Archive for the 'Spears' Category

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

Midnight Dragon Blade – [King of Swords]

21
May
08

Fun With Damascus Steel

Today, I have a special treat for you. You may or may not know this, since it does not come up particularly often, but one of my favorite blade materials is Damascus steel. For two reasons. First, barring unfinished or tarnished steels, it is one of the only true “dark” finished steels that I know of.

The next reason is that, even though I have a great love for all dark weapons, (to me they have more character than most) the truth is that, most dark weapons are not inherently dark, and require special finishes, most of which rarely do any more than provide an aesthetic touch to a blade.

Damascus steel on the other hand, has an inherent dark aesthetic beauty that requires no artificial colorings or preservatives. Ok, so maybe there are some forms of Damascus that have artificial colorings. Some shades of Damascus require chemical treatments or the usage of special alloys or metals to achieve the desired effect.

But in the grand scheme of things, these are no worse than the coatings used to enhance the appearance of monosteels. Nonetheless, it is still the only type of steel that I know of, whose aesthetics are also functional, and whose enhanced cutting power does not really require any special finishes / treatments / coatings. Damascus steel has an inherent beauty all it’s own.

But the cool thing is that, in the hands of true metalworking artists, using these various other methods, Damascus can be made into patterns and colors of amazing beauty. I was quite thrilled to find a site that featured such beautifully wrought Damascus blades, each one uniquely and excellently finished to a level of detail that, much like J. A. Harkins work, totally blew me away…

I present to you a taste of the blades of Kevin and Heather Harvey of Heavin Forge. First up:

<_>

The Zulu assegai – In Damascus

Zulu Assegai in Gaboon Viper Damascus

[view full size]

Now obviously, as one of my favorite African weapons, this Damascus Assegai caught my eye. Definitely a thing of beauty. Due in no small part to the very eye catching Gaboon Viper Damascus pattern on the blade:

Zulu Assegai – Close up of Blade

Zulu Assegai Blade Close Up

[view full size]

Now this is a very unique spear, first because of the shaft style, which appears to have been carved to appear like a dark horn grip at the bottom, and smooths out the rest of the way up. Very cool. And the head sports a cool damscus pattern they have appropriately called called “Gaboon Viper”, as it emulates the characteristic diamond pattern found on the back of the aforementioned reptile… I’ve got two words for the head on this spear: Absolutely Awesome…

<^>

Persian Fighting Blade!

Persian Fighting Blade

[view full size]

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, I needn’t explain to you why I like this blade… It’s all about the points and curves… (I’m sure you can figure it out… ๐Ÿ™‚ ) And it doesn’t hurt that it has a Damascus blade. Which is actually appropriate since Damascus steel is reputed to have been developed in ye old Persia and was also called watered steel at the time. No surprise, as Damascus does look like Steel with waves in it…

<^>

Next we have a piece i like to think of as from the West. The Wild West. California gold rush and and all that jazz… It should be self explanatory why:

Gold Rush Bowie

Gold Rush Bowie

[view full size]

Yep, we have a bowie knife, perhaps almost the trademark of the wild west, (besides the ever ubiquitous revolver), in an amazing gold and almost cobalt blue Damascus hue… I’ve always like gold accents on black blades, but this just takes it to another level altogether…

Gold Rush Bowie – Close up of ricasso and top of hilt

Gold Rush Bowie - Ricasso and Hilt

[view full size]

There’s gold in that thar bowie!… I seen it with my own two eyes!!

<^>

Finally, but certainly not least, we find a weapon harking from the dark continent of Africa, an interesting little dagger that reminds me of an insect for some reason. A long wasp maybe? I dunno. But here is it, in all it’s insect like glory…

African Dagger

African Dagger

[view full size]

Now this particularly dark brand of Damascus is one of my favorites, perhaps the only true dark steel in existence. And this sample is particularly beautiful, complementing the overall theme of this dagger very well. Between the African styled hilt, and the really very cool horn sheath, it’s perhaps one of the most intriguing implementations of a Damascus dagger I’ve seen to date…

<^>

And that’s all I’ve got for today. You can see more of Kevin and Heathers’ work at Heavin Forge. Perhaps what really impressed me was not only the creative use of color in the steel, but also the overall attention to detail, fit and finish on every weapon. Absolutely beautiful. Make sure you swing by their page.

As much as they were all great works of art, after looking at them all, I discovered I had a favorite. Probably because I tend to gravitate towards more dark colors and organic shapes, I liked that last waspy dagger best. It just spoke to me. We had a grand old chat.

