Weapons (and Sheilds)

Weapons in live role play are not easy to make. As the hobby has developed, weapon making has become more and more sophisticated. Once many players made their own 'gaffa' weapons. These often consisted of a core (often wood or plastic piping) lots of padding (usually foam rubber) and the whole lot taped over with gaffa tape. Though most of these weapons were safe (and some blatently were not!) they tended to look 'clumpy' and had a limited life. Accidents with these were mostly caused by the core splitting and coming throught the padding.

As the dangers became more apparent so weapon design changed to eliminate or reduce these accidents. Safety regulations were introduced. Unfortunately most systems have their own weapon safety rules. These are not the same everywhere. For example, some systems will not allow mellee weapons over a certain length saying that the momentum used to swing a long weapon means that blows cannot be safely struck.

Another factor in the development of live role play weapons was an influx of new materials - usually plastics of one kind or another.

The third factor was the striving for realism.

The most common melee weapons these days have a hard core that will cleanly shatter rather than split. Stuck onto this, usually in two halves are blocks of a softer plastic that provides the padding. Once the glues are dry these blocks are 'carved' into the shape of the blade (or whatever) and then painted in a liquid latex that provides a colored covering for the weapon.

There are more advanced techniques using molds and sophisticated equipment. In my experience such weapons, though more expensive, last a lot longer. I have a cutlass made this way and it has not yet needed repair in any way. All of my other weapons have.

Weapon making then is not just making something that looks good and can be used to hit other folk with but the weapons made must be able to safely hit others without harming them in any way.

Bearing that in mind folks - send in your methods, ideas and tips! Small tips will be added below and larger method descriptions will warrent pages of their own.

There are many ways and many things that can be used. If you think of any then please contact us and let us know. The more of these ideas we share the better for everybody.