Posts Tagged ‘Sword’

A cool short sword…

Monday, November 30th, 2009

As you should all well know by now, I have an innate bias towards blades of dark, pointy, sharp and curvy nature. However the nature of the sword industry today is such that most swords are made for collectors, and are generally shiny wall hangers. Obviously, this is almost the polar opposite of the kinds of things I look for in a sword. But every now and then, I find one that just speaks to me…

Junglee Short Sword

Junglee Short Sword

Meet the Junglee short sword. A symphony of modern technology melded with beautiful lines that look like they were taken from a few different sword styles. A beautiful curving blade of AUS-8 steel, that looks like a cross between a bowie knife, a scimitar and a khukuri. A blade that widens down towards the hilt into a small integrated guard, and then down to a textured kraton covered grip. All finished in an understated black teflon finish. Absolutely beautiful. I love it.

Now as short swords go, this is indeed a beauty. However I do have some concerns about it. One of them is about the steel. AUS-8, when properly heat treated, can be a great knife steel, possessing qualities similar to 440 stainless. For small knives, they are good, will take and hold an edge well, and provided they are sufficiently thick, are fairly resilient against flexing stresses. However these steels tend to be low carbon, relatively hard, inflexible  steels, so I generally do not like to see them used for swords.

Swords, due to their greater length, do tend to flex a lot more than knives do, and so my concern would be that under hard use, or in cold conditions, this sword could chip or break. A thick blade can generally help avoid possible breakage, but given it’s relatively light weight, (a whole 1.4lbs, lol ), I tend to doubt it is particularly thick. However to be fair, I should also add that this sword is a “short” sword, so the typical weaknesses of AUS-8 may not be as pronounced, and it could have been tempered slightly softer than normal in order to help mitigate that risk.

Another possible cause for concern would be the grip construction and material. While I love the way Kraton feels, and the kind of grip it gives you, most Kraton grips are essentially tang sleeves, and the tang has to be designed in a specific manner, or employ some additional retention methods, like a lanyard sleeve that goes through both grip and tang, for instance, in order to prevent the kraton grip from slipping down the tang under hard use. Don’t really see any of that on this sword, which means there is the possibility of the grip moving around on you…

So, if you plan to relying on something like this as a primary tool for survival purposes, you may want to keep the above points in mind.

But apart from that, I just love the lines on this. And the dark beautiful curves. Just can’t help it. I will probably never be able to rely solely on it for outdoor treks, however I’m probably still gonna get it because it just so cool… 😀

Junglee Short Sword – [eBlade Store]

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

Singing in the Rain…

Monday, November 16th, 2009

And by “singing” I mean “singing blades of steel”. And by “in the rain” I mean “in an umbrella”. Am I confusing you? Well, alrighty then. Here, this should help:

Covert Umbrella Sword Cane

Covert Umbrella Sword Cane

Yeah, that. What did you think I was talking about? A Broadway musical?… BWA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HAHA HA… *cough* Silly…

Anyhoo, I’ve talked about swords and guns, swords in rifles, swords in canes, swords in pens and lipstick, (or rather knives in pens and lipstick – I don’t imagine a sword could really be well hidden inside a stick of lipstick. Unless said stick belonged to the 50 Ft woman. 🙂 ) so today I thought I’d switch it up a little and talk about… You guessed it! Swords in umbrellas!!

Yep. Unlike the “sword-in-non-functioning-rifle” idea, which was liable to get you shot before you ever had a chance to draw your sword, the sword-in-umbrella concept is so much more practical. So much more sophisticated. So much more… useful. After all, who’s gonna shoot a person armed naught but a lowly brolly?

Let’s say you and some random vagabond get into an argument. The vagrant suddenly pulls a gun. Then all you gotta do is grab your cool black ‘brella, raise both hands into the air and go “wait, wait, wait! Don’t shoot! I’m un-armed!”. Then you walk up to them and go “You know, I’m sorry, I’d really like to apologize for all this.” Then you pull out your sword and run the heathen through. At that point you can say: “Really sorry mate!” and walk off, singing, in to the dark, rainy night…

Riiight… OK. No.

So that would technically be low. Dirty. Dishonorable. Unsportsmanlike even. Like stabbing a person in the back. With a spoon. A spoon covered in warm ketchup. And then telling them you got their spleen and you’re gonna pawn it on the black market… I refer, of course, to running a person through when you could have walked away. Not the part where you are walking along, singing in the middle of a rainstorm at night, though that possesses it’s own unique… intrigue.

So let me categorically state that, if, in the aforementioned scenario, they are willing to talk, then you are obligated to talk your way out of it. Or run away, as fast as your little legs can carry you,  if you can. The “run them through” option is only for when you have no other choice, you are trapped, you cannot leave, and they are no longer willing to talk. And, of course, you are physically able to run them through. :/

Of course, I hate to break it to you, but the reality of life is that, if you actually did somehow find yourself in a situation like that, you’re probably gonna get shot. So be prepared for that possibility.  O_o  But it bears mentioning that if some idiot pulls a gun on you, then allows you to get close enough to them to un-sheath, and subsequently run them through with an umbrella sword… Well, then they probably deserved it.

