Archive for the 'Glaives' Category

01
Jul
07

Another Double Bladed… Throwing… Thing…

Having recently composed several dissertations on the impracticality of the variety of so called “Glaive” style throwing weapons, I found it interesting that I should run across yet another throwing weapon of questionable heritage:

The Black Ronin Double Bladed Thrower

Black Ronin Double Bladed Throwing Knife
[view full size]

Not a folder. But does that make it better? Well let’s find out shall we? Now the first thing that struck me about this weapon was it’s vague similarity to the Shredder Glaive used in the movie Blade, though as we have already established, this blade is not a folder. However this is only a plus in my book. No folding means no pivots or hinges, no moving parts and therefore greater reliability. However the basic problem with all of these designs remains. What is the best way to throw something like this? Fortunately, at least for this particular blade, I may have an answer.

This basic design is a directional one, meaning that it would only stick or do damage if thrown in such a way that the blades rotate towards the target. Now in order to impart rotation to the blade, it would likely have to be held by one of the blades, with the blade facing upwards. However it could be done with either a pinch grip or even an underhand grip though I find an underhand grip a bit harder to use. Nonetheless either grip would allow for a strong throw, fairly good control and a clean release, which will ensure that at the end of the throw, you still have the same number of phalanges that you started with.

However regardless of how (in)effective this knife may be as a thrower, it is a cool design, and possessing a single piece, fixed blade/handle, suffers less from the short comings of the other flashy, super foldy, multi-bladed, throwing type objects that we have looked at in the past… And it’s black… You can’t beat that with a baseball bat… Well is suppose you could, but it wouldn’t be much use now would it? Might as well find some other way to vent all of your pent up hostilities… Ya might wanna try Krumpin’… I hear it’s a great stress reliever…

Black Ronin Double Bladed Thrower – [True Swords]

23
Jun
07

Do spears really work against dragons?

I’ve been talking about a lot about glaives of late, and though cool, hollywood glaives are not entirely true to life. So I thought I’d talk about a weapon that is closer in form and function to a real glaive. A spear. Specifically a Black Dragon spear. A behemoth black 6 foot dragon spear.

6 Ft. Black Dragon Spear

6 Ft Black Dragon Spear
[view full size]

Now this is a formidable looking spear, and it’s great size only adds to its menacing appearance. The tip of the spear possesses a broad-headed point, sweeping down past two sharp cutouts, and into two ominous looking sub blades. The jet black handle is adorned with an simple metal pommel cap, a metal band about three quarters of the way up the shaft, finishing with a cast dragon crest just before the head to complete the effect. Pretty cool lookin’. Though I do have some questions.

For instance, is this supposed to be a dragon killing spear? And if so, why have a dragon crest? I dunno, but if it is, It certainly looks the part. Normally extensions at the base of the blade where the spear meets the shaft are simple cross bars, intended to prevent over -penetration (and subsequently getting stuck) into smaller human target. On this spear you have more blades, which would presumably aid in further penetration, in order to reach those deeply buried vital organs of what is usually a very large dragon.

But somehow, the more dragon related movies I watch, the more I get the nagging feeling that these spears, even a big, black 6 foot spear, would not be sufficiently potent, at least in the hands of a puny human, to slay a dragon. Furthermore, it may actually be that weapons like these are some clever, elaborate ploy by a particularly crafty breed of dragon to ensure a steady supply of lunch meat…

But of course I could just be being paranoid. But if you are looking to add a menacing spear to your collection you couldn’t do much worse than this… Just don’t rely on this for dragon protection. You may want to invest in explosive grenade tipped harpoons and an APC mounted launcher off a Norwegian whaling vessel for that… Assuming, of course, that you happen to have that particular problem where you live…

6′ Black Dragon Spear – [True Swords]

16
Jun
07

My Favorite Glaive.

Welcome to yet another post about foldy, flying, bladed implements… Yes, it’s another glaive post. No, ya cheeky little ninny, I have not run out of material to blog (believe you me!). It’s just how my freaky, little, mildly OC mind works; it tends to follow any given track to exhaustion… Don’t worry, I think this will be the last glaive. At least for now… I think… MUA HA HA Ha ha ha ha ha haaa…! Pfft..! Y’all are no fun.

But anyway back to the topic at hand. This glaive is special. Special primarily because I think I could actually convert this design for contemporary throwing weapon use without too much mechanical head banging. Not to mention that it is also the most powerful glaive (in all glaivedom… LOL… heh…) to ever grace the silver screen. I give you the glaive of Prince Colwyn of the movie Krull.

