Introduction: Swords and Shields and Tunics Oh My! Links for Most of Your Dagorhir Needs
So hopefully you've read my other instructable, https://www.instructables.com/id/Dagorhir-An-Intoduction-the-Best-Hobby-Ever/. If not, check it out! Don't worry, I'll wait for you, I promise. Great you're back! So you have a general idea of what Dagorhir is and you want in. Unfortunately, you can't seem to find any good tutorials or advice on how to build all your gear, or you were just too busy watching cats on YouTube. Never fear distraught denizen of Dagorhir, I have put it upon myself to compile a list of tutorials and helpful pages that should be more than enough wet your whistle. And remember, I myself am not an expert, though I am cunning, genius, witty, and fashionably late. Most of the guys I link to will be experts, but their word should not be law. Feel free to get creative! It is a game. Your creativity may lead you to find new or exciting things, or end up with crappy gear than none want. It's worth the risk.
Being a master of procrastination, I started this instructables three years ago. Surprisingly enough, foam smithing methods actually do evolve over time, so know that none of these links are to any recent methods. Also, I originally wanted to make this a pretty comprehensive springboard for beginners, but that was before the war. It is somewhat incomplete, and I'm only posting it because leaving it in the draft file for three years makes me sad. Imagine this instructables as a spring board... that has a few springs missing and slightly molding wood.
Step 1: Required Reading and Other General Knowledge
Man those Dagorhir weapons are awesome right? But what are they even made out of? I'm so glad you asked those questions that conveniently segway us into the first links.
How to DAP
Experimental Weapon Guide
The first link take you to a wonderful article made by a great guy named Twolf. It tells you all about the different materials you can make weapons out of, which are more expensive, which are more durable and all that jazz. This is incredibly useful for the beginning foam-smith and yes that is a term. If you are a beginner, you'll probably be staring with PVC cores and Walmart Blue Foam. These are cheap and a great way to start. Once you get your weapon making techniques down, you can switch over to higher quality material, but until then, I suggest sticking to the basics. Word to the wise. NEVER use pipe insulation foam for anything. Not even insulating pipes. Pipe insulation is cheap as dirt and easier than eggs, but has the small side affect of being completely useless and doing nothing. Pipe insulation will shred apart in seconds and it will still hurt. Do yourself a favor and don't make weapons with it.
The second article is VITALLY important! DAP is the nifty contact cement that foam-smiths use for sticking everything together. DAP will cover 99% of all your gluing needs, so it would make sense that you should know how to use it right. If you screw up your DAPing, your weapon will fall apart along with your sanity. The main points of the article are, don't apply heaping amounts of DAP, and wait till the DAP is dry before pressing together you foam.
The next article is once again made by Twolf and designed to squash any and all creative hope you had for this game. Just kidding, this is really a great article and more made to give you tools for creating exotic weapons within the realms of reality. Most Dagorhir weapons are simple. They're swords, axes, spear, pole arms. You don't see many shaolin spades, circular swords, or scorpions dagger on a chain. To explain this better, here is the priority list for most Dagorhir related things. Safety, Playability, Realism. Most of the exotic weapons new people often dream up are nigh impossible, or would at least take a master foam-smith (which you probably aren't). Second, most of those exotic aren't really that effective on the field. You have a scythe? Now there are only a hand full of ways for you to attack, and an infinite amount of ways to be defeated. Trust me, I counted. BUT DON'T LET THAT CRUSH YOUR DREAMS! This article walks you through the steps of designing an exotic weapon, examining the pitfalls and problems, and seeing if you can get past them. How knows, maybe your are that creative genius that can make a totally legal and safe war scythe. Just don't go at it with false expectations.
The last link, and arguably the most important, is the rules for the game. If you are new to the game you should read through the rules and read through them again. Having a thorough understanding of the rules allows you have more fun playing the game, and allows you to know what you can and can't make in regards to weapons.
Step 2: Blue Swords Galore!
Make this sword. That is an order, not a suggestion, because if you don't make this sword I will be very disappointed in you. Wow, my threats sound really weak when I say them out loud. This sword is about as simple as it gets. It's safe, easy, cheap, legal, cheap, easy. Get the picture? Here's a tip for sword sizing not mentioned in the tutorial. You generally want your sword to be at the size where you can swing it back and forth and it will only just graze the ground.
This is another nice tutorial for a simple blue sword. It's very similar to the previous, but formatted differently. Sword designs usually don't get mush more complicated than that. The main thing that will make your weapons better quality is better materials, and DAPping them correctly. Like I said, if your a beginner, just use PVC and blue foam. It's cheap and I know you like cheap.
