Posts Tagged ‘Widow’

The Black Widow Strikes Again…

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Now I could have sworn I had already put together a post for this blade, however my (admittedly hasty) searches seems to turn up nothing. So I thought I’d go ahead and post about this interesting little knife, duplicate post or not!!! Allow me to introduce the Widow Queen.

Widow Queen

Widow Queen

It should be fairly obvious where the name of this blade came from, but for the entomological neophytes among you, the spider whose front legs are oh, so possessively surrounding the hilt of this dagger is, in fact, meant to be a female Black Widow Spider, most easily identified by the red hourglass shape on it’s abdomen.

The Black Widows is a highly venomous spider, and envenomation by female black widows has been known to kill humans. I’d be willing to bet that whoever designed this knife probably had a rather personal experience with one… 🙂 Now in in real life, of course, black widows tend to be black in color, however in this case, I think we can afford to make an exception. Especially since this particular variety of black widow would probably be a heckuvalot lot more deadly in the right hands.

Either way, I certainly like the black widow motif of this blade, even though I think it goes too far in several ways. For instance, do we really need to have a full double sided hand guard (the widows front legs) and a cross guard on the same blade? I would rather have just had the cross guard, and even that is a little overly ornate for my taste.

The same goes for the pommel. You have the little spider limb thing going on, *and* a spike. What’s up with that? In fact, now that i look at it, this dagger would have been just fine entirely without the spider. A simple spiked pommel, the cool black ridged grip, a simpler, not so spikey cross guard, and that absolutly beautiful blade…

Yes… The blade on this thing is the main reason why I really like it. Now don’t get me wrong, the Black Widow was excellently done, and i could see them making replicas of that all by itself, sans the dagger. But for me, the blade is where it’s at on this knife. The swell of the ricasso, the smooth sweep into that almost straight blade, narrowing smoothly down into an absolutely evil point… I just love that profile.

Sometimes I wonder whether the people who design things like this actually realize how beautiful the blades are, all by themselves. No need for themes, motifs, spiders scorpions and whatnot, even though they can sometimes be cool. Because even if this had been a simple dagger, just this blade, a simple cross guard, black smooth grip, maybe with a simpler point on the pommel, it would still have ended up on this page.

Or maybe marketing has no clue… Who knows.

Either way, it’s a real pity…

Widow Queen – [The Collectors Edge]

Of Straight Razors and Demon Barbers.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

You know I have never really been a fan of straight razors. Don’t really know why. Apart from those rare occasions when they are ground into claws, brazed to copper pipes and attached to the fingers of leather work gloves, they just never really appeal to me. Normally, I find such evil and dangerous implements fascinating.

And straight razors are indeed evil. Unintentionally evil, grant you, but evil nonetheless. They are one of the few, relatively large, non surgical blades whose edge geometry is specifically designed to allow them to hold one of the keenest edges known to man. Even at the cost of strength. But in spite of my being intellectually aware of this, they just don’t *look* the part. Yes, they usually do have a little flair, but for the most part I find them waaaay to functional looking.

They are almost like box cutters to me. Equally dangerous, but they just don’t carry an aesthetic that evokes that primal awe that so many other blade designs do. Now I bring this up not for idle chitchat, but rather because I had occasion to analyze my thoughts about such a razor. Specifically a replica of the razor used by Johnny Depps character Sweeny Todd  in the movie “Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”:

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Now this is a nice looking razor. I’m not saying it isn’t. The thing is, it just doesn’t speak to me. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if there is any real significance to it, but on the surface, it looks to me like the miniature equivalent of a machete. Just like any other razor. All go, no show. Well maybe a little show. But not quite enough show.

The funny thing is that, shortly after Sweeney Todd came out, having been glamorized by the movie, there was a sudden surge of custom straight razors on the market. Here’s another example I found somewhat more attractive:

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Arguably a much more modern design approach to the straight razor, and it certainly looks the part..  Black micarta scales with beautiful shiny accents, all rising up into what looks like it’s gonna be a sweet looking blade, and then… disappointment. It still looks like a folder horribly abused. So horribly mutilated that the doctor recommended that the tip be amputated. Sigh.

Here’s an arguably more cutting edge design:

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

So now maybe we’re getting somewhere. This design eschews the classic straight razor grip for a contemporary designer folder grip. Not a bad look. Personally I thought it could have done without the spider web  motif, but hey. But yet again… as my eyes travel up from the hilt, that sinking feeling returns. Dagnabbit!

OK, so I admit I am biased towards points. And curves. And organic shapes. Perhaps with a few more curves or something, I might find straight razors more appealing. But that would defeat the point of a “straight” razor. And in any case, I think it’d be like lipstick on a pig. I dunno if it’s possible to gussy up a straight razor enough to make it look good,  without changing the very things that make it a straight razor.

But who knows. Maybe my expectations are a little high…

Tom Andersons Raze Tac – [True Swords]
Sweeny Todds Straight Razor – [True Swords]
Custom Straight Razor – Blue Widow Web – [True Swords]

Black Widow… With Steel Booties?

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Welcome to another edition of Phyreblades Beleive It Or Not!! A Black Widow Spider. Born with steel knives for legs!! You don’t ever want to be caught in this spiders stainless steel and super glue web!!

OK, ok, so it’s not a real spider. But it does have knife legs. Today we have an interesting example of something that simply makes no sense… unless it is purely intended to be a conversation piece, which (I’m guessing) it is. While perusing my usual blade haunts I came across this dark arachnoid beauty.

Black Widow

Black Widow

Now this is a weird piece because I could see no real reason to substitute blades for leg segments. It would make for a difficult weapon to wield, unless used as a last resort, but only because it would be still be better than nothing. But it seems to be excellently suited as a conversation starter, as it is indeed a well crafted and beautiful piece, and the leg blades do look very menacing.

Now if this were an autonomous combat robot, this design would make perfect sense, as it would have it’s quite formidable weapons ready at all times. I’d also sharpen it’s mandibles. Or have it secrete venom. Or climb walls. Or swing from the rafters like spidey! OK, that’s just wishful thinking. I suppose it would have the weakness that you could hear it coming from miles away on hard surfaces. And it would certainly leave some nasty divots in your mom’s hardwood floors. But it still looks good as a faux lethal ornament…

The Black Widow – [True Swords]

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