Thursday, 21 June 2012

Basic larp costume - feet wraps

Now assuming you got yourself a tunic or a tabard, which you should've gotten by now(seriously a tabard is a rectangle of canvas with a hole for the head), you still got a few things to do before calling your first basic garb done. Modern shoes and jeans are one of the things people don't often deal with, for one reason or another. Its sad, because its rather easy to do something about it.

Not everyone back in the day was a noble, a warrior or a merchant and a good pair of boots wasn't easy to find and was quite expensive too. There is a reason after all why boots were one of the first items looted from the battlefield. The most common people were(wait for it....) commoners. No kidding Sherlock! Well playing a peasant is hardly fun but that doesn't mean we can't borrow a few ideas. The simplest of them - feet wraps.

They were quite common you know, and all you need to make them is some canvas and laces. You could turn them into a part of your costume, or you just use them temporarily if you have nothing better.

Feet wraps

Budget: 1-3$

Material - canvas - two strips roughly 1, 1.5 meters long by 20-30sm wide. Laces.

You don't need tools  except a scissors/knife to cut the canvas...

How exactly you use them depends on what you plan. For example if you have acceptable heavy shoes and want to cover your modern pants - you will wrap them around your shin and tie them with the laces.

If you have the time you can make them rather good.

If the bigger problem is too obvious sneakers, and you have a way of covering your shins, then we go the other way around.

Yeah they won't exactly fit on my character would they?

So we bind them with the canvas and tie them with the laces.
 One shinguard later and it doesn't look so obviously modern day.
 Mind you this is just a temporary solution, unlike the one above which can be made permanent.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

How is larp seen outside the community - Larp related movies part 2 The wild Hunt(2009)

The second larp movie I know of is the Wild Hunt(2009)
Where Role models was cheerful and generally aimed at a younger audience, the Wild Hunt is definitely not. Its far more mature and a bit(or more than just a bit) scary at a few points.

The story is at first rather simple - Erik on the verge of breaking up with his girlfriend Lyn, follows her to a LARP game to confront her, sticking out like an elephant in a china store, because he does not join the game. So far so good, but things start going south when the game becomes more than just a game.

The Wild Hunt is not for kids and it will rather put them off larping, rather than promote the hobby. Its dark, its scary, its gloomy.  It shows in a thinly veiled form a good deal of questions. Where is the line between fantasy and reality? What is real? Just how easy it is to lose yourself and do what your inner self wants.
   Well if you haven't given up on it, good for you. Watch it, you will like it - it shows a different side of larping which also needs to be shown.

How is larp seen outside the community - Larp related movies part 1 Role models(2008)

Now, I'm not out of steam, but I'm still tinkering before I get a new piece of gear done. I can't fill the attic with a veritable armory anyway...(Or can I? My room already stores enough for half a dozen men at arms). So while I'm thinking about what to design next, let's talk about something different, namely - how the hobby is represented to the...heh "masses". And the most mainstream media for this was of course - the cinema.
I know of 3 LARP related movies so far -
Role models (2008)

The Wild Hunt (2009)

And the upcoming Knights of Badassom

For each of them I'll write a short review(Well in the case of KoB - when its released) and point out both the good and bad parts of them in what they do.

First one is - Role models

The story in short: Two energy drink spokesmen get in trouble with the law and are forced to either go to jail or join in a community service - namely a "Big brother" program. One of them gets landed with a kid that goes larping. Rest is well..rolling in the way the viewer would expect.

     Role models follows a rather typical for US movies premise of  kids in school with issues achieving their goals. LARP is present but more like a setting - not a central topic. It could be baseball, basketball, football, ballet or anything else. Still the general representation is typical of a smallish US larp game, with no more fun being made of it than we do ourselves, and the actors and director handle it decently. The movie is fun and enjoyable for everyone regardless so I'd recommend if you want something easily accessible.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Recycling an old homemade larp boffer sword part 2

Previously on Buskador's LARP....

Last time we took this old torn boffer sword and gut it out like a fish. Now we are going to remake it.

While we already have a guide on Single edged swords this one will also serve as such for double edged swords. What we are going to get here is pretty much the classical "sword" stereotype, which everyone will be able to look at and say oh a medieval sword and be right. In other words - the Oakeshott type XII

From the old larp sword I kept only the core and the pommel, I decided to make a new sword guard piece eventually.Here we go!

Talking about sword guard, I decided to start with it, instead of making the blade first. For the guard I cut up two plastic bottles.

Then, I cut those in 6 strips of plastic and held them together with tape. From this I cut out the shape of the sword guard. We are using plastic bottles because they are far more durable than guards made from foam or cardboard. It will actually stop another sword from sliding down your blade so yes - it works too.

This is now fitted on the sword and two piece of foam and added to either end both for visuals and to keep the edges covered. The guard is tied firmly in its place with a piece of cable, same I retrieved when removing the old guard piece in part 1. Then its wrapped in tape and we move on for the time being.

Next thing on the list was hammering in a counter weight similar to the one shown here. After that the pommel is filled with screw to act as additional counter weight and fitted on.

Then we give the handle an oval shape by adding leftover bits of flip flops  from the making of the Advanced soft core larp knife. This will improve handling and keep you from hitting people with the flat.

 Finally - the outer shell is added. Leather is glued on for better grip and grey tape for better looks.
Now the pommel, handle and guard are finished and we only need to make the blade of the sword.
There is nothing special to it, its no different from the other swords I've made so far except that now both sides must be symmetric since we got a double edged sword here. 
Its important to pay attention to the tip especially if you plan on stabbing with it. I've inserted another piece of foam in the pipe itself

And after wrapping the blade, we are done. An old boffer is given new life and its ready for the summer games. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

Recycling an old homemade larp boffer sword part 1

Naturally when you are making your own weapons, its obvious you can unmake them too. A time comes in a homemade larp boffer when patchwork repairs just don't cut it and it needs a complete overhaul to be brought back in a game. Of course you might also need its parts for another project. Whatever the reasoning sometimes a larp sword simply has to be undone.

 This is my first sword which i had made by myself more than 3 years ago. Back then I could not do good looking weapons and even when it was brand new it was on the lower estimate as far as looks went. It was however (extra) safe and just the right size weight and length for me.  After countless action finally the damage is too much to be fixed with  (yet) another batch of tape. The foam of the blade is torn on multiple places, the guard is leaning and covered with more uncountable layers of duct tape, the pommel is about to break off any second now.But fear not -we can rebuild it, we have the technology! But first we have to pull it apart for spares.

Yeah its pretty mangled up as far as boffer swords go...Let's fix that shall we?

I started with removing the barely hanging pommel from the sword handle. No small feat considering all the tape involved.
After that I cleaned it out from the tape and it was ready for reuse. As you can see the pommel itself was from a water tap which used to be full of old rivets and screws to act as a counter weight.

Next the handle is unwrapped from the tape. An electric cable was used as decoration and to give better grip so I remove it  without cutting it, to be available for reuse.

Then the guard is removed as well and stripped from most of the tape holding it. Another small cable that was holding it in place before that is removed for future use.

Now the only thing left is to bisect the blade and slip it off the pipe core. This is actually the simplest part.

Finally we are left with a set of  parts ready for use - a weapon core, a pommel, cable for decorations and the sword guard which would need some repairs first.