Posts Tagged ‘Bowie’

Please Recycle Responsibly…

Friday, June 5th, 2009

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may have heard me lamenting, on many occasions, about how some sword designers tend to take the easy route with their sword designs. Specifically, they may take a blade from one sword, graft it onto a hilt from a different sword, and sell the new combination as a completely different sword.

Personally, I find sword designs passing themselves off as something they’re not, rather dishonest. It’s like a musician plagiarizing their own work and trying to sell it to you again. I can understand that they are trying to milk every last cent of revenue out of any given sword line, but sometimes it can be a bit much, like the Punisher sword fiasco I wrote about so many moons ago.

There are, however, good ways to recycle a blade design. Basing a line of blades on the same knife profile is one way to do it, and so long as they aren’t being passed off as something else, it can be done tastefully and effectively, as the examples below demonstrate:

Flaming Bowie - Spider

Flaming Bowie - Spider Motif

Flaming Bowie - Scorpion

Flaming Bowie - Scorpion Motif

Flaming Bowie - Dragon

Flaming Bowie - Dragon Motif

Now the above blades are examples of knives that more or less carry the same profile. The edge grinds differ a little, however from a practical perspective, these knives all carry the same basic design, with a few minor differences. The only real differences between them is how they are furnished. Quite beautiful motifs as well, I might add.

These are essentially all full tang knives, with ornately finished scales, each with a different flame embedded motif. A Spider, a scorpion, and a dragon, in cast nickel silver, partially set into the acrylic scales of each of these knives. I’m not really a big fan of flames on knives, however in this case the effect has been quite tastefully applied. Beautiful knives all around

And all three based on the same design, without any pretense of being something they are not.

How about that!

Scorpion Flaming Bowie – [eBladeStore]
Dragon Flaming Bowie – [eBladeStore]
Spider Flaming Bowie – [eBladeStore]

An Atlantean Bowie…

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

You’ve probably all read or heard of the legendary city of Atlantis. Yep, yep, you know, the one about the city that like, drowned itself or something? What? That’s not what happened? Ok, ok, Fine. Maybe they didn’t drown themselves. Whatever, they’ve fallen (into the sea), and they can’t get up… Heh… I slay me… πŸ™‚

Ok, ok, I’m sorry. It’s just that the Atlanteans are considered a joke race among us Balrogs. Seriously, what kind of dumb race destroys themselves? Oh, wait… you all are humans right… Never mind, don’t answer that… Anyhoo, legend has it that the Atlanteans were almost as powerful as we (the Maiar, of course) were…

(Yeah, I said “almost”. They’re all sleeping with the fishes now, so let’s see you prove me wrong πŸ˜› ) At least until their rather unfortunate accident that ended in a race wide dirt water nap…

But they supposedly had some cool weapons. Perhaps nothing as cool as the stuff us fire demons cook up, but interesting nonetheless. And I think I’ve found one:

Ocean (Atlantean) Bowie

Ocean (Atlantean) Bowie

OK, so the site I found it on calls it an Ocean Bowie. But I’m sure we all know the truth. It’s just a poorly disguised Atlantean bowie. I suppose they were trying to be sensitive to the unfortunate plight of the Atlanteans, but as one of the first races to win a civilization-wide Darwin award, I wouldn’t have bothered. *cough*…

Anyway, it’s certainly an interesting blade. A single piece, full tang construction, with sea blue patterned wood scales strategically pinned on a retro futuristic profile. The blade itself is actually not bad. A couple of unnecessary cutouts and perforations on the spine and the blade, but meh.

Beneath the blade and what I’m going to call the ricasso, is an interesting blade extension, that looks a lot like a fin. From a sailfish perhaps… Except without the spines… In fact, as you would expect from an ocean themed blade there many oceanic motifs at work. The hilt is rather interesting, with integrated choils for added grip, as well as an undulating finger guard, looking like another set of fins, extending down the front three quarters of the grip.

I thought the use of the extra circular and triangular scales above the grip, and along the ricasso, added a somewhat more mechanical feel to the fishy theme. Rather unusual but certainly a good representation of what the Atlantean culture was said to be.

