Posts Tagged ‘Demon’

Of Straight Razors and Demon Barbers.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

You know I have never really been a fan of straight razors. Don’t really know why. Apart from those rare occasions when they are ground into claws, brazed to copper pipes and attached to the fingers of leather work gloves, they just never really appeal to me. Normally, I find such evil and dangerous implements fascinating.

And straight razors are indeed evil. Unintentionally evil, grant you, but evil nonetheless. They are one of the few, relatively large, non surgical blades whose edge geometry is specifically designed to allow them to hold one of the keenest edges known to man. Even at the cost of strength. But in spite of my being intellectually aware of this, they just don’t *look* the part. Yes, they usually do have a little flair, but for the most part I find them waaaay to functional looking.

They are almost like box cutters to me. Equally dangerous, but they just don’t carry an aesthetic that evokes that primal awe that so many other blade designs do. Now I bring this up not for idle chitchat, but rather because I had occasion to analyze my thoughts about such a razor. Specifically a replica of the razor used by Johnny Depps character Sweeny Todd  in the movie “Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”:

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Now this is a nice looking razor. I’m not saying it isn’t. The thing is, it just doesn’t speak to me. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if there is any real significance to it, but on the surface, it looks to me like the miniature equivalent of a machete. Just like any other razor. All go, no show. Well maybe a little show. But not quite enough show.

The funny thing is that, shortly after Sweeney Todd came out, having been glamorized by the movie, there was a sudden surge of custom straight razors on the market. Here’s another example I found somewhat more attractive:

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Arguably a much more modern design approach to the straight razor, and it certainly looks the part..  Black micarta scales with beautiful shiny accents, all rising up into what looks like it’s gonna be a sweet looking blade, and then… disappointment. It still looks like a folder horribly abused. So horribly mutilated that the doctor recommended that the tip be amputated. Sigh.

Here’s an arguably more cutting edge design:

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

So now maybe we’re getting somewhere. This design eschews the classic straight razor grip for a contemporary designer folder grip. Not a bad look. Personally I thought it could have done without the spider web  motif, but hey. But yet again… as my eyes travel up from the hilt, that sinking feeling returns. Dagnabbit!

OK, so I admit I am biased towards points. And curves. And organic shapes. Perhaps with a few more curves or something, I might find straight razors more appealing. But that would defeat the point of a “straight” razor. And in any case, I think it’d be like lipstick on a pig. I dunno if it’s possible to gussy up a straight razor enough to make it look good,  without changing the very things that make it a straight razor.

But who knows. Maybe my expectations are a little high…

Tom Andersons Raze Tac – [True Swords]
Sweeny Todds Straight Razor – [True Swords]
Custom Straight Razor – Blue Widow Web – [True Swords]

Cool Replicas – Part 4: Sandai Kitetstu

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Today, we continue my temporary departure from the usual practice of lamenting the tendency for mediocrity that is often displayed by the collectors cultery industry, (wow that was a mouthful!!) to look at another rather nicely reproduced anime weapon.

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

[Click to view full size]

This is the Sandai Kitetsu, third Generation Demon splitter, and one of the swords wielded by the sword happy protagonist Roronoa Zolo (AKA Zoro) from the anime One Piece. I can only assume he got that name because the creators of the series thought it would be fitting, given his skill with the sword, to name him after the legendary Zorro.

You know. The legendary Mexican sword freedom fighter with the gay *cough* blade… Gay, in this instance, meaning lively, quick, flashy, etc… Yeah. Just thought I’d clarify. Oh, no, no, no, you’re welcome. Things have certainly changed a lot since the 1980s. But I digress…

Anyway, this Zoro is a pirate. Though he was formerly a bounty hunter, and is an honorable man, with exceptional sword fighting skills, who just happened to fall into an unfortunate situation. He generally carries three swords with him.

