5 Steps to a More Realistic Weapon

Fantasy is fun, but much joy can be derived from embracing realism. Creating an authentic persona, garb, and armor can be fairly straightforward. Find what types of pants they wore during your time period, and acquire a pair. Easy.

Things are not so simple when it comes to weapons. For safety’s sake, the steel of true weapons has been replaced with foam and fiberglass. This creates limitations that a seeker of realism must work around. Continue reading “5 Steps to a More Realistic Weapon”

First PD project: Arnad Ceredir

This past Sunday, I finally finished my first plastidip project, and Andor (aka John) got a shiny new sword! I’ve got some pics of it below. Feel free to leave constructive criticism.

Wrapshot!

Anok of No Quarter is seriously on the cutting edge of plastidip over at his blog, Wrapshot. My favorite right now is (His Royal Highness of Darkon) Slindar’s Shield. Dig that crazy action. We also added a lot of his pics to the gallery – if you have more boffer treasure that we can stockpile, let us know.

Why PVC Sucks

John and I were having a discussion regarding different core materials for javelins. A lot of people, including me, have argued for a long time that PVC is completely useless as a core material for boffer weapons. Not “bad” or “substandard” but completely worthless, put it with lead pipes and cardboard tubes, nobody should ever use it again. Continue reading “Why PVC Sucks”

Making Belegarth Rocks and Dargarth Spellballs

New guides are up for Belegarth Rocks. We know rocks are a novelty weapon, but they’re real and they’re happening and we’d like you to know how to build them well. Read up, or get hit in the face with a really good looking brick.

Also, the same article covers spellballs for use at Dargarth, Darkon, etc. Spellballs are rock-like projectiles that represent spells. They’re pretty similar in construction to rocks. If you’re a caster at a boffer larp, this guide will show you how to make spellballs.

Eryndor Guides

The Dagorhir realm of Eryndor has provided a number of great blue weapon builds. Hail Eryndor!

Some of these guides have some dated techniques or materials.

Bluesword (swf) — This Guide is one of my favorites. It is very well put together, clean and thorough. The only downside to the guide is that it suggests PVC for a core. PVC is acceptable for first time or quick and dirty builds, but for a weapon that will be around for a while, fiberglass is the preferred core. For a one handed sword 1/2″ round fiberglass rod is good.

EVA Bluesword (pdf) — I like this guide for how thorough and concise it is. It also suggests the use of higher quality materials (fiberglass and EVAlite). There are only two flaws with the guide. Primarily, all of the color coding can be a bit overwhelming initially. Second, the guide suggests duct tape on the striking surface of the weapon. In my experience, a well constructed weapon shouldn’t need any tape to hold it together and duct taping along the flat of the blade is more for reinforcement. I have seen foams shear along the edges of tape (bluefoam can be especially notorious for this) on striking surface.

Stabby One-sided Bluesword (gif): — I have to admit, I’m not particularly fond of this next guide. Double-coring (when two small diameter cores are used) is an acceptable method, but not ideal. Furthermore the guide suggests the use of an open cell foam for the stabbing tip. Modern stabbing tip technology uses either Yoga-mat or Marinefoam (aka Ensolite) (Ensolite can also be found from seat cushions). A discussion of stabbing tip foam can be found here. Lastly, I dislike the profile of this weapon. Due to the use of open-cell foam, the sword needs to be reinforced along the flat to prevent the tip from blowing out.

The State of Foamsmithing Resources

Top hit for ‘foamsmithing’: http://sites.google.com/site/varangia2/foamsmithing

It’s a larp website that hasn’t be updated in two years. It ought to be Dagorhir’s weapons forum, Belegarth’s weapons building forum, geddon.org, or nearly anything other than a vastly scattered, unuthoritative list of broken links.

We will try to fix this by distributing our knowledge as best as possible! If you are interesting in helping us highlight the best of foamsmithing on the web, email contact@foamsmithing.com. Thanks!