Not that it’s OK, or right, or anything, I’m just saying… 😀

Covert Umbrella Sword Cane – [True Swords]

Straight swords, plain swords, and sword canes…

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Most of my regular readers will know at this point that I am somewhat partial to sword canes, Shikomizue, or “Prepared Canes” as they are called. The reason is twofold. First because they are simple canes, and I’ve always enjoyed using “sticks” as some like to call them, or staff weapons. So throwing a blade into the mix for me, pretty much makes them completely and uncompromisingly awesome. It’s like bringing a sword to a stick fight. Dirty, but full of WIN. 😛

Blind Fury

Blind Fury

For similar reasons, I am also a great fan of Chokutō. Chokutō (or “Straight Sword”) are, as the name might suggest, just simple straight swords. But while Chokutō and Shikomizue are similar in appearance, the designs are not the same. And while they may both share structural similarities with Shirasya, (I have actually confused these designs on numerous occasions in the past) the three are actually very different in terms of design focus, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about them (I.E. go grab a cup of coffee or tea or whatever, and get comfortable, before you continue reading. 🙂 )

Shirasaya, (or “White Sheath”) swords, regardless of form factor, were designed initially as a storage format for sword blades, and are generally distinguishable from other designs by a very simple, generally unadorned saya and tsuki. Compared to the complex tsuka furniture, mountings and lacquered saya finishes of traditional Japanese swords, shirasaya were stored, lightly pinned, in plain, un-lacquered saya, so that both the saya and tsuki could “breathe” and prevent the build up of moisture that could cause corrosion and or deformation of the blade and tang.

White Double Shirasya

White Double Shirasya

Shikomizue, or “Prepared Canes”, are just that. Walking sticks or canes, designed to conceal a sword blade. The design focus here was the covert carry of a sword, without arousing suspicion. Featuring a featureless straight saya and tsuki, generally cut from the same piece of wood, or cut and finished to look like it was, this was a popular choice for ninjas and other warriors who did not wish to arouse suspicion, but still wanted to be able to carry a sword about them for offensive or defensive purposes.

Zatoichi - Blind Fury Shikomizue

Zatoichi - Blind Fury Shikomizue

Chokutō, or “straight sword” design, on the other hand, was focused on neither conceal-ability nor storage. It was a design born in an age prior to that of differential tempering, and, in fact originated outside of Japan, in places like China and Korea. Differential tempering is a process that produces a hard edge, but flexible spine on a most traditional Japanese swords. It also imparts the characteristic curve to the sword, which was found to be a much more efficient sword design, when used correctly.

However before the discovery of the benefits of curved swords and differential tempering, swords were generally straight, and is here that the Chokutō design came from. A simple straight sword, intended for practical use, with no differential tempering, and no need to conceal the blade. The form of the sword simply followed it’s function and the limitations of the technology of the time. Or so the legends say…

So I’ll bet you’re wondering why I decided to bring all of this up. Well, here’s the thing. I am a fan of anime, one of them being Naruto. Or at least I used to be a fan of Naruto. Been a while since I watched any anime. But at least the first and second seasons were acceptably entertaining. If you are willing to disregard the many annoying filler arcs. :/

Anyway, In the anime, one of our eventual anti-heros, Sasuke Uchiha, wields what can only be called a monstrous black Chokutō called the Kusanagi Grass Cutter. As I mentioned in an earlier post on the topic, there is some disparity between the Anime version of the sword, and the Manga (comic book) version of this sword. In the comic, the sword is white, with a black stripe. In the anime, however, the sword is dark gray with a black stripe.

Sasukes Kusanagi No Tsurugi (Kusanagi Grass Cutter)

Sasukes Kusanagi No Tsurugi (Kusanagi Grass Cutter)

Personally, I prefer the animated version of the sword. But, nonetheless, the most common versions I am seeing are the manga versions, a replica of which was the inspiration for todays post:

Sasuke Uchiha's Chokutō

Sasuke Uchiha's Chokutō

As you can see this is the Manga version of the sword, but despite it’s white saya, it actually looks pretty nice. And it has a sweet black blade. And it appears to of a much higher quality construction than the last one I posted about. So just thought, after my long winded post, that I’d share. 🙂

Now if only someone would make it in black… Actually never mind. I’ll probably just get this one, sand it down and give it the traditional Japanese black lacquer treatment…

Yeah… Go me! 😀

Sasuke Uchiha Chokutō – [King of Swords]

Yet Another Beautiful Dark Blade…

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

A fellow DarkBlader (Many apologies, I do not recall who) recently turned me on to this absolutely beautiful dark sword from the excellent Kult of Athena Site.

BlackSword

BlackSword

It is quite fittingly called the Blacksword.  And man… What a sword!!  There are few swords that truly capture the both the flash flaire of the many finely mirror polished swords out there today, while still being subtle, dark, understated and, most importantly, evil… and this is one of them.

The Blacksword is made by the outstanding Windlass Steelcrafts, and is an absolute work of art. 32.5″ of slim, dark, hyper blued, sinister steel, with a simple fuller running down it’s center, into a simple diamond flare at the ricasso. The hilt is equally charismatic, with a simple elegant, upward curving cross guard rising from the simple center shield-like emblem.

The spiral leather wrapped wood grip presents us with yet more sinister but oh so tempting darkness, bordered at each end by silver studded bands, and finishing at another equally simple pommel.  A simple, beautiful, dark, sinister but breathtakingly magnificent sword.

When I look at this sword, I think of the Drow, The dark elves of the Underdark. If your average, highly polished sword were a fair-skinned forest elf, this sword would be the light haired, dark skinned Drow equivalent.  I’ve probably said this before, but I wonder what it would be like to have a dark, beautiful Drow girlfriend. A dark irresistible beauty whom you knew could turn and plunge a knife through your heart at any moment, for any reason, but who was just too stunning to say no to.

Probably 7 circles of hell all wrapped up in a single Evil Drow Beauty…

Man… Evil can be soo tempting… o_O

The BlackSword by Windlass Steelcrafts – [Kult of Athena]

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