Archive for the 'X-Men' Category

01
Sep
08

Wolverine Claws… Revisited.

OK, so if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may know that I have several posts related to the topic of the retractable adamantium claws of our all time favorite X-Man, Wolverine.

In fact, I have talked about several different kinds of Wolverine claws, and innumerable miserable replicas and wannabes, from X-Claws that would most likely implant themselves in your knuckles, to the Bear and Pantera claws and so on, that would probably rotate down and try and embed themselves in your wrist if you ever tried to do anything even remotely Wolvie-like with them.

I think I even looked at the practicality of having claws surgically implanted in ones forearm… (Just as a quick reminder to everyone, that was a distinct “No Go”). However there is one last way to get Wolverine claws that i don’t think anyone has talked about. At least not until now. Probably because it would be the fastest way to get good old Wolvie to relieve you of your lease on life.

What is this new and exciting trick? Well… How about this. You cut off one of Logans hands, extract the adamantium skeleton (including, of course the precious claws) Extend the claws, fix them in place, and strap the whole thing to your wrist…

Yeah… I never said it would be easy. Or even survivable. But it appears that someone has replicated just that particular option. I give you: the Skull Gauntlet.

Skull Gauntlet

Skull Gauntlet

[Click Image to view full size]

Ok, ok, yes, yes yes, so Wolvie never had little skulls on his knuckles or embedded into his wrist. But the guys who are selling this assure us that it will make you and I look like wolverine, except better… Honest!

OK. Whatever you say. But I have one word for you:

BLASPHEMY!!!!

Absolute heresy. No external claws of any kind will EVAR look better than Wolverines. Just not gonna happen. No. Don’t even think about it.

BTW, In case you hadn’t realized, that last paragraph was my feeble attempt to short circuit any possible subsequent fanboi rant comments resulting from this post. I do not expect to see any more. Be warned. Lest you want a claw, upside your head. With a swiftness.

What? Don’t think I can deliver a claw upside your head over the internets? Please. Try me. Just try me. Please.

But back to the nitty gritty. What you are looking at is a very stylized satin finished stainless steel skeleton of a wrist and hand, with small skulls over each knuckle, and a larger stylized skull over the wrist, with what looks like skeletal bands extending down on either side of the wrist. By no means an anatomically correct representation, as it appears to be missing a set of phalangeal bones, and has some sort of structural webbing between the metacarpals, probably to short circuit any “Hey! You ripped off Wolverines skeleton!” claims, but good enough.

However what it does have are claws. Beautiful, beautiful claws. A set of three sweet steel claws extending from between the knuckles. And, in an unprecedented act of practicality, the wrist of this hand is attached to a what appears to be a leather band in the back, and in front, attached to the knuckles, a steel bracket with an actual grip!! Ye Gods! Someone could actually use this! AMAZING!!!

Providing no ridiculously weak joints exist between the blades, the bracket and the rest of the gauntlet/hand, I must admit, this is one of the first truly practical implementation of wolverine claws I have come across. I could seriously do without the skulls, (I see human, elven, dwarven and orc skulls all over the place in my cave here, thanks to the roach-like orcs that appear to have infested the place, and frankly, it’s getting old…) and all the extraneous steel (which we have discovered, thanks to the hands-on review by Sinza over at Exotic Automatic, is actually a plastic covering over a steel frame) wrapping down around the side in the back, but I’m stoked enough that it is actually a practical, though rather non-conformist, design.

And it’s a clever, if a little twisted, idea. to boot. Why try and remove the claws from the Wolverine? Just leave them on and strap his whole hand to your wrist instead. Heh. And I thought I was nuts. But in the greatest of ironies… I think this would actually work!

Who would have thunk it. I think I may have to restructure my universal paradigm…

*Edit*

Just a quick update. Sinza, a buddy, and founder of the Exotic Automatic forum, has done a full hands-on review of these claws, and has posted a lot of great details about it’s construction, as well as some practical insights it’s design strengths and weaknesses. He also provides some excellent suggestions on how to improve the design. If you are interested in this weapon, you should go check it out out here:

Fixed Blade Xiphoids @ Exotic Automatic

It’s about the 4th post in the thread. Enjoy… 😉

PB out.