However this one I found particularly interesting because, first and foremost, it has a black blade (of course!). But it also just so happens to be a Kitetsu, a cursed blade, that is said will eventually bring a horrible death to it’s wielder. Though you can kind of tell, just by looking at it, it’s a rather mean sword. With a mind of it’s own. Zoro, however, does not seem to mind. My kind of guy… 🙂

Physically, this sword is actually of a fairly standard design, no really unique features, beyond the black on stainless steel blade. However it’s real beauty lies in the details:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

[click image to view full size]

You can see from the detail of the tsuba, the quality of the fit and finish on this sword is very good. Certainly better than some I have seen that cost a lot more. And then theres the Tsuka:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka/Saya

[click image to view full size]

An interesting variation of the standard design. Instead of the fully cord wrapped grip, we have a grip that is covered, top and bottom, the same way the saya is, with what appears to be a laquered wood sections. In the middle we have the traditional black cord over rayskin wrapping, with metal bands transitioning between the two.

Another interesting departure from the norm is the design of the kashira, sporting a loop set into the traditional pommel cap. It is depicted similarly in the anime and is certainly an unusual feature. The saya is also fairly simple, the standard black lacquer, adorned with one metal band at the opening, and two more, each a little ways from each end. The tip is also is capped in ornate metal.

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

[Click image to view full size]

Overall, this is actually a well done replica. Certainly it does not have the quality or strength of a hand made, sword by any means, so I wouldn’t go sword fighting with it, but for a mass produced replica weapon, it is actually very nicely put together. This one made my white list simply for it’s clean lines, and fairly close attention to detail.

My verdict?


Just can’t say no to a cursed black sword… 🙂

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [True Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [SouthWest Blades]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Swords Swords]

The Sexiest Xbows on Earth…

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

So today I have a special treat for you. And you may want to grab a cuppa and relax, cause I’ma be a ranting fool in this post… 😀

A while back, Mozza, one of my buds from Exotic Automatic, put me onto this site with the sweetest crossbows I have ever seen. (Muchas Gracias Mozz Man!!) I’m talking sexy. Dead sexy. Totally and uncompromising evil, but just so freakin’ sexy you can’t help yourself. Uh huh. You know the ones I’m talking about.

The kinds of crossbows you want to pick black bedspreads and matching, jet black curtains with. The ones you want to bear your evil children. The kinds you will NEVAR take home to your parents… 🙂 ‘Cause they are freaks and you know your folks won’t approve… But you can’t help it. You love them anyway.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the type. The dark, sinister ones you know are probably gonna be bad for you, but you can’t help it ’cause they take you places “normal” weapons can never take you… The ones that will steal your very soul… >:D

LOL I’m sure you all think I’m exaggerating.

OK. I might be. I’m a sucker for a beautifully crafted weaponry. But I’m betting you’ll agree with me about these little pretties once you get to know them. Here, let me introduce you to a couple of my favorites. From awesome designers at Talisman Custom Crossbows:

The Beast

The Beast

[Click Image to view larger size]

This beast, my friends, is a beauty. It’s a rather ornate crossbow with an intricately designed rifle stock. Very highly detailed. Perhaps a little too intricate for my tastes. Especially that rifle stock. But it just so happens they’ve got people like me covered:

The Beast - Pistol Grip

The Beast - Pistol Grip

[Click Image to view larger size]

BAM! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Pistol grips FTW!! And another glamor shot, sans grip:

The Beast - Sans Grip

The Beast - Sans Grip

[Click Image to view larger size]

And now let me introduce you to the more lithe but equally lethal Devils Claw Crossbow:

The Claw

The Devils Claw

[Click Image to view larger size]

Again, definitely not Mr. Magoos Claw… This one I find interesting because it almost seems… alive. Like a Velociraptor in mid-stride… Here’s another shot that kind of reinforces that “hunting killer” perception:

The Claw - The predator about to strike...

The Devils Claw - The predator about to strike...

