Tag Archives: Katanas

Katana FT – For expands his Katana Collection

Hello Everybody and welcome to my new Star Wars Visions inspired design. I think I previously mentioned that I had watched Star Wars Visions, the anime inspired TV series but was finding individual characters to build a hilt for difficult. Most of the big characters already had sabers but I really wanted to build a Japanese inspired hilt from scratch so I modelled one for myself – after a bit of a struggle. I did make some Katana styled hilts before but they were either using the old Adaptive Saber Parts builder from Saberforge that I stopped using or the hilts I modelled in Blender didn’t have the iconic Tsuka Ito handgrip wrapping. Well today I set that straight. First however I need to explain the issue I had modelling that handgrip!

One of the reasons I hadn’t gotten round to modelling a Katana is the fact a Katana is very simple but very stylised. Almost everyone on the planet would recognise a “Ninja” or “Samurai” sword from the long narrow blade with a subtle curve and the diamond patterned handgrip made from a wrapping of silk. The blade I initially managed to model using a “Curve Modifier” that allowed me to model a straight blade with the cross section shape I wanted then I created a Curve Object to match the Katana blade’s bend then instructed Blender 3D to “bend” the straight blade to match the “Curve Object”. But the diamond pattern handgrip was a whole different problem. I have modelled a leather wrap before on a saber (such as my The Quartermaster and Nerf Frightener hilts) but that entailed curving a flat strip along a spiral path. Blender has a function called the “Screw Modifier” which like the Curve Mod takes an object and morphs it along an outline path except the Screw Mod curls the object into a spiral or screw like shape. (See picture 1)

Picture 1: Basic strip

The problem is that a Katana has a “criss-cross” pattern and it is easier to make using two long strips curled into spirals – so I duplicated the strip seen in Picture 1 and rotated it so it would overlap to form the criss-cross. Only problem? It didn’t because both strips just interlaced to form a nice looking regular wrap. This was because I needed an anti-clockwise strip to overlap a clockwise strip and no matter how I rotated or altered the settings in the Screw Modifier I couldn’t work out how to wind an object Anti-clockwise (See Picture 2 and 3).

Picture 2: Two strips but both wind clockwise
Picture 3: Two clockwise strips just interlace as one.

I finally turned to YouTube and looked up Katana modelling and in one video the 3D artist made one spiral strip rotating clockwise which he duplicated as I had done BUT here was the magic, he then RESIZED the strip so the height, width and length values were NEGATIVE.

Picture 4: One strip (L) wound clockwise and second (R)wound anti-clockwise after resizing it to negative

This resulted in all the geometry being twisted Anti-clockwise! I went back into Blender and duplicated my spiral strip then resized it into Negative values (Seen in Picture 4) and I had two strips which, when positioned together formed a criss-cross or plaited arrangement. I just had to tweak the size of the duplicate strip so it fitted over the original and gave the illusion of being woven or plaited. The final step was to add some thickness to the strips then apply textures to them. You can see the final result in Pictures 5 and 6.

Picture 5: Both strips overlapped, creating the “Diamond Pattern”
Picture 6: Strips with textures applied and adjusted to appear “woven”

Sorry if that explanation was long winded but it’s sometimes hard to describe something in 3D so that people can visualise what you are talking about. So I think you deserve to enjoy the Glamour Shots, here is Katana FT…

I am kinda proud of this saber as I can now say I’ve ticked another Iconic blade off my “To Do List”. On an actual Katana handgrip there are usually small metal plaques visible in the diamond cut-outs but I left those off as they are usually decorated to represent particular clans or families that own the hilt. I did add some etching on the gold accent parts – the pommel end cap and the oval handguard called a Tsuba. I also envisaged the activation switch would be incorporated into the handguard – by pressing one of the inlaid panels created by the etch meaning the switch is “hidden” in the pattern…but I did add my initials as a decoration on the pommel end cap (the letters FT are in Aurabesh which looks a bit like oriental text). And of course the blade has a plasma edging to it – I could have had a regular lightsaber blade but when you extinguish the power the blade disappears but with this Katana you retain the metal blade to allow you to sheave it in a scabbard.

