Hello Everybody, now today I have another Katana themed design and yes I know, I said I had kinda finished the Power Rangers inspired Katanas but this style of saber is just so cool I had to do more. I also realised that on the Power Rangers blades I had forgotten to add a feature that is iconic in traditional real world Japanese sword making techniques. Because I had modified the blade to be a “lightsaber” I forgot to add what is known as the Hamon line which is the decorative curved/jagged line that stretches from the handgrip all the way to the tip of the blade. The line can be seen on traditional Japanese Katana and some people describe it as a wave or line of mountains. It is a very desirable effect to have on your blade and looks like this…
In this picture above you can see the blade tip and a portion of the blade. The blade appears to be two distinct shades of colour and this signifies that the steel used to make the blade has different properties. The steel is heated then flattened out into a strip which is then folded over double and hammered together till the metal forms one thick strip with two layers. This double layered strip is again heated, hammered out then folded a second time to create a four layered strip and so on till the blade has been folded upto 10 times creating 1024 layers. Then this 1024 layer ingot is shaped into the familiar Katana profile but the blade is straight. To achieve the famous curve a final treatment is needed where the blade is covered with a layer of clay along the back edge of the blade (spine) leaving the cutting edge exposed. The blade is then heated a final time before being quickly cooled (called quenching) and the rapid cooling and the clay causes the metal to cool and shrink slightly at different rates through the blade. The covered spine cools slower and produces a less hard metal whilst the exposed blade cools very quickly producing a super hard edge which can be sharpened to a razor-like finish. Because the Katana blade has a “softer” spine it is less likely to snap during battle as it is springy and absorbs impact, but it is still tough enough to have a razor sharp blade. Now this is where the name Hamon comes in. The two “zones” of tensile strength have names, the cutting edge is called the “Ha” whilst the upper softer spine is named “Mune”. When combined you get the word “Hamon” and there is actually a visible line you can see between the two – this is the Hamon Line which creates the wave/mountain effect.
When I was first introduced to Katanas whilst watching 1980’s Ninja movies on VHS tape as a kid (and reading GI’Joe comics of course) I read about these swords and learnt about a special blade called “Dew on the Grass” which had a stunningly beautiful blade and Hamon line that looked like a blade of grass with droplets of dew on it. These droplets was the area where the Hamon line bonded between the two hardened segments. I thought it was amazing so I decided I’d attempt to build a lightsaber equivalent with a cyber-age feel. This is my Cyberblade “Dew on the Grass” Katana….
As you can see this saber has a real cutting-edge look to it! Not only does this blade have a Damascus steel wave-like texture but I managed to add a glowing Hamon Line along it’s length. The Tsuka Ito wraps this time are made from a fabric texture that looks like some sort of circuitry. The semi gloss black material of the hilt body sets off this material and the electric blue neon blade and Hamon. And speaking of neon light…I felt a bit “arty” and decided to create a few avant-garde, Blade Runner-esque style pictures. Here they are in Gallery Two….
I was extremely happy when I finally managed to create a Katana with the proper Tsuka Ito wrap and the famous curved blade, and I was even happier (if that were possible) when I achieved adding the Hamon line to my models. The katanas now feel fully formed. Finally, I keep promising this is the last one but as I said these are addictive to model so I have two final versions, one from the Mutant Turtles franchise and a last hilt from a famous video game franchise (unless I make more). Hopefully they will be as nice as this one.
Anyhoo, I sincerely hope you liked this homage to traditional swordsmithing as much as I enjoyed modelling it. I hope I haven’t bored you all and that you’ll return for future posts which will feature a few very different 3D objects – as I venture again into building Star Wars themed vehicles! (There will be sabers too). But for now, I am drawing close to the end of this post but before I go, I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you for visiting and checking this saber out. All your support is much appreciated and I love reading all the comments. Till next time……
“Cyberblade Dew on the Grass Katana” is a For Tyeth Editions design created by For Tyeth/FTSabersite in Blender 3D. All 3D models and renders are Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2022.