Archive for the ‘Polearms’ Category

An Interesting Spirit Knife…

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

I recently came across an unusual blade design. Actually the design itself wasn’t so much unusual, as much as the way in which it was used.

SOG Fusion - Spirit Knife

SOG Fusion - Spirit Knife

The SOG spirit knife is essentially a small spear point blade, attached to a short handle. The handle is detachable, and the blade itself can then can be attached to a shaft, in order to make a spear. Or you can leave the handle on and use it as a small knife. They even suggest that it could be used as a throwing knife.

The short spear point design is unusual, but I can see the usefulness of the design. It would be work well as a small knife for fine detail work, such as carving whittling, and such. However as a survival tool, I think the design is too limiting. For instance, I can say, with a pretty high level of certainty, that I would not be throwing *any* of my valuable knives at anything, if I were in a self reliance scenario.

The same for using it as a spear. You can make 100 disposable spears and/or throwing implements with a single good knife. A good knife, on the other hand, is hard to make out in the field. The thing is, if you lose your knives, and you’re much more liable to  find yourself  in great big world o’ hurt. So that kind of rules out half of the proposed use cases for this design.

The other thing, as I’ve mentioned in past survival knife posts, is that I consider both detachable and folding blades a liability. Detachable/Folding = weak = easily broken or lost. I would much rather have a small, full tang knife for fine work, than something like this, that is liable to work loose, or break off even, and get lost somewhere.

So ultimately, at the end of the day this may be a good knife for casual outdoorsman stuff, but for a good self reliance/survival tool, I’d probably look elsewhere…

SOG Fusion Spirit knife – [True Swords]

Of Hammers, Swords and Walking Sticks…

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I ran across a rather interesting weapon today, one that combines both old and new battlefield technologies into a contemporary defensive weapon for the modern gentleman. Or not. About it being a modern gentlemanly weapon, I mean. I guess it depends on your point of view. Most civilized folks these days just pack a firearm. Or pack nothing at all, and simply plan to get on their hands and knees, put their hands behind their heads and say “Take whatever you want. I don’t really need it.” But I digress.

Hammer Head Sword Cane

Hammer Head Sword Cane

So this, is a hammer head sword cane. Quite the interesting design, a standard black sword cane, hidden in a smooth black tubular shaft, with a cast metal hammer head grip. On one side a standard hammer head, with cross grid patterned face, and on the other, a perforated spike. Quite a useful combination actually. And this sword cane, unlike most, uses a quick button release, which is an uncommon, but welcome feature in a sword cane. But for me, the most interesting feature of this cane is that hammer/point head.

In medieval times, a similar weapon evolved for the purpose of compromising the ever more heavily armored forces on the battlefield. Most swords weren’t really designed to battle armored opponents, and while most enterprising combatants simply learned how to use chinks in armor to thier advantage, it was sometimes easier and faster to simply compromise the armor.

This is where the war hammer design came from. Put a tough service point (or four) on the head of a small, but heavy impact weapon, and swing it, Louisville Slugger style, at your armored opponent, and you could punch a hole through that armor fairly easily. A small impact area (the point), combined with a relatively large mass (a hammer head) generally tends to do that to hardened metal plating. I’m pretty sure it would really just be a  bad day for the aforementioned armored opponent after that.

Medieval War Hammer

Medieval War Hammer

We don’t generally wear armor these days, however this design is still a good one for defensive impact use. You know, for smacking unruly peeps upside the head and whatnot. Especially for folks who’d rather not actually break out the sword bit if it could be avoided.

And assuming a solid connection between the shaft of the cane and the head (This is usually a very weak link in most sword cane designs) it would be all the more effective because of both the added weight of the hammer head, and the 100% USDA can of whoop a$$ that could be delivered by that pointy bit.

Now that I think about it, those medieval war hammer folks really knew a little too much about bringing the pain…

Hammer Head Sword Cane – [True Swords]

A Quadruply Cool Trident.

Monday, June 8th, 2009

A while back I ran across some pics of a weapon I don’t see very often these days. A weapon that had it’s start in one of the most mundane of tasks. Spear fishing. A spear with three prongs, designed to improve a spear fishers chances of spearing a fish, with each prong barbed, in order to help prevent dinner from going free once impaled.

This weapon is almost certianly a greatly loved tool by spear fishermen, and a feared weapon by all fishdom 🙂 . However it seems that even humans found it more than just useful. Given the company it has keept through history, It must have been quite awe inspiring. I speak of course, of the Trident:

Shadow Strike Trident

Shadow Strike Trident

Clearly the photographer needed better lighting and a better backdrop to do this weapon justice, but I really like its design, so I thought I’d share the warm glow emitted by this beautiful facsimile of a great weapon. A weapon often depicted in the hands of mighty Roman Gladiators of old.

And as if being the favored weapon of a professional warrior wasn’t enough, the trident was a weapon of the Gods! It was, in fact, The Greek God Poseidons weapon of choice, as well as that of Neptune, the Roman God, and Shiva, the Hindu God. Great was the power of the trident!

Sadly, the picture is not particularly clear, and the place I originally found it no longer seems to have it. But from what I can see from the pic, it’s not hard to see why it was such a great weapon. From long black shaft, with a silver banded accents both at the pommel as well as half way up the grip, to the head of the weapon, it just screams for respect.

