Posts Tagged ‘Double Edged’

A Knife On A Rope…

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

A long while back, Sinza, a friend of mine who I admin the Exotic Automatic Forums with, suggested I look at on one of the weapons used in the movie Blade Trinity. Specifically Blades Chain Saber. At the time I wasn’t too keen on posting about it because, from my perspective, it was an Epic Phail of a weapon.

However in retrospect, I probably should have done it, because I do just as much griping about flawed weapons on this blog as I slobber over the cool ones. (My bad, man, my bad… :) ) So when I happened to run across it again, I thought it would be a good time to rectify my mistake. And also point out why I didn’t like it.

Chain Saber

Blade Trinity: Chain Saber

[click image to view full size]

So what we have here is a knife on a rope. Kinda like a Soap on a Rope, but not quite as useful. Essentially what is a wide split blade with a rat tail tang, attached to a length of black elastic, that is connected to a black and chrome grip.

When retracted, the blade locks to the handle/grip. The grip has a set of buttons, one cosmetic, and the other functional which releases the blade.

Now this is certainly an interesting design, with lots of potential. I cannot argue that. A blade swinging around at the kind of velocities you could generate with something like this would be quite the formidable weapon. The only problem I have is that this replica gets all the important parts horribly, horribly, wrong.

Take the elastic band, for instance. Mating a piece of steel to some fabric covered rubber is never a good idea, expecially in a high stress environment. Mr. little rubber bungie cord is really is not a particularly tough fellow, and when made to rub elbows with Mr. Steel, a rather notoriously hardened chap, well… Bad things can happen.

Just picture a Wiimote going airborne and becoming embedded in wide screen TV. Except with a hunk of sharp steel instead of a small plastic brick. You get the idea. Not good. especially if you like wide screen TVs. Mr. Bungie was a good man. Pity he just snapped like that. Please do accept our condolences Mrs. Bungie… A moment of silence please… Ok… I’m rambling aren’t I… Right. Back on topic.

In fact, the weapon used in the movie employed a chain with a retraction mechanism in the handle. A much more sensible implementation. But it too, suffers from a rather insidious design flaw. Have you ever tried to swing a blade on the end of a chain? I have. Really fun. Except for one thing.

Unless you are using a quad edged blade, your chances of hitting anything with the *edge* of your blade are about 50/50. If you are good, you can get the point to bear fairly reliably, but edgewise strikes… Meh. So the way it is used in the movie is… You guessed it! Magic!

If I were designing such a blade, I would do one of two things. Either use a chain that is rotationally stable about the lengthwise axis of it’s links (like a bicycle chain), or use a bade that will cut no matter what  side it hits. IE use a quadruple, quintuple or sextuple edged blade.

Personally I think a fine, highly flexible, high tensile cable attached via a freely articulating joint to a quadruple edged blade would be the best design solution for a weapon of this nature. Especially given the design challenge of fitting a retraction mechanism into the handle. But that’s just the design nerd in my head talking.

What’s funny is the site I found this on touts the replica as an “exact” replica of the original. huh? *Exact*? Are you saying a fixed bungie cord is *exactly* the same as a chain attached to a button activated retraction mechanism?!? I think not.

Either way, great concept, not so good implementation, and total humiliation on the replica. Certainly cool to look at, but I really wouldn’t try to swing it any harder than you would an ostrich feather…

“Exact” replica… Pfft.

<Inigo Montoya>This word. I do not think it means what you think it means…</Inigo Montoya>

Blade Chain Saber – [SouthWest Blades]

Introducing: The Gun Katar

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’m not really into politics, however it appears that the Good ‘ol U. S. of A. is going to have it’s first African American President. Now while that is of itself a noteworthy and landmark occurrence, as the transition from slavery to presidency is no mean feat, I’m also hoping it will bring with it important changes. Like an improved economy. Reduced national deficits. Better international relationships. You know. Good Presidential stuff.

However we will just have to wait and see. Politicians are politicians after all, it doesn’t matter whether they are black or white, which is a fact many seem to have forgotten. The proof is in the pudding. Whatever that means… I never really liked pudding anyway. Only time will tell how well campaign promises equate to results…

Anyway, in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d break out a beauty of a weapon I ran into a while back. I have done a few gunblade posts in the past, but none of them compare to the sweetness that is the Gun Katar:

Gun Katar

Gun Katar

[click image to view full size]

Is that not completely and uncompromisingly awesome? Now this is a weapon for which a Gun Kata would make practical sense. Yes, A Gun Kata. You know, that little gun dance that seemed to occur at random in the movie “Equilbrium”? The one with Christian Bale before he became the “Dark Knight? Yeah. That one. Go look up Gun Kata (not Katar) on the YouTubes or something. But I’m ranting here. Back to Gun Katar goodness.

