Posts Tagged ‘Pirate’

A Pirates Scimitar.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

OK, so today you’ve got a POP QUIZ!!!

Only one question, Short answer. (Sorry, no multiple choice today. ๐Ÿ˜› ) And here’s the question:

What kind of sword do you think a medieval pirate would use? Hmmm? Take a wild guess. Go on. Give it a go. ๐Ÿ˜€

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BZZZZT!

Wrong.

The correct answer is: “It depends on where said pirates are from.”

HA!

Yes, yes, I know, I’m a bastige. That was a cheap shot. A trick question. And I’m actually quite sure some of you got it right. So… Whatever. What can I say? I just like to throw a few of them out there to keep you on your toes. Somebody’s gotta do it? Right? So why not I? That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway the topic of this post is actually related. I have here, a “Pirate’s” sword:

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass

Actually it is called a Fantasy Pirate Cutlass, which is a good thing, because when I think about Pirate swords, my first thought is the stereotypical sword wielded by the classic European vagabonds of the seven seas. The Cutlass. Clearly, however, this sword is *not really* a cutlass. More like a rather ornately finished scimitar.

The curve of the blade, the wide deep clip of the spine just before the point, the cross guard, the hooked pommel, all of these say… “I’m a Scimitar!”. Not “Me Cutlass!” However, seeing as this is a “fantasy” pirate cutlass, anything goes… I guess. So I suppose I should let that go…

Anyway, notwithstanding my prior confusion, I really like the lines of this sword. Obviously it is not as dark as I’d like :D, but I can’t have everything now can I? At least it has a very cool blade, and an interesting hilt to match. The cross guard looks like a set of talons attached to the sword at right angles to each other, with a rather misanthropic looking skull emblazoned in the middle. Not bad looking actually.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Hilt

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Hilt

The hilt continues with a studded leather wrap, covering the grip, which features what looks like a simple single choil at the top for added grip/control. The rest of the grip smoothly curves down to the pommel, which features another rather evil looking talon that curves to the front edge of the blade. Also pretty cool.

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Pommel

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Pommel

The stainless steel blade features an interesting rough cast/pitted steel appearance,ย  which lends a much more “used” feel to the sword. Overall it appears to be a beautiful and aesthetically well executed sword. I like it.

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Skull

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass - Skull

So, notwithstanding it’s failure to meet my expectations vis-a-vis being a pirates cutlass, all I can say is…

I wish it came in Damascus. Or black. I’m not that picky…

No, really, I’m not. Really… What?

Fantasy Pirate Cutlass – [StrongBlade]

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

Win.

Just can’t say no to a cursed black sword… ๐Ÿ™‚

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [True Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [SouthWest Blades]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Swords Swords]

Know your gang signs. And use them wisely…

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

So I was looking at a few weapons on teh intarwebs and came across this:

Wakizashi

Wakizashi

Now at first glance you might be like, “Hey, that’s a cool looking sword and sheath” And you might be right. However there are actually two things rather horribly wrong with this picture. Take a guess what they are. That’s ok. I’ll wait…

Ok, guess already…! Bah. Balrogs have little patience. But you probably already knew that. OK, since that little waiting farce is out of the way, let me tell you the two things that stick in my craw about the above pic.

The first is this. Interestingly enough, the site I found it on labeled this sword a Wakizashi. Now If you have watched any hollywood ninja movies, you may be familiar with this general sword design. It is usually referred to as a Ninja-to. or, more simply put, a Ninja sword. It is a Shinobi warriors primary weapon. Straight, medium length, single edged blade, occasionally slightly tapered from hilt to tip, with a sharply angled point. Sometimes (at least nowadays anyway) finished in sweet , sweet blackness.

Now let me describe a Wakizashi. A Wakizashi, which has historically been usedย  to refer to any “side sword”, is usually a secondary sword that is worn with, or accompanied by a larger, primary sword, usually a Katana, as a matched pair. As you can imagine, as a shorter faster version of the katana, it would be a mid sized, single edged sword, with a curved blade, and an upward sweeping point. Almost never finished in black.

Beginning to get the picture? Besides the fact that they are both mid sized swords, Ninjaken and Wakizashi have NOTHING in common. And yet I have before me a picture of a Ninjato, labeled a Wakizashi. Do you understand why I sometimes feel like ripping my horns out of my head? And not just cutting them off at the base, like that whiny little wuss, Hellboy did, I mean seriously, ripping them out of my skulll…

But I digress. I’m ok. Ignore my little outburst. On to the next point of contention. The sheath. Your standard cheapo but durable all weather sheath. Except for one thing. There is a Scimitar/cutlass emblazoned on it. Yeah, a Cutlass, ya know like a Pirate might use, emblazoned on a sheath for a Ninja-to, under the ratherย  presumptive Wakizashi title.

