Posts Tagged ‘Shiflett’

Thundering Steel Typhoons!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Today I’ve got a little bit o’ inclement weather to share with you all. A typhoon, in black steel. Yeah, a nice bit o steel if you ask me. Rife with unique and unusual idiosyncrasies, but a beautiful blade nonetheless:

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger

What’d I tell ya. You are looking at the Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger, by Robert Shiflett. As usual with these kinds of things, it’s got some issues. But I can’t be too hard on it because it does come right out and call itself a fantasy dagger. No pretense at functionality whatsoever, just another pretty piece of black steel to hang on your wall, or set on your mantle, or whatever you do with these things.

Me, I just critique them and walk away. But I’m bad like that. Anyway, back to the blade in question.

So what we have here is a nice little knife that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with a sweet curvy blade. I love curves. And points. And this knife has got lots of both. So I can’t complain about that. The blade is a complex set of said curves, sweeping backwards from the tip, down the spine into this weird void, guarded on top by a lone, forward pointing spike.

The edge of the blade, exhibits a similar, but smaller idiosyncrasy, winding it’s way down the tip, and extending over the top of the grip, punctuated at guard level by a single small divot, whose purpose, again, eludes me. On the side of the blade itself, a triangular metal accent piece sits between the large void in the spine and the front divot. As I have stated many times before, I have a thing against unnecessary voids in a blade, as they simply introduce weaknesses, and this blade is no exception.

In fact this blade exemplifies exactly why I dislike these voids, because as you can see, the end result is that the blade is connected to the hilt by a relatively small section of steel, and it could have been so much stronger without those voids. I know this wasn’t intended to be a practical weapon, but that is just a big no-no in my book. (*wags finger*) At least the hilt makes up for it in a rather interesting aesthetic style.

The hilt is quite nice, if rather iffy on the ergonomics front. It is designed to look like it is made from offset stacked ovoid sections of ebony, capped at each end by metal guard and pommel pieces. The twisting sections of grip is probably where the “Typhoon” section of it’s nomenclature came from. But I can’t help but wonder how all those sharp edges would feel against ones palm.

However my favorite part of the hilt is the little talon that extends from the pommel of the weapon. A black steel hooked talon, which, again, is probably the source of  the “Hook dagger” name. A trivial observations, of course, but I can’t help it. With a name as wordy as “Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger” I just feel the need to kind of  justify each and every word.

But that, as usual, is just me. Almost as idiosyncratic as the blades I like to critique… Almost.

Black Fantasy Typhoon Hook Dagger by Robert Shiflett – [All Things Medieval]

The hollywood glamour of the Ninja throwing star…

Friday, January 18th, 2008

As a great fan of Ninja lore, I’ve always loved the Hira-Shuriken, or throwing star. It was a very useful tool for the Japanese Ninja, but simply not as lethal or as universally effective as Hollywood has made them out to be. Nonetheless this Hollywood glorification of ninja throwing stars has spawned some rather unique variations, like the following pieces of junk “art”:

Shiflett Iron Cross Twister

Shiflett Iron Cross Twister
[view full size]

OK, so this is hira-shuriken pocketknife hybrid design. Very cool lookin’. But of course, the first question that popped into my head was… “A ninja would not touch this with an extended length manrikgusari…”.

Folding blades are neat in concept, but even if they are cool and open in mid flight, so you don’t have to stand there for 5 minutes opening them up before you throw them, they always introduce structural weaknesses, and you can never be sure the blade locks will survive the chronic repeated impacts of throwing… I think I’m gonna pass on this one…

Shiflett Tech Twister

Shiflett Tech Twister
[view full size]

Now here I thought I was making progress. Then that little nerd in my head deigned to raise his screechy voice at me: “Buuuut why are the points all split in half? Won’t that weaken the points?” Blasted geekoid… But good question. No good answers. Save perhaps because it makes it looks a little cooler. But we all know a true Ninja craves not things like “cool”. Only strength, efficiency and functionality. So we move on…

Ninja Shuriken

Ninja Shuriken
[view full size]

AHA! What’s this!? Ninja Shuriken! Now this is a design I could see a ninja using. Simple, effective, solid, reliable, What more could a Shinobi Warrior want? Look at the thickness of this weapon. The sharp points. It would be heavy, and strong… Except for one thing. It’s cast from some cheap metal. If you look closely you can see the casting imperfections superficially covered by black paint. Dagnabbit! The points on this thing are gonna wear down to nothing, in mid air, during your first throw…

At the end of all of this, as I sit here writing my conclusion, I realize two things. First, I am torturing myself for no good reason. After all, there are actually a good number of perfectly good stainless steel hira shuriken designs available that I have chosen to totally ignore, just to rip on the stupid Hollywood and TV inspired cheap rip offs reproductions.

Second, I am anal retentive, and need to seek help about that shrill voice I keep hearing in my head that I sometimes wish I could burn out of my skull… It’s OK now though. I’m fine. No, really, I’m fine… 🙂

Ninja Shuriken – [True Swords]

Shiflett Tech Twister – [True Swords]

Shiflett Iron Cross Twister – [True Swords]

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