Posts Tagged ‘300’

The combat spear…

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

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! 🙂

“300” Spartan Warrior Spear – [True Swords]

Halloween (or Cosplay) Treats…

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Over the past year or so, during my frequent intarweb sojourn for interesting weapons, I’ve come across an inordinate number of wooden replicas of otherwise lethal weapons. Now I have to admit that the first time I saw them, I was a bit puzzled. I thought maybe they were safety weapons for the accident prone. Or ultra cheap knock offs. Or something similar.

It wasn’t until I happened to come across a couple of pics of Cosplayers (CosPlay or Costume Play – folks who dress up as anime or movie characters and gather are conventions of the same) wielding some pretty authentic looking weapons, (in wood) that I finally understood. BTW, if you are an anime fan, you might very well be impressed by how realistic these cosplayers look:

Here’s one of Naruto (one of my favorites):

Naruto Cosplayer
[click to view
The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

Here’s a couple of the bad guys, Itachi (Mr. Red eyes on the right) and Kisame (Mr. Blue face on the left) (and yes, that is how they are supposed to look):

Itachi & Kisame Cosplayers
[click to view The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

How about an Afro Samurai? (The hair isn’t quite big enough, but oh well… 🙂 ):

Afro Samurai Cosplayer
[click to view jpassionpats flickr gallery]

I was particularly impressed by this Blade cosplayer:

MorpheusBlades flickr gallery
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

And, of course, Morpheus and Neo…

Morpheus And Neo
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

I’ve linked the pictures above the to the flickr pages I found them on. Very cool. But more importantly, I realized that all of these folks had to use wooden weapons, since none are allowed to bring real weapons into a crowded cosplay convention hall. Mystery solved!

Also, since it is about Halloween, I thought I’d round up a few of the wooden movie, video game and anime weapons I’ve come across recently for your viewing pleasure. There are actually quite a few out there, but I thought these ones looked the best:

300 – Spartan Sword – Wood

300 Spartan sword
[view full size]

<^>

Naruto – Ninja Kunai – Wood

Naruto Kunai
[view full size]

<^>

Legend of Zelda – Links Sword – Wood

Legend of Zelda
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Bankotsu’s Banryu – Wood

Banryu
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Inuyasha’s Tetsusaiga – Wood

Inuyashas Tetsusaiga
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Renji Abarai’s Zabimaru – Wood

Zabimaru
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Ichigo’s Tensa Zangetsu Bankai – Wood

Zangetsu Bankai
[view full size]

<^>

God of War – Kratos’ Blades of Chaos – Wood

Karatos Swords of Chaos
[view full size]

I guess it’s cutting it close for Halloween, but if you plan on being one of these characters, or plan to cosplay any of these characters in the near future, these weapons actually do look good enough to perfect your look. And could save you from inadvertently relieving yourself or a friend, of a limb. Or of sight in one eye…

A Pseudo Persian Sword…

Monday, September 24th, 2007

You gotta love Hollywood. They have a knack for employing liberal creative license with anything and everything that suits their fancy. Especially with weapons. I recently encountered another weapon from the movie 300. The sword of the Immortals. The esteemed weapons of the Elite soldiers of the Persian Army:

Sword of the Immortals

300 - Sword of the Immortals
[view full size]

Now the average movie viewer may not realize this, but this is not a traditional Persian sword by any stretch of the imagination. Traditional Persian swords were usually scimitars. Commonly called Shamshirs. Long, deeply swept or curving blades with simple cross guards. Very effective for melee combat. And these most certainly do not fit that description. Sure, Immortals could have used different swords, but how different? Would they have adopted, lets say, a Japanese sword? I don’t think so.

Whoa. Did I say a Japanese sword? Yep. I did. A Japanese sword. What we have here, ladies and germs, is a Japanese sword. Closest in form to what is called a Wakizashi. More so than any Persian sword I have run into. Hmmm? Of what am I babbling, you say? Need proof, you say? I’m all too happy to oblige. This is a persian sword:

The Shamshir – A Traditional Persian Sword

A Shamshir
[click to view full size]

Notice the deep curve of the blade. See also the simple cross guard, and simple blade design (i.e. no complex tempering). Now this is the blade of the sword of immortals:

300 – Sword of The Immortals – Blade

300 - Sword Of Immortals - Blade
[view full size]

Look closely. I’ll grant you that the handle is devoid of the traditional Japanese fittings. But the pattern… Hmmm. Vaguely Japanese. And look at everything else. Look at that blade. It has a shallow curve, just like a Japanese sword. It has a hamon (differential temper line) just like a Japanese sword. And it has no cross guard, but rather a habaki to keep the sword in it’s scabbard. Totally Japanese. Speaking of which, lets look at the Scabbard:

300 – Sword of the Immortals – Scabbard & Fittings

300 Sword of the Immortals - Scabbard
[view full size]

Look at that! It’s a black laquered scabbard, wrapped with nylon braid, just like, you guessed it! A Japanese saya (sheath/scabbard). Like I was saying. Japanese. Massive creative license taking FTW! Which is humorous, because I don’t think the Persians were Japanese.

But when all is said and done, I ain’t hatin’. It is a beautiful weapon. Regardless of whether it came from Persia or Japan. Or is a some form of mutant weapon heretofore never seen by man… Stranger things have happened…

300 – Sword of the Immortals – [True Swords]

Spartans Vs Uruk-Hai…

Friday, April 20th, 2007

I haven’t yet watched the movie 300 yet, even though most of the folks I’ve talked to about it rave on and on. I rarely have time to go to the movies nowadays, what with me pretending to work and all… *Ahem*… Errrr… anyway, I came across a reproduction of the Spartan Sword used in the movie 300 and though it was quite an interesting weapon.

King Leonidas Spartan Sword

King Leonidas Spartan Sword

My interest was piqued for several reasons. First, it seems to have been left relatively unfinished. Now I’m no historian, but I’d imagine that the Spartans would have at least have had the discipline to polish their swords. If course this is probably wishful thinking on my part, and it does make for a great dark sword post subject, so I probably shouldn’t complain. : ) However there were a couple of other design features of interest.

The handle had an integrated finger guard whose design I thought was a little off. The guard seems to drop to two opposing points just above the middle finger. It seems to me that might be more likely to pierce the user in the heat of battle than protect the finger f the wielder. Don’t get me wrong, it looks cool like that, but I’d rather have a single continuous band covering my precious digits than those treacherous spikes. or an opening at the very bottom, not in the middle of the grip. But that is just this lowly bloggers opinion.

King Leonidas Spartan Sword - Blade Detail

King Leonidas Spartan Sword - Blade Detail

Beyond that, it appears to be a well designed weapon. It seems to me like it would have the same structural integrity of the Uruk-Hai Scimitar I blogged about earlier, though in a much more purposeful, ergonomically, and aesthetically designed package. Notice the ridge down the side of the blade, as well as the distribution of steel on either side of it. It seems to have been designed for both close quarters slashing and thrusting, and I think it would do both well.

I can totally see a spartan wielding this. Now the question remains. Spartans vs Uruk Hai… Who would win…?

King Leonidas 300 Spartan Scimitar – [True Swords]

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