All in all, certainly a decent blade. Can’t really fault the Atlantean designers all that much on it. Perhaps a little too flashy for my taste, too much extraneous furniture, gills and fins and whatnot. But what would you expect from a race that drowned it it’s own bathtub? πŸ˜›

LOL… I kid… I kid…

Maybe… πŸ™‚

Oceanic Bowie – [eBladeStore]

Cave Pandinus Imperator…

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

For those not totally and uncompromisingly nerdy, Yes. The title of this post is relevant (scientifically, any way) to the blade we’ll be looking at today… πŸ˜›

Scorpion Fantasy Knife

Scorpion Fantasy Knife

I’m just going to assume at this point that the average reader of this blog is intelligent enough to have figured out that Pandinus Imperator is the scientific name of the venerable Black Emperor Scorpion, AKA the African Emperor Scorpion. throwing “Cave”, the latin for “beware” in front should (in theory) translate to “Beware the Black Emperior Scorpion…” Neat huh? What? Hey, I thought it was cool… Whatever…

Bah humbug. Well I’m also going to assume you understand why I chose this particular title. Even though technically, it’s misleading, as the Black Emperor Scorpion is one of the most benevolent Emperors around, and is in fact, the scorpion of choice for those who keep them as pets… But If not, I apologise, but you will need to send me $50 in US currency, in order to discover the oh, so very intriguing reasons… πŸ˜›

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I must admit to being a little surprised by the outstanding basic honesty of whoever named this blade. Unlike much of the usual black ronin samurai ninja fare i come across, “Scorpion Fantasy Knife” is comparatively simple, perhaps a little too simple. But it is straight to the point, and does not pretend to be anything it’s not. In fact they could have just gotten away with something as simple as “Black Scorpion dagger/blade” and not have sounded pretentious… But I’m just nitpicking here…

But names, both scientific and fantasy, aside, I must say I love the contours of the blade. Curves that go on for days. The entire blade profile consist of nothing but arcs of varying radii intersecting each other. Eve n the finger guard is an uninterrupted continuation of the bottom most blade arc. Just wickedly sweet looking IMHO. It’s a little bit bowie, a little bit Swords of Chaos, and all in beautiful black.

Now the hilt, weeeelll… that’s a mixed bag. As usual the designer has opted to go with the form over function school and has created a designer piece that has a rather poor grip. Too short, too much curve, all show, little go. Not that the idea wasn’t a good one. From an aesthetic perspective, they have captured the tail of the scorpion quite well. Even down the that excellently formed and placed stinger pommel.

I guess I should stop trying to evaluate artsy blades from the standpoint of practical functionality. I do like it’s looks. It’s just that the whole lack of functionality can usually be avoided without sacrificing the aesthetics. But it seems like they don’t even try. It’s a crying shame I tell ya. A crying shame…

Scorpion Fantasy Knife – [Realm Collections]

Fun With Damascus Steel

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Today, I have a special treat for you. You may or may not know this, since it does not come up particularly often, but one of my favorite blade materials is Damascus steel. For two reasons. First, barring unfinished or tarnished steels, it is one of the only true “dark” finished steels that I know of.

The next reason is that, even though I have a great love for all dark weapons, (to me they have more character than most) the truth is that, most dark weapons are not inherently dark, and require special finishes, most of which rarely do any more than provide an aesthetic touch to a blade.

Damascus steel on the other hand, has an inherent dark aesthetic beauty that requires no artificial colorings or preservatives. Ok, so maybe there are some forms of Damascus that have artificial colorings. Some shades of Damascus require chemical treatments or the usage of special alloys or metals to achieve the desired effect.

But in the grand scheme of things, these are no worse than the coatings used to enhance the appearance of monosteels. Nonetheless, it is still the only type of steel that I know of, whose aesthetics are also functional, and whose enhanced cutting power does not really require any special finishes / treatments / coatings. Damascus steel has an inherent beauty all it’s own.

But the cool thing is that, in the hands of true metalworking artists, using these various other methods, Damascus can be made into patterns and colors of amazing beauty. I was quite thrilled to find a site that featured such beautifully wrought Damascus blades, each one uniquely and excellently finished to a level of detail that, much like J. A. Harkins work, totally blew me away…

I present to you a taste of the blades of Kevin and Heather Harvey of Heavin Forge. First up:

<_>

The Zulu assegai – In Damascus

Zulu Assegai in Gaboon Viper Damascus

[view full size]

Now obviously, as one of my favorite African weapons, this Damascus Assegai caught my eye. Definitely a thing of beauty. Due in no small part to the very eye catching Gaboon Viper Damascus pattern on the blade:

Zulu Assegai – Close up of Blade

Zulu Assegai Blade Close Up

[view full size]

Now this is a very unique spear, first because of the shaft style, which appears to have been carved to appear like a dark horn grip at the bottom, and smooths out the rest of the way up. Very cool. And the head sports a cool damscus pattern they have appropriately called called “Gaboon Viper”, as it emulates the characteristic diamond pattern found on the back of the aforementioned reptile… I’ve got two words for the head on this spear: Absolutely Awesome…

<^>

Persian Fighting Blade!