Skull Gauntlet – [eBlade Store]

20
Aug
07

Wolverine Claws… In Black!!

Well today I ran into something pretty cool. A set of X-Men Wolvie Claws… in black!!

X-Men Wolverine Battle Claws in Black

X-Men Wolverine Black Battle Claws
[view full size]

If you have been following my blog, you may remember this post a while back about an similar set of Wolverine Claws. I also featured this previous set in my Ultimate Wolverine Claw Guide. Well, this set is pretty much the same as the other one, except that someone had the excellent idea of powder coating the blades and the handle black, and wrapping the handle in black leather.

The final effect is, for lack of a better word, schweet. Simply beautiful. At least in my opinion. This particular blade design still posses the same structural/mechanical shortcomings that I talked about in the other post, however at least these look much, much more sinister. Which, in my book, is better. Which earns the dark pair of wolverine claws extra wickedness points over the relatively wussy shiny pair…

Black X-Men Wolverine Claws – [King of Swords]

29
Jul
07

PhyreBlades’ Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide.

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve realized that, while blade fanatics are not exactly a majority, Wolverine fanatics, like myself, are legion! Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been related to the “who”s, “how”s and “where”s, of buying, (or making), a pair of wrist-mounted, retractable wolverine style claws. Yeah. It’s a mouthful.

Anyway, I though I’d put together a post with all of the pertinent Wolverine claw reference material I’ve come across during my web sojourns in search of the holy grail of all wolverine fanboi memorabilia: the ever elusive pair of wearable, fully automatic, remotely actuated, retractable Wolverine claws. Yes. I am indeed insane. But given the number of X-Men/Wolverine fans out there, I was sure that someone would have put one together.

Alas, No such luck. Apart from a plethora of replica, prop and designer “Wolverine Claws”, there are no commercially available retractable wolverine claws. None. Not One. At least that I have been able to find. Anyone who happens to know different should consider themselves morally, ethically and legally (by Dark Blade Law) obligated to share the juicy details. Or meet your end at the hands of a million ill-tempered gnats. With lasers attached to their freakin’ heads. Or worse. Death by LOLCat.

Anyhoo, until I find out otherwise, Wolverine purists have two options.

  1. Buy replicas of the actual movie prop.
  2. Make a pair on their own.

If you want one that is automatic/retractable, you are stuck with option 2. For those mechanically inclined, mature, dedicated (and brave) enough to attempt it, following is a list of noteworthy Wolverine Claw related links, to help you on your X-Mission, should you choose to accept it (at your own risk, of course). Good Luck!

First, the wannabes (the short list):

Anderson Cutlery Pantera Claw
A pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Cool.

Anderson Cutlery “Special Edition” Pantera Claws
A Chromed pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Shiny. Cool.

X-MEN “Wolverine” Claws (Style II)
The poor mans Wolverine claw. Primal. Dark. Mua ha ha… *cough*

Wolverine X-Men Claw (IMHO, perhaps the best wannabe so far…)
A somewhat more generic version of the wolverine claw movie prop design. Classy. Shiny. Cool.

Wolverine X-Men Battle Claw – In Black!
Yet another version of the Wolverine X-Men Claw, (the one described just above), This time in glorious black. OK, so Wolverines claws aren’t supposed to be black. But I happen to love black weapons, so authenticity be condemned to blazes, I like this one better!! Actually neither of them is particularly authentic, so don’t send any hate mail on account of my saying so, or I will pwn you w1t m4 l337 h4xxor sk1llz.