With the head of the trident, of course, demanding the most respect. From the ornate transition from black shaft, to the three, beautiful, double edged, barbed, spear headed prongs, it says nothing less than “I am trident. HEAR ME…” Roar? No.. Ping?  Naw… Clang…? Bah!

Ok, so I don’t know what sounds this trident would make. Perhaps a cool resonant metallic ring or something. But that’s besides the point. Or in this case, besides the three points. The point is that those three points always make an oftentimes barbed point to point out that they are pointy and are always quite pointed in thier passive declaration about how three points are better than a single point. (U C Whut I did thar? I just slay me… 🙂  he he he…  <crickets chirping> Ok, whatever…

Anyway, if you still don’t get the point, this particular trident has yet another trick up it’s long black sleeve. It actually has *4* points, and… a blade!  *gasp*! in addition to the three beautiful points at the head of the trident, this trident also comes apart in the middle of the shaft to reveal a hidden blade! This brings our point count to 4!

Ok, so I’m pushing the points a bit, and that whole “sword in a trident shaft” bit has to seriously weaken the shaft’s strength, but still, you can’t deny the coolness of this design. It is, by any measure, Fish, Men and/or Gods, an awesome weapon…

That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it…

Shadow Strike Trident – [Anime Castle]

Elven swords and spears are just too cool…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I recently ran across an interesting set of weapons, both from the movie “Hellboy II : The Golden Army”. Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Luke Goss. The original HellBoy movie had quite an array of interesting weapons and this latest incarnation is no exception. This time around, I’ll be talking about two weapons in particular, a spear and a sword, both the weapons of renegade elven Prince Nuada, played by Luke Goss:

Prince Nuadas Weapons from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Weapons from the movie HellBoy II

If memory serves, both of these weapons were worn by Prince Nuada at various points in the movie. In the final challenge battle he gives the sword to Hellboy to challenge him with. Quite the honorable, if misguided fellow. Up until he tried to stab HellBoy in the back. Quite the angsty type. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand where his angst came from. But I’m rambling.

I found both weapons interesting for a several reasons. When I compared the design of each of the two weapons, I found their designs to be both conflicting and complementary. They both appear to display completely opposing levels of sophistication, and yet are furnished identically, almost as if designed by different people, then finished to match. In addition, each appears almost specifically designed to fulfill a role that the other cannot. I’ll start with the Sword:

Prince Nuadas Sword from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Sword from the movie HellBoy II

The sword is of an interesting, but rather limiting design. It is wide, heavy, of medium length, and has no point. Franky as Elven swords go, it is not of the characteristically edgy but beautiful design that elven swords are known for. It appears to be designed purely for cutting and cleaving, and possesses absolutely no thrusting capabilities whatsoever.

In fact, it almost appears to have none of the characteristics of traditional elven swords whatsoever, save for the hilt furniture. If I were to hazard a guess, I might speculate that the sword was not really of elven design, but may have been commissioned, only as an afterthought by the prince, to match the the spear, which was actually his favored weapon.

An interesting feature of the swords design, is that it carries a little notch at in the spine, just before the tip, (if you can even call it that). This notch could theoretically be used to capture and break other swords. It’s almost as though this sword was designed purely for very close quarters combat with other swords, and nothing else. As you will see, I think there is a purpose for that, which becomes a little more plausible once we’ve looked at Prince Nuada’s other weapon, (and probably his favorite) his elven spear:

Prince Nuadas Spear from the movie HellBoy II: The Golden Army

Prince Nuadas Spear from the movie HellBoy II

Now this spear, that is an elven weapon. So much more elegant than the sword. From the pommel to at least midway through the deceptively short shaft, it is identical to the sword, but from there on out it is a completely different story. Prince Nuada was perfectly capable of using the spear in it’s short form for melee combat, however its use would be restricted mainly to thrusts, with limited slashing capabilities provided by the relatively large (by spear head standards), but comparatively short (against a sword), broad and beautifully crafted spear head.

In the movie, the spear is imbued with eleven witchery and was capable of extending about 4 extra feet, to achieve the full spear length of around 6 feet. And what a beautiful 6 feet of black and gold elven rune etched spear they were!! We also see in the movie that the spear also has an auto-magically repairing tip. A very handy feature, especially given how beautiful that spear head is. No worrying about broken spear heads and all that.

Anyway, while the spear provided Prince Nuada with much greater reach, it would still have been limiting in close quarters battle, and against a skilled sword wielding opponents, using weapons whose entire edge could be used to inflict lethal cuts, he may have found it necessary to resort to using a sword. My hypothesis would be that, at this point there would be very few of the elven race left, and so the sword would have been forged by a non-elven smith, which would describe it’s crude nature.

Of course in reality, whoever designed these weapons may not have had anything of the sort in mind, but I thought those particular design choices were an interesting coincidence. Perhaps the sword was designed that way purely because the designer knew HellBoy would eventually be using it. In which case I’d say the design was spot on.

Anyway, I think that’ll be enough of me forging speculative logic for the design and function of fictional weapons for a fictional prince of a fictional race from a fantasy movie.

Oh, wait…

Actually this works. I am actually not real myself.

Never mind. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. 🙂

Prince Nuadas Sword – [True Swords]
Prince Nuadas Spear – [True Swords]

The Midnight Dragon Corps…

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

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. 🙂

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… 🙂

Midnight Dragon Blade – [King of Swords]

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