Thursday, October 25, 2012

Female Samurai Armour

In London, on November 6, 2012, Bonhams will be holding a Fine Japanese Art auction.  One of the lots in particular caught my eye.  Lot 292 is a set of armour for a female samurai!  I didn't realize there had been female samurai so I did a little research.

Apparently, samurai is not quite the right title for these women warriors.  They were known as onna-bugeisha.  They were trained with weapons to defend their households and their honour in times of war but many did fight alongside men in battle.

Japanese history records several very significant onna-bugeisha, including Empress Jingu and Tomoe Gozen.  There is plenty to read about these warriors if you're interested in more.

This armour was designed for a small women of less than five feet.  The mask was carved with a moustache and snarling teeth to disguise the fact that the wearer was a woman.  It is made of copper, iron and leather.  It's different from male samurai armour in that it is designed more like kimono so a woman could dress herself, preserving her modesty.  The armour is expected to fetch $30,000-$40,000.

The auction also includes several examples of male samurai armour.  The pieces are beautiful and terrifying!  I wouldn't want to face any of them in battle!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Craig Horner in Legend of the Seeker

Craig Horner is a 5' 10¾" tall Australian actor.  He was born January 24, 1983.  He is best known for playing Richard Cypher in all 44 episodes of Legend of the Seeker but he has also appeared in Cybergirl, Monarch Cove and See No Evil.

Publicity Photos

In "Prophecy"

In "Elixir"

In "Denna"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Centurion (2010) was directed by Neil Marshall.  Like his previous films Doomsday and Dog Soldiers it has a great premise but ultimately falls a bit flat because his direction favours style over substance.

The story is a theoretical fiction dealing with the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion in the second century CE.  Marshall's film says that the Legion is largely destroyed by Picts in the wilds of Scotland.  Those that do survive and return to Hadrian's Wall are killed by a general who fears his military record will be tarnished if anyone learns the truth.

The production design by Simon Bowles is excellent.  As usual, Marshall and his cinematographer Sam McCurdy manage to create a visually beautiful film. Centurion was shot entirely on location.

I find that I'm always disappointed by Marshall's films.  He comes up with great story ideas and creates stunning visual worlds but he has only ever been concerned with making entertaining action films so his characters are rarely fleshed out enough to make us really care.

Michael Fassbender (300, Inglourious Basterds) does well with what he's given but Marshall mostly uses his actors as eye candy.

Fans of the genre will have to watch this at least once for the action and special make-up effects.  It's available on Blu-ray and DVD.  

The official website is also still up at

Thursday, August 30, 2012

300 Spartan Costume

Last month, Prodiles in History auctioned off this screen-used Spartan costume from Zack Snyder's 300.

These costumes were designed by frequent Snyder collaborator Michael Wilkinson. I think he did a great job at translating the graphic novel art into a flesh and blood costume.  It's lines are really simple but it's somehow still stunning to look at.  This sold for $8000.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kevin Sorbo's Hercules Costume

The Prop Store of London has a complete Hercules costume worn by Kevin Sorbo during the production of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

So many of the Hercules and Xena costumes were sold off in little bits and pieces so it's rare to find one that's so complete including even the gauntlets and boots!  The listing at Prop Store indicates this was used in the season five Xena episode "God Fearing Child" and it may have been.  But there's a sewn-in costume tag dated December '97 which mean it was probably first used in season three of Hercules.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Immortals Costumes at Prop Store of London

The Prop Store of London has some amazing Immortals costumes available.  My favourites are this Titan costume and battle-damaged helmet.  As I've said before, I think Eiko Ishioka is a remarkable designer.  From her work on the 1992 Dracula through all her collaborations with Tarsem Singh, she managed to create extremely memorable pieces that are works of art in themselves.  Ishioka passed away in January 2012 so these pieces will be a lasting tribute to her talent.