Archive for the 'Futuristic' Category

03
Sep
08

In the future, axes will become art…

Today we have another entry into the “I traveled to the future and all I got was this lousy “I got beat by a wussy futuristic ugly stick” t-shirt…” category:

Futuristic Oval Axe

Futuristic Oval Axe

Yeah. A futuristic axe. Uh huh. And not just a futuristic but a futuristic oval axe… Oooohh, Aaaaahhh… Pthththh… Yep. Where to start… Ah, yes. With the head. Or whatever it is.

As axes go, well… it’s… something. It’s got an “oval” axe head, very much reminiscent of a traditional double bit axe, except with an ovoid blade, some weird cut outs and some funky trim. But despite it’s double edged appearance, it’s hard to tell whether this design was intended to be single or double edged, as the rear edge is shrouded by the pivot arm.

Yes. You read correctly. I said “pivot arm”. Why? because this axe head is mounted not to a shaft, but to a rotating arm, via a single central bolt. Why? Well, so that it can pivot down to one side of the shaft, of course. Why the pivot functionality? Errrmmm… Well… I dunno.

Maybe to enable it to be used as a replacement prosthetic arm for a battle bot? A small Transformer maybe? In fact, now that I think about it, I’d be willing to bet this whole design concept was a Decepticons doing… Sneaky bots, them… But I digress.

So this pivot arm is then mounted to the nifty, ergonomic looking grip, via a similar single pivot bolt arrangement. Having not had the pleasure of handling this, I can’t comment as to the efficacy of the locking mechanism, but based on the visible mechanics, I’m not particularly optimistic about it’s mechanical strength.

However not content with that iffyness, this grip has two added ovoid blades (more crescent shaped actually), one at the top, just beneath the head, above the pivot point, and one at the pommel, with the bottom one attached with yet more pivot bolt madness.

I have actually run into this design on several occasions over the years. And I can finally give voice to the thought that ran through my head every time I saw it:

WHAT THE…!!?!?

Why that particular response? Well, here’s my thing. In my admittedly neurotic mind, axes have traditionally been the brawn of the blade world. Big solid heavy heads, strong shafts, strong utility edge grinds, etc. They are not about finesse. When you swing an axe, it’s supposed to be with authority.

With this “futuristic” design, if you were to ever swing it, not only would you have to worry about the pivot locking mechanism holding, but also the fact that the whole thing is held together by two relatively puny bolts.

A locking mechanism and/or bolts that might gain an intense aversion to such treatment and decide to just pack it in and go home. Without the customary two weeks notice. Yeah. With something like this I wouldn’t be comfortable swinging it with any more authority than a chihuahua barking at a hungry Rottweiler.

That’s not to say I entirely dislike it. I like the talon-like shape of the grip blades. And notwithstanding the gimping of the rear edge with the cutouts and shrouding and whatnot, the head has some decent aesthetics.

And though I could do without it, I really don’t mind the over-the-top pseudo futuristic garbage people keep cranking out. (I mean seriously, from these excessively busy designs you’d think the designers think our future generations will all suffer from a serious global epidemic of ADD… Wait… Whut?)

But sometimes the sheer level of functional dysfunction I see in some of these designs really makes me wonder whether it’s really that hard for people to make functionally feasible and mechanically sound art. Perhaps I ask too much. Maybe I’m just an obsessive compulsive pedant who likes to rant about stupid blades. Perhaps I’m just insane.

It’s probably all of the above…

Futuristic Oval Axe thingy – [Anime Castle]

01
Apr
08

A Predatorial Shuriken

OK, So i’ll admit I’m not really the April Fools type. I sat thinking about all of the incredibly evil things I could have posted as an April Fools prank and realized… I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I’m gonna post about a fictional weapon that Ive always thought was very cool looking, but entirely impractical:

The Predator Shuriken

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

This weapon was one of the cool weapons wielded by the race of Predators in the Predator series of movies. This particular shuriken was prominently featured on the AvP (Alien vs Predator) and AVP2 movies. Now the one featured here is a non-functioning reproduction shuriken, primarily because, well, this weapon would be near impossible to make work in real life, for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

I truly love many of the design details of this weapon. But what makes it such an intriguing weapon to me is primarily the subtle physical impossibility and impracticality of it. It is a weapon that appears, on the surface, to be physically plausible, but upon closer inspection, reveals aspects that are implausible, but so tempting close to real, that you cannot help but wonder if it would be possible to duplicate in real life.

