Archive for the ‘Axes’ Category

Found! Rare Breed of Aquatic Axe!

Friday, June 12th, 2009

I found a rather unusual axe a few days ago. Perhaps it’s not *that* unusual. Especially for a fantasy weapon, since By definition, they really don’t have to adhere to any standardized design specification. However I thought it was an interesting design nonetheless, more or less because its’ designer opted to incorporate some interesting organic touches, and combined them in an unusual way:

Stingray Fantasy Axe

Stingray Fantasy Axe

We have what appears to be an axe with a cast metal handle designed to replicate some sort of animal horn. The shaft curves to one side, as it extends down to the grip, which is itself cast to look like it is wrapped in leather. The pommel is capped by a faux gold ring which, in turn, terminates in a rather cool looking little faux gold spike.

The head of the axe is equally interesting, starting with the two copper or brass looking rings that are made to look as though they are screwed into the faux gold plated horn haft. Attached to each of these two bands are the cheeks of the blade, themselves adorned with an almost Incan looking pattern.

The curvy steel blades appear to be embedded in, and extend from the aforementioned axe cheeks, and bear an unusual set of curves, possibly intended to replicate the wings of a great mythical stingray. Not that I’m any expert or anything, but I don’t know of any stingrays have that particular “wing” formation. 🙂

And now that I think about it, horns of this nature generally occur on land animals, not aquatic creatures. But then again I’m no expert in horned aquatic creatures either. The narwhal comes to mind, but if memory serves, a narwhals horn is actually a tooth formation, and not an actual horn, like a stag or a deer has.

So we have, in effect, a stingray, with steel “wings”, ostensibly formed of horn, bolts, a stinger of unknown origin, and leather wrap, all, in turn, cast in some unknown alloy, and steel. Yeah. Layers upon layers of artistic metaphor at work here ladies and gents. It boggles the mind. Art. Gotta love it.

Of course this is the beauty of “Fantasy” weapons. The designer gets to pick what level of reality to adhere to. And how deep the rabbit hole goes. But when all is said and done, I think the overall look is actually pretty cool. A fantasy sting ray, complete with steel wings, and a curved, spike equipped tail. A work of organic art. Except made entirely of metal.

I wonder if this stingray is domesticated. Forget piranhas. I’d love to have an aquarium full of these.  🙂

Stingray Fantasy Axe – [Amazon]

Another Futuristic Axe…

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

I thought I’d post today about another “future axe” that I ran across a while back. Perhaps not as outlandish as the futuristic oval axe I posted about a while back, but still out there:

Futuristic Axe

Futuristic Axe

This is supposedly a futuristic axe. Looks to me like a High Guard force lance with a blade attached to one end. (From the Sci-Fi series “Andromeda” for those who didn’t get the reference 🙂 ). For some reason I can totally see Romy using this. Actually i’d love to see Romy use something like this. 😀 but I digress…

What we have here is a really fancy force lance looking shaft, to which is bolted/riveted a sleeve of some sort, atop which sits a rather flimsy looking slotted plate, to which an interestingly contoured blade has been riveted/bolted. Opposite the blade we have… Spines. Spikes. The guard from a hedge trimmer. I Dunno.

Anyway you probably already have a good idea about what I’m gonna say next. So I’ll summarize. Axe shaft: OK. Axe eye/cheek/sleeve assembly: rivet junk. Spines: Meh. Axe head… Well that I have to give them a little credit for that.

Yes, the way the axe head is attached to the shaft is junk. However the shape of the blade on this axe is another story. i actually found it rather interesting. It is formed of three straight edges on the front, and one curved one on the back, with two trapezoidal voids cut out of the middle of the blade.

The end result I found quite eye pleasing, with a sharp top point, and an inward canting straight blade out front.  Clearly, having no curves on the front edge of the axe, this would make for a bad general purpose axe design, and given the inherent weakness of it’s construction it might not even make a good combat axe, save for poking the playground bully’s eyes out with the spikes on it’s spine.

But from an aesthetic point of view, I kind of like it. What saddens me, however is that all of these so called futuristic axes have one thing in common: Iffy construction. Barring the possibility that the pommel of this weapon is a real live, honest to goodness force lance, If this is what weapon construction is reduced to in a few thousand years, well…

I weep for the future….