And now, on to the meat and potatoes:

Kris Abel’s Blog: Making Wolverine’s Claws -> Part1, Part2 – Kris Abel interviews the designer of the original Wolverine blades used in the movies. A very interesting read.

eBay -> Wolverine Claws – You can find almost anything on eBay… Almost…

YourProps.com -> Claws1, Claws2 – A great online prop museum with pictures of aluminum replicas of the original Wolverine Claw props used in the movies.

Dragonfyre Designs -> Resin Claw Kit – A talented prop replica maker. Makes resin copies of the original movie wolverine blade prop, in kit form. For those who would like to minimize the possibility of accidentally losing any much needed digits or optical organs this Halloween.

Gary Fixler -> Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – A site showing how a guy made cheap custom wolverine claw replicas. The materials he used (in particular his aluminum stock) were not the best, but the process is very sound. With some design modifications and better materials, you could use the same process to make some really high quality prop wolverine blade replicas. In fact the next guy did just that.

Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume -> AKA: How To Make Retractable Wolverine Claws – One of my favorite wolverine claw sites. This guy took the whole wolverine claw thing as close to the real thing as I have ever seen. If he would have written a step by step manual of the process with even more pictures, he could have made a killing on eBay…

If I weren’t such a lazy schlub, I might have given the eBay thing it a try. But then again I have the sneakiest of suspicions that, were it actually successful, peeps would start crawling out of the woodwork with “Cease and Desists”… So many haters… So little love…

Anyhoo that is about all I got at the moment. The only thing that I am waiting for (with baited breath I might add), is for someone to integrate some sort of automatic deployment mechanism, perhaps a spring and some sort of trigger, into a set of retractable wolverine claws… So close and yet soooo far….

Enjoy….!

Making Wolverines Claws – [Kris Abel’s Blog]
Wolverine Claw Auctions – [eBay]
Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – [Gary Fixler Site]
Aluminum Wolverine Claw Replicas – [YourProps.com]
Resin Wolverine Claw Kit – [Dragonfyre Designs]
Wolverine X-Men Claw – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

21
Jul
07

Yet Another Wolverine Claw… Will It Ever End?

I recently ran across yet another Wolverine claw design, with perhaps a hint of promise as, unlike so many of the other Wolverine Claw pretenders out there, it is a fairly interesting variation of the prop blade design used in the movies:

Wolverine X-Men Claw

Wolverine X-Men Claw
[view full Size]

Overall, it is a fairly convincing design. About the only major demerit I can see with this design is that, unlike the original prop, the aft end of the blade spine terminates abruptly. Rather too abruptly. In the original prop the spine (top) of each blade extended back far enough to rest on top of the hand, between the knuckles. Here however, the blade stops considerably short of the knuckles, probably in order to accommodate a wider range of hand sizes.

The problem is that, depending on your hand size, the metal nub that supposedly constitutes the rear of the blade could end up resting between your knuckles, instead of on the back if the hand, where they should be. And if you ever struck anything with it in this position, well… I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.

Now, much to their credit, whoever designed this appears to have been thinking along the same basic lines of the original prop designer. Like the original prop, it incorporates three blades attached to a bar that is held in the palm. Now this bar is round, and considerably larger than the prop version, which makes it a little more conspicuous, but they have given it an attractive black and polished finish, which looks good and probably feels much better in the hand as well. And in the right hands… Well…

Snikt…! Come get some!…

Wolverine X-Men Claw – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

10
Jun
07

More Wolverine Claw Wannabes…

Ok, so in spite of my reservations about knife makers trying to cash in on the popularity of one of my favorite X-Men, (Who? Well Wolverine of course! Duuuuh!), I went looking to see if anything new was out there. Stupid idea. I should have known better. I ran into yet another set of wannabe “Wolverine” claws.

