I’ve decided to make an Axe for my House Forrester-themed Character, I was just curious if anyone had any tips for a first-time maker-of-things.
Here’s what I’ve made so far:
I’ve filed and sanded the edges of the axe head so there are no sharp corners or edges. The head is quite light as is the handle so pulling blows shouldn’t inflict any harm on a person, but it is wooden? Would it be passable by the safety check?
So that’s the first priority, making sure it passes the safety check.
Onto the details.
I’m hoping to give the axe head a look and feel similar to the one pictured here. Any idea on going about doing that?
I’m planning on keeping the handle as is, and only stripping the bark away where my hand would hold it.
Colour schemes anybody? Also any tips in general for painting/creating detail on wood? Waterproofing?
Thank you all kindly for reading and I look forward to your responses!
Here’s the design I’m hoping to emulate. Couldn’t post more than 1 image.
Unfortunately this isn’t going to pass safety check.
Have a look at the guidelines here. You’ll notice they’re all based on weapons constructed from a solid core with a significant layer of foam padding around it; axes specifically are usually a core down the haft (covered in foam) with a pure foam head, as a cored axehead is likely to have the foam tear off the axe (same reason you don’t stab with a normal larp sword).
Sorry to be dropping a load of negativity on your keen, but the LARP weapons we use at Empire are kept to pretty specific standards to reduce the risks; if you get overexcited or misjudge a swing in combat and hit too hard, we want the bad result to be at worst “someone is hurt a bit,” and solid weapons like a wooden axe go well past that into potential for serious bruising or head injuries.
It is possible for players to make their own weapons, but if you’re interested in that you really need to ask for advice and find the standards you’re working to before you begin. It’s not simple, most people just buy them, and you really do need to get it right - the worst thing that can happen with most costume if you make a mistake is it tearing or falling off and causing embarrassment. The worst that can happen with weapons is people needing to go to hospital.
As Morkais said, this will NOT pass weapons check. I’m not sure if you’re a veteran UK LARPer or not, but wooden cores are a big no-go. Carbon fibre, a good layer of foam padding and layers of latex and isoflex are needed.
Don’t try to make your own weapons unless you really know what you’re doing. If you somehow got this past the weapons checkers and onto the battlefield you could do someone a serious injury.
On the plus side, it looks great as a first attempt at making something yourself! I’m sure you would be able to make an suitable weapon if you stick to the guidelines mentioned by @MorkaisChosen.
If you do decide to have a go at making your own weapon as per the guidelines, I’d love to see how it turns out!
Thank you all for the replies.
Okay, so wood is a no-go. Probably should have read the weapon check brief before getting stuck in!
Oh well, I can still use the head as a template!
Would this make a suitable core to have 2cm thick high density foam around (giving a total diameter of about 5cm)?
Obviously, your word is not law and it’s up to the discretion of the safety checkers. So I’ll always be prepared for that.
But just maybe looking for a “possibly” or “definitely not” before purchasing.
I know very little about making these things from scratch, but…
If that’s solid and not hollow, then… possibly?
Usually the core of a weapon is the most expensive component. I don’t know where the professionals get it.
Head looks good as a template, and that’s a nice simple design to start with. What sort of foam are you using, what sort of glue are you holding it together with, and what paints are you using?
I was looking to use Reflex Superior (firm) foam from www.efoam.co.uk for both the handle and the axe head.
Spray-on adhesive possibly, and I’ve no idea about the paint yet! Would think I’d need to coat it in some kind of PVA mixture to waterproof and then paint over that?
I’m sure it’s thevikingstore.co.uk that does a weapons core you can buy, I know what they sell is manly for those looking to make custom swords, but you might find it of use and it might help steer you in the right direction.
The usual stuff used for Larp weapons is a fibreglass (or carbon fibre, of you’re feeling fancy) core, plastazote LD45 foam and some very, very strong contact adhesive. Then, on the outside, it’s most often liquid latex mixed with paint (acrylics are good for this), and then the whole thing is coated in Isoflex Special Primer.
As a maker myself, I fully understand the lure of having a go and making your own things, but I’d advise buying your very first larp weapon rather than making it. If you have one to play around with, you’ll be able to have a better understanding of how stuff goes
There is some really good advice in this tread and I’d like to echo some of the stuff that’s been said and maybe give a little more advice.
Making weapons is great fun but getting set up will probably cost more than a single weapon. You will need foam(a cheap source is those mats people use for cosplay)£10 Glue£10(contact adhesive evostick) Latex(£10 hobby craft) Paint to colour(you probably have it) Core(£5) Isoflex(£20)
A cheap axe is about £40 don’t let me put you off making one but there is a lot that can be learned from having one in your hand.
My first project was a shield. You need all the same stuff but it’s a lot more to buy those from traders and it’s pretty easy to make one so the money you can potential save is much more.
Axe heads can be ripped off I strengthen my axe heads with a section of seat belt.
If you want any advice feel free to contact me but there are lots of folk who know loads more than I do here.
Good luck and happy crafting