Fabricating Latex Swords
Here at Genesis LARP Studios we produce a wide range of fantasy weapon styles, each handcrafted with superior materials. We create swords, daggers, axes, maces, shields, bucklers, spears, staffs, and much more including Post-Apocalyptic styles and custom prop commissions.
Our foam weapons are of the highest quality in detail and designed with safety and LARP use in mind. We construct the weaponry using layers of foam laminated together and dipped in latex. A fibreglass core is used to provide durability and flexibility that absorbs impact and maximizes comfort and ease of control. All weapons that include a core have durable tip protection and fabric weaving to insure a secure lasting bond to the foam. These designs employ an expansive array of colours to capture the look of realistic and high fantasy style.
Because we make each item individually, we can easily accommodate custom orders or customizations in color and markings to our array of classic weapon styles. Whether you're equipping your monster camp of Orcs and Goblins, or picking the perfect tool of war for your stalwart knight (or cunning rogue), there is no design we cannot master to fit your needs.
Whatever the need, we'll help you find the weapon that's right for you.
So how are they made?
All of our designs start with concept sketches by our artists. The design process takes time and patience to ensure that the weapon blueprint not only attains a realistic aesthetic, but also achieves a design that can be made functionally with comfort, safety, and control in mind.
To begin production we measure and trace a box outline on to high quality tear resistant foam. These outlines are cut out and a groove is carved into the foam for placement over the "core", or skeleton of the weapon.
When preparing the fiberglass core, a leather cap, or "tube" is attached securely to the end of the core to ensure the rod will not poke or tear through the foam. Then a fabric netting weave is wrapped around the entire length of the rod. This helps ensure that the glue will bond more easily to both the core and the foam.
At this stage the foam is ready to be laminated around the core to create a foam block. A rolling pin is used to apply heavy pressure to the foam ensuring the glue is well sealed with no trapped air or uneven seals. The glue is then allowed to rest and fully cure before moving on to shaping.
Foam on Core, ready for sanding and shaping
At this point a wide variety of tools are used to create the shape of the sword blade and add details to its form. This includes handheld cutting tools, belt sanders, dremel tools, and wood burning tools.
Once the weapon has been shaped it is ready for its protective latex coating. A hook is attached to the weapon, typically at the handle or base of the core. Then the entire foam weapon is submerged into a special latex blend, and set on racks to air dry. Weapons are dipped over and over again to create a strong layer of protective coating.
Dipping a coreless throwing weapon in latex
Throwing daggers in various stages of drying
Cutlasses and Scimitars on the drying racks
Now to the final stages of the production. The weapons are painted with a flexible high quality paint similar to automotive paint. Several coats are applied before additional detailing is added by hand. Then a clear silicone based sealer is applied to keep the paint from deteriorating.
Hammered Detail look
We hope you've enjoyed this brief "How Its Made" behind the scenes look into our Latex LARP weapon production process. If you have any questions about our quality or production feel free to contact us anytime. We welcome your comments and support!
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