Posts Tagged ‘Spears’

A spear-sickle…

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

In keeping with the trend of unusual spears I’ve been blogging about lately, I thought I’d show you an interesting short spear design, from the mind of Tom Anderson:

The Quad Sickle

Tom Anderson Quad Sickle
[view full size]

Now this spear is not particularly glamorous. It have a very futuristic look to it though. The is capped of the sharply pointed pommel rises into a black ribbed shaft that extends into the spear head. However that’s where it’s mediocrity ends.

The spear tip on this “Quad Sickle” is decently pointy, looking for all the world like an oversized broadhead arrow head, on a rather skinny looking shaft. Perhaps not the strongest design I’ve ever seen. In fact, if I were making a list of complaints, it would be at the top of the list.

However that is not the true selling point of this spear. This weapon has a very unique feature. By sliding a metal sleeve back, four razor sharp blades are released from metal sheathes just below the spear tip. And they look quite the menace.

Now the placement of these blades makes them functionally pointless (excuse the pun) for a spear, however they are almost perfectly situated for something else: Using the weapon as a spiked mace! I could totally see this being used as an bladed impact weapon, as well as a thrusting weapon.

The most quirky thing about this weapon is that it’s name seems strangely detached from it’s functional capabilities. It has four blades, so yes it could be called a “Quad” something. But “Quad Sickle”? I dunno. Perhaps for reaping the souls of your opponents maybe…?

The Quad Sickle – by Tom Anderson – [King of Swords]

Another Unique Dragon Spear.

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

With the number of “twin dragon” related weapons I have been coming across, I was not in any way, shape or form, surprised to find this dark little beauty:

Double Dragon Spear

Double Dragon Spear
[view full size]

I thought this was interesting because although it looks cool, it’s design is more or less a rather large deviation from traditional spear territory. I’ll explain in a second what I mean, but first things first. Lets talk about aesthetics.

I love the design of the blade. If you have spent any time reading this blog, you may probably have surmised that I like black blades. And in that department, this weapon is not wanting in the least. But even more interesting, is what they did to the blade.

Each end of this weapon has a very broad spear point, with both edges sharpened, and then fins or barbs cut into one side of the spear head. The base of the blade narrows a bit and then flares out into a set of small wing-like blades. The blade is attached to the black shaft with a fitting that looks like a small dragons head with it’s wings outstretched. I just love the overall effect.

Now lets talk functional design. This weapon is unique in three ways. First, the fact that it has blades on both ends of the weapon kinda pulls it on the fringes of traditional spear design. Not that many double ended spears around. Next is the length. This is a relatively short weapon for a spear. The double ended spears I mentioned earlier? Usually half size. With small heads. Short, huge headed double-ended spears? Not exactly a common occurrence.

Last, and most certainly not least, is the fact that the shaft of this weapon actually comes apart at the middle. “Comes apart you say?”. “Yep!” sez I. This weapon is actually two identical weapons joined into one. I suppose you could say they were two very short spears combined into one double ended, medium sized one. Though individually, they are so short, they’d be probably work better as small axes…

Altogether, I love this weapon. The fact that the spines on each of the blades point in opposite directions when in spear form is an added detail that just makes this that much cooler in my book. Probably because I like the idea that you can twirl it like a baton, and always have the the straight edge of each bade facing the same way every revolution. But that’s probably just my overactive sense of symmetry at work. Just ignore it…

Double Dragon Spear – [Top Swords]

A Longitudinally Challenged Tribal Spear…

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Considering the wide variations of spears I have covered in the past I thought it an unexpected coincidink that I should run into this interesting piece:

Tribal Warrior Spear

Tribal Warrior Spear
[view full size]

This, as you can see from the picture, is a short spear. A very short spear. But notwithstanding it being length challenged, it still bears all the menace of it’s larger kin, and then some. Actually short spears have a very distinguished history. Most notably in the hands of Shaka and his Zulu warriors. Shaka was a Zulu Chieftain, considered by many to be a military genius. He made radical changes to the way the Zulu nation conducted war. Some of the more well known changes he implemented was in their battle tactics and, more importantly (for our purposes anyway), their weapons.

Traditional Zulu wars consisted of stand-off wars, with two armies facing off against each other at a distance, and sending volleys of long spears (called Assegai) towards the opposing army. While this was effective for stand off combat, the length of the spears made them unwieldy in close in combat. Shaka decided to take advantage of this weakness by making his armies faster and more mobile, and also be equipping his men with two different kinds of spears. The Standard assegai for stand off battle, and a significantly shortened spear called the Iklwa.