What you are looking at here is a Katar, a traditional Indian punch dagger, primarily a thrusting  weapon, often designed to penetrate chain mail armored opponents. It has a thick wedge shaped blade, and unlike most other weapons, the blade is held vertically, by a grip and a set of side bars that sit at right angles to the blade.

Gun Katar - Side View

Gun Katar - Side View

[click image to view full size]

This one is a particularly ornate one, featuring some very intricate engravings. You can see an elephant and a boar on one side, as well as flowers, leaves in the center area where the blade emerges, and other traditional Indian adornments.

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Like many other katar, this features a double bar center grip, with the traditional side bars that run down either side of the blade and acts as guard as well as added support for the weapon.

Gun Katar - Side Guards

Gun Katar - Side Guards

[click image to view full size]

Under normal circumstances, that would be the sum total of the design of a traditional Katar. Except this one takes quite a hike from the traditional beaten Katar path. This Katar is loaded. With black powder. A double charge no less… :)

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

[click image to view full size]

This Katar is sporting a pair of flint lock pistols, one attached to either side of the weapon. If you look closely at the grip, you can see a pair of triggers recessed into the front bar, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

[click image to view full size]

As you can probably imagine, a person wielding this in battle would have a healthy advantage over your poorly equipped standard Katar wielding schlub. I can just imagine how confrontations with the original owner of this weapon would have ended. Indiana Jones style.

I love weapons that make the old saying: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” redundant… ;)

Anyway I thought this was a cool weapon for a special day… There are one or two more pics at the link after the jump. Here’s to great things in our future… :)

Peace!

Gun Katar – [CollectorEbooks.com]

Cool Replicas – Part 6: Zar’roc

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Happy Halloween!!! I thought I’d end the week, and my short miniseries on well constructed replicas, with a look at an excellent fan made replica weapon sent in by reader Hector E. None other than Zar’roc from the book turned movie, Eragon:

Zarroc

Zar'roc

[click image to view full size]

Some of you may remember a prior post, many moons ago on another version of Zar’roc, which had a beautiful blade, but a hilt that could, at best, be described as “toylike”. Hector was kind enough to point me to a site sporting a much more accurate, custom made version.

Zarroc

Zar'roc

[click image to view full size]

As you can see, this ain’t no kids toy. In fact, this replica has been approved by Christopher Paolini, the author of the book Eragon, upon which the movie is based. And I can see why.

Zarroc - Hilt Side

Zar'roc - Hilt Side

[click image to view full size]

If you are a fan of the book, you will notice that, in contrast to the other Zar’roc replica, this one actually has a red pommel, instead of the blue one, which, while movie accurate, is not at all true to the book.

Ok, so it’s not quite a ruby, but at the very least it is red, instead of a blue sapphire, which is a significant improvement over the movie replica. I really don’t see why the movie makers decided to take that particular kind or artistic liberty with the design, as it seems to be a trivial and unnecessary change, but I’m not a movie maker either…

Zarroc - Red Ruby Pommel

Zar'roc - Red Ruby Pommel

[click image to view full size]

But there are other changes. In the book, not only did Zar’roc carry a large, tear shaped red ruby in it’s pommel, but it also sported a silver wire wrapped grip. The movie version is wrapped in black leather. The Silver wire grip is yet another feature faithfully reproduced in this replica.

Down to the guard, oh, my… what a guard it is! A beautiful organic sliver of steel tipped with a pair of downward pointing, claw like ends. Quite the menacing piece of steel.

Zarroc - Hilt

Zar'roc - Hilt

[click image to view full size]

And then we come to the glorious red blade. Almost a candy apple red, with a short inverted spade shaped ricasso, that flows into a beautiful slim, straight, double edged sword, it’s quite the looker.

Zarroc - Ricasso

Zar'roc - Ricasso

[click image to view full size]

All of this crimson steel, eventually angles it’s way inwards to a rather keen looking, narrow wedge shaped point, at the business end of the weapon. And boy does it mean business:

Zarroc - Crimson Sword Point

Zar'roc - Crimson Sword Point

[click image to view full size]

Now this is what I call a replica. Making the vision of the original artist become reality. Absolutely all kinds of sweetness incarnate. In fact, this sword almost looks good enough to eat…

You know, drizzle a little more caramel on that blade, and… Nom… :)

Zar’roc – [Shur'tugal]

Another “movie inspired” weapon…

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

So here we are again, another day, another weapon. Todays weapon is yet another example of a movie weapon, suggested by a reader, G-Man. And I am happy to say that this time around, there is a legitimate connection between the weapon and the movie it is inspired by:

Batman Begins Cane Sword

Batman Begins Cane Sword

[click image to view full size]

OK. So what you are looking at is a “Batman Begins” Cane sword. Yeah. This is a replica of the cane sword used by the Protagonist Ra’s Al Ghul during his confrontation with the Bats in the Movie Batman Begins. At last! A weapon that actually came from the movie!! Some auspicious alignment of the stars must have occurred!! Or something… ;)

I must say it’s actually not a bad looking piece of kit at all. An all black cane, with an all black cast metal (heh) head, with a rounded globe head, and a ridged cylindrical grip… I find it quite aesthetically pleasing.