And with that I think I have covered everything and I am coming near to the end of this post. As ever I’d like to thank you all for checking this design out and hope you liked it (ok maybe the design lesson was boring but it gave context to the design!) I sincerely hope you will al return for future posts as I have some more LEGO Forge builds including a Mandalorian ship and speeder bike! I also hope to have more news on my recent Nerf blaster purchases too. So again, thank you for calling in today, it is much appreciated. Till next time….

“Katana FT” is a For Tyeth Editions design and was modelled and rendered in Blender 3D. The model and image renders are ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2022. “Star Wars: Visions” is Trademark/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm ltd.

Dragon Katana – Ultimate Edition Bruce Lee

Hello Everybody, wow time flies and we’re already about to start the third week of 2021. It is a tumultuous time, I had hoped that the new year may calm down a little and things would be less fraught but alas not. And it got me wondering how certain people would react in these strange times. I thought about “heroes” like the Jedi, I thought about our “leaders” of the world, I thought about “Warriors” and that final thought brought me to the warrior I have constructed a new saber for, That warrior is Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee – the man, myth and legend.

Bruce Lee I envisage wouldn’t be one to back down if fighting for a cause he believed in and would stand up to protect those that needed it. He was certainly wise and intelligent enough to be a great leader as well as warrior. You see sometimes you need to know when NOT to fight just as much as when to engage. Bruce I reckon could do that. But I know that if ever he needed to engage an opponent he probably wouldn’t need a lightsaber but I designed one in his honour anyway. Here is Dragon Katana – Ultimate Edition Bruce Lee….

You might have seen Bruce in the picture above from the movie “Enter The Dragon” – that picture/pose was very iconic and 99% of the world would know who the person was, but another iconic image of Bruce is that of him wearing a yellow and black jumpsuit in “Game of Death” where he famously fought Kareem Abdul Jabbar (NBA basketball legend). Well this saber is definitely based on that iconic jumpsuit. The hilt is also based on a traditional Katana sword hilt with an elongated body giving the wielder great leverage and control of the blade due to the ability to spread his/her grip on the handle. The hilt also has a round Tsuba handguard below the emitter. Black stripes adorn the sides of the hilt along with two large panels featuring the outline of Bruce performing a dropkick…another trademark image. Near the pommel of the saber are a set of three diamond shaped apertures with a mesh grill cover. These are sound/heat vents for the saber and are made to look like the hilt wrapping feature called the Tsuka Ito that involves wrapping the silk around the handle leaving small diamond shaped windows (these holes would usually have a contrasting coloured silk or decorative metal plates beneath them). The activation switch is modelled on the “Bruce Lee Dragon” logo and that logo also adorns the pommel end cap. Ok, here are a few more picture of the hilt before I finish describing it’s features…

These final pictures show off the clean smooth lines of the hilt. I say smooth lines but there are three discreet creases around the body of the saber to create 4 distinct positions to grip the hilt by (and just prevents the hilt being too flat sided). The white blade represents Bruce’s philosophy of being free in mind, body and spirit so allowing oneself to quickly adapt to changing circumstances when necessary. Hence the blade is neutral white and not Lightside or Darkside of the Force inspired. The last two images were just me trying out some atmospheric lighting shots as I have been dabbling in artistic compositions recently. I even edited the Bruce Lee Dragon logo onto this picture which shows off the jumpsuit nicely…

There were so many great things Bruce could have gone on to do in his life but sadly he died at a very young age (32yrs) in 1973 just as he was about to break all movie box office records and gain global film mega-stardom. He did after death become a legend and his teachings and beliefs still carry on with the Bruce Lee Foundation. You can read his bio on the Bruce Lee website found here: https://brucelee.com/bruce-lee

That just about wraps up this tribute to (arguably) the greatest martial artist to have ever lived. Thank you for checking this one out, I sort of sprang this as a surprise (I think I may have mentioned it was up coming once but that was late last year). So as always, I hope you will like, comment and spread the word about FTSabersite and whether this is your first visit or you are a regular caller, thanks again for the tremendous support. Coming up….more Miraculous and Star Wars Resistance! Till next time….

“Dragon Katana – Ultimate Edition Bruce Lee” saber is a For Tyeth Editions design and is Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2021. “Bruce Lee”,” Bruce Lee Dragon” and all names, images and logos are Trademark/Copyright the Bruce Lee Foundation/estate and the image from “Enter The Dragon” is Copyright of Warner Bros/Concord Productions.