Posts Tagged ‘Vambrace’

The next best thing to Adamantium implants…

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

A couple of days ago I got a post from a reader (Thanks SniperFodder!) with a link to a page on Geekologie that showed videos of a very, very interesting set of home made wolverine claws. Here is the first of the two, very intriguing videos in question, mostly of the maker wreaking wanton destruction on some nefarious box of doom for some seriously heinous crimes we are clearly all blissfully unaware of:

Yes, all kinds of cool and everything, if you are into that kind of thing… Oh, who am I kidding, I love this stuff… I probably would try a more blade worthy opponent than an old box, but that’s just me… 🙂

What really caught my attention, however, was the construction vid that accompanied the shameless *cough* display of aggression above…:

Now as a person who has spent countless man-hours thinking about this kind of thing, let me just say that what this guy did was actually very impressive. Not that there haven’t been countless wolverine claw replicas and home made diy Wolverine claw jobs, but this particular construction dealt very directly and extremely competently with two aspects of arm mounted blade design that I have always found to be weak links in your traditional back yard / junk yard wolverine claw project.

The first and most common point of failure I see is in the blade attachment and rail mechanism. I see a lot of people use sliding drawer rails for the rails of their wolverine claws, and while it works, (works very well in fact), and is good for show, frankly, so far as strength is concerned, the vast majority of them wouldn’t hold up to the repeated stresses of cutting a slice of gouda cheese. Nope. Not even some “finely aged”, moldy gouda, half ready to decompose into a pile of technicolor goo.

Now this dude addressed this weakness by fabricating a simple sliding plate/tongue-in-groove rail. It is a design I’ve always thought would fit the ticket perfectly, but never had the time to try. And here, you can see it in action. Now I am, by no means, saying it’s a perfect solution. It has it’s weaknesses as well. In fact, you may or may not be able to tell from watching the vids, but that plate generates a lot of friction, so while it is really strong, it is also tougher to deploy smoothly. It also looked like he used a single rail tongue for all three blades. Not really how I would have done it, but it seems to work.

But the part that I found really impressive is his bracing. Yes, it is made of bent and brazed copper tubing, which I saw lots of commenters deriding him about, however what they fail to realize is that, assuming his brazings are strong,  his design eliminates one of the biggest weak points of any wolverine claw system. The arm attachment mechanism.

I see all kinds of wolverine claws or just home made arn claws/blades/ziphoids in general, with two little straps, maybe a soft leather arm band or something. The smarter ones go for a solid plate and attach that to their arms, though, again, with more little straps. The thing is, those little itty bitty strips of fancy arm floss just won’t hold up to strong impacts. They suffer from one simple flaw: They are too flexible.

No matter how strong the system itself is, straps and soft leather allow seem to allow the whole rig,to move backwards and forwards on your arm. I’ve seen this happen even with full forearm vambraces if the leather used to make them isn’t hard enough. In contrast, this guy used a solid framework of copper tubing that will not give, and is so closely fit to the dimensions of his forearm, that he should have enough stability and control with it that he could make bacon with those blades, should he deem it necessary.

What more can I say. The whole get up may look ugly, but mechanically, it’s really a thing of beauty. Incidentally, while the page I found these videos on say they are “fully functional” I think that depends on your point of view. Our friendly niegborhood Wolvie sports a set of double action, fully automatic blades. This guy, on the other hand (or, in this case, the other claw arm) made single action blades, (manual retract, automatic deploy) as far as I can tell. So it’s certainly close to the kinds of functionality Wolverine gets from his claws, but no cigar.

And just in case there is any question about what I mean by my earlier comment regarding the bacon, let me just be clear. Bacon is *always* necessary. But you don’t always have the opportunity to make bacon using a set of wolverine claws strapped to your forearms… That is just too cool for Ginsu school.. I’m just sayin. 😀

Guy Makes Fully Functional Wolverine ClawsGeekologie

How to get yourself killed in a ninja swordfight.

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Alright. So today I ran across a rather unsettling reproduction rip off of what is supposed to be a very cool tool/weapon. Except the knock off does not do the original weapon any kind of justice whatsoever, and in practice, would be much more likely to get you killed, than help you defend yourself.