The Krull Glaive

Krull Glaive
[view full size]

In the movie Krull, the protagonist (Prince Colwyn) wielded a mystical weapon called the Glaive (of course!). Now from a practical and mechanical stand point, I think this glaive is perhaps the best designed weapon of the three distinct designs we have looked at so far, though a bit on the gaudy side for my tastes. It was a five legged design, each blade being deployed in a “out-the-front” switchblade style from each leg when in action, and retracting into the leg when stowed.

This design allowed for it to be thrown by holding any one of the legs, which, being offset from the center of the weapon, allowed greater control than any of the other glaive designs we have seen so far. One big advantage with this design is that I think one could incorporate a centrifugally actuated mechanism to make the blades deploy while in flight, making it easier (and safer for the little piggly wigglies) to throw.

The design of each double edged pointed blade was also well thought out, down to the angle at which they exited the glaive, so that it could easily be thrown with the intention of cutting its target without sticking, or so that it would “dig in” and stick on contact.

Now in the movie, the protagonist could control this thing mentally so that it acted like a freakin’ remote controlled frisby of death, but, much to my chagrin, I’m quite sure I would find myself unable to replicate this behavior in a replica weapon. However, assuming due attention was paid to maximizing the internal structural support the each blade, and also that the deployment and retention mechanisms were mechanically robust, this blade would fly circles around the other two designs.

Now I have already mentioned that I am not a big fan of the surface aesthetics of it’s design. The bright colors and flashy gems give it a much too gaudy air. However this glaive gets my vote, hands down, as the weapon I would be most likely to pick up, were I given a choice between this, the BeastMasters Caber or Blades Shredder. I’d have to pop out the shiny stuff, pointy the points a bit, sharpen the lines a tad and powder coat it black though…

The Krull Glaive – [Your Props.com]

15
Jun
07

An Animated Glaive!

Ok, So while I was doing posts on movie glaives, I happened to run across a folding throwing weapon from one of my oft watched animes. I thought to myself “Why not do an anime weapon?” Now this may sound crazy, but I heard myself answer: “Because that would show you up for the nerd that you really are.”

Of course, I had to I answer right back: “Hah! It’s too late for that suckah!! Not to mention it isn’t that far of a leap from the fictional hollywood action movie weapons you’ve been pimpin’ so far.” I couldn’t very well argue with this logic. Though I suspect that any logic that is a product of inane psychobabble may not be particularly reliable. Dunno whether y’all will be more disturbed by the fact that I am blogging about an animated weapon or that I talk to myself. Either way, it doesn’t matter. ‘Cause, like I’ve said many times before, I’ve never professed sanity to begin with.

But anyway, here I am, getting ready to talk about an interesting kind of throwing blade that makes an appearance in the anime Naruto and also in the video games Final Fantasy and Ninja Gaiden. We will be focusing primarily on the only folding version of this blade, which was used by Sasuke in the Naruto anime series. We are, of course, talking about the Fuuma Shuriken, AKA the Fūma or “Wind Demom” shuriken, more commonly known as the Shadow Windmill Shuriken.

Shadow Windmill Shuriken

Shadow Windmill Shuriken
[view full size]

Now, in spite of being an anime weapon, it actually fulfills all of the criteria for the hollyood glaive. It is a multi-bladed throwing weapon. It folds up. And it has boomerang-like qualities to boot. Lucky for you, I just so happen to have an (all too brief) clip of one in action:

Fuuma Shuriken Deployment

Sasuke Hurling his Fuuma Shuriken
[click to view]

Sweet eh? Now I will mention that the game and anime versions of these types of weapon have one major difference to their live action movie counterparts. They are huge! They are not normal hira shuriken sized by any stretch of the imagination, being quite a few orders of maginitude larger than any of the others I have mentioned so far. In fact, a single blade of this particular monstrosity is about the size of a full-sized machete. When it’s closed it’s the equivalent of holding 4 large cutlasses side by side. Heh.

Closed Fuuma Shuriken
Fuuma Shuriken (Closed)

Now of course I do have a couple of reservations about it. Like the fact that I don’t see a way to lock it in the open position. Not particularly confidence inspiring. Not to mention that, given it’s size and potential weight, it would almost have to be your primary (if not only) weapon. Let’s face it. If you carried one, you might be hard pressed to carry much else. I mean look at it. It’s almost as big as Sasuke. Granted he’s just a kid, (a highly trained, very skilled killer ninja kid) but still. Any weapon that is almost as large as a teen-aged boy has some serious size issues… But then again we are talking about a fictional animated weapon that routinely defies the laws of physics, so what do I know.