The stainless steel blade is also not bad either. The long, narrow, fast, light blade is  more or less standard fare for sword cane applications, and this one is no exception. Except this one is of a slightly different design than usual, sporting what looks like a double edged rapier blade, as opposed to the normal single edge.

Not bad at all, though with a blade so slim, the lack of a thick spine does raise strength concerns. But in a Cane staff this is of less importance than in a regular “full duty” sword. Speaking of which, I like the choice of shape for this grip, the IMHO a ball is a much better end than the ovoid, hook, snake dog/wolf head or simple hoop I often see in these designs.

Granted, cast metal is not the ideal grip material, but for the purposes of inconspicuous carry, it serves it’s purpose well. My only concern would be how far down into the grip the tang extends. Assuming it goes all the way to the ball, I’d say it is likely to be a fairly durable design.

But the fun doesn’t end there. The cylindrical sheath that makes up the rest of the cane actually locks in place using a small latch on the side of the blade, just below the grip. A nice touch if you ask me. Many traditional cane swords rely on a threaded insert, which, while strong, does take forever to take apart.

The latch idea is considerable faster, though it does comes with the downside of being weaker than “screw on” sheathing. But so long as you don’t intend to be whacking the various local hooligans daily with your Batman Begins sword cane, this little detail should be of little concern.

Now a little word of warning. Most of the versions I saw out there were oput together with the cheap cast alloy metal and stainless steel blade versions. They will do fine for display purposes, and casual use, but if you really want to walk around with something of higher quality, I’ve got just the thing.

I found a version of this sword cane floating around from Windlass Steelcrafts, that is said to use solid aluminum for the grip and sheath, and a high carbon steel rapier blade. This version is probably a bit more expensive, but would absolutely be the bees knees. Definitely the version you want to get if you can afford it.

So, all told, I like it. I really like it. If I were looking for another Sword cane, (as opposed to another shikomizue) this would certainly be the one I’d get. After all, If it was good enough for the ninja that trained the Batman, who am I to fault it…? :D

Batman Begins Sword Cane (Windlass Steelcrafts Version) – [888KnivesRUs]

Batman Begins Sword Cane – [eCrater]


Cool Kunai…

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

If you were following my last few posts, you may remember a comment I made about the cutlery industries use of “Metal” (aka cheap cast alloys) to form certain sword parts (usually the hilt), in spite of the fact that steel is relatively cheap.

Now I will readily admit that steel is much harder to work into complex shapes than it is to case an alloy, but still, there are some times when steel is the right thing to do. Like with these Kunai:

Red Kunai

Red Kunai

[click image to view full size]

Now the beauty of these kunai is that they have been designed for throwing use, which usually means all steel (usually a high carbon or spring steel) construction, and a properly balanced design. Now these  Kunai have been modeled after those used in the Naruto series, and barring the use of a red grip wrap as opposed to the white wraps used in the anime, are a fairly close approximation.

But more importantly, notwithstanding that this particular kunai design is not really the ideal for throwing (Yes, you heard right, in spite of all the anime hype, they are not the best throwing knife design) the fact remains that they will probably be made from steel. Sweet, sweet steel.

No alloys, no resins, no cheapo construction… Well maybe a *little* cheapo construction methodolgy, but not with cheap materials, making this one of the best replica anime Kunai that I am aware of today. And IMHO, the fact that it is steel alone, would probably make it worth having.

And incidentally for the curious among you, i’ll explain my whole “not the ideal throwing implement” comment. An ideal throwing knife should be able to be thrown either from the tip or the grip. This design will make a great tip thrower, but the large abrupt ring on the grip increases the chances that it would hang up in the hand if thrown from the grip.

that ring could also makes it a little harder to balance, (which is important for other reasons) though that could theoretically be figured out during the design stage. The topic of what makes an ideal throwing knife is one I think I will dedicate a post to in the future because it is quite the interesting one. But I digress.

My point is, I really wish knife designers could do the same for every knife they designed and made. Real grips, not alloys, proper steels, etc. I know it’s an unreasonable request, but if they did, they would make lots of folks, like me, happier than a foody at a food fair…

We’d also be perpetually broke for the rest of our natural lives, but so long as I got to adorn the walls of my cave with lots and lots of cool, well constructed swords, I don’t think I’d mind all that much… :D

Red Kunai – [True Swords]

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