X-MEN “Wolverine” Claws (Style II)

Another set of
[view full size]

“Type II”, as it shall be known for the remainder of this post, is more or less a simple bear-like (imho) claw design. A set of curved blades pinned to a simple hardwood handle. No attempt at style, and unfortunately, no originality either. Wolverine fans need not apply. How, in the name of all that is sacred in this world, is this supposed to look like “X-Men Wolverine” claws? After ingesting a controlled substance? If so, I’ll need some of whatever the designer was smokin’, ’cause whatever it is, it’s pretty freakin’ good… Gonna need a little help understanding this one…

While this design doesn’t get any points for aesthetics, the design is reasonably functional, though I’m not so sure how well that wooden handle would handle any real abuse. So far as marketing, they should have left Wolvie alone and stuck to the tried and true “Ninja weapon” marketing ploy. It would have been more plausible.

Almost as if to mock me, I found yet another variation of a set of “wolverine” claws that I had blogged about previously. Specifically, the “Special Edition” version of the Pantera Claw.

Anderson Cutlery “Special Edition” Pantera Claws

Special Edition Pantera Claws
[view full size]

Funny thing though, as far as I can tell, they are exactly the same as the old ones, except for the grip material being better, gold plated grip screws and either polished or plated blades. I’ll give props on the improved grip material. It would certainly improve the functionality of the weapon. But as for everything else, as you already know, I’m not particularly into the shiny stuff. I suppose most people don’t mind paying big money for a little bling. But I don’t get it… Gold plated screws? What? Why!?

<RANT>

OK Wolverine blade designers. Come on. This is not difficult. Wolverines claws, while unique, are not entirely impossible to replicate. And nobody is asking you to design an enclosed mechanism housing a set of retractable steel claws for surgical implantation, though I am sure there would be *many* takers if you did. Here, let me help you out:

1. Wolverines claws come out of the back of his hands, between his knuckles. NO “Wolverine” claw replica may have blades that emerge between the fingers.

2. For the sake of simplicity, replicas do not even need to have the ability to automatically extend or retract the claws (though this would be a rather large humongous plus). You may optionally make the blades removable.

3. A correctly designed replica must use a bracket with blades attached to a plate that could be strapped to the back of the hand with a handle underneath. Optionally, X-Men gloves/gauntlets can be provided to conceal the attachment mechanism.

4. The claws must be fairly long. At the very least 10″, and relatively thick for it’s width, with one mild continuous curve. Alternatively they may be completely straight with a fairly sharp downturn for the last fourth of the blades length. Either design is acceptable. No funky divots, no high-angle curves, no short, wide, cat/bear-like claws. Please.

5. points 1-4 MUST be met in order to gain Phyreblades seal of approval.

That’s it Bub. How difficult is that? Lets see you give it the old “college try”…

</RANT>

Update!:
I have put together a guide that lists some of the common wolverine claw replicas and memorabilia in this post. Should save some of you a few clicks on teh intarwebs…

“Wolverine” Claws (Type II) – [True Swords]
Pantera Claws (Special Edition) – [True Swords]

PhyreBlades Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide – [Realm of The Dark Blade]

19
May
07

Want Wolverine Claws?

OK Bub! Who wants some! No, really, ya want some Wolverine claws? Too bad. Ya can’t have ’em. But I can get you a cool set of hand claws that are almost as intimidating.

Anderson Cutlery – Pantera Claw

Anderson Cutlery - Pantera Claw
[view full size]

Now any true Wolverine fan should, at this juncture, be aghast. For many, many reasons. First of all, this set of claws bears only a passing resemblance to what they are supposed to be modeled after, and should not, in any form, have been made representative of the glorious splendor that are Wolverines retractable adamantium claws. Really. I mean seriously. About the only thing loosely linking the two are that they are claws of some sort. Aarrrgh!

And then look at the design. These are simple hand claws. Essentially a pair of fancy brass knuckles with claws attached. Not, by any stretch of the imagination, Wolverine claws. They would not exactly provide the most secure grip for any serious “clawing” action, probably tending to rotate out of the hand in that particular application, though they would make for a great stabbing weapon, much like how a set of brass knuckles make for a great punch enhancer.