The Monster Shuriken

Sasuke's Big old Fuuma Shuriken
[view full size]

But given what it could do, (if it were real) the simple but robust construction, and it’s intimidating appearance, (Did I mention that it is usually portrayed as a black weapon… Yes! Bonus Points!!) it would most certainly be quite an effective, durable and lethal weapon to wield. Assuming, of course, that you are A) a highly trained animated ninja, or B) carry steel I-beam girders around for a living…

But strength requirements aside, it seems that this weapon could actually be combat worthy. Unlike most of the other glaives I’ve blogged, this weapon has ample space on each blade for a handle grip throw to be used, though it would require some serious training to get good rotation and a clean release using it.

But the truth is, this is such a beautiful and intimidating (albeit impractical) weapon, I really don’t care bout it’s shortcomings. I’d buy one in a heartbeat. I have actually been toying with the idea of designing a working one, just to see if I can overcome the challenge of inventing a strong, reliable blade locking mechanism for such a weapon. Would be pretty awesome… But that’s probably just my inner nerd talking…

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]

13
Jun
07

Introducing: The Glaive

While pointing out the pitfalls of folding throwing stars, it occurred to me that there was another class of folding throwers that might make more effective folding throwing weapons than folding shuriken. Now they are all fictional weapons, but then again, many of the swords I have blogged about began as fictional weapons, so I thought, “Why Not?” I’d like to introduce you to the imaginary big Hollywood brothers, of the folding shuriken: the “Glaive”.

The Hollywood “glaive”, is easily described. It is a multi-bladed throwing implement whose blades could be folded into itself in order to give it a smaller form factor, presumably for easier transportation. They also seem to have a boomerang-like (even mystical) ability to come back to their wielder. I know of 3 movies featuring “glaive ” weapons. The Beastmaster, Krull, and one of my all time favorites, Blade. Today we will look at the very first example (that I know of) of the Hollywood “Glaive”. Namely the “glaive” featured in the movie “The Beastmaster

The Beastmasters Glaive (open)

Beast Masters Glaive
[view full size]

In the Beastmaster movie, the protagonist (our friend the Beast Master) is given a throwing weapon called a “caber” (Which I have hopefully spelled correctly). It consisted of a 4 bladed weapon, which folded in half, scissor fashion, so that each half blade set back to back against each other. A fairly standard “glaive” design. But this “glaive” has some serious issues.

Before I go off on a rant about this so called “glaive” I thought it would be interesting to know that real cabers and glaives do actually exist. However they are nothing like what is portrayed on the big screen. Cabers are commonly found in the unlikely sport of… Scottish log tossing. In fact, the competition is called the Caber Toss, and the logs are called (you guessed it!) cabers.

And glaives, far from being the hand held throwers portrayed in the movies, were actually medieval polearms. Like, lessee, big spears. Ya know, big broad headed spears. Machetes on a stick if you will. Go figure. Somehow I can’t really visualize a humongous blade on a spear shaft spinning “gracefully” *ahem* through the air… But back to hollywood Glaives.

The Beastmasters Glaive (closed)

beastmasters caber (closed)
[view full size]

The design seems to be quite robust, each sub blade is fastened together by a solid looking pin. It looks like it could be made to handle a lot of torture, however one thing bothers me. The blades appear to be freely hinged. No means of fixing them in the open position. Now I’m no expert but it seems to me that freely swinging blades would wreak untold havoc on the trajectory of this weapon. And given the geometry of the weapon, I don’t think it could be thrown in the fashion illustrated, gripping the middle of the glaive, where the hinge is. At least not without risking a few fingers (that I’m sure you want to keep) in the process. But then again, my understanding of physics might be suspect. Meh.

The Beastmasters Glaive (open hinge shot)

Beastmaster Glaive (open hinge)
[view full size]

And then there is the little niggling problem of how the blades would stay open, if, by some dark mystical trick of the universe, this “glaive” were to actually hit its intended target. My physics are a little rusty, but AFAIK, a free hinge means it gonna fold on impact. it would probably still hurt (if it ever actually hit you), but that free hinge design would make it pretty freakin’ hard to make it “stick” anything. I’m just sayin’.

Perhaps with some type of lock-back mechanism in place on the blades, this “glaive” would make for an excellent weapon, but as is, it certainly wouldn’t make my armory wish list. When all is said and done however, it is actually one of the more classy designs of the few Hollywood glaives I have seen. Not so much sinister as much elegant. A little rustic but artfully designed. Not usually what I look for in a blade, but I’d make an exception for this one. It’d prolly look great in black…

The Beastmasters Glaive – [Realm of the Dark Blade]




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