rather cool looking little wrist weapon. It’s got a steel fist plate/guard with recesses that are used to store a pair of stainless steel spikes (with leather thong tassels, no less), and the front of the plate is formed into these three spikes that project out over your knuckles.

This is the kind of thing that would be cool to pull out of your pocket and strap on your fist, with a menacing glare, just before a barfight. At least in theory. In practice, you’ll just have to hope your would-be opponent is sufficiently dissuaded to back down based on it’s rather sinister aesthetics alone. Because I can almost guarantee the fight might not go exactly the way you might think with this thing on…

Though it may not seem particularly obvious, there are some rather problematic design flaws with this weapon. The biggest, and one which I talked about a little bit in my Assassins Creed Blade Guide, is the need for a stable platform upon which to mount any wrist or arm mounted blade. This weapon, unfortunately, does not have any such secure mounting.

If you look at how this weapon is designed, you will see that the metal plate/hand shield is riveted to what looks like a nylon mesh web, to which a strap with velcro has been attached. In the front there appears to be a covered elastic band that has been bolted/screwed to the plate somehow. All seems well and good, you might think, until you realize the following:

1. Velcro, when used by itself, is perhaps one of the worst ways to secure a wrist mounted device. In this case it was used to ensure a tight fit of the rear strap, regardless of the wearers wrist size, because that secure fit is a very neccessary requirement of a wrist worn weapon. However because velcro is designed to be pulled off with little resistance, all it would take is a sideways glancing blow from something else to loosen it, or even worse, make it come off altogether.

Velcro does have the strength to be used for applications like these, but needs to be part of a properly designed fastening mechanism, with a secondary fastening device, wrap, strap sleeve, or lock mechanism covering the velcro strip, in order to make sure it can’t just be pulled off once it’s secured. Or just a regular tried and true buckle. So… – Strike One.

2. That band on the front? The elastic one? That’s a nonstarter. First because an elastic band will never give you a solid mount for ANYTHING that will be used in this fashion. It will move when you don’t want it to, allow the whole thing to slide backwards when you need it to stay in one place, and will generally be a major nuisance. It really needs to be another nylon/velcro strap.

And I can’t see how exactly this is fastened to the plate underneath, but using a couple of screws with an elastic strap doesn’t seem too bright of an idea either. You run the risk of the strap stretching out and slipping out from under the screws/bolts/plate, whatever they have under there. Just not the best idea. So for that – Strike Two.

3. The last is not as obvious a problem, and probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if the straps weren’t such a mess, but if you look at how that rear strap is attached, you’ll see that it isn’t really attached to the plate. It’s stitched to the nylon webbing an inch or so after the plate ends. This, IMHO, is a problem. A rather insidious one.

In general things like this work best when the mounting straps are attached to the most rigid part of the platform, which, in this case, is the metal plate. NOT the flexible nylon webbing. Either the webbing should have been smaller, or the plate should have been longer, but either way, the velcro strap should have been attached to the rear of the plate.

Seriously, when a weapon mounting strap is attached to a flexible, non-rigid spot on your wrist mounted weapon, bad things tend to happen when it is used… Trust me. The possible resulting carnage to the wearer if it is used like this would not be pretty. So all I’m going to say is… Steeeerike Three!

So, in summary: PHAIL WRIST MOUNTED FIGHTER BLADE IS AN EPIC PHAIL.

But for most of us, we can overlook all of that glorious phail, because it does look cool. Be nice to hang up on your wall. Or for some impressive LARP action. Just don’t count on it for any real CQC. At least not without a major redesign. Actually it would be really easy to redesign, and would be a fairly formidable weapon if properly outfitted and secured. So maybe it’s not a total loss.

But I do have one  little question… What’s with the freakin’ tassels?!?

Close Quarters Combat Fighter – [True Swords]

24
Mar
08

A mutant set of wolverine-like claws…

Those of you who are fans of the X-Men will undoubtedly know of Wolverine and his infamous adamantium claws. Now I came across a weird set of blades, and the first thing I thought to my self was, if wolverine ever underwent some kind of crazy, out-of-control, mutation, this is probably what his claws would turn into:

Razor Warrior

Razor Warrior
[view full size]

And No, in case you are wondering, I don’t think this was intended to be some kind of uber wolverine claw replica. At least it doesn’t seem that way. But then again… Either way, it is an interesting take on the whole hand held claw weapon thing.

As with all the other Wolvie style dealios, we have three primary blades, but that is pretty much where the similarities stop. The blades on these are actually dual tiered, with the bottom blades conforming somewhat to the original Wolvie design, with a few modifications, such as slots cut into the blade, as well as a wider ovoid grip.

