Archive for the 'Dark' 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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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]

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]

30
Oct
08

Cool Replicas – Part 6: Zar’roc

Happy Halloween!!! I thought I’d end the week, and my short miniseries on well constructed replicas, with a look at an excellent fan made replica weapon sent in by reader Hector E. None other than Zar’roc from the book turned movie, Eragon:

Zarroc

Zar'roc

[click image to view full size]

Some of you may remember a prior post, many moons ago on another version of Zar’roc, which had a beautiful blade, but a hilt that could, at best, be described as “toylike”. Hector was kind enough to point me to a site sporting a much more accurate, custom made version.

Zarroc

Zar'roc

[click image to view full size]

As you can see, this ain’t no kids toy. In fact, this replica has been approved by Christopher Paolini, the author of the book Eragon, upon which the movie is based. And I can see why.

Zarroc - Hilt Side

Zar'roc - Hilt Side

[click image to view full size]

If you are a fan of the book, you will notice that, in contrast to the other Zar’roc replica, this one actually has a red pommel, instead of the blue one, which, while movie accurate, is not at all true to the book.

Ok, so it’s not quite a ruby, but at the very least it is red, instead of a blue sapphire, which is a significant improvement over the movie replica. I really don’t see why the movie makers decided to take that particular kind or artistic liberty with the design, as it seems to be a trivial and unnecessary change, but I’m not a movie maker either…

Zarroc - Red Ruby Pommel

Zar'roc - Red Ruby Pommel

[click image to view full size]

But there are other changes. In the book, not only did Zar’roc carry a large, tear shaped red ruby in it’s pommel, but it also sported a silver wire wrapped grip. The movie version is wrapped in black leather. The Silver wire grip is yet another feature faithfully reproduced in this replica.

Down to the guard, oh, my… what a guard it is! A beautiful organic sliver of steel tipped with a pair of downward pointing, claw like ends. Quite the menacing piece of steel.

Zarroc - Hilt

Zar'roc - Hilt

[click image to view full size]

And then we come to the glorious red blade. Almost a candy apple red, with a short inverted spade shaped ricasso, that flows into a beautiful slim, straight, double edged sword, it’s quite the looker.

Zarroc - Ricasso

Zar'roc - Ricasso

[click image to view full size]

All of this crimson steel, eventually angles it’s way inwards to a rather keen looking, narrow wedge shaped point, at the business end of the weapon. And boy does it mean business:

Zarroc - Crimson Sword Point

Zar'roc - Crimson Sword Point

[click image to view full size]

Now this is what I call a replica. Making the vision of the original artist become reality. Absolutely all kinds of sweetness incarnate. In fact, this sword almost looks good enough to eat…

You know, drizzle a little more caramel on that blade, and… Nom… 🙂

Zar’roc – [Shur’tugal]

26
Oct
08

Cool Replicas – Part 4: Sandai Kitetstu

Today, we continue my temporary departure from the usual practice of lamenting the tendency for mediocrity that is often displayed by the collectors cultery industry, (wow that was a mouthful!!) to look at another rather nicely reproduced anime weapon.

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

[Click to view full size]

This is the Sandai Kitetsu, third Generation Demon splitter, and one of the swords wielded by the sword happy protagonist Roronoa Zolo (AKA Zoro) from the anime One Piece. I can only assume he got that name because the creators of the series thought it would be fitting, given his skill with the sword, to name him after the legendary Zorro.

You know. The legendary Mexican sword freedom fighter with the gay *cough* blade… Gay, in this instance, meaning lively, quick, flashy, etc… Yeah. Just thought I’d clarify. Oh, no, no, no, you’re welcome. Things have certainly changed a lot since the 1980s. But I digress…

Anyway, this Zoro is a pirate. Though he was formerly a bounty hunter, and is an honorable man, with exceptional sword fighting skills, who just happened to fall into an unfortunate situation. He generally carries three swords with him.

However this one I found particularly interesting because, first and foremost, it has a black blade (of course!). But it also just so happens to be a Kitetsu, a cursed blade, that is said will eventually bring a horrible death to it’s wielder. Though you can kind of tell, just by looking at it, it’s a rather mean sword. With a mind of it’s own. Zoro, however, does not seem to mind. My kind of guy… 🙂

Physically, this sword is actually of a fairly standard design, no really unique features, beyond the black on stainless steel blade. However it’s real beauty lies in the details:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

[click image to view full size]

You can see from the detail of the tsuba, the quality of the fit and finish on this sword is very good. Certainly better than some I have seen that cost a lot more. And then theres the Tsuka:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka/Saya

[click image to view full size]

An interesting variation of the standard design. Instead of the fully cord wrapped grip, we have a grip that is covered, top and bottom, the same way the saya is, with what appears to be a laquered wood sections. In the middle we have the traditional black cord over rayskin wrapping, with metal bands transitioning between the two.

Another interesting departure from the norm is the design of the kashira, sporting a loop set into the traditional pommel cap. It is depicted similarly in the anime and is certainly an unusual feature. The saya is also fairly simple, the standard black lacquer, adorned with one metal band at the opening, and two more, each a little ways from each end. The tip is also is capped in ornate metal.

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

[Click image to view full size]

Overall, this is actually a well done replica. Certainly it does not have the quality or strength of a hand made, sword by any means, so I wouldn’t go sword fighting with it, but for a mass produced replica weapon, it is actually very nicely put together. This one made my white list simply for it’s clean lines, and fairly close attention to detail.

My verdict?

Win.

Just can’t say no to a cursed black sword… 🙂

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [True Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Kingdom of Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Swords Swords]




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