Jul 15, 2014

Drawing Update: Hussite Weapons

Art by TL Jeffcoat
Art by TL Jeffcoat
I've been working on the War Wagon for the post on the Hussite Hand Cannon off and on for a few weeks and I've finally completed it. I’m putting up both at the same time, and then I’ll see if I can get some of the simpler weapons drawn up. I’m hoping to knock out 3 more this month. One of these days, I’ll have a drawing of every weapon in the Weapons & Warriors series and then I’ll work on wrapping it up and converting it all into a free download. I’ll have to spend some time editing all the posts, too. I’m thinking the formats will probably be Nook, Kindle, and PDF. Not sure if there is need to do any others.

Check out the post on the Hand Cannon of the Hussites to learn more about both of these weapons.

Jul 7, 2014

Weapons & Warriors: The Cutlass of the Europeans

Art by TL Jeffcoat

The most famous sword used by pirates in the 1600’s and 1700’s is often rumored to have been invented by pirates, but my research turns that out to be an unproven legend. The Cutlass has been a common tool for sailors for centuries. Its blade is strong enough to cut heavy ropes and canvas, and small enough to be used in close quarters combat. The blade was short enough to easily avoid getting entangled in various riggings found on a sailing vessel while fighting off a boarding party, or boarding another vessel.

The blade is broad, flat, curved, and about 2 feet in length (approximately 0.61 meters). Only the outside of the curved blade is sharpened, and the handle is usually protected by a hand guard of some kind, either a cup shaped piece of elaborately designed metal, or a simple loop. This gives the Cutlass an additional technique with the backhand or jab using the pommel or guard to strike an opponent that is too close to slash with the blade. The hand guard is also useful in protecting the sailor from losing fingers when a blade strikes the handle.

Jun 30, 2014

Makraka Drawn...

Art by TL Jeffcoat
I've been writing my fingers off, but I squeezed in some art time by completing the Makraka, and made some more progress on the Hussite War Wagon. Here is the Makraka, check out the original post it's been attached to for more.

Next week, I'm planning to post a new Weapons & Warriors. When I'm not working on that, I'll be working on the new chapters for Devil Dog. Have a great 4th of July world.

Jun 18, 2014

I'm Still Here

I've been tied up with work lately. Running my own business and working a Mon-Fri day job as well is sometimes a little heavy on the calendar. I'm hoping to free up some time starting this weekend, at least long enough to straighten out and prep some more Weapons posts. I missed this month while I traveled to Dallas to celebrate a close friend's new marriage. My little Publishing company is hopefully publishing it's first book in July, so that gives me a breather for a week to meet the end of June deadline for a new Weapons post.

While I'm getting prepared and working on a few other things, I'm taking requests on weapons. If anyone wants to see or learn about an ancient or ancient-like weapon, let me know and I'll dig till I find something. If you don't know what it's called, just describe it and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for sticking around and I'll chat with you guys soon.

Apr 28, 2014

Weapons and Warriors: The Guan Dao of the Shaolin

Art by TL Jeffcoat
This crazy looking pole weapon is related to the Samurai’s Naginata, but is not exactly the same. There are several variations and names for this weapon in China: Ta Dao, Da Dao, and Guan Dao. The Ta Dao was found on lists of the 18 weapons of the Shaolin, while the Da Dao was described in some places as a pole weapon, the Da Dao I know of is more like a large sabre. The name of Guan Dao seems to be the most common and accurate and it came with a popular story that I found to have some fictional mysteries surrounding the credited creator of the weapon.

In the book, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, General Guan Yu was said to have crafted this weapon in the 200’s AD. There were also stories that it weighed 40 pounds (18.14 kg), which you might believe that the weight is a clue that it must be a myth. No weapon could ever weigh that much and be used in battle, well, you would be wrong about that. Although no weapon on any battlefield in history, that I’ve read, has anyone wielded a weapon weighing more than 25 pounds (11.34 kg), there are a couple museums that display a Guan Dao weighing around 45 pounds (20.41 kg). The extremely heavy Guan Dao was not used in combat, but was instead used to build strength and endurance and to test soldiers seeking advancement in the military.

When a man tested for rank in the military he performed maneuvers with an ultra-heavy Guan Dao which was an excellent tool to see the strength of the man, his ability to control that strength, and the dexterity he might have to avoid dropping such a weapon. It’s pretty impressive if you think about it. The better a man tested the higher up the chain of command he could go. That made the general the last man you wanted to stumble into on the battlefield; unless you were a highly trained warrior, you were most likely going to die.

The myth of Guan Yu’s Guan Dao weighing 40 pounds is not a myth because it would be too heavy for him. According to some historians, Guan Yu was nearly seven feet tall (2.13 meters). That’s a big man, especially in the early 200’s. The reason Guan Yu’s massive weapon is a myth is because there are no historical documentations of a Guan Dao being used or produced by anyone before 1000 AD. Some historians have reported that Guan Yu wielded dual swords of some kind that may have been larger and heavier than normal.