I think I’m gonna give it a name. I’m calling it the Black Stinger… Yeah… In fact I think i’m gonna have to make myself similar blade one of these days. It won’t be nearly as cool as this one, but If it has half the personality, I’ll be looking forward to quite a few great conversations with it…

P.S. I’d like to point out, for the record, that I am not insane. Just a *wee bit* loopy when it comes to certain blades… But I’m totally harmless, I assure you… No really… ๐Ÿ˜›

Kevin and Heathers Damascus Blades – [Heavin Forge]

19
Apr
08

A Narcissistic Battle Spear…

I don’t post a whole lot about spears, not because they aren’t cool, but more because I don’t run into many that I find particularly remarkable. There are a lot of different spear designs, but i keep running into the same old ones I’ve seen before. But then there are those that literally jump up an down saying “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”:

Warrior Blood Lust Battle Spear

Warrior Blood Lust Battle Spear

[view full size]

Now this particular weapon caught my eye for several reasons. First, it’s design is actually somewhat difficult to classify. Calling this a spear… well… it’s quite a bit of a stretch. Actually it’s quite a large stretch. In fact, I highly doubt it’s spear heritage. It seems a little lacking in ex”pear”ience, as it were… (pun intended or not, you choose ๐Ÿ˜› ) Actually it appears to have more in common with a melee axe than a spear…

I mean for one thing, this is rather short for a spear. At 18″ It’s actually the perfect length for a melee axe. And then look at the head. While there is a large point that could pass for a spear tip, the most dominant design feature appears to be the uncannily axe-like crescent blade affixed to the head, with the double sharpened points aft of that.

And then theres the… *cough* tassels…? Err… Removable tassels actually… yeah… Now in a real spear, the tassels would be made of some lighter material, and would be wrapped directly behind the head of the spear to redirect wayward blood, from your average freshly perforated foe, off the spear head and away from the grip. On this weapon, they have taken up residence on the pommel… More like a dark pom-pom than a spear…

To be totally honest, I think this weapon is really an melee axe with self esteem issues… Hence the tassels. And referring to itself as a “spear” when, in reality it’s a small melee axe… And then there’s the heavily testosterone laden name: “Warrior Blood Lust Battle Spear”… yeah… And the kicker is, I never thought that there was anything wrong with being a simple melee axe. They are pretty lethal in their own right…

Perhaps it’s designer was trying to compensate for other shortcomings? I dunno, I’m just idly speculating here… But I’m just saying… You know…? Or am I being too harsh…?

Naaaaah… Definitely some issues there… ๐Ÿ™‚

Warrior Blood Lust Battle Spear – [True Swords]

29
Feb
08

A spear to die for… Or on…

Many moons ago, I engaged in a little whine about a so called fantasy axe that looked more like a big knife with a (pointlessly, I might add) swivelling head. I remember thinking (and commenting) on how the design might make for a good spear head. Well guess what:

Sonjas Revenge

Sonyas Revenge Spear
[view full size]

OK, so the head on this spear isn’t exactly identical to the head on the Fantasy Axe. But it’s the same idea. It’s a double bladed, or more accurately a forked spear head, where each blade represents one side of the double pointed fork.

And a rather menacing fork it is. Notwithstanding the brownie points this weapon gets for having a black spear head, the overall contours of the spear are very… shall we say curvaceous? I mean seriously, just look at it. The spear head is all curves and points. In Phyreblade parlance that combination is commonly referred to as being “Dead sexeh”… *ahem*

But as I was saying, certainly an evil weapon. In the hands of a vengeful Amazon. Be afraid. Be very afraid… ๐Ÿ™‚

Sonjas Revenge – [True Swords]

16
Jan
08

The combat spear…

Today we have yet another treat from the infamous movie “300”. I present to you the signature polearm of the Spartan army, the long spear:

“300” Spartan Warrior Spear

300 Spartan Spear

[view full size]

Now some people underestimate the power of the spear. People look at it and say, “Well yes, it’s cool for throwing, and for distance attacks, but beyond that it’s useless. Not so. It has it’s drawbacks, yes, but in the hands of a skilled warrior, a spear can be just as deadly as a sword. People don’t realize how functionally flexible a spear can really be.

Besides the obvious advantage of being a good projectile weapon, a spear at full length is a great distance thrusting tool. the fact that a spear was usually used with both hands meant a skilled warrior could be both fast and accurate with their strikes. And while a spear was more or less it useless for slashing, depending on it’s design it could also be used much like a staff weapon. Once you got it spinning, it could be used to deliver some serious blunt trauma. And if grasped at half length it could be used like a short thrusting spear/sword.