AvP Shuriken – life size prop

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

For example, looking at the pic above, you may notice that the overall design of this shuriken vaguely follows that of the Japanese Fuuma (or Windmill) shuriken, but departs from traditional shuriken design in it’s asymmetry. The blades are all biased towards one side of the weapon. Now besides the fact this this offends my sense of symmetry, this massive weight imbalance would also make it a very impractical throwing weapon. And yet, in the movie, it is thrown just as a Fuuma shuriken would be, without exhibiting any of the idiosyncratic flight characteristics that one might expect from such a poorly balanced weapon.

An even more implausible feature of the weapon is the great disparity between the retracted form factor and the fully deployed form of the shuriken. Below is a picture of the center section of the weapon with the blades extended:

AvP Shuriken – Center Section

AvP Shuriken - center Section
[view full size]

And here is a picture of the blades, again fully extended:

AvP Shuriken – Blades

AvP Shuriken -  Blades
[view full size]

In the movie, the blades are shown to extend out of the center section of the weapon. From the pics, it is apparent that a considerable level of nesting can and would need to occur in order for this to be physically feasible. By my count, there are six blades, each blade consisting of 4 sections, an extension/pivot lever, an outer extension sleeve, an inner extension sleeve and the blade proper. The weapons deployment sequence is shown in the clip below:

AvP Shuriken – Deployment

AvP Shuriken - Deployment

Sweeeet…! Incidentally, the little clip above may also explain the weapons asymmetrical design. If the blades were to extend in a symmetrical fashion around the circumference of the weapon, there would be no safe place to hold it during deployment without risking the loss of a few digits. If memory serves, I think these were used primarily as throwing weapons, so if I were designing it, it would be perfectly symmetrical, and would open in mid air when thrown, so as to avoid the awkward asymmetrical design. The asymmetry seems like a pointless trade-off if you ask me, but then again, I’m not an alien weapons designer…

Anyway, during retraction, the blade would have to retract into the inner sleeve, the inner sleeve into the outer sleeve, and the whole outer sleeve assembly pivot onto the extension arm, which would then all fold neatly into the center section, completely occupying that space. Sounds good in theory, except that, given the physical dimensions of blades, sleeves, etc, there should be hardly enough room for all six blades, let alone a deployment / retraction mechanism…

Of course, given the advanced nature of Predator technology, these technical details would almost certainly only be limitations of human technology, and would be little more than niggling little technicalities to a predator engineer.

In the end, however, it is the overall aesthetic of the blades, and the deployment mechanism that makes this weapon so captivating, and while the technical challenges would be great, the design is ultimately so close to something that could be made using current technologies, it would be very tempting to try…

I wonder if DARPA would be willing to give me a research grant for this kind of stuff… 🙂

AvP Predator Shuriken – [Black Aris]

04
Mar
08

A Galactic Gladiators Sword… NOT!

So a long while back I came across this sword and stuffed it in my archives for future review… Primarily because it was black and it had some cool qualities. I can’t remember exactly what particular qualities… Hmm… Lesse… Right! It was black. And pointy… Alrighty then. Let’s carry on shall we. Allow me to introduce:

The Galaxy Shocker.

Galaxy Shocker
[view full size]

Now here’s the thing. For reasons I cannot fathom. I am really on the fence about whether this sword is cool or not. Honestly. I’m at a loss. On the one hand I could say the blade has some nice clean lines, and the hilt is simple. I like that about this sword. But then you have that wierd pointy thing on the pommel, which kinda ruins the whole effect for me. If not for that, I’d really take a fancy to the simplicity of the design.

Or perhaps I’m just getting persnickety…

Galaxy Shocker  – [True Swords]

19
Feb
08

A Killer Energy Sword

Today we venture yet again into the world of replica video game weapons, and a hobbyists interpretation of a weapon from the wildly popular video game HALO:

Energy Blade from HALO

Halo Energy Blade
[view full size]

Now obviously, this is not an energy blade. This is what the original energy blade in halo looked like:

HALO – Elite Covenant Energy Blade

Halo Elite Covenant Plasma Sword
[view full size]

A very interesting concept, in the game, the Energy Blade (AKA Plasma Sword) is formed from a coronal energy discharge of some sort that worked in a similar fashion to that of a light saber. Anything touching the edge would be instantly superheated, which made it the equivalent of a hot knife through butter, except that pretty much everything else was butter… But I digress.

