Archive for the 'Gauntlet' 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]

22
Sep
08

Cool idea, really bad implementation…

There are some weapon designs that are actually very cool (and arguably equally wicked) in concept, but really fall short of their potential in design and implementation. I came across one such evil seed a while back, and thought I’d post about it…

Skull Mayhem

Skull Mayhem

[Click image to view full size]

Now this right here, is what I call a hand blade. And it’s pretty self explanatory. It wants to kill you. No. really. It does. And for this reason, it features a not so obvious but rather dangerous design detail, which we’ll get to in a minute. But on to the wickedness.

In essence, this is pretty much a metallic demon/vampire skull, (personally I’d go with “Angry Master Demon Vamp” But that’s just me) with a set of three pairs of blades attached to it, coming out at either side of the skull, and beneath a very wicked looking set of teeth. The largest, topmost set consists of a large curving blade with quadruple edges, one on the top half of each inward curving blade and the other edge on the bottom half.

The single round grip is attached to a bracket that is bolted to each primary blades on either side. Beneath the main blades are a set of smaller, but longer and more sinister looking blades extending downwards and inwards from approximately where the skulls mandibles should be. IMHO the coolest blades of the set.

The last pair of blades sit in between the second set, and extend downwards from the teeth, specifically from the large fangs, forming a long and rather formidable looking set of black steel fang extensions. Given the reach of the middle pair of blades, I doubt the smaller pair are really neccesary, but I certainly can’t argue the evilitude of the whole combination…

Altogether this would make for a rather effective hand held battledrome blade, except for that one, rather nasty little caveat, that I alluded to earlier. The grip. Yes. This weapon seems very well put together, with a grip set in a steel bracket that is bolted quite securely to the largest set of blades. BUT this single grip is where the problem lies.

With a single grip, this whole contraption is capable of freely rotating around (forwards and backwards, to be exact) the grip. Which means on one day you may have the top of the skull trying to attach itself permanently to the back of your hand. And on another day, you could have the bottom blades trying to slit your wrists.

Either way, unless you’re an emo looking for a really cool way to go out, this is probably a bad choice of weapon for the underground deathmatch gladiator type. However, I do like the aesthetics of this piece. Large black blades, fangs, bladed skull wings… Awesome. And had someone had the forethought to place a rear wrist brace/bracket on the thing, it might have been an absolutely unholy terror in the death match circuit…

Perhaps that was the whole point. Maybe the designers were scared. Maybe they gimped it because they were terrified of what their creation might become. Frightened pantless that their creation might come back to eviscerate them…

Pffft… BWAHA HA HA HA HA AH HA HHA HA HA…

Wusses…

Skull Mayhem – [Collectors Edge]

23
Feb
08

Vamp Hunts and Dhampirs and Swords… Oh My…

You may recall, many posts ago, (if you have been following along) I mentioned how many vampire slaying stories have a Dhampir, or half vampire (in contemporary media also called a “Daywalker”) as the lead protagonist, using their vampirically enhanced abilities in conjunction with their ability to resist factors that would traditionally kill normal vampires (such as daylight) as weapons against their full vampire foes.

Well, today we have the weapons of yet another such protagonist for scrutiny. The blades of none other than Rayne, vampire slaying femme fatale from the game BloodRayne:

Bloodrayne – Raynes Blades

Bloodraynes Blades
[view full size]

Just look at those curves. A long, double edged blade sporting a set of complex curves that just don’t stop, but somehow manage to end in a wicked looking point. And yes, I am referring to the blade, though Rayne isn’t exactly lacking in that department either, if you just so happen to be into haemophages and such. But most definitely my kind of blade. It’s a thing of beauty. I’ve loved the contours of this blade from the first second I saw them in the game.

While these are a rather evil pair of blades, they are not without their faults. For one thing, they are huge! Not the kind of thing that would be easy to carry around. But of course for the career vampire killer, there is always a good, and often unique, solution for such problems. Unfortunately the replica above, while the most practical I have seen, just does not do them justice. So I shall have to resort to game art. Let me show you what the harness for these blades are supposed to look like:

Bloodrayne 2 Game blades

Bloodrayne 2 Blades
[view full size]

Above is a pic of the dead sexeh duo themselves, Rayne and her blades. Totally killer. Literally. 🙂 As you can see, she’s got quite the set up going with those blades. A dual band bracer gauntlet setup, with the blades attached to a special swiveling hinge that allows for two degrees of vampire slashing freedom of rotation. In the game, she’s also able to lock the blades out of the way up by her elbows when she isn’t using them. No scabbard required.

But like I said, all is not perfect. As you can see from the pic, there really doesn’t seem to be a locking mechanism built into these things. So the whole locking thing is suspect to me. Not to mention that based on these pics, she would be locking it with the larger blade facing inwards. In my book, having a few razor edged feet of steel next to my skin would not be the preferred way to stow a blade. In fact it would make me downright nervous.

But then again she is a Dhampir, so she can probably afford to be hard core like that. Gotta respect any women who knows how to handle her blades like Rayne does… 🙂

Raynes Blades from BloodRayne – [King of Swords]

04
Aug
07

Yet Another Uber Battledome Blade!

