Posts Tagged ‘Multi Bladed’

Cool idea, really bad implementation…

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

There are some weapon designs that are actually very cool (and arguably equally wicked) in concept, but really fall short of their potential in design and implementation. I came across one such evil seed a while back, and thought I’d post about it…

Skull Mayhem

Skull Mayhem

[Click image to view full size]

Now this right here, is what I call a hand blade. And it’s pretty self explanatory. It wants to kill you. No. really. It does. And for this reason, it features a not so obvious but rather dangerous design detail, which we’ll get to in a minute. But on to the wickedness.

In essence, this is pretty much a metallic demon/vampire skull, (personally I’d go with “Angry Master Demon Vamp” But that’s just me) with a set of three pairs of blades attached to it, coming out at either side of the skull, and beneath a very wicked looking set of teeth. The largest, topmost set consists of a large curving blade with quadruple edges, one on the top half of each inward curving blade and the other edge on the bottom half.

The single round grip is attached to a bracket that is bolted to each primary blades on either side. Beneath the main blades are a set of smaller, but longer and more sinister looking blades extending downwards and inwards from approximately where the skulls mandibles should be. IMHO the coolest blades of the set.

The last pair of blades sit in between the second set, and extend downwards from the teeth, specifically from the large fangs, forming a long and rather formidable looking set of black steel fang extensions. Given the reach of the middle pair of blades, I doubt the smaller pair are really neccesary, but I certainly can’t argue the evilitude of the whole combination…

Altogether this would make for a rather effective hand held battledrome blade, except for that one, rather nasty little caveat, that I alluded to earlier. The grip. Yes. This weapon seems very well put together, with a grip set in a steel bracket that is bolted quite securely to the largest set of blades. BUT this single grip is where the problem lies.

With a single grip, this whole contraption is capable of freely rotating around (forwards and backwards, to be exact) the grip. Which means on one day you may have the top of the skull trying to attach itself permanently to the back of your hand. And on another day, you could have the bottom blades trying to slit your wrists.

Either way, unless you’re an emo looking for a really cool way to go out, this is probably a bad choice of weapon for the underground deathmatch gladiator type. However, I do like the aesthetics of this piece. Large black blades, fangs, bladed skull wings… Awesome. And had someone had the forethought to place a rear wrist brace/bracket on the thing, it might have been an absolutely unholy terror in the death match circuit…

Perhaps that was the whole point. Maybe the designers were scared. Maybe they gimped it because they were terrified of what their creation might become. Frightened pantless that their creation might come back to eviscerate them…

Pffft… BWAHA HA HA HA HA AH HA HHA HA HA…

Wusses…

Skull Mayhem – [Collectors Edge]

A fancy pushdagger i could like…

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

A buddy of mine, Sinza who started the Exotic Automatic forum we run together (you should go check it out: http://exoticautomatic.com) sent in a link to an interesting weapon a while back. It’s basically a pushdagger, to be exact, and a rather ornate one at that, but this one gets brownie points because it just so happens that it bears my name:

Fire Blade

Fire Blade

Ok, so we don’t have exactly the same name, but it’s close enough. Go figure, a genuine Fire Blade! And, the cool thing is, unlike the many other really flashy but useless pieces I run into all the time, this one is actually usable. Ergonomically designed even… Yay for our side!!

So what we have here is a really flashy punch dagger design, with basically has three blades, all attached to the an ornately cast “T” shaped grip, with the center blade attached to the center stem of the “T” which expands out into a smaller, internal sub guard over the center finger area, and each additional blade attached to either side of the main grip.

As grips go, this one is very elaborately designed, with an organic, almost coral like motif cast into the surface of the entire grip. At either side of the palm side of the grip, extend what looks like little set of branches arcing upwards towards the wielder.

Moving down past that we see the ends of the grip both angle down towards the front blade, while, from the center of the grip, extends a short stalk. And at the ends of each of these points, we have our blades. An unusual feature of this grip is that it has multiple choils, of finger guides, along the front, theoretically to give you a better grip. Ergonomics at work.