Since we obviously have not the technology to replicate plasma blades (or light sabers for that matter), the enterprising replica maker decided to use good old steel. A rather large chunk of stainless steel, in fact,  polished to a mirror shine. So no, it may not be a plasma blade, but yes, this could be almost as lethal as the real thing, were it to actually exist. Here’s another shot of the handywork:

Halo Energy Blade

Halo Energy Blade
[view full size]

Boy, look at the shine on that baby. I tell ya, I really wish the commercial production replica houses would put this much energy into making quality replicas of game and movie blades. They might end up being more expensive, but they would be worth every penny…

Halo Energy Blade (Covenant Elite Plasma Sword) – [Lionhearts Realm]

24
Jan
08

More Kooky Khukuris…

In the comments of the post before last, I was asked by a friend what kind of sword I would pick for personal defense/offense were the world to be suddenly plunged into a post apocalyptic state where firearms no longer worked. My answer?: A Japanese Katana.

However it was a rather incomplete answer. In reality, I would not be limited to 1 weapon, and even if we retained the artificial “no firearms” limitation there would still be quite a number of considerations that would go into how many weapons I would carry and which ones. It is a topic I think worthy of a dedicated post.

However today, I thought I’d talk about one of the specific kinds of knives I might carry around with me for utility and defense purposes. Namely, a Gurkha Khukuri (aka Kukri) . Or a variation thereof:

Alice’s Khukuri

Alice's Kukri
[view full size]

Now the observant movie going folk among you might be asking: “Isn’t that emblem on the blade from “The Umbrella Coporation”?” Indeed it is. And the reason is because this particular Khukuri is a replica of the pair of Khukuri used by Milla Jovovichs character “Alice” from the “Resident Evil: Extinction” movie. In the movie, she worked those Khukuri like there was no tomorrow. I suppose it would be accurate to say she was trying to ensure that there actually was a tomorrow, and being suitably motivated to do so, well, I’m sure you get the picture… 🙂

Interestingly, the Khukuri has made an appearance in other post apocalyptic movies, such as “Cyborg” (one of Jean Claude Van Damme’s characters favorite weapons) and “Waterworld” (Kevin Costners “Mariner” used one to rather terminal effect). Now while the movies are a great (but sometimes unrealistic) showcase for the Khukuris flexibility, there are actually a lot of good real world reasons why a Khukuri would be a great blade to have as part of your arsenal in a post apocalyptic world.

The Khukuri is actually a very flexible and capable weapon design. It is a large knife with a stout spine, that carries all of it’s weight at the top half of a forward canted blade, making it an excellent chopping tool. But the unusually angled top half of the blade still retains a strong, sweeping cutting edge, so it is also a great cutting weapon, though not in the same way that a Katana is. And while thrusting isn’t really it’s forte, it does have enough point to be used for stabbing action. Although some of the more contemporary designs marginalize that particular weakness:

Kukrage (Paul Ehlers)

Paul Ehlers
[view full size]

Notice the sharp point, the knuckle guard, the saw back spine? Most of these features you’d find on your average survival knife. But here they are in Khukuri form. And its all black! Ha! Now this is a Khukuri I’d love to have, come the apocalypse!!

Yet an additional advantage of the Khukuri is it’s packaging. It is actually a fairly compact design, for what it can do. It is shorter and than a machete, but because of it’s stout, top heavy design, can be used like one. And it’s rugged build would make it suitable for the many tasks that you would not want to abuse a Katana blade with. A large bowie knife might also have fit this bill, but, no offense to the bowie purists among you, a Khukuri just feels balanced better to me, and looks a whole lot cooler… 😛

So while it might not be my primary combat blade, it would certainly be a great utility blade. With offensive capabilities. A good all around, general purpose blade. I’d never leave home without it… 😉

05
Dec
07

The contemporary ninja.

