Posts Tagged ‘Axe’

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]

Another Fantastic Axe!

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Today I thought I’d talk about another interesting designer melee/throwing axe I ran into a while back.

Fantasy Axe

Fantasy Axe

Now the first question that popped into my head when I read the description, and then looked at the axe, was: Couldn’t anyone come up with a more fitting name than “Fantasy Axe”? Did marketing run out of fantasy weapon descriptors? Bah! Anyway, this axe has a lot of similarities to the War Shark axe I blogged about not too long ago. They may have had the same designer.

But unlike the War Shark axe, the Fantasy axe seems to have a lot more aesthetic design cues that do not appear to have any functionality beyond trying to make it look… Fantastic… At which they do a mediocre job. Not that it’s an ugly axe mind you. It looks good. Just doesn’t seem to deliver what the name promised. Freakin’ marketing…

I will say however that it does have the kind of wicked points and curviness about it that I really like. It certainly beats the snot out of the Reaver Axe I blogged about a while back. In fact with slightly more depth to the design, I think this axe would have made a better companion for the Reaver sword than that poor, butchered excuse of a battle cleaver did.

The fantasy axe does have some good things going for it, in that the spike opposite the axe blade seems like it could do some damage to armor, and is better positioned to do so than the on the War Shark. It also looks like it would be better suited for throwing, though how much so is hard to tell. But it does look cool nonetheless, and complemented by the nifty leather-wrapped handle, it seems like a nice, all around melee/throwing weapon I could see taking into battle with me, were I a medieval warlord…

Fantasy Axe – [Realm Collections]

The blades of the evil reavers…

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

I recently came across a pair of weapons from the very short-lived, but extremely good (I thought) Sci-Fi TV-series-turned-movie: Firefly: Serenity

Reaver Axe and Sword

Reaver Axe and Sword

In the movie, the super genius scientific human weapon experiment known as River Tam (played by dancer/actor Summer Glau) relieves members of a race of evil mutants called the Reavers of their weapons, and proceeds to methodically, mercilessly, you could even say gracefully, eliminate them, one after the other, until there are literally none left in the building to challenge her.

River Tam - Serenity

River Tam - Serenity

As a side note, as contemporary modern weapon fight scenes go, I found that particular fight scene to possess some of the most aesthetically pleasing choreographed sword fight sequences, second only to that of actor Wesley Snipes antics in the Blade movies. Ms. Glau really puts her dancing experience to good use. But, as usual, I digress.

Reaver Sword

Reaver Sword

The thing about this pair that caught my eye was the Reaver sword. It posseses a kind of barbaric grace, almost as if it were a physical representation of a dancer practicing a most lethal ballet. Combining both sinister curves and a kind of brutish simplicity, it was perfectly suited for it’s role in the movie.

Reaver Sword - Hilt Detail

Reaver Sword - Hilt Detail

Now the axe, on the other hand, mades no aesthetic sense to me. Looked kind of like a mutant cleaver. Perhaps it does make sense, given the kind of creatures the reavers were, but I just didn’t get the right feel from it’s aesthetics. But given that, in the fight scene I mention earlier, River Tam used both the sword and the axe to great effect, I suppose it would have been an even greater evil to omit the axe from the collection.

Reaver Axe

Reaver Axe

Me personally, I would have been happy with just the sword…

Reaver Sword and Axe – [Kult of Athena]

The Elegant Francisca…

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

As I have stated before, I have always been a big fan of throwing axes, especially those of the smaller, more versatile variety. I recently came across one of the more timeless classic throwing axe designs, I thought I’d share.

Antiqued Francisca Axe

Antiqued Francisca Axe

Allow me to introduce the Francisca. The Francisca (sometimes also called the Francesca) throwing axe represents, in my humble opinion, one of the most elegant but functional designs that ever to grace the word of throwing axes.

Notwithstanding it’s visual simplicity, it is a weapon that has been very well engineered. The head of the Francisca has been contoured in such that it is both quite beautiful, but was designed to be an excellent throwing weapon, providing the widest possible sticking/cutting range, especially for a small, single-bladed throwing axe of it’s size. It is also designed to be the perfect weight for speed, and could easily be used as a melee weapon, while still being heavy enough to shatter an opponents wooden shield.

All in all, a very beautiful Frank design. A close look at the aesthetics of the head of a Francisca, reveals that the Francisca axe design incorporates a range of complex curves and contours that I normally see reserved for knives and mid sized swords. Quite impressive. And of course I should mention that this particular reproduction gets brownie points with me for coming in black…

Francisca Throwing Axe – [Reliks]

A Dark Axe of Royalty.

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Next up on our list is yet another interesting axe. A royal axe. A knightly axe. A dark axe. I present:

Black Knight's Royal Axe

Black Knight's Royal Axe

Now most of you may not find this weapon particularly contradictory, but I decided to blog about it specifically for that reason. I think the general idea of the axe (as represented by how it has been named) to present an interesting oxymoron.

First off, in medieval times, (regardless of how Martin Lawrence or Monty Python may have portrayed them) a black knight was generally the European equivalent of a Japanese rōnin – A masterless samurai. Being a black knight may not have carried the same dishonor that a rōnin might have in japan, however they were equally disliked by liege Knights because they were wildcards.

A black knight would be just as likely to fight for you as against you. In fact you might find one fighting by your side during one battle, and on the opponents side the next. Almost by definition, a black knight ostensibly held allegiance to no one but himself. Not exactly a trustworthy fellow. Royalty wouldn’t necessarily mean anything to such a knight. Which is why I find the the idea of a “Royal” Black Knight to be contradictory. Unless they were medieval secret agents…

As if that weren’t enough, I’ve always thought that most medieval knights carried swords, not axes. I’d hardly think a Black knights would be an exception. And I’d think that the ones that did see fit to carry an axe would usually carry a smaller, lighter, melee style axe, not a full fledged, double bladed monstrosity. But I guess I’m just splittin’ hairs now.

Disregarding any contradictory symbolic nuances, the design of this axe is an excellent example of a very traditional axe making. But that is about the only thing traditional about it. The color treatment of this weapon is very striking, with a black blade and handle, with both silver and gold accents. The overall design is quite impressive, from the prominent silver point on the butt of the axe and the two gold bands strategically placed to provide elegant contrast with the rest of the weapon.

In spite of the reservations I have about it’s nomenclature, the aesthetics of this axe really does justify it as royalty. The contrast of light and dark is well done, and it would come high on my list of recommended weapons for any “royal” dark knight… If that is their real name…

Black Knight’s Royal Axe – [True Swords]

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