But it is the blades where the magic happens. Most notably on the side blades. Each side blade is cut into an interesting Asian flame pattern, with the flame front sporting a rather wicked looking edge on either side. the center blade is less obviously flame patterned, featuring two side licking flames, and a split center blade.

All in all, a rather flamboyant design, but not too bad in the practicality department either. The side blades appear to be fairly sturdily attached, and assuming they have more than a short stub tang embedded in the handle casting, should be fairly strong, and take side slashing duty fairly effortlessly.

The center blade, well, I’d much have preferred to see a slightly thicker center stem, however for thrust duty, (again assuming a more than minimal tang) it should suffice. I Just wouldn’t try anything that might place shearing forces on that particular joint. It’s a design flaw that seem very common with decorative push dagger designs.

Overall, this design is a little overboard on the fancy flash factor for yours truly, but it’s certainly a practically feasible design. And given it’s name, it just had to get a post… Call me biased… 😀

Fire Blade – [Ninja-Weapons]

Exotic Automatic – [http://exoticautomatic.com]

Wolverine Claws… Revisited.

Monday, September 1st, 2008

OK, so if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may know that I have several posts related to the topic of the retractable adamantium claws of our all time favorite X-Man, Wolverine.

In fact, I have talked about several different kinds of Wolverine claws, and innumerable miserable replicas and wannabes, from X-Claws that would most likely implant themselves in your knuckles, to the Bear and Pantera claws and so on, that would probably rotate down and try and embed themselves in your wrist if you ever tried to do anything even remotely Wolvie-like with them.

I think I even looked at the practicality of having claws surgically implanted in ones forearm… (Just as a quick reminder to everyone, that was a distinct “No Go”). However there is one last way to get Wolverine claws that i don’t think anyone has talked about. At least not until now. Probably because it would be the fastest way to get good old Wolvie to relieve you of your lease on life.

What is this new and exciting trick? Well… How about this. You cut off one of Logans hands, extract the adamantium skeleton (including, of course the precious claws) Extend the claws, fix them in place, and strap the whole thing to your wrist…

Yeah… I never said it would be easy. Or even survivable. But it appears that someone has replicated just that particular option. I give you: the Skull Gauntlet.

Skull Gauntlet

Skull Gauntlet

[Click Image to view full size]

Ok, ok, yes, yes yes, so Wolvie never had little skulls on his knuckles or embedded into his wrist. But the guys who are selling this assure us that it will make you and I look like wolverine, except better… Honest!

OK. Whatever you say. But I have one word for you:

BLASPHEMY!!!!

Absolute heresy. No external claws of any kind will EVAR look better than Wolverines. Just not gonna happen. No. Don’t even think about it.

BTW, In case you hadn’t realized, that last paragraph was my feeble attempt to short circuit any possible subsequent fanboi rant comments resulting from this post. I do not expect to see any more. Be warned. Lest you want a claw, upside your head. With a swiftness.

What? Don’t think I can deliver a claw upside your head over the internets? Please. Try me. Just try me. Please.

But back to the nitty gritty. What you are looking at is a very stylized satin finished stainless steel skeleton of a wrist and hand, with small skulls over each knuckle, and a larger stylized skull over the wrist, with what looks like skeletal bands extending down on either side of the wrist. By no means an anatomically correct representation, as it appears to be missing a set of phalangeal bones, and has some sort of structural webbing between the metacarpals, probably to short circuit any “Hey! You ripped off Wolverines skeleton!” claims, but good enough.

However what it does have are claws. Beautiful, beautiful claws. A set of three sweet steel claws extending from between the knuckles. And, in an unprecedented act of practicality, the wrist of this hand is attached to a what appears to be a leather band in the back, and in front, attached to the knuckles, a steel bracket with an actual grip!! Ye Gods! Someone could actually use this! AMAZING!!!

Providing no ridiculously weak joints exist between the blades, the bracket and the rest of the gauntlet/hand, I must admit, this is one of the first truly practical implementation of wolverine claws I have come across. I could seriously do without the skulls, (I see human, elven, dwarven and orc skulls all over the place in my cave here, thanks to the roach-like orcs that appear to have infested the place, and frankly, it’s getting old…) and all the extraneous steel (which we have discovered, thanks to the hands-on review by Sinza over at Exotic Automatic, is actually a plastic covering over a steel frame) wrapping down around the side in the back, but I’m stoked enough that it is actually a practical, though rather non-conformist, design.

