Archive for category Guides

New guide for making glowing lightsaber blades!

It’s a little different than the heavy boffer focus we normally have here at foamsmithing.com, but this should be of interest to anyone seeking a Star Wars game or cosplay. Also suitable for magical glowing blades for fantasy, steampunk, and other settings!

How to make a glowing larp lightsaber [v1.1]

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New page on Stab Tips now up!

Today we posted a guide on creating Stab Tips! You can also find it through the menu at the top of each page.

The guide details how to use Yoga Mat foam to create a stab tip for flat bladed boffer weapons. This method results in durable, safe, and attractive stab tips, with minimal material and labor costs. Go check it out!

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Latex/EL Wicked Axe by Pieter

Making plans

A friend of mine asked me if I could help him with an axe he wanted to build.

Dimensions: 110 cm  (3 feet 7 inch) and double bladed.

The Inspiration

Construction

A rough design:

In the drawing you can see that the internals are drawn as well. It is better to plan ahead!

Making the parts. Knowing what goes on beforehand is a tricky part and varied from weapon to weapon, but pretend it’s real and imagine yourself a blacksmith.

The frame is made-up clued together kite spare covered in cloth.

The cloth is glued and stitched. Glued together and cut to size. Note the barbs where left out because it was felt that it would weaken the weapon. The handle is made from wood and crafted so it will take two AAA batteries. The switch is placed at the backend of the weapon and foam protected.

After some more gluing and latex-ing:

Note: 6 layers of clear latex 3 colored (black)

Than the red, and metallic are directly airbrushed on to the latex.

Covered with a coat of plastidip clear and finished with a light coat of clear varnish.

And here it is with the lights on:

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Wear and Tear: Swords

We play a rough and tumble game, so no boffer weapon can stay pristine forever. Knowing how to repair a weapon is a useful talent, which will prolong the life of your equipment and keep your wallet happy. Lets run down some common problems you’ll see, and how to repair them. Read the rest of this entry »

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New page up on Fiberglass Cores

Solid fiberglass rods are the go-to core technology for boffer swords.  They are affordable, easy to use, and durable.  We heartily recommend them, and detail their usage in our latest component guide.

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Hi-Tech Sword Building for New People

Solusar of Belegarth has a great gallery/tutorial on his blue sword build, with good details like tip-foam teeth, a tip-biscuit, and a non-mushroom-cap stabbing tip. Lots of interesting commentary. We recommend it highly: Solusar’s Hi-Tech Sword Building for New People

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How to make Hilt Guards-Two Basic Guides Posted!

A basic guard can turn a good sword into a masterpiece.  There are two (similar) methods we use to make guards.  You can embellish the basic process to create tsubas, crossguards, or even a basket hilt (with the Stack Method).  Both methods are durable and easy to construct.  The Box Sandwich method is slightly less reliable (less foam contact with the core) and can only be used with 1/2″ fiberglass.

A basic guard made with the stack method

 

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Two more tutorials online

We’ve put up two more tutorials this week:

Both are basic skills that every foamsmith should know.  You can find them through the component menu item, or through specific weapons guides.  For example, the article on pommels is linked in the guide for blue swords, red swords, and spears.

Expect more articles up before this week is out.

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New tutorials on Handle Shaping and Bar Stock Counterweighting

We’ve got a string of new tutorials coming down the pipe.  There are some good tutorials on blade construction out there, but not enough for hilts and other details.  We’ve taken it upon our selves to detail multiple ways to construct a hilt.  Pick and choose which methods work for you, and create a personalized weapon!  Expect to see articles on pommels, guards, and grip wrapping soon, but today you can check out our instructions for:

We’ve also re-organized the site.  Our general build pages (example: blue swords) contains a list of components (example: pommel) and different methods (example: wrap pommel) to construct those components.  You can also jump directly to those components through the menu tab at the top.

Expect more tutorials up soon!

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Why Low Profile Weapons

Why low profile?

In foamsmithing, the phrase low profile when refers to boffer weapons that make use of more compact and lower volume designs. While a sword can certainly be low profile, the term more typically refers to thrusting weapons, as stabbing tips are traditionally bulky components.

Advantages of low profile designs:

  • They’re lighter
  • The more maneuverable in combat
  • They have a more realistic appearance
  • There’s no outer layer of soft, breakable foam to deteriorate before the rest of the weapon
  • No fucking flop! (Where the mass of the open cell foam moves off to the side during an angled strike)

For years, the conventional approach to building stabbing tips was to apply a large volume of open cell foam on a base of bluefoam. This led to fairly bulky, round stabbing point. Since then, innovations in materials and techniques over the years have led to the production of smaller designs, especially for daggers, spears, and javelins. The primary new material for stabbing tips is no longer the traditional open cell foam (which could have included nerf footballs, couch foam, computer packing foam, etc.) but now is a form of Ensolite, usually in the form of “Marine Foam”, Stadium Seat Cushions, or Yogamat. Ensolite is a very spongy closed cell foam that lends well to a lower profile stabbing tip using the principle of progressive resistance.

Another innovation is the inclusion of a swatch of leather or plastic capping the weapon after it has its first wrap of foam at the tip. Place this disc on the end of the core (depicted to the left) after a base of foam has been built flush with the end of the core. This technique spreads the force of the impact of the core to a wider surface area, allowing more absorption by the stabbing tip foam. In conjunction with the Ensolite, these two imrpovements make very safe, lower profile weapons that look better and are easier to use.

 

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