Interestingly, in the Movie “300” we are treated to numerous sequences where the long spear is shown used to it’s maximum advantage. In large numbers, an army armed with spears could keep even mounted, well armored attackers at bay quite efficiently. And even in one on one combat, a spear can be quite the effective stand off tool, keeping an opponent at “spears length”, as it were, and making their supposedly “faster” close in weapon, like an axe or a sword, useless.

And lets not forget also, that unlike a sword, a spear is much easier to throw, and the ability to engage the enemy at long distances was a big advantage to a spear wielding combatant. Given also that the amount of steel that was needed for a spear was usually only a small fraction of that used for a sword, you could make many more spears with the same amount of steel.

300 Spartan Warrior Spear

300 Spartan Warrior Spear
[view full size]

All of these factors combined are what made the spear such a flexible, formidable battlefield weapon. But besides all of that, I just happen to like this spear because its got that really mean looking, sharp point, it actually comes apart, and as we all know, flexibility is golden when it comes to weapons like these. And of course, being spartan, this one has that “Don’t mess with me, I’m Spartan…” look…

But ultimately, and most importantly, while most other spears are of light colored woods and chrome, this one is all black… You can’t beat that with… anything. No wonder the Spartans were so full of WIN! ๐Ÿ™‚

“300” Spartan Warrior Spear – [True Swords]

01
Nov
07

A spear-sickle…

In keeping with the trend of unusual spears I’ve been blogging about lately, I thought I’d show you an interesting short spear design, from the mind of Tom Anderson:

The Quad Sickle

Tom Anderson Quad Sickle
[view full size]

Now this spear is not particularly glamorous. It have a very futuristic look to it though. The is capped of the sharply pointed pommel rises into a black ribbed shaft that extends into the spear head. However that’s where it’s mediocrity ends.

The spear tip on this “Quad Sickle” is decently pointy, looking for all the world like an oversized broadhead arrow head, on a rather skinny looking shaft. Perhaps not the strongest design I’ve ever seen. In fact, if I were making a list of complaints, it would be at the top of the list.

However that is not the true selling point of this spear. This weapon has a very unique feature. By sliding a metal sleeve back, four razor sharp blades are released from metal sheathes just below the spear tip. And they look quite the menace.

Now the placement of these blades makes them functionally pointless (excuse the pun) for a spear, however they are almost perfectly situated for something else: Using the weapon as a spiked mace! I could totally see this being used as an bladed impact weapon, as well as a thrusting weapon.

The most quirky thing about this weapon is that it’s name seems strangely detached from it’s functional capabilities. It has four blades, so yes it could be called a “Quad” something. But “Quad Sickle”? I dunno. Perhaps for reaping the souls of your opponents maybe…?

The Quad Sickle – by Tom Anderson – [King of Swords]

28
Oct
07

Another Unique Dragon Spear.

With the number of “twin dragon” related weapons I have been coming across, I was not in any way, shape or form, surprised to find this dark little beauty:

Double Dragon Spear

Double Dragon Spear
[view full size]

I thought this was interesting because although it looks cool, it’s design is more or less a rather large deviation from traditional spear territory. I’ll explain in a second what I mean, but first things first. Lets talk about aesthetics.

I love the design of the blade. If you have spent any time reading this blog, you may probably have surmised that I like black blades. And in that department, this weapon is not wanting in the least. But even more interesting, is what they did to the blade.

Each end of this weapon has a very broad spear point, with both edges sharpened, and then fins or barbs cut into one side of the spear head. The base of the blade narrows a bit and then flares out into a set of small wing-like blades. The blade is attached to the black shaft with a fitting that looks like a small dragons head with it’s wings outstretched. I just love the overall effect.

Now lets talk functional design. This weapon is unique in three ways. First, the fact that it has blades on both ends of the weapon kinda pulls it on the fringes of traditional spear design. Not that many double ended spears around. Next is the length. This is a relatively short weapon for a spear. The double ended spears I mentioned earlier? Usually half size. With small heads. Short, huge headed double-ended spears? Not exactly a common occurrence.

Last, and most certainly not least, is the fact that the shaft of this weapon actually comes apart at the middle. “Comes apart you say?”. “Yep!” sez I. This weapon is actually two identical weapons joined into one. I suppose you could say they were two very short spears combined into one double ended, medium sized one. Though individually, they are so short, they’d be probably work better as small axes…

Altogether, I love this weapon. The fact that the spines on each of the blades point in opposite directions when in spear form is an added detail that just makes this that much cooler in my book. Probably because I like the idea that you can twirl it like a baton, and always have the the straight edge of each bade facing the same way every revolution. But that’s probably just my overactive sense of symmetry at work. Just ignore it…

Double Dragon Spear – [Top Swords]




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