And it’s a clever, if a little twisted, idea. to boot. Why try and remove the claws from the Wolverine? Just leave them on and strap his whole hand to your wrist instead. Heh. And I thought I was nuts. But in the greatest of ironies… I think this would actually work!

Who would have thunk it. I think I may have to restructure my universal paradigm…

*Edit*

Just a quick update. Sinza, a buddy, and founder of the Exotic Automatic forum, has done a full hands-on review of these claws, and has posted a lot of great details about it’s construction, as well as some practical insights it’s design strengths and weaknesses. He also provides some excellent suggestions on how to improve the design. If you are interested in this weapon, you should go check it out out here:

Fixed Blade Xiphoids @ Exotic Automatic

It’s about the 4th post in the thread. Enjoy… 😉

PB out.

Skull Gauntlet – [eBlade Store]

A Predatorial Shuriken

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

OK, So i’ll admit I’m not really the April Fools type. I sat thinking about all of the incredibly evil things I could have posted as an April Fools prank and realized… I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I’m gonna post about a fictional weapon that Ive always thought was very cool looking, but entirely impractical:

The Predator Shuriken

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

This weapon was one of the cool weapons wielded by the race of Predators in the Predator series of movies. This particular shuriken was prominently featured on the AvP (Alien vs Predator) and AVP2 movies. Now the one featured here is a non-functioning reproduction shuriken, primarily because, well, this weapon would be near impossible to make work in real life, for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

I truly love many of the design details of this weapon. But what makes it such an intriguing weapon to me is primarily the subtle physical impossibility and impracticality of it. It is a weapon that appears, on the surface, to be physically plausible, but upon closer inspection, reveals aspects that are implausible, but so tempting close to real, that you cannot help but wonder if it would be possible to duplicate in real life.

AvP Shuriken – life size prop

AvP Shuriken
[view full size]

For example, looking at the pic above, you may notice that the overall design of this shuriken vaguely follows that of the Japanese Fuuma (or Windmill) shuriken, but departs from traditional shuriken design in it’s asymmetry. The blades are all biased towards one side of the weapon. Now besides the fact this this offends my sense of symmetry, this massive weight imbalance would also make it a very impractical throwing weapon. And yet, in the movie, it is thrown just as a Fuuma shuriken would be, without exhibiting any of the idiosyncratic flight characteristics that one might expect from such a poorly balanced weapon.

An even more implausible feature of the weapon is the great disparity between the retracted form factor and the fully deployed form of the shuriken. Below is a picture of the center section of the weapon with the blades extended:

AvP Shuriken – Center Section

AvP Shuriken - center Section
[view full size]

And here is a picture of the blades, again fully extended:

AvP Shuriken – Blades

AvP Shuriken -  Blades
[view full size]

In the movie, the blades are shown to extend out of the center section of the weapon. From the pics, it is apparent that a considerable level of nesting can and would need to occur in order for this to be physically feasible. By my count, there are six blades, each blade consisting of 4 sections, an extension/pivot lever, an outer extension sleeve, an inner extension sleeve and the blade proper. The weapons deployment sequence is shown in the clip below:

AvP Shuriken – Deployment

AvP Shuriken - Deployment

Sweeeet…! Incidentally, the little clip above may also explain the weapons asymmetrical design. If the blades were to extend in a symmetrical fashion around the circumference of the weapon, there would be no safe place to hold it during deployment without risking the loss of a few digits. If memory serves, I think these were used primarily as throwing weapons, so if I were designing it, it would be perfectly symmetrical, and would open in mid air when thrown, so as to avoid the awkward asymmetrical design. The asymmetry seems like a pointless trade-off if you ask me, but then again, I’m not an alien weapons designer…

Anyway, during retraction, the blade would have to retract into the inner sleeve, the inner sleeve into the outer sleeve, and the whole outer sleeve assembly pivot onto the extension arm, which would then all fold neatly into the center section, completely occupying that space. Sounds good in theory, except that, given the physical dimensions of blades, sleeves, etc, there should be hardly enough room for all six blades, let alone a deployment / retraction mechanism…

Of course, given the advanced nature of Predator technology, these technical details would almost certainly only be limitations of human technology, and would be little more than niggling little technicalities to a predator engineer.

