Sunday, 20 May 2012

Making a larp throwing axe or francisca

For some reason throwing knives in larp and boffer combat are far more common than throwing axes, despite the latter being an actual battlefield weapon, unlike the first. That reason of course  would be that larp and boffer weapons don't behave like normal weapons and often a throwing knife would have the same abilities like a throwing axe with the added benefit of smaller size(thus more can be carried around and concealed). In reality a throwing knife would be useless on a battlefield where everyone is wearing at least some kind of protection. The throwing axe, or francisca on the other hand has been used with great effect in a manner similar to roman javelins - to mess up the enemy formation before a charge.

Here I'll show you how to make a decent homemade larp francisca, and show you how you can recycle what would otherwise be trash.

Larp throwing axe

Recommended for: Battlefield throwing weapon(its too big to conceal) to be used before a charge or mid-combat. Its more versatile than a javelin, since having one tucked in your belt won't impair your movements. Short hand to hand backup weapon.  You can use it in close combat if need be but bear in mind that its not durable enough for continuous hand to hand fighting - the plastic would make the head bend rather than tear if tangled, but I don't recommend it anyway.

Budget: 1-15$(depends on what you have available)

 Materials:Pipe foam, 2 or more big plastic bottles(I used beer bottles) Cardboard(Old pizza boxes for me) Various tapes, glue, fake leather strip, training foam mat(or camping foam mat) - optional.

Tools:Scissors and paper knife.

And here we go!

Photo of the materials used before starting to work.

 First we cut the middle sections of the plastic bottles. The plastic will give our axe durability.
 Then we draw the basic shape of the axe on the cardboard and cut it out from 2-3 layers of cardboard.

After that we cut out the same shape from the plastic bottles. While the plastic will give durability, the cardboard will give it volume and add some weight.

 At this point, its still possible to make adjustments. I decided my axe was a bit too short, so I made the shaft longer. Its a good idea to remove any sharp points from the plastic too.

 Now its time to make the head. Shape the axe head carefully in the same way shown in the basic larp sword guide You don't have to make it too wide since there is nothing heavy or hard behind it.

 Now its time to wrap the head and the shaft in strips of camp/training mat foam. You can use pipe foam too, camp/training mat foam is simply more suitable for the task but its hardly a must - I did it because I had it available on hand.

This will cover the hard edges of the plastic and give even more volume to our axe. Now it will actually fly.

  Finally both the axe head and the shaft are ready for covering.

We start with the axe head and wrap in in tape. I chose classic grey duct tape for its fabled durability.
I could have done a bit better here. A second pair of hands would have helped.
Next its time to wrap the shaft. I used the left over fake leather from the advanced soft knife tutorial
 Add quick glue and wrap it around!(and as with anything involving quick glue work fast...pun intended)

 With this done, our axe is finished. A small piece of pipe foam will serve as the pommel.

 Here you can see it measured with my hand to get an idea of its size.
 It has a good grip and flies well. Alas, I cannot mass produce these just yet. I ran out of beer bottles. Though There is a way to fix that...

7 коментара:

Idiot/Savant said...

Here's my one:

This is 3-layer sandwich around a solid fibreglass core, coated with latex. The solid core means it is not legal as a throwing weapon in NZ larps - but I think I'll steal your plastic bottle idea and use that. A sheet of PET should be enough to lend a bit of rigidity and prevent embarassing floppiness without being seen as a safety hazard.

Buskador said...

Aye ability to pass safety checks was what I was looking for. Even if it is a bit floppy that won't impede its main function (throwing) while it will have better chance of being allowed by arbiters.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing - it's a good design, and I wouldn't have thought of it myself.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty awesome, thanks for the guide. Do any cylindrical plastic bottles (water, soda, orange juice, etc) work?

Buskador said...

Well, no - only those with thicker and more durable plastic. I use beer bottles. Gather a bunch and see which tears easily and which doesn't.

Anonymous said...

What dimensions are we talking here? Like, Length, axe head width, and how thick did this end up being?

Buskador said...

Well, about 2-3 sm thick. Here you can see them in use.

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