Futuristic Axe – [Anime Castle]

In the future, axes will become art…

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

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]

Rogue Native American… Samurai…

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

LOL. Yes. The title above is the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this:

Black Ronin Tomahawk

Black Ronin Tomahawk

[view full size]

In keeping with names that make little contextual sense, someone saw fit to call this otherwise quite interesting little axe a Black Ronin Tomahawk. Because clearly, masterless Native American Samurai needed a very specialized weapon for their… Samurai War parties… *cough*.

Just on the off chance you don’t get what I’m ranting about, a tomahawk is a small axe or war hatchet native to early North Americans. A Ronin is a rogue, or masterless, Japanese Samurai warrior. Under normal circumstances, a melding of these two cultures, both continents and worlds apart, might seem unnatural. But not in the knife industry! Here we have Beverly hills ninjas, Spear heads masquerading as fantasy axes, and… Native American Japanese weaponry… It’s all kinds of WIN rolled into one…

Black Ronin Tomahawk

Black Ronin Tomahawk

[view full size]

But back to the identity compromised hatchet at hand. It’s actually not a bad looking piece of steel. Hatchets are generally always useful tools, and this one certainly looks the part, with some sinister to spare. In addition to the prerequisite hatchet bladed head, we have a bladed spike on the rear of the head, which, very reminiscent of the German pick-axe design I blogged about a while back, seems like it would be a very useful multi purpose tool, and an even better weapon, incorporating both a point and a bladed edge.

The cord wrapped grip has a short finger guard protrusion up front, with a similar one in the back, though I can’t for the life of me think of any practical purpose for it. It does however add to the menacing look of the weapon, as does the similar point at the top and at the butt of the grip, giving this think lots of menacing points. All the better to throw this with, though the added point don’t seem like they’d provide any additional stickiness…

But nonetheless, the overall design, with it’s points and the very necessary flat black finish, lends it a kind of no-nonsense air that I kind of like. As I said, lots of sinister to go around… Even if it is a multi-cultural intercontinental hybrid of sorts…

Black Ronin Tomahawk – [Realm Collections]

How Much Wood Could A Woodchuck Chuck…

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

If a woodchuck could chuck wood? Ah yes, the quintessential question of the nature of a creature that has apparently been inappropriately named. There is no answer… And yes. My whimsical reverie was spawned by an actual weapon. A rather unusual weapon, in that it is made primarily of wood, though this doesn’t make it any less menacing in appearance…

The Leiomano

Leiomano

[view full size]

Now you might be wondering what this weapon has got to do with wood chucks chucking wood… Well I’ll tell you. There are a number of sites I encountered that listed this weapon as a “Hawaiian Throwing Axe”. Get it? A wooden throwing weapon? So like if a woodchuck could chuck wood, (and this woodchuck also just happened to be a weapons fanatic) this is probably what they would be chucking. Right at your head. Ouch. Except for one thing. This isn’t really a throwing axe.

Yeah, sorry. This is in fact a Hawaiian melee weapon. Seriously, if you look at the design, you can see that it would be ill suited to throwing. Weapons designed for throwing usually use harder materials, as many a throw could end up hitting something hard, like a rock, the ground, etc. This weapon uses wood, cord, and shark teeth. Shark teeth fastened in place with a twine of sorts. And while shark teeth are great for ripping up soft flesh, they would not survive an impact with a hard place, much less the leather thong or twine holding it in place.

Here’s another example:

leiomano

[view full size]

As you can see from the pic, the teeth are aligned just right so that any blow from this, glancing, pulling, cleaving, etc would almost certainly draw blood. And while it might not be as effective as a sword, you better believe that a battle with combatants taking repeated hits from this would get torn to shreds and bleed to death.

And if you take into account that the heavy wooden head could probably deliver pretty hefty blows all by itself, even without the benefit of shark teeth, you can see how this would make for a very effective melee weapon. Here’s a closer look at how it’s all put together:

Leiomano

[view full size]

That is one lethal and mean looking weapon. Even if it’s made out of wood. And string. And shark teeth. No self respecting woodchuck would go anywhere near one of these…

Leiomano – [Kumulau.com]

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