After the assegai had been thrown, from a distance, Shakas armies would quickly move in and engage the enemy in close quarters combat. Then, given extensive training in high speed maneuvers, and shorter spears, they had more speed, and better control of their weapons at hand to hand range, and this gave them a decided advantage on the battlefield when they closed in on forces using the traditional long and unwieldy assegai. Genius I tell you. Genius. But, as is my way, I digress.

I bring all of this up because this spear looks like something Shaka would have come up with. Like for assassinations or something. The Iklwa had a longer, broader head than a traditional spear, making it more akin to a short sword on a stick, than a spear. But though this is much shorter, and has more of a traditional spear head, it does have points on both ends, as well as a spur on the spear head, which could be used as a guard or even to hook an opponents shield/weapon. All very evil looking.

And the handle is adorned with tufts of fur around the spear head and very pointy pommel. Traditionally, this would have served to prevent blood from running down the spear handle and making it slippery. But it just looks cool here. Personally, I consider this a weapon that pays contemporary homage to one of the great historical Zulu tribal weapons of South Africa. The Zulu Ikwla. Even if it’s blade is a little on the small side. And it’s short. Just don’t be too quick to dismiss it because of it’s size. Size is not as important as how you use it… Or so I am told… 🙂

Tribal Warrior Spear – [True Swords]

A Tall Proud Polearm…

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Today I decided to compare the so called “spear” (more like a sword with an identity crisis) I posted about a couple of days ago with one that was solidly rooted in it’s traditional heritage:

Scorpion Spear

Scorpion Spear
[view full size]

Now this is a Spear. No confusion here. No an over-sized sword, no long handled knife, no rickety little dagger-on-a staff. A real, honest to goodness Spear. Look at the blade on this thing. Now that is the very definition of a spear point. Not a flimsy little pocket knife on a stick. No siree. That is a solid spearhead.

Look at the tang. Almost 3/4 the length of the blade. That’s how you attach a spear head to it’s shaft. Look at the shaft, and the reinforcing bands around the tang area, and three pretty beefy looking pins to hold the blade in place on the shaft. Sheer excellence. This, my friends, is how a spear is supposed to be made.

The overall design, while simple, is not bad. The short heavy blade has a small simple guard. The long shaft is capped by what looks like a heavy mace style butt, that probably gives this weapon excellent balance. I really cannot find fault with this weapon.

Except I have to wonder if it comes in black…

Scorpion Spear – [True Swords]

Confusing Polearms…

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

A recent comment had me looking at polearms today. A reader commented on the possibility of wielding an Ōdachi as a melee combat weapon, like a Naginata or a spear. Now I have some serious doubts about the practicality of a super long Ōdachi for that particular application, but interestingly enough, as if on cue, I ran into this (not so little) oddity:

Mt Fuji Spear

Mt Fuji Spear
[view full size]

AHA! A Mt Fuji Spear!!… Now this is excellent!! Err… OK… I must admit that I have no idea what a “Mt. Fuji Spear” is supposed to be. But with a 38″ blade, and a 29″ handle, it seems to me that this is just a Katana with a really, really long handle. Not a spear.

The closest weapon I can think of to this would be a Naginata, which is basically a Katana mounted to a spear shaft. The Mt Fuji Spear doesn’t even have a long enough handle for that. But given that even the Naginata is not really considered a spear, how this weapon got classified as a spear is beyond me. They were probaby smokin’ something atop Mt Fuji when they came up with the name. Who knows.

Anyway, I thought it was a cool weapon, seeing that it might actually be easier to balance than a traditional Katana, and notwithstanding it’s confusion as to whether it’s a katana or a naginata, it could give you the extra range of an Ōdachi, or at least a Nodachi, without the risks of having to try and choke up on a bare blade for close quarters combat.

My only issue, was that I found a picture of the Mt Fuji Spear that showed that the blade is attached to the handle via a short, stubby threaded insert, rather than any kind of tang. And I mean virtually no tang whatsoever. Apart from this weird threaded stub, which seemed waaay to short to reliably survive any serious impact. So in my book, this particular design variation would not make for a great combat weapon.

But if I could get this in a black blade, with at least a good eight inch tang or so, I think this would make for a very interesting melee weapon. What? You don’t like black? Pffft! Too bad…

Mt. Fuji Spear – [True Swords]

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