Now being that I’m not *entirely* insane, I’ll readily admit that designing, fabricating and surgically installing an accurate, working set of Wolverine claws would pose some serious mechanical and physiological problems, since the average human lacks the kind of space in their forearms to house a set of blades internally like that without looking like a freak. Or Popeye.

There is also the issue of the appropriate physiological voids and guides (or lack thereof) required to allow for repeated deployment without the wholesale destruction of the various tissues of your forearm in the process. And I won’t even get into the strength, ligament structure or musculature that would be required to effectively deploy, use and retract the blades. But there are better solutions.

The closest and most accurate reproduction to a set of real wolverine claws I can think of would be a forearm mounted contraption, similar to the Tekko-Kagi hand claw employed by the Iga Ninja of Japan (see the item to the far left below )

Tekko-Kagi Hand Claw
Tekko-Kagi hand claw
(iganinja.jp)

Incidentally, according to the Iga Ninja Museum site, the middle two unassuming items were supposed to be examples of Kunai, an old Japanese garden tool turned ninja-super-implement, to which I will shortly devote a sorely needed post. I found out later that, in actuality, the two implements in the middle are more likely to be examples of a type of obscure medieval hand weapon called tekken (Japanese for “Iron Fist”), or tekko, a form of medieval knuckle duster. But I digress.

Much like the Tekko-Kagi pictured above, the hand claw design I would employ would be secured at both the wrist and around the hand/over the palm. In addition it would have a platform mounted rail that would be secured at the elbow. The blades would be mounted to a hinged sliding base attached to the rail. When retracted, the blades would be stored over the forearm, and when extended would be anchored at a hinge point just above the wrist, with the base of the blades above the hinge strapped to the back of the hand.

This joker had the right idea. I ran into his site(**see note below) about 4 years ago, (long before this blog was a gleam in my eye) and was suitably impressed. It doesn’t seem to have been built with longevity/durability under practical use in mind, but it is about as close to an authentic pair of wolverine claws as I think you could ever get. At least not without surgery anyway.

And yes. You read correctly. I said “durability under practical use.” in reference to a set of forearm mounted, retractable steel claws. No. You are incorrect. I did not, at any point, claim to be sane. I merely stated that I wasn’t *entirely* insane. There is a big difference. Get it straight. I am demented. But enough about me.

OK, my intention is not to totally dis these Pantera Claws the entire post. There are other examples of replica wolverine claws, like the ones here that are in fact practically useless for anything other than trying to look cool. The fact of the matter is that the Pantera claws they wouldn’t be in this blog if they didn’t have any intrinsically redeeming value.

Which, in this case, is that they are a set of real sharp steel claws of a very intimidating variety. My only real beef is that the really shouldn’t have tried to ride the X-Men/Wolverine gravy train, but on their own merits they are actually works of art. The simulated wood grain composite grips on these blades are beautiful. Even without the blades they would have made for a very attractive set of brass knuckles.

With the blades they are actually quite the intimidating piece. The blades have the right amount of menacing curve to them, and the recesses on the spine and below the blade just ahead of the grip add to the sinister stance of the brushed finished 440 Stainless steel claws as they rise from the grip. Altogether a very impressive and menacing design. Would almost certainly give your average opponent the heeby-jeebies to have to face something like that on the street.

Though I can’t think of many scenarios where one might be carrying something like this around when such an altercation might occur. Unless you decided to pick a fight for the sole purpose of testing out this bad boy. You did didn’t you. You Hooligan… Instigator.. Hoodlum. You better watch yourself there, bub… I’ve got an eye on you and and a very itchy claw…

**Update!:
Nates Wolverine Claw construction site is currently inaccessible. Fortunately, I have put together a guide listing some of the common wolverine claw replicas and memorabilia, as well as a link to a page with the relevant construction information in this post. Thought it might save a few Wolverine fanatics a trip across the entire intarwebs… Happy Hunting!!

Anderson Cutlery’s Pantera Claw – [True Swords]

PhyreBlades Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide – [Realm of The Dark Blade]




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