In a previous post we looked at an out-of-left-field hand blade by Tom Anderson, another killer blade designer, called Critical Mass. Well, I found yet another revision of this freaky blade type, looking for all the world like it belonged on the set of Mad Max…

Critical Mass II

 

Critical Mass II
[view full size]

Now this weapon is a bitter sweet comeback to me, because although it appears to me to be an improvement on the original Critical Mass design in many areas, it also takes a step backwards in a few others others.

For instance, on the original Critical Mass, the handle was placed fairly far forward, and had a “hood” that extended far enough back that it rested on the users forearm. Though this design left your actual hand exposed, it allowed for a great deal of control of the weapon. On this weapon, although the hand is pretty much covered, it pretty much stops there. You have much less leverage, and therefore less control.

And then there is the mounting point for that front blade on Critical Mass II. I’ve never understood why you would make a fairly wide blade, and then weaken it at the attachment point by narrowing it just before the hilt. Again the first version did not suffer any such weaknesses.

Katar

Katar - Indian Punch Blade
[view full size]

Of course I would be remiss not to mention that the basic weapon design does appear to have at least superficial similarities to a perhaps much more practical weapon, called the Katar. The Katar is a punch-blade style weapon of Indian decent. Some of them have mechanically actuated split blades, also called “Scissor Katars”, and yet another variety called the “Hooded Katar” have a shield over the back of the hand. Given also that it would probably be a lighter and faster weapon, I would probably prefer to use a split-blade hooded Katar if given a choice, over either Critical Mass weapon.

Scissor Katar

Scissor Katar
[view full size]

Nonetheless Critical Mass II does have a lot of strong points. Literally. It is simpler and the blades are much more effectively placed than in the first. It is probably also lighter and faster than the first. It provides much better hand protection, though it could have benefit from an extended hood for both forearm protection and extra support and control.

But given the sweet lines of those, oh-so-beautiful black blades, the menacing spikes on the guard, and the overall no nonsense look of the piece, I’d say it’s a winner. I dare you to disagree. I dare ya. I double dog dare ya. I triple dog dare ya… Yeah… Whatever.

Critical Mass by Tom Anderson – [The Collectors Edge]

12
Jul
07

A Bewitching Blade!

Today we get to talk about yet another unique blade, wielded by an equally deadly siren of comic and film. Here is the gauntlet blade from the live action TV series Witchblade:

The Witchblade

Now having actually read a few of the comics that the Sara Pezzini character (played by Yancey Butler) was based on, I have to say that the live action TV series sucked all of the freakin’ “witch” out of the “WitchBlade“. The comic book Witchblade was awesome purely because of the sheer versatility and resulting coolness of the Witchblades armor.

In the comic, when activated, the WitchBlade protected it’s wearer with a kind of H. R. Gigeresque organic armor, which could make scorpion fish-like spines, blades and whatnot emanate from the arms, hands back, legs, shoulders, etc. Much like the comic book Spawn armor, except the Spawn movie got the armor right (with the help of a lot of CGI effects). The Witchblade armor could be mentally willed to form bladed appendages and weapons of various forms, as well as fire energy blasts, darts, etc. Just episode after sweet episode of sheer, unadulterated wearable wickedness.

Witchblade Full

So, given a chance to make a live action version of this marvel of comic book weaponry, what do they do? Bollox it up. As you can see from the pic above, in their infinite wisdom, they turned the glorious Witchblade into little more than a medieval suit of armour, with what can only be described as a rather simple gauntlet sword as it’s primary weapon. Pointless. Silly. Bah! What a waste. Yeah, yeah, the blade gauntlet could retract into a small unobtrusive bracelet. Big Whup. For all it’s usefulness as a sword, they might just as well have given her a rapier and said “have at it!” against the baddies. Compared to the immense flexibility, power and, more importantly, the unique aesthetic presence of the comic book Witchblade armor, this was a point of great disappointment for me.

But considering the amount of CGI it would have required to make comic book accurate, Spawn-like WitchBlade transition sequences every episode, coupled with the fact that, in order to be comic book accurate, Ms. Butler may have been required to run around half nekkid with naught but some very cool (albeit sparse) prosthetic biomechanical armor to keep her warm on many a cold NY night, I can see why they chose to take the brain-dead route. However, as irksome as this all is, there is a silver lining, in that it makes an excellent segue into a look at a very similar traditional blade, called the Pata:

Pata Gauntlet Sword
[view full size]

The Pata is a sword gauntlet from northern India which, As you can see, bears an uncanny resemblance to the live action WitchBlade sword. However, unlike the WitchBlade weapon, the Pata is not a full hand gauntlet. It simply covers the top of the hand and forearm. As you can see, the handle is set in the middle of the semi-spherical hand guard, and a brace at the top of the forearm guard helps gives the wielder better control of the weapon.

Pata handle and GuardPata In Use
[view full size] – [view full size]

Perhaps not as convenient as a blade gauntlet that retracts into a small bracelet, (a-la-the movie WitchBlade), but it would probably a safe assumption that it’s fairly lethal in it’s own right. And did I mention that this particular Pata had a blade of damascus steel? A dark, stylish and sinister blade. What more could one ask for? Well, actually a proper, well made, CGI enhanced live-action Witchblade movie, for one thing. But I’d settle for a Pata. Heh. I’m easy like that.




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