Persian Fighting Blade

[view full size]

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, I needn’t explain to you why I like this blade… It’s all about the points and curves… (I’m sure you can figure it out… πŸ™‚ ) And it doesn’t hurt that it has a Damascus blade. Which is actually appropriate since Damascus steel is reputed to have been developed in ye old Persia and was also called watered steel at the time. No surprise, as Damascus does look like Steel with waves in it…

<^>

Next we have a piece i like to think of as from the West. The Wild West. California gold rush and and all that jazz… It should be self explanatory why:

Gold Rush Bowie

Gold Rush Bowie

[view full size]

Yep, we have a bowie knife, perhaps almost the trademark of the wild west, (besides the ever ubiquitous revolver), in an amazing gold and almost cobalt blue Damascus hue… I’ve always like gold accents on black blades, but this just takes it to another level altogether…

Gold Rush Bowie – Close up of ricasso and top of hilt

Gold Rush Bowie - Ricasso and Hilt

[view full size]

There’s gold in that thar bowie!… I seen it with my own two eyes!!

<^>

Finally, but certainly not least, we find a weapon harking from the dark continent of Africa, an interesting little dagger that reminds me of an insect for some reason. A long wasp maybe? I dunno. But here is it, in all it’s insect like glory…

African Dagger

African Dagger

[view full size]

Now this particularly dark brand of Damascus is one of my favorites, perhaps the only true dark steel in existence. And this sample is particularly beautiful, complementing the overall theme of this dagger very well. Between the African styled hilt, and the really very cool horn sheath, it’s perhaps one of the most intriguing implementations of a Damascus dagger I’ve seen to date…

<^>

And that’s all I’ve got for today. You can see more of Kevin and Heathers’ work at Heavin Forge. Perhaps what really impressed me was not only the creative use of color in the steel, but also the overall attention to detail, fit and finish on every weapon. Absolutely beautiful. Make sure you swing by their page.

As much as they were all great works of art, after looking at them all, I discovered I had a favorite. Probably because I tend to gravitate towards more dark colors and organic shapes, I liked that last waspy dagger best. It just spoke to me. We had a grand old chat.

I think I’m gonna give it a name. I’m calling it the Black Stinger… Yeah… In fact I think i’m gonna have to make myself similar blade one of these days. It won’t be nearly as cool as this one, but If it has half the personality, I’ll be looking forward to quite a few great conversations with it…

P.S. I’d like to point out, for the record, that I am not insane. Just a *wee bit* loopy when it comes to certain blades… But I’m totally harmless, I assure you… No really… πŸ˜›

Kevin and Heathers Damascus Blades – [Heavin Forge]

Practical Bladeworks…

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Given the rant I went on my last post, I thought it quite appropriate that i should happen to run into the following blade while browsing through some of the pics I had in my archives:

Paratrax Bowie

Paratrax Bowie

[view full size]

IMHO this is, a more practical example of a multi function blade. While it retains a good amount of flexibility, it has a basic design focus, and does not deviate very far from it’s origins. At heart, this is still a bowie knife, and it shows.

I will admit that this is a different kind of weapon intended for a different purpose than the last one posted about. However I think this one fulfills it’s niche in a much better fashion. It incorporates the saw blade spine like the last one, a serviceable point (this point design is not the best, but is still only a minor weakness) a deep belly for chopping and skinning, and a straight edge section of blade for cutting and so on. And all of this while still retaining the trademark bowie blade heavy design.

Not only that, but the grip is actually a much more ergonomic than the last, and this comes with a secondary little utility blade. Minor points, I know, but it all adds up. The point is, as a general purpose utility/survival blade, this fulfills it’s role much better than the hacked machete of my last post.

Ok, it’s spent rant nap time for me… πŸ™‚

Paratrax Bowie – [True Swords]

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