Posts Tagged ‘Wrist Mounted’

The Truth About Cats And… Tigers.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Today I thought I’d talk about hand claws related to animals other than Wolverines… Yeah. No more Wolvie. Unless I find something new. What can I say. Oh Come ON. Just let it go…

Anyway, many ninja hand weapons are often confused with one another and incorrectly described, so I thought I’d take a crack at sorting them out. Let me formally introduce: the Bagh Nakh, Neko-Te, Shuko and Tekko-Kagi. Just a quick warning before you dive in. You may want to grab a cup of coffee…

Bagh Nakh
First off we have the Bagh Nakh, also sometimes called the Wagh Nakh, whose heritage is the least obscured, but whose name is often incorrectly used to describe Tekagi. The Bagh Nakh is a weapon of Indian heritage, intended to replicate the damage that a tiger would inflict on your average unsuspecting jungle meal.

Bagh Nakh

Bagh Nakh

Anyway, as you can see, it is essentially a set of claws attached to a bar with loops for the fingers. The version above with the knife blade attached is called the Bich’Hwa Bagh Nakh. In contrast to how it is often portrayed, (and it seems to be portrayed and described incorrectly in a lot of otherwise reputable places) it is not a set of over-the-hand claws, nor was it likely to have been worn with the claws out over the knuckles.

Rather, I believe that is held in the hand, supported by the thumb and pinky, with the claws facing outward from the palm, and the basic traditional designs all appear to confirm this to be the case. If you look at the various forms of Bagh Nakh, you will see than it includes a few different forms, many with a blades that extend laterally out from the side of the weapon, in addition to the claws.

Two Different Bagh Nakh Designs:

Bich'wha Bagh Nakh

Bich'wha (Bladed) Bagh Nakh

Standard Bagh Nakh

Standard Bagh Nakh

This tells me that they the bar was intended to serve a dual purpose as both the knife handle and the claw holder, and would therefore be held in the palm of the hand. Not to mention that many Bagh Nakh designs are near impossible to wield with the bar over the knuckles. From this we can assume that it was used with the claws projecting out from the palm. The same grip would likely have been used for both forms, with or without the original blade.

Simple Bagh Nakh

Simple Bagh Nakh

The Bagh Nakh is an excellent weapon for open hand clawing or raking attacks, as well as open hand slaps, and is very effective at tearing flesh. The best targets for this weapon would be the eyes and face, though any soft target would work.

Shuko
Next up is the Shuko. Shuko, or “Tiger Claws” is the Japanese equivalent of the Bagh Nakh, and is one of the trademark weapons of the Togakure Ryu, which is believed to be the oldest school of Ninjitsu. This weapon employs a similar claw design, except for the way it is held and supported. Much like the Bagh Nakh, this name

Ninja Shuko

Ninja Shuko

Unlike the Bagh Nakh however, it is supported by a steel band that goes around the entire hand, as well as a strap that fastens it to the wrist of the wearer. This extra support mechanism allows it to be used in ways the Bagh Nakh cannot, such as for climbing walls and trees, where it was usually used in conjunction with Ashiko or Ninja foot spikes.

Ashiko - Ninja Foot Spikes

Ashiko - Ninja Foot Spikes

My guess however would be that commercial versions would be lacking and many would have to make a pair custom fit to your hand size, and appropriately padded, in order to comfortably use it for wall climbing duty.

Wearing Ninja Shuko

Wearing Ninja Shuko

It would, in theory, also allow for much more powerful raking attacks to harder and tougher targets, like bony parts of the body and ligaments. This hand weapon is also often incorrectly referred to as Neko-Te, (even I have been guilty of this) but as I found out, the Neko-Te is a completely different weapon.

Neko-Te
Neko-Te, or (literally translated) “Cat Hands” are traditionally small steel blades attached to the fingers using a band, usually of leather. Another weapon that is often confused with the Shuko and Bagh Nakh, these are actually steel claws designed to become clawed extensions of the fingertips of the wearer. Much like cat womans claws.