In the end, however, it is the overall aesthetic of the blades, and the deployment mechanism that makes this weapon so captivating, and while the technical challenges would be great, the design is ultimately so close to something that could be made using current technologies, it would be very tempting to try…

I wonder if DARPA would be willing to give me a research grant for this kind of stuff… 🙂

AvP Predator Shuriken – [Black Aris]

The Shirasaya. A sword of simplicity and elegance.

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Given that I’ve been talking a lot about cool, stealthy staff weapons, I thought i’d throw one more sword type into the mix, designed along similar lines to the venerable shikomizue. Especially since I recently encountered a rather beautiful specimen of such a sword. It’s only fair that I share:

Mushashi Black Shirasaya

Musashi Black Shirasaya
[view full size]

The oh, so elegant sword you see above is called a shirasaya. The shirasaya, which means “White Scabbard” in Japanese, is a style of sword that features a minimalist theme with regards to the way the grip and scabbard is designed. A traditional shirasaya features a smooth grip with no fancy fittings, in hardly any fittings at all, save for the bamboo pin(s) used to secure the blade in the grip. No guard either. The scabbard is usually equally plain, though they sometimes have information about the sword written on them.

The shirasaya above is unique in that it is lacquered in black, which runs counter to the traditional “white scabbard” design theme, but it is still smooth, and devoid of all fittings, except, of course, for the bamboo pin used to secure the blade. A sleek, beautiful fusion of traditional shirasaya style in modern black.

The shirasaya, while beautiful, suffers from a flaw that is common to pretty much every other staff weapon I have mentioned in previous posts. No guard and a poor grip. This causes two problems. First, because there is no guard, your fingers/arms/etc. no longer have any protection from a sword strike that slides down the blade towards your hand. combine that with a smooth grip, and you no longer have a positive way to prevent your hand from sliding up toward and/or onto the blade should a mishap occur.

Both issues pose rather large problems from a combat perspective, providing all the ingredients for a rather nasty accident. However, given that staff weapons were meant foremost for stealth, and easy concealment, as opposed to uncompromising battle ability, I suppose they are flaws that a person using such a weapon could learn to live with.

I thought I’d also show you an example of a more traditional shirasaya. At least on the outside:

2 in 1 Shirasaya

2 in 1 Shirasaya
[view full size]

Now while the weapon above may actually look like a standard shirasaya when they sheathed, is actually rather unique, in that it has two swords instead of the single blade of a standard shirasaya. What is even more interesting is that these swords are sheathed at the same end of the saya, side by side. A very interesting, and quite useful design.

Based on it’s appearance alone, you might not guess that there were two swords hiding in that innocent looking piece of wood. I love stealth…

*Update*

A commenter (Muchas gracias, Miles!) recently pointed out to me that the Shirasaya design was intended primarily for storage, as opposed to stealth. I also discovered that it has traditionally been used to transport high quality blades to and from the polishers, or for shipping a blade to a collector who intended to install their own custom fittings.

Having never purchased a sword without the fittings attached, I thought this was interesting, as I have run across this design a gazillion times, but for some inexplicable reason, never really took the time to properly research it’s origins. Oh. well. I guess I’m slipping in my old age…

Anyway the light wood used (often magnolia) was usually specifically selected for the purpose and cured for many years to remove all moisture, and the lack of finishing, or more precisely, the lack of the traditional lacquer finish, was by design intended to allow the saya to “breathe” and allow moisture to escape, so that the blade would last longer in storage.

In retrospect, looking at the design, this all makes perfect sense, though I will also point out that the design is of such significant aesthetic value that it has been subverted for “practical” use by many sword designers, and even traditionally finished, such as the first blade featured above, which is technically a violation of it’s original intent.

So while similar in many respects to shikomizue, it was originally intended for a completely different purpose. Though aesthetically it’s still a sweet as all get out design… Even if it’s not really particularly stealthy…

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