Sunday, 26 July 2015

Artificer's Almanac Part 5 Episode 2: RWBY: Team JNPR

Fan Art by KirbyKissyu

Let Part 2 commenceth forthwith.

Jaune Arc

Now onto an element of normality. Which is odd for RWBY, and odd for an Anime. Jaune Arc
possess something rather simple in contrast to the rest of his comrades. He utilises a Longsword and a Shield. Now according to Jaune himself, the sword was passed down to him from his great grandfather, making the sword at least 100 years old. So not only is Jaune using something more traditional he is literally utilising history. Now Jaune does have a small element of modularity in his weapon, the sheath of his sword deploys into a Heater Shield. Now it is unknown whether the shield is as old as the sword but it is definitely an interesting design. Now Jaune does not utilise any sort of firearm or projectile based weapon.

I will go into the description of the sword and shield in a moment, however I would like to add an interesting fact about Jaune’s equipment set up. Now his sword is called Crocea Mors. Crocea Mors means ‘Yellow Death’ in Latin. Now according to some legends, that was the name of the sword held by Julius Caesar. Also in those same legends, the sword later becomes embedded in a shield. Easter Egg indeed.

The longsword has a long history (200 years and more) and it has had a wide variety of names, so colloquially a longsword is a European Longsword characterised with having a cruciform hilt and normally being held with 2 hands (although single handed long swords and bastard {one and a half handed} swords are common). Normally the blade will be 90-100cm in length.

So from looking at Crocea Morus, it appears to have a hone handed hilt and a standard sized blade, it also has a fuller cross section, the fuller is normally incorrectly called a blood groove, the idea is that it is meant to open the wound channel and make the target bleed more, generally fullers are there to allow the blade to take more stress and reduce weight.

Now the Heater Shield, is in fact a development of the Kite shield. The Heater shield is actually a created by Victorian antiquarians due to the shape's resemblance to a clothes iron.

The Heater shield, was designed to be smaller than a full size Kite shield, thus making it more manageable to utilise effectively in combat. Also like most shields, it would be made of wood and covered in canvas, however I believe Jaune’s to be made of metal.

Nora Valkyrie

Before we get started. NORA IS THE BEST.

Anyway back to the blog.

Nora utilises a single weapon with two forms. Magnhild is a Warhammer, and a Grenade Launcher. Nora has taken two of the most unwieldy weapons known to man and combined them into one bubbly little weapon of mass destruction.

When Nora is utilising a ranged combat style, Magnhild appears to fire grenades with hearts on that explode into pink dust. The grenades may also have a proximity fuse mechanism or a remote detonation system as they are seen exploding mid-flight, similar to Flak Bursts. The launcher is fed by a rotating cylinder, similar to that of a Milkor M32 MGL, more on that later. 

Now like many other characters, the firearm component can be utilised when the weapon is in melee form and like many other characters Nora utilises the explosive (puns) recoil to propel herself.

Now in anime, physical traits like strength are generally exaggerated, however I do believe
Nora to be one of the strongest characters there are solely, looking at her combat ability, she has been seen taking on monsters exponentially larger than herself and surviving she has also been seen knocking other characters through a roof and them not appearing for a full 90 seconds afterwards.

So let us look at both of these monstrosities of weapons.

First the Warhammer.
Now these weapons, like many weapons were based on peasant tools.
The Warhammer is an odd one to try and explain as they came as small as regular hammers and then came with hafts as long as 6 feet. Some were as light as a standard ball Maul, others required the strongest of warriors to wield.

Generally though they are classified into two sizes, Handheld, and Polearm for close combat and anti-cavalry respectively. Also they came generally with two head types, the common Warhammer has a head similar to an Ice Axe, or wood hammer, with a flat face on one side and a spike or hook on the other side use to rend armour, hook reins and pull riders from saddles. The other type looks similar to a mallet, with two flat surfaces. These weapons would require a large amount of endurance to wield efficiently in battle as well as require a great tactical mind to be able to move from anti-cavalry to close combat in seconds.

These weapons were generally feared and looked upon with disgust by many people, when it came to battle regardless of social class, ethics or status generally clean(ish) kills from wounds were preferred, so perforation and death by shock or blood loss. With the Warhammer generally the wounds would be crush based, and thus they would render the opponent unable to fight but the wounds were so bad that with the basic medicine at the time the limb or area of the body which had been struck would be rendered useless for life.

Now onto the explosive part.

The M32 MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher), is a light weight six shot grenade launcher, weighing in at 5.2kg and capable of firing 40mm High and Low Velocity Grenades. It was developed in South Africa by Milkor for the South African Defence Force, who once seeing is superior firepower and the fact that it can also fire smoke and gas rounds, snapped it up immediately.
The South African Defence Force started a trend and since 1983 over 50,000 units have been made and distributed to law enforcement and military groups in 50 countries worldwide.

It uses the well-proven revolver principle to achieve a high rate of accurate fire which can be rapidly brought to bear on a target. A variety of rounds such as HE, HEAT, anti-riot baton, irritant, and pyrotechnic can be loaded and fired as fast as the trigger can be pulled; the cylinder can be loaded or unloaded rapidly to maintain a high rate of fire. Although intended primarily for offensive and defensive use with high-explosive rounds, with appropriate ammunition the launcher is suitable for anti-riot and other security operations. A newly patented modification allows the MGL to fire less lethal (very low pressure) rounds.