[Click Image to view larger size]

And as if that wasn’t enough, the “Devils Claw”, also has what i’m gonna call the “Stinging Tail” pose:

The Claw - Stinger at the ready...

The Devils Claw - Stinger at the ready...

[Click Image to view larger size]

A little more forward curve, and I’d be thinking Stingray, or scorpion… Except this is better. Neither the stingray or scorpion actually has a projectile stinger… 😉

Now, these, my friends, are crossbows. Not your run-of-the-mill, muscle-bound crossbows with the X-hundred pound pull, trying to impress us with brute force.  Oh no.  Not these. These baby’s are so elegant, So lithe, so graceful and seductive, that just cocking one of them on a medieval battlefield may very well have caused all of your opponents to keel over, en mass, from multiple nerdgasms…

OK, so maybe that was a little exaggeration. But the thing is, I am really impressed by these crossbows. Not so much because of their aesthetics, even though they are quite exceptional in their own right. I am really more a fan of form over function, and definitely more biased towards simplicity of design than intricacy.

On any other weapon, I would consider this level of ornate design to be a bit over the top. However, the most remarkable thing about these weapons is that they are not just about the art. They are mechanically… Brilliant.  Can’t think of a better word. And that is what has me utterly and thoroughly impressed.

Not only are these crossbows works of art, but the designers have managed to integrate that artistry into the operating mechanism of these crossbows. These are not just basic mechanisms with “artsy stuff” thrown on top. The mechanics IS the art, and vice versa. This is what really blows me away about these xbows.

Here, let me give you a few examples. Look at the cocking mechanism on the Beast:

The Beast - Cocking Claws

The Beast - Cocking Claws

[Click Image to view larger size]

The Beast- Windlass Gear/Cocking/Trigger Mech.

The Beast- Windlass Gear/Cocking/Trigger Mech.

[Click Image to view larger size]

Dual, recessed chain, windlass/cranequin driven, cocking claws?!? Heck, freakin’ Yes! This is the kind of mechanical design I love with a passion!! If I were a swearing man, I’d be hurling excited expletives like beads at Mardi Gras…

Even the more mundane parts of the crossbow look like they were (probably quite gleefully) given functional artistic flair:

The Beast - Stacked Limb Bow Prod assy

The Beast - Stacked Limb Bow Prod assy

[Click Image to view larger size]

The Beast - Bowstring mount

The Beast - Bowstring mount

[Click Image to view larger size]

I mean look at that. Yes, it’s a dragon head, but its a functional dragon head. And yes, my love of dragons my be biasing my interpretation of what this is supposed to be. I’ll admit it. But I don’t care. Just suck it up. :P.

Anywhoo the mechanics of the Devils Claw are no exception. Take a look at it’s cocking mechanism.

The Claw - Cocking/Trigger assy

The Claw - Cocking/Trigger assy

I mean seriously. Never has the mechanical advantage of lever style crossbow cocking mechanism looked this good. Trust me. And that’s the whole point. Talisman appears to have taken the fundamental mechanics of the crossbow, and molded it into art. Amazing art at that.

Now I’ll grant you that, since I see all kinds of junk designs day after day, I’m probably easy to impress. But in this case, It’s a fair bet my enthusiasm is not misplaced. I could be wrong.

But I doubt it…

The Beast – [Talisman Custom Crossbows]

The Devils Claw – [Talisman Custom Crossbows]

Demons… Such Afflicted Creatures…

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Have any of you ever wondered why demons always seem to be in such foul moods? Well I can tell you. It is because they are tortured creatures. Constantly afflicted by their various penances and the burdens of being a demon. I couldn’t tell you what those tribulations and burdens are, however it’s a fair bet that they suck, because they always seem angry, miserable, hateful, jealous, spiteful, etc., etc, etc.

