Posts Tagged ‘arm’

A Killer Metal Scorpion

Friday, May 15th, 2009

A long while back I blogged about the continuing trend in the collectible blade industry of forging creatures of nature, both mythical and real, of steel. And of course, one of the more common forms of this form of art, for lack of a better word, is that of insects. Mean little critters too. Like black widow spiders. And wasps. and, of course, scorpions:

The Death Stalker

The Death Stalker

Yes. This, my friends. is a death stalker. Whatever that is. I really don’t know. But I can tell you what it looks like. A giant metal scorpion, designed to be worn on the arm, and intended to intimidate all but the most stalwart of heart.Or a suicidal underground, to-the-death cage fighter. Your choice.

It is actually quite an interesting design really. A new species. A metal plated hybrid scorpion. And I say a hybrid scorpion, because it looks like it has a cross between a vampire, a human and a violator (from Spawn, if you are curious)  for a head. This attached to a set of what looks like evil black steel claws that curve backwards into an evil forward pointing saw toothed edged back plate, sporting  an equally menacing, and deeply curving black stinger at the rear. All the better to spike you with.

And all of this appears to be riveted to what looks like a cast metal base to which a simple handle has been attached, so as to fool a prospective wearer that they might actually have control of this thing by grabbing the handle. The poor unsuspecting sap. I pity the fool who would dare try to wield this monstrosity. There will only be stings to be had. I can almost gaaa-ruun-teee it.

But at least you’d look good what getting clawed to death by your own arm weapon. Just don’t say nobody told you so… 🙂

Death Stalker – [True Swords]

The Truth About Cats And… Tigers.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Today I thought I’d talk about hand claws related to animals other than Wolverines… Yeah. No more Wolvie. Unless I find something new. What can I say. Oh Come ON. Just let it go…

Anyway, many ninja hand weapons are often confused with one another and incorrectly described, so I thought I’d take a crack at sorting them out. Let me formally introduce: the Bagh Nakh, Neko-Te, Shuko and Tekko-Kagi. Just a quick warning before you dive in. You may want to grab a cup of coffee…

Bagh Nakh
First off we have the Bagh Nakh, also sometimes called the Wagh Nakh, whose heritage is the least obscured, but whose name is often incorrectly used to describe Tekagi. The Bagh Nakh is a weapon of Indian heritage, intended to replicate the damage that a tiger would inflict on your average unsuspecting jungle meal.

Bagh Nakh

Bagh Nakh

Anyway, as you can see, it is essentially a set of claws attached to a bar with loops for the fingers. The version above with the knife blade attached is called the Bich’Hwa Bagh Nakh. In contrast to how it is often portrayed, (and it seems to be portrayed and described incorrectly in a lot of otherwise reputable places) it is not a set of over-the-hand claws, nor was it likely to have been worn with the claws out over the knuckles.

Rather, I believe that is held in the hand, supported by the thumb and pinky, with the claws facing outward from the palm, and the basic traditional designs all appear to confirm this to be the case. If you look at the various forms of Bagh Nakh, you will see than it includes a few different forms, many with a blades that extend laterally out from the side of the weapon, in addition to the claws.

Two Different Bagh Nakh Designs:

Bich'wha Bagh Nakh

Bich'wha (Bladed) Bagh Nakh

Standard Bagh Nakh

Standard Bagh Nakh

This tells me that they the bar was intended to serve a dual purpose as both the knife handle and the claw holder, and would therefore be held in the palm of the hand. Not to mention that many Bagh Nakh designs are near impossible to wield with the bar over the knuckles. From this we can assume that it was used with the claws projecting out from the palm. The same grip would likely have been used for both forms, with or without the original blade.

Simple Bagh Nakh

Simple Bagh Nakh

The Bagh Nakh is an excellent weapon for open hand clawing or raking attacks, as well as open hand slaps, and is very effective at tearing flesh. The best targets for this weapon would be the eyes and face, though any soft target would work.

Shuko
Next up is the Shuko. Shuko, or “Tiger Claws” is the Japanese equivalent of the Bagh Nakh, and is one of the trademark weapons of the Togakure Ryu, which is believed to be the oldest school of Ninjitsu. This weapon employs a similar claw design, except for the way it is held and supported. Much like the Bagh Nakh, this name

Ninja Shuko

Ninja Shuko

Unlike the Bagh Nakh however, it is supported by a steel band that goes around the entire hand, as well as a strap that fastens it to the wrist of the wearer. This extra support mechanism allows it to be used in ways the Bagh Nakh cannot, such as for climbing walls and trees, where it was usually used in conjunction with Ashiko or Ninja foot spikes.

Ashiko - Ninja Foot Spikes

Ashiko - Ninja Foot Spikes

My guess however would be that commercial versions would be lacking and many would have to make a pair custom fit to your hand size, and appropriately padded, in order to comfortably use it for wall climbing duty.

Wearing Ninja Shuko

Wearing Ninja Shuko

It would, in theory, also allow for much more powerful raking attacks to harder and tougher targets, like bony parts of the body and ligaments. This hand weapon is also often incorrectly referred to as Neko-Te, (even I have been guilty of this) but as I found out, the Neko-Te is a completely different weapon.