The striking difference between Nora’s weapon and the Milkor is that as mentioned previously Nora’s projectiles seem to have an airburst or proximity setting. For those of you who are unaware, an air burst is the detonation of an explosive device such as an anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target or a delayed armour piercing explosion. The principal military advantage of an air burst over a ground burst is that the energy from the explosion (as well as any shell fragments) is distributed more evenly over a wider area; however, the peak energy is lower at ground zero.

Pyrra Nikos

Pyrra Nikos, Greek in Name, Greek in Nature. This woman is cold and calculating in battle but warm in life.

Also Pyrra’s Greek motif follows along in her weaponry, she uses a 3 Weapon System and a Shield, the weapon Miló will feature as a short sword, a javelin and a rifle and Akoúo̱ is her shield. Also you have to note the clever reference here as actions speak louder than words. (Miló means Speak in Greek and Akoúo̱ means Listen).

So let’s have a look at this weapon set up.

Though Miló functions as a javelin, it actually resemble more of a Dory, which was a greek non-thrown spear. When it converts to a sword it resembles a Xiphos, a double edged Hellenic short sword. Finally the rifle is semi-automatic in nature so it is probably based of something from World War 2, like an M1 Garand or Gehwehr 43.
While Miló is in its Javelin form, it appears the barrel of the rifle forms part of the main body or haft with the muzzle pointing rearward and thus it can be fired when thrown to give it a burst of extra velocity.

Akoúo̱ resembles a dipylon shield, which is wielded in her left hand while Miló is wielded in her right hand. Akoúo̱ appears to be extremely versatile and durable. Durable as it has protected Pyrrha from hurtling through trees, it can withstand hits from some of the largest monsters, and also Nora in one battle jumped onto Akoúo̱, fired Magnhild into the shield to propel her across the battlefiled and Pyrra was completely fine.

Akoúo̱ has also appears to be either sharp around the edges or has enough mass and velocity to be utilised as a discus type weapon (Ala Captain America), and also like Cap, Pyrra seems to have the skill to be able to boomerang the shield back to her.

The Dory was the armament  of the Greek Hoplites (Heavy Infantry), they have been referenced in Homer’s works. In these Homeric epics the Dory is a symbol of military prowess and strength.

The Dory however is much larger than Miló, as Dory’s were roughly 3 metres in length with a 5cm handle made of ash generally and flat leaf shaped head made of iron with a bronze buttspike.

The Bronze butt Spike (Sauroter, Greek for "lizard killer"). This spike had several uses. It could be used to stand the spear up or used as a secondary weapon if the spearhead was broken off. Miló does not appear to have this feature.

The principle advantage of the Dory, and the Xiphos is that they are both one handed weapons that allow the hoplite to utilise a shield too. Also as mentioned earlier the Dory, was used as a thrusting weapon as opposed to it being thrown like a javelin, but however as it was very aerodynamic in nature it could be thrown in last ditch situations.

Let’s move onto the Xiphos, generally considered a secondary weapon to the Dory and Javelin. As mentioned it was a double edged blade that was generally – 50-60 cm in length. The Xiphos occasionally had a midrib , or is diamond or lenticular in cross section and was hung from a baldric under the left arm, unfortunately very few xiophi have survived.

Intriguingly Xiphos was a term coined by Homer, to use for the sword. According to Peter Johnsson , a famous sword smith, Xiphos lends itself to meaning something similar to penetrating light.
The xiphos' leaf-shaped design lent itself to both cutting and thrusting. The design has most likely been in existence since the appearance of the first swords. Blades in bronze and iron are suitable for a leaf shape due to the softness of the metals in comparison to steel. Bronze swords are cast and are thus more easily formed into a leaf shape than iron swords, which need to be forged. (Wrought iron is too soft to make a good sword, but many swords were still made in part or total from wrought iron.).

Now that is Miló done let us move onto Akoúo̱.
Akoúo̱. Is known as a Dipylon shield or a Proto-Dipylon shield, this is a circular based shield with one or two semi-circular cuts made either side of the shield. This allows the shield to be held infront of the wielder and still allows the use of a sword or spear. body-shield was probably made of several layers of hide probably sewn to a wicker frame and sometimes reinforced with metal bosses or plates placed on shield's external surface and edge.

Lie Ren

Lie Ren is one of the few characters that utilises firearms more than melee based weapons.

This is shown with his weapon Storm Flower.

Storm Flower is a pair of fully automatic pistols with large Blades attached on the lower of the Firearm. The blades appear to be collapsible.

Storm Flower are based on the 1911 family of handguns, fitted with extended magazines with fairly minor differences. Aside from the obvious blades, their trigger guards are elongated to connect with the blades, while the front half of the pistols are enlarged in comparison to a real 1911. It's worth noting that they're modelled with their slides in the locked-back position.

The muzzle flashes appear to green which say to me the propellant may be powder by dust, similar to Magnhild and other weapons. Now strangely you rarely see Lie Ren utilising his weaponry as unfortunately he is note featured on screen a lot. However there is a great scene where Ren is seen utilising Leeks to fight. See kids, I told you Vegetables are bad for you (I’m joking Veg is amazing).

Unfortunately as Lie Ren, is not featured in the show as much as I would like, I cannot really tell you more expect his pistols can fall into the area of Gunblades, there are a large majority of gunblades that have appeared through history, If you refer to my first Artificer’s Almanac post you can find much more information there.

So boys and girls, that is Part 2 finished, next episode’s Professor’s, Villains and Wild Cards!

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