As a result they are often shown to be evil, malevolent, scheming, deceitful, sadistic, and just plain ‘orrible. And the only explanation I can come up with is that they are perpetually miserable, and misery loves company. Which you can probably discern from the expression on this unfortunate creatures none to pleasant mug:

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword

Afflicted Demon Sword

[view full size]

Notwithstanding the obvious malice emanating from this dudes grill, I have to say he makes for a really great sword ornament. When I first saw this design, I knew I liked it, though I’m still not sure exactly why. I’d like to say that it’s because of it’s simplicity, but it really isn’t particularly simple. Especially not it’s name.

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword? OK, so at least we know why this Gene Simmons wannabe demon is ornery today. He (or his skull at least) has been trapped (we think) inside this sword. Where the rest of him is, we don’t know. However it’s a good bet he’s not happy about it. I’m equally sure he’s none to pleased about having his skull trapped in a “Fantasy broadsword” Yeah. Right. If this is a broadsword, I’ll, I’ll, … Bah! Use your imagination…

Back to the sword… It starts of with a fairly interesting but subtle blade profile, featuring a pretty cool looking point, and a rather prominent fuller that extends to a slight flare in the blade just before the hilt. Interestingly this does not appear to be a ricasso, but rather just an edged continuation of the blade, sans the fuller and taper.

This straight section runs right into the hilt, and our aesthetically challenged, horned buddy, the afflicted demon hisself. Atop his head, forming a cross guard are actually two outstretched, and wickedly taloned fingers. All the better to poke your eyes out with! Mua ha hahah ah ha… *cough*…

Continuing down, we have a cast metal grip, made to look like a leather thong wrap. though we all know that is not going to feel anything like a leather thong wrap… But that little attempt at demonic deception that calls itself a grip finally gives way to a rounded pommel, with four downward curving talons, each at one corner of the pommel ball each one in an alternating offset from the next.

Now I liked the blade without reservation. And interestingly enough, even though I generally dislike excessive detail in a hilt, this one seemed kinda… Cool. Wicked. Maybe it’s sinister aura has entranced me… Perhaps I am easily seduced by the dark side… Perchance I am being subconciously punked by Mr afflictiohead for my irreverence… Who knows…?

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword – [True Swords]

Another Dark Sword…

Monday, February 25th, 2008

If you recall, a several posts ago, I blogged about a dark sword, from Kit Rae canon, which seemed to have too much going on in it’s life for it’s own good. Well, today I ran into one of it’s cousins.

Black Sword of Darkness

Black Sword of Darkness
[view full size]

Now as you can see, it bears some of the trademarks of the stereotypical drama laden Kit Rae sword, (much like the last one) However the questionable family trait of being unbearably busy is actually quite muted in this particular relative. The design is a little more grounded, a little less flighty, and much more focused. You can actually see

Now the blade profiles on Kit Rae swords are generally quite the lookers, if a little narcissistic and this one is no exception. I find this one exceptionally notable in it’s simplicity. There is a beautiful combination of straight lines and subtle curves on this flat black blade. But as usual, the hilt is where all the action is.

This time around, there is actually a discernable theme! An i’m calling it the Demon Talons. 🙂 The pommel is made in the image of a rather irate looking horned demon, which sits atop a simple high gloss black grip with a mild swell in the middle. The grip runs into the unique guard, what I will call the “talons” of the demon.

The guard is basically a set of cool horned claws. Or clawed talons. Or taloned claws if you so desire. Your choice. 🙂 the point is, there are a set of what look like golden wing claws, atop the downward pointing black talons of the guard, at either side of the blade. I really like the overall combination if gold talons and black.

Now in all honesty, I still think the guard does indulge in what I would consider superfluous detail. I mean, I can understand the horn motif at the intersection of the guard and the blade, but I fail to understand why there should be some kind of serpent like creatures writhing around in the talons of the guard…

But to be fair these details are not overly distracting, and in the end I kinda like the swords overall demeanor. Yes, it could be simpler, but hey, life is never simple now is it… 😛

Sword of Darkness (Black) – [Medieval Weapon Art]

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