Neko-Te
Neko-Te, or (literally translated) “Cat Hands” are traditionally small steel blades attached to the fingers using a band, usually of leather. Another weapon that is often confused with the Shuko and Bagh Nakh, these are actually steel claws designed to become clawed extensions of the fingertips of the wearer. Much like cat womans claws.

Neko Te

Neko-Te - Finger Tip Ring Claws

The most common references to Neko-Te are as the favored claw weapon of Kunoichi (female ninjas). They were primarily used for distraction, but could be made lethal by poisoning the blades.

Neko-Te - Finger Wraps

Neko-Te - Leather Wrap Finger Tip claws

The use of Neko-Te would be almost exclusively limited to soft targets such as the eyes, throat, groin, etc. Especially since finger strength would be a limiting factor in the amount of power a Neko-Te user could generate.

Tekko-Kagi
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Tekko-Kagi (or Tekagi), which I talked about in my first Wolverine post. This is the only verifiable example I could find of a hand claw that employed claws located above the hand, like Wolverines claws. Most versions of this weapon are supported by both the wrist and the hand, and would have been used with the fist closed, either as a punch blade type weapon, or closed fist rake, depending on the claws configuration.

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

It was generally used to attack and disarm sword wielding opponents. Of the weapons here, this is the only one that could have been used against hard targets, and I believe it could have been built strong enough to handle the amount of force required to even punch through light armor, (not to mention it is the closest design to good old Wolvies’ claws, making it one of my faves) though sadly, I have not seen any evidence that it was ever used in this fashion.

Wearing Tekko-Kagi

Wearing Tekko-Kagi

And thats about the size of it. I often see these names used interchangeably, however after doing a lot of reading about each of them, I realized that they each refer to a completely different weapon, and thought I’d share… Hopefully your head hasn’t exploded…

Bagh Nakh – [Brighton & Hove Museum]
Bagh Nakh – [The Forest Hermit (JP)]
Bagh Nakh – [Therion Arms]
Bagh Nakh – [Earmi.it (IT)]
Shuko – [Ninja Dynasty]
Neko-Te – [Warrior Quest]
Neko-Te – [Ninjitsu.com]
Tekko-Kagi – [Mark C. Barrett]
Tekko-Kagi – [Iga Ninja Museum]
Tekko-Kagi – [Warrior Quest]

How To Make Retractable Wolverine Claws

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume (click any image to enlarge)

Claws In

Claws In

Nate used Photoshop to enlarge an image of Wolverine’s claws from the X-Men movie that he had downloaded. This allowed him to print out the image until it fit exactly onto the 1″ x 1/8″ Aluminum Flat Bar that he had purchased for creating the claws. Once the basic shape was on paper, Nate traced around it onto a piece of wood that he had cut to 1″ x 13″, which was the calculated maximum length of the claws.

This length was determined to be the longest length that could fit on the back of Nate’s forearm. Once the wood had been traced, Nate gathered up his aluminum and headed to his Grandfather’s barn, where he cut the wood out on a band saw, sanded it on a vertical standing belt sander, and used it to trace out the aluminum claws.

The aluminum claws were then cut out VERY CAREFULLY on the band saw and sanded lightly on the belt sander. The next step was to put each claw under the wire brush wheel to give them a “brushed aluminum” finish, which Nate determined would look closest to “adamantium”, which Wolverine’s claws are actually made out of.

Claws Out

Claws Out

The next step was to mount the claws to a ball-bearing track that could be hooked to the back of Nate’s forearm. The track was created from a sliding keyboard tray. The slider on the track was modified to be much shorter, and use only 8 ball bearings. Bolts were put through the slider on the track and then some galvanized metal was bent and hack-sawed to make the right shape for attaching the first claw. This required drilling holes through each galvanized metal pience and matching holes in the first claw. Once the first claw was fitted to the track, 2 other claws were then drilled to match the first, and 3″ and 3.5″ bolts were used with nuts, split washers, washers, and locking nuts to to space the claws apart and keep them tightly affixed to each other and subsequently to the track. Once this was complete, screws were added through the bottom of the track so that the slider could not slide out of the track (to avoid killing innocent bystanders). Pictured above the the fully extended claws on the track.

Claws on arms

Claws on arms

The next step was to create a way to attach the tracks to Nate’s arms. …and Nate thought growing facial hair was hard! The eventual solution was to cut fabric left over from creating the pads for the X-Men suit into harnesses for the claws. The piece under Nate’s wrist buttons into place so that the claw tracks can be held VERY tight, but still be possible to put on. The fabric was sewn to the tracks through holes that Nate drilled in key locations.

Showing Claws

Showing Claws

Who’s got claws? Oh yea, that’s right… NATE’S GOT CLAWS!

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

Yep, those are definitely claws! …on sliding tracks, nonetheless!

The above text and images were reproduced from Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume page at http://www.muc.muohio.edu/~natedogg/main.htm. Unfortunately the site is no longer accessible, so I have reproduced some of the more salient information from the site here. All of the reproduced images and text still remain the property of it’s owner, presumably, Nate. Enjoy!

Want Wolverine Claws?

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

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.

Pantera Claw by Tom Anderson

Pantera Claw by Tom Anderson

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 Japanese Ninja:

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

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. Now here’s another interesting design:

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

The joker in the pic above 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 some of the cast replicas that are practically useless for anything other than trying to look cool. The fact of the matter is that the Pantera claws 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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