Neko Te

Neko-Te - Finger Tip Ring Claws

The most common references to Neko-Te are as the favored claw weapon of Kunoichi (female ninjas). They were primarily used for distraction, but could be made lethal by poisoning the blades.

Neko-Te - Finger Wraps

Neko-Te - Leather Wrap Finger Tip claws

The use of Neko-Te would be almost exclusively limited to soft targets such as the eyes, throat, groin, etc. Especially since finger strength would be a limiting factor in the amount of power a Neko-Te user could generate.

Tekko-Kagi
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Tekko-Kagi (or Tekagi), which I talked about in my first Wolverine post. This is the only verifiable example I could find of a hand claw that employed claws located above the hand, like Wolverines claws. Most versions of this weapon are supported by both the wrist and the hand, and would have been used with the fist closed, either as a punch blade type weapon, or closed fist rake, depending on the claws configuration.

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

The Japanese Tekko-Kagi

It was generally used to attack and disarm sword wielding opponents. Of the weapons here, this is the only one that could have been used against hard targets, and I believe it could have been built strong enough to handle the amount of force required to even punch through light armor, (not to mention it is the closest design to good old Wolvies’ claws, making it one of my faves) though sadly, I have not seen any evidence that it was ever used in this fashion.

Wearing Tekko-Kagi

Wearing Tekko-Kagi

And thats about the size of it. I often see these names used interchangeably, however after doing a lot of reading about each of them, I realized that they each refer to a completely different weapon, and thought I’d share… Hopefully your head hasn’t exploded…

Bagh Nakh – [Brighton & Hove Museum]
Bagh Nakh – [The Forest Hermit (JP)]
Bagh Nakh – [Therion Arms]
Bagh Nakh – [Earmi.it (IT)]
Shuko – [Ninja Dynasty]
Neko-Te – [Warrior Quest]
Neko-Te – [Ninjitsu.com]
Tekko-Kagi – [Mark C. Barrett]
Tekko-Kagi – [Iga Ninja Museum]
Tekko-Kagi – [Warrior Quest]

PhyreBlades’ Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide.

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve realized that, while blade fanatics are not exactly a majority, Wolverine fanatics, like myself, are legion! Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been related to the “who”s, “how”s and “where”s, of buying, (or making), a pair of wrist-mounted, retractable wolverine style claws. Yeah. It’s a mouthful.

Anyway, I though I’d put together a post with all of the pertinent Wolverine claw reference material I’ve come across during my web sojourns in search of the holy grail of all wolverine fanboi memorabilia: the ever elusive pair of wearable, fully automatic, remotely actuated, retractable Wolverine claws. Yes. I am indeed insane. But given the number of X-Men/Wolverine fans out there, I was sure that someone would have put one together.

Alas, No such luck. Apart from a plethora of replica, prop and designer “Wolverine Claws”, there are no commercially available retractable wolverine claws. None. Not One. At least that I have been able to find. Anyone who happens to know different should consider themselves morally, ethically and legally (by Dark Blade Law) obligated to share the juicy details. Or meet your end at the hands of a million ill-tempered gnats. With lasers attached to their freakin’ heads. Or worse. Death by LOLCat.

Anyhoo, until I find out otherwise, Wolverine purists have two options.

  1. Buy replicas of the actual movie prop.
  2. Make a pair on their own.

If you want one that is automatic/retractable, you are stuck with option 2. For those mechanically inclined, mature, dedicated (and brave) enough to attempt it, following is a list of noteworthy Wolverine Claw related links, to help you on your X-Mission, should you choose to accept it (at your own risk, of course). Good Luck!

First, the wannabes (the short list):

Anderson Cutlery Pantera Claw
A pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Cool.

Anderson Cutlery “Special Edition” Pantera Claws
A Chromed pair of brass knuckles with claws attached. Shiny. Cool.