Uh huh, LOL… Whut?

A pirate weapon molded into the sheath of a ninja weapon. Seriously, do these people not have a clue? Do they not know that Pirates and Ninjas are like mortal enemies? That’s like putting Crips colors on a weapon and trying to sell it to a Blood… Or vice versa… Either way, not a smart move…

You never go to one gang wearing a rival gangs colors. It’s just not professional. Honestly. Good thing the guys that design these things don’t have to sell them in real live ninjas… They’d be dead meat… ๐Ÿ˜›

*Update*

I just realized something. That symbol on the sheath is actually that of the Ontario Knife Company. In spite of the fact that I actually have this sword, for some odd reason, I never noticed that the blade itself bore their stamp. It wasn’t until I went to their site, looking for another knife, that I ran across this very same sword in their online catalog.

Now for the record, the Ontario Knife company does make many great blades. However I think this one, is still total and utter phail. You just cannot make a good sword from stainless steel. I guess they decided they needed a cheapo sword to sell, but personally, I would have stuck to smaller high carbon steel knives, not this.

And the marketing could really have been a bit more… Subtle… (making the company logo look like a design motif of the sword is a bit silly if you ask me. But there you have it. Cheapo only gets you so far…

Ninja Wakizashi – [eBladeStore]

The Cutlass Supreme…

Friday, March 28th, 2008

LOL no, you ninnies, I’m not talking about the car, though I’ll admit to a little tomfoolery with the title, being a little word play on the automobile of the same name. But I am talking about today is a weapon made infamous by pirates, but was also a popular general purpose weapon if the buccaneering age… The Cutlass!!

1917 Cutlass

1917 Cutlass (Cold Steel)
[view full size]

In Hollywood, while the cutlass is primarily portrayed as the weapon favored by pirates, it was in fact a very common naval weapon, used by pirates, regular sailors and even naval military forces, all for the very same reasons. In a previous wannabe pirate sword post, I explained a bit what the characteristics of the ideal pirate swords were. In this post, we will get to see a much more accurate cutlass design a little closer.

As you can see from the pic above, the cutlass is more or less a single-edged, mid-sized saber. This particular example carries a curved blade, as did many others, though they were not all so. However for the average seafarer the curved blade was very useful, as it allowed longer cutting strokes to be delivered within a much smaller radius, something that would have been much harder to do with a longer curved blade, like a Katana, and even more difficult with a longer straighter sword, like a rapier.

Yet another characteristic of the ideal sailors weapon, be they pirate, merchant or military, was that it be fairly simple to use, as your average sailor received little in the way of training with weapons. It is a little known fact that most pirates, in contrast to how they are portrayed in the movies, were not highly skilled warriors. Many were simple sailors, conscripts from captured vessels, or aimless ragamuffins attracted to piracy by the promise of an equitable share of the loot. Few were the highly trained, swashbuckling sword fighters depicted in the movies.

The cutlass was a fairly simple weapon, fairly heavy, of median length, had no edges facing the wielder, and unlike most other highly specialized land bound dueling weapons, needed no major training to use. This made it ideal for both experts and novices alike. It’s weight made it easy to handle by feel, made it easier to land chopping blows with, and the additional blade material also made it strong enough to be used as a general purpose shipboard chopping and cutting tool for wood, leather, rope, etc. So, while in the hands of an experienced sword fighter it could be a lethal weapon, it was also your basic idiot proof sailors weapon/tool of the day.

Provided, of course, that the idiot in question wasn’t prone to stabbing themselves in the foot. Or even worse, the eye. Hey, things happen. Not all eye patches and wooden legs were come about in a glorious battle… I can guarantee you that much… ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, the version shown above also happens to be one of my favorite saber designs, because in addition to a nice, but not-too-ornate guard, a three quarter length fuller and simple wooden scales, it also incorporates two additional features that are not always seen in your stereotypical cutlass design. Namely, a clip point tip, which would both enhance it’s thrusting ability, and enable the tip to be used for finer cutting work where necessary, and finally, but certainly no less important, a totally sweet jet black finish…

Can’t beat that with a baseball bat… ๐Ÿ˜€

1917 Cutlass by Cold Steel – [True Swords]

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