I’ve done a few posts in the past on ninjas and ninja weapons, so if you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ll know that ninjas are a favorite topic of mine. I found an interesting weapon which raises a thorny philosophical question about ninjas, but I’ll save my little diatribe until after you’ve seen the weapon that inspired it:

The Shinobi Blade Runner

Shinobi Blade Runner
[view full size]

This, my dear friends, is a (supposedly) modern ninja sword. And it certainly looks the part. It’s got a really cool futuristic looking perforated black cylindrical grip, with a polished pommel. The scabbard also features a cylindrical design, with matching perforations at it’s bottom end.

The guard is equally modern looking, featuring two semicircular sectors with, you guessed it, perforations, and and two cutouts directly opposite each other to accommodate a cool little sub sheath attached to the scabbard, that hides yet another small blade.

Shinobi Blade Runner

The blade, well, it’s pretty par for the course as ninja blades go, featuring the standard single edged straight blade with a sharply angled chisel point style tip. Nothing to phone home about. It’s all been pretty well done though, and it’s name, Shinobi Blade Runner, conjures up images of a futuristic ninja, stalking the streets of the future with this trusty Shinobigatana on his back…

And it is exactly at that point when the obsessive compulsive nerd in my head politely, but really annoyingly, decides to interject: “I have a question!” he wheezes, raising his hand with a smug grin, “Why would a modern ninja even use a sword?” Dagnabbit! Good question. That annoying little geek has a point. Because, you see, unlike a Samurai, a ninja is not duty or honor bound to use his sword.

The ninja viewed his weapons, including his sword, as tools. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, a ninja used whatever tools were available to get the job done. Roofing tiles, washers nails, sticks, garden trowels, whatever. Now back in feudal Japan, a sword was a very useful tool indeed. However, if there was a better one, they would have used it. Well guess what! There are. They’re called combat knives and firearms. *Gasp!* No!

Yes. Or, even closer to traditional ninja form, silenced firearms. You see, a sword is an almost pointless tool today, because it’s too large, ungainly, and conspicuous. And standing out is generally anathema to a good ninjas modus operandi. Today, they would use one or two smaller, more easily concealable combat knives, and a few, easily concealed, silenced hand guns. No need for a sword whatsoever.

Hence the annoying little voice in my head. Yes, this weapon is cool. It just that the idea of such a weapon makes no sense. And the little dweeb in my head knew that full well, long before he even raised his scrawny little hand. I would insert a ninja in there to shut him up, but he’d probably have to kill the stupid little dork.

Maybe if I armed the ninja with a taser… 😀

Shinobi Blade Runner – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

29
Nov
07

The Grim Reaper shows a little style.

Custom knife designers are known for thier off-the-wall creations. And some are more off-the-wall than others. And then there are those who just steal weapons designs from other sources. I’m sure you are all familiar with Death. Yes. Death.
You know, the tall, sombre, enigmatic figure, suffering from a rather extreme case of chronic bulimia, in the black robe with the over-sized scythe, that purportedly reaps our souls when we die? AKA the Grim Reaper? Well today we will be looking at a weapon, by crazy knife designer Tom Anderson, that, from the looks of it, was stolen from the grim reapers weapons locker:

The Kultovator

Kultovator - Tom Anderson
[view full size]

Well what can I say. Lets take it from the top. This is a half size scythe, with a half sized blade, presumably to make close quarters soul reaping easier. And it’s got a lot of cool modern touches. The blade is wickedly hooked, beak like, almost like an oversized Kama blade. All the better to reap you with. And the head is just fantastic. The three rearward spikes, the futuristic black and white patterned cheek of the weapon, it’s all so very contemporary in a “Death for the new Millennium” kind of way.

Below that, however, it all goes freaky really, really, fast. The shaft of this scythe looks almost like someones spine was used as the shaft. And capped of by a skull. Quite possibly from the same unfortunate soul who became the shaft. All very gruesome. In a cool, dark kind of way, of course. Not that I’m trying to make light of a weapon of Death. I do, in fact, have a very well developed sense of self preservation. (In spite of how I may come across.)

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but it looks to me as though the grim reaper has been experimenting with a new Scythe design. And you can tell from the name that Tom Anderson TOTALLY ripped off the Grim Reaper. (Like how I did that little redirection? Sweet right? Yeah. Now old man Death can be mad at Mr, Anderson instead. Uh huh. I’m good like that.) Come on Kultovator? Like Kultovating Souls for reaping? OK, so that was reaching a bit. But I still say he stole a page from the reapers playbook…

The Kultovator by Tom Anderson – [Red Dragon Swords]




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