X-MEN “Wolverine” Claws (Style II)
The poor mans Wolverine claw. Primal. Dark. Mua ha ha… *cough*

Wolverine X-Men Claw (IMHO, perhaps the best wannabe so far…)
A somewhat more generic version of the wolverine claw movie prop design. Classy. Shiny. Cool.

Wolverine X-Men Battle Claw – In Black!
Yet another version of the Wolverine X-Men Claw, (the one described just above), This time in glorious black. OK, so Wolverines claws aren’t supposed to be black. But I happen to love black weapons, so authenticity be condemned to blazes, I like this one better!! Actually neither of them is particularly authentic, so don’t send any hate mail on account of my saying so, or I will pwn you w1t m4 l337 h4xxor sk1llz.

And now, on to the meat and potatoes:

Kris Abel’s Blog: Making Wolverine’s Claws -> Part1, Part2 – Kris Abel interviews the designer of the original Wolverine blades used in the movies. A very interesting read.

eBay -> Wolverine Claws – You can find almost anything on eBay… Almost…

YourProps.com -> Claws1, Claws2 – A great online prop museum with pictures of aluminum replicas of the original Wolverine Claw props used in the movies.

Gary Fixler -> Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – A site showing how a guy made cheap custom wolverine claw replicas. The materials he used (in particular his aluminum stock) were not the best, but the process is very sound. With some design modifications and better materials, you could use the same process to make some really high quality prop wolverine blade replicas. In fact the next guy did just that.

Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume -> AKA: How To Make Retractable Wolverine Claws – One of my favorite wolverine claw sites. This guy took the whole wolverine claw thing as close to the real thing as I have ever seen. If he would have written a step by step manual of the process with even more pictures, he could have made a killing on eBay…

If I weren’t such a lazy schlub, I might have given the eBay thing it a try. But then again I have the sneakiest of suspicions that, were it actually successful, peeps would start crawling out of the woodwork with “Cease and Desists”… So many haters… So little love…

Anyhoo that is about all I got at the moment. The only thing that I am waiting for (with baited breath I might add), is for someone to integrate some sort of automatic deployment mechanism, perhaps a spring and some sort of trigger, into a set of retractable wolverine claws… So close and yet soooo far….

Enjoy….!

Making Wolverines Claws – [Kris Abel’s Blog]
Wolverine Claw Auctions – [eBay]
Making Wolverine Claws For Fun And Profit – [Gary Fixler Site]
Aluminum Wolverine Claw Replicas – [YourProps.com]
Wolverine X-Men Claw – [SouthWest Blades]

An Uber Battle Blade…

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

I found yet another example of over-the-top, wrist-mounted weapon madness from Tom Anderson, in the form of the menacing, multi-bladed, and totally overkilled, Critical Mass:

Critical Mass by Tom Anderson

Critical Mass by Tom Anderson

Now this is one of those wacky, off the wall deals that is probably more practical as a conversation starter than a weapon. Yes, it does appear to be functional, but this isn’t the kind of thing you would take into a fight unless you’re the kind that spends your Saturday nights in a 50’x50′ steel cage. In a secret underground arena. With one other barbarian, similarly equipped, each of you trying to bring the others life to a swift and decisive end, while a galleria of wealthy spectators watch, for ridiculously obscene amounts of money. I’m just saying.

However for pure aesthetic impact, Critical Mass is “Teh Pwnerer”. I mean look at it, it’s a big ol’ honkin’ piece o’ black metal, sharp edges, lots of blades, points all around… Kinda hard to beat the intimidation factor of this thing. I’m talkin death-match quality folks…

Tom Andersons’ Critical Mass – [SouthWest Blades]

How To Make Retractable Wolverine Claws

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume (click any image to enlarge)

Claws In

Claws In

Nate used Photoshop to enlarge an image of Wolverine’s claws from the X-Men movie that he had downloaded. This allowed him to print out the image until it fit exactly onto the 1″ x 1/8″ Aluminum Flat Bar that he had purchased for creating the claws. Once the basic shape was on paper, Nate traced around it onto a piece of wood that he had cut to 1″ x 13″, which was the calculated maximum length of the claws.