The grip is an interesting departure from the norm, since it also includes two polished end pieces that allow for an extended grip that give each finger a grip area, as opposed to most of the others, where only the middle three fingers are used, or you have a knuckle-duster like design. In addition to providing additional side protection for your valuable little piglets, I’d imagine this would be a much more comfortable arrangement.

Speaking of which, the second tier of the weapon features a set of short smaller sub blades with an interesting twist. The rear of the top blades are connected by a bar that looks like it is intended to rest over the back of your hand when being wielded. Now this is an immense improvement over the other designs, which either featured no anti-rotational design aspects, or incorporated nubs that just as likely wear holes into the skin between your knuckles.

All in all, though this makes no claim to being a Wolvie claw, it seems to have been the most ergonomically designed variant I have yet seen, and would have been more justified than most to be given the honorary “Wolvie claw” title…

Awww, who am I kidding. I would probably have complained that this looked nothing at all like Wolverine claws, if they had named it such. I guess there is no pleasing fanatics. But it still gets props for being the one wolvie-like claw weapon most likely to be used by yours truly, were I ever given a choice between the lot.

However the designer still gets demerits for being unable to come up with any display stand design that would have been an improvement on the freakin’ farm tractor deal they’ve got going on here… Srsly… 😛

Razor Warrior – [Collectors Edge]

25
Feb
08

Another Dark Sword…

If you recall, a several posts ago, I blogged about a dark sword, from Kit Rae canon, which seemed to have too much going on in it’s life for it’s own good. Well, today I ran into one of it’s cousins.

Black Sword of Darkness

Black Sword of Darkness
[view full size]

Now as you can see, it bears some of the trademarks of the stereotypical drama laden Kit Rae sword, (much like the last one) However the questionable family trait of being unbearably busy is actually quite muted in this particular relative. The design is a little more grounded, a little less flighty, and much more focused. You can actually see

Now the blade profiles on Kit Rae swords are generally quite the lookers, if a little narcissistic and this one is no exception. I find this one exceptionally notable in it’s simplicity. There is a beautiful combination of straight lines and subtle curves on this flat black blade. But as usual, the hilt is where all the action is.

This time around, there is actually a discernable theme! An i’m calling it the Demon Talons. 🙂 The pommel is made in the image of a rather irate looking horned demon, which sits atop a simple high gloss black grip with a mild swell in the middle. The grip runs into the unique guard, what I will call the “talons” of the demon.

The guard is basically a set of cool horned claws. Or clawed talons. Or taloned claws if you so desire. Your choice. 🙂 the point is, there are a set of what look like golden wing claws, atop the downward pointing black talons of the guard, at either side of the blade. I really like the overall combination if gold talons and black.

Now in all honesty, I still think the guard does indulge in what I would consider superfluous detail. I mean, I can understand the horn motif at the intersection of the guard and the blade, but I fail to understand why there should be some kind of serpent like creatures writhing around in the talons of the guard…

But to be fair these details are not overly distracting, and in the end I kinda like the swords overall demeanor. Yes, it could be simpler, but hey, life is never simple now is it… 😛

Sword of Darkness (Black) – [Medieval Weapon Art]

11
Feb
08

Another Funky Finger Blade…

Yet another freaky fang-like blade for fashionable fighting fingers wishing to induce fear… 🙂  :

The Touch of Death

Touch of Death
[view full size]

OK. Big bad finger blade. We get it. But “Touch of Death”? Errrm… No. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there is a reason that finger weapons are far and few in the history of medieval weaponry. They aren’t particularly lethal. And they have a nasty habit of damaging a wielders fingers if used improperly. Unless, of course, they are poisoned.

But even then they are, at best, an assassins tool, since no self respecting combatant worth their salt would let you get close enough to cut them (especially in any lethal fashion) with such a thing. Unless, again, they didn’t see you coming.

So, yes. It’s a cool finger blade. Is it the Touch of Death? No. I don’t think so. Not unless you are a Ninja… 😛

The Touch of Death – [True Swords]

21
Nov
07

Dragon claws!

Actually more like dragon knuckle talons, but whose keeping track? In the tradition of finger weapons like the Iron Reaver,  I present the Dragon Ring:

Dragon Ring

Dragon Ring
[view full size
]

Now I really like the aesthetics of this weapon. The little dragons head is well done, and the blade itself actually looks fairly sinister. And whose to say there weren’t vicious blade headed unicorn dragons back in the day?

My only gripe with this weapon is that, sadly, the ring is too small for anyone to have any real control over the blade. You could prbably cut someone if you back handed them, with it, (and you might cut yourself in the process) but forget stabbing and such, unless you have really, really, strong fingers. You’d probably hurt yourself worse than whatever it is you were trying to stab or claw at.

But it looks pretty cool. ‘Nuff said.

Dragon Ring – [Collectors Edge]




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