I speak of none other than the Spiked Vambraces used by “the Batman” in the new, Christian Bale pwned iterations of Batman. Oh and I’m not talking about the stupid tin scrap launcher gauntlets he used in “The Dark Knight”, I’m talking about the solid, sword breaking, spike equipped vambraces used in the first movie, “Batman Begins”.

I thought I’d add that I think the new versions are some of the best takes on the Batman I have seen so far. Except maybe for the very first one with Michael Keaton. But I digress.

At issue today, is this sorry pair of spiked vambraces I found, floating out there in the internets:

Tactical Strike Bracer - Aggressive Battle Vambrace

Tactical Strike Bracer - Aggressive Battle Vambrace

[Click image to view full size]

Misleadingly called a “Tactical Strike Bracer/Aggressive Battle Vambrace” this couldn’t be used any more aggressively than a sloth training for a sleep-a-thon. Of course, I shouldn’t have expected anything else.

What we have here, is a soft faux leather gauntlet, with light gauge steel strips riveted *sigh* in place, with the central strip bearing a set of three spikes welded on, from wrist to elbow, each one slightly larger than the last.

Where to begin. If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably already have a good idea what I’m going to say, just by looking at the picture. But i’ll break down my list of woes anyway…

First… a Faux leather gauntlet? Seriously? Yeah, sure soft faux leather is great if you just want to make a pair of long ladies opera gloves, but for an “Aggressive Battle Vambrace”? It’s not going to last through a dunking in water…

Then there are the steel strips. And the spikes too. Of some ridiculously looking light gauge steel. That looks like I could cut them with a pair of scissors. And riveted in place, no less. Riveted to the oh so soft faux leather… *Burgh*… *Urrrggghh*  I think i’m gonna be sick… Gimme a second… *Bleaaaarrghhhh!!!*

Ok… My bad… Sorry about that… C’mon Phyreblade… You can do this… breathe… That’s right… Wooosaaaahhh…. deep breaths… Aaaahhhh… OK… Let’s try and carry one shall we…

Next up we have the fastening. Three elastic bands, and one faux leather buckle strap… whooo… breath… Whooosaaaahhhh…

Ok. So as to preserve my sanity, let’s try a little thought experiment. Who here thinks this “Aggressive Battle Vambrace” is going to stay where you put it on your arm. No one? Good. Because it won’t. I don’t think elastic straps, fastened to what might as well be pleather, are gonna cut it.

You need really thick, stiff leather or even solid steel plating, with either thick strong laces or with multiple, (ideally 3 or more) equally tough leather buckles, in order for this to work.

OK, next question. Who here thinks those thin steel strips could deflect a sword strike. Good call. They probably won’t. They will bend like the worthless pieces of tin foil that they are.

Corollary question. Who thinks those spikes will still be standing after an attempt to deflect an incoming sword strike. Show of hands… None. Good. Yes, I see none. Partially because I can’t actually see you. Which is a good thing, cause I would have instantly cut off any hands I saw raised anyway.

In fact, I’m actually fairly certain that I could probably cut those spikes off the gauntlet with a sword if I were so inclined. And probably take a good chunk of the wearers forearm too. Just as a reminder to the wearer that they are an idiot.

You simply cannot rivet a piece of steel to a piece of naugahyde (for all it’s worth) and expect it to endure any more than a cats scratching it. And I bet it would consider the cat’s attention “punishing” treatment…

So there you have it folks. A tool that is guaranteed to get you killed if you should ever be foolish enough to use it in defense against a sword wielding opponent. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And yes, as usual, I’m probably over reacting, this was probably designed just for show, and I’m trying to make into something that it’s not. But still… so much potential… Wasted. Hopes and dreams… dashed. Oh, but it looks nice.

You could take it to a halloween party. Or put it on your pet chihuahua and enter it into a fighting toy dog tournament… Proabably wouldn’t help much but at least it would look cool just before it got annihilated…

Hey, don’t kill the messenger, I’m just saying…

Hyper-Aggressive Battle Chihuahua Spine Protectors – set of 2 – [True Swords]

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