This length was determined to be the longest length that could fit on the back of Nate’s forearm. Once the wood had been traced, Nate gathered up his aluminum and headed to his Grandfather’s barn, where he cut the wood out on a band saw, sanded it on a vertical standing belt sander, and used it to trace out the aluminum claws.

The aluminum claws were then cut out VERY CAREFULLY on the band saw and sanded lightly on the belt sander. The next step was to put each claw under the wire brush wheel to give them a “brushed aluminum” finish, which Nate determined would look closest to “adamantium”, which Wolverine’s claws are actually made out of.

Claws Out

Claws Out

The next step was to mount the claws to a ball-bearing track that could be hooked to the back of Nate’s forearm. The track was created from a sliding keyboard tray. The slider on the track was modified to be much shorter, and use only 8 ball bearings. Bolts were put through the slider on the track and then some galvanized metal was bent and hack-sawed to make the right shape for attaching the first claw. This required drilling holes through each galvanized metal pience and matching holes in the first claw. Once the first claw was fitted to the track, 2 other claws were then drilled to match the first, and 3″ and 3.5″ bolts were used with nuts, split washers, washers, and locking nuts to to space the claws apart and keep them tightly affixed to each other and subsequently to the track. Once this was complete, screws were added through the bottom of the track so that the slider could not slide out of the track (to avoid killing innocent bystanders). Pictured above the the fully extended claws on the track.

Claws on arms

Claws on arms

The next step was to create a way to attach the tracks to Nate’s arms. …and Nate thought growing facial hair was hard! The eventual solution was to cut fabric left over from creating the pads for the X-Men suit into harnesses for the claws. The piece under Nate’s wrist buttons into place so that the claw tracks can be held VERY tight, but still be possible to put on. The fabric was sewn to the tracks through holes that Nate drilled in key locations.

Showing Claws

Showing Claws

Who’s got claws? Oh yea, that’s right… NATE’S GOT CLAWS!

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

Nate Showing off Wolverine Claws

Yep, those are definitely claws! …on sliding tracks, nonetheless!

The above text and images were reproduced from Nates Wolverine Halloween Costume page at http://www.muc.muohio.edu/~natedogg/main.htm. Unfortunately the site is no longer accessible, so I have reproduced some of the more salient information from the site here. All of the reproduced images and text still remain the property of it’s owner, presumably, Nate. Enjoy!

A Wrist Mounted Dragon Blade…

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

OK, I just had to show you this rather unusual… well, let’s just call it a “designer weapon”. It is basically a forearm mounted blade in the shape of a winged Dragon. Yep. You read right. A wearable Dragon Blade. Who would a thunk it. Certainly not I. Take a gander:

Flying Dragon Claw

Flying Dragon Claw

Now this is certainly a unique, if rather impractical, weapon. From it’s design it would obviously only be useful at very close range, (obviously) and probably more for blocking another blade than for actually inflicting any damage. Unless you used the tail blade (which, coincidentally, is removable) as a dagger of sorts. And even that doesn’t have the best grip design I’ve ever seen either. Ok, so it’s more of a conversation piece than a weapon, but oh my, what a conversation piece it is!

Notwithstanding my love of dragons, this is certainly a beautifully designed piece of faux weaponry art. The dragon design itself is pretty sweet. From it’s large black bat-like wings to it’s severely bladed ears, and even to the removable push dagger tail design, it all speaks to a level f detail and aesthetics that are impressive to say the least. The outstretched hind claws just add that last finishing touch to the entire design that makes it a work of art.

Truth be told, however, I didn’t really see the need to turn the wings ears or tails into blades. I honestly think the general design would have stood on it’s own merits as a metal sculpture. But what do I know. I’m not the “artiste” type. But there it is.

Flying Dragon Claw – [True Swords]

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