This tutorial is exactly what it says. It will make a suedo pro sword that will last you longer then a basic sword. The key to this design is the puzzle mat foam that is put on as the first layer. It is a harder foam that provides a more solid base. This guy also made two other tutorials, one on how to make hilts and one on how to make a cover. I'll link those later on.
This is another great tutorial for building swords. The materials are a little bit harder to get, but later in the instructables I'll have a link to where you can get these supplies at a good price. If you follow this tutorial you will get a very sturdy sword that is almost guaranteed to pass. It will last you a lot longer than other swords, and is really worth it. The guy who sells these, Alric, also sells numerous other kits that are really incredible.
Step 3: May I Axe You a Question?
This is a very nice axe tutorial for a beginner. It will last reasonably well and is pretty simple. The design is basically like a sandwich wrap, or a taco. A taco that you hit people with.
This is another great axe tutorial made by a crazy dwarf. This uses more expensive materials but also lasts a bit longer. In this tutorial, you put thick on leather connecting the beard of the axe to the core. This helps to keep your axe from falling apart when your hooking you enemies. I'd suggest using leather on the other axe tutorial as well in order to make it better.
This is just a thread from the Dagorhir website that has some good info on reinforcing the beard of an axe. In case you don't know, plastidip is a kind of paint on latex material that people use to strengthen and decorate weapons.
Step 4: Not to Be Blunt But...
This is a fun category. Your choice, bash in your opponents head with a hammer, club, mace or flail? I choose all of them!
This is a simple flail tutorial. Know don't get your hopes up to high. Dagorhir flails can only have a 6in chain, so you don't get to me that ghoul king in lord of the rings. However, flails have the nice advantage of being harder to block. When fighting a flail user, most people will block the shaft of the flail, allowing the head to swing around and hit them. People often call flails "skill on a stick" because of the extra advantage you get against inexperienced fighters. But remember, don't get lazy and let the flail do the work for you. You should still practice with other weapons to get a balanced skill set.
I can't find any tutorials for a club, but they're pretty simple and I will explain by words.Get your core of choice (most likely PVC) and cut it to whatever length you want. Mark off about 8" for your handle. Now, take a piece of bluefoam the length of the rest of your core, and DAP it around the core in a circle. Cut out two circles of bluefoam to DAP to the tip of the club. Now DAP another wrap of blue foam around the club, but make it a few inches shorter than the last wrap. Create one final wrap, and make sure that it is at least a foot long (minimum blue striking surface allowed by the rules). Then add another circle of foam to the tip, make a cover, and add a pommel. Now go club a stranger with your new weapon.
Hammer are completely rediculuos. They are huge and heavy and look silly. That being said, they can also be incredibly fun, as long as you aren't looking for effectiveness. The first link leads you to a pretty decent hammer design. It will be big and bulky, but hey, that's what you asked for. The second link leads to a post in the Dagorhir forums that has some good general info on hammers, what cores to use, and that stuff. About half way through there is a full blown hammer design that you can use. Ignore the bickering at the end.
Unfortunately there aren't many designs out for flanged maces. The end of this thread has a bit of a design for one. Remember, if you make a flanged mace covering it will be very hard.
Step 5: RED! RED! RED! RED!
Before I get into Red designs, you need to understand a few things. First, JFK isn't dead, second, building Red weapons is a whole new level. With most Blue weapons you will build, using PVC and blue foam is just fine and you can probably make a decent sword with them. When you move into the realm of Red weapons, you'll find that for the most part PVC just won't cut it. Red weapons need to be at least 4 ft, and 1/2" PVC will flex way to much. If you use 3/4" you might be able to make a minimum length Red, but there are no guarantees. If you want to make a good Red weapon, use better cores and foam. If you really can't get the better materials and are still dead set on making a Red, you can probably make a legal Red with sub par material.
Take your 3/4" PVC and Dap on a box of blue foam, two strips on either sides then repeat for the other, leaving space for the handle. Then put a square of blue foam on the tip.Put on another box of blue foam on and cap it as well. Cut out a long strip of foam and Dap it along both sides, like in the eryndor blue sword tutorial. After that you can put a cover on it and build a pommel. Once again, this design isn't that good or that specific. It is just something to tide you over until you get the cash saved to build a nice Red.
So, you've decided to build a decent Red. I'm proud of you. One of the most important choices is you core. Most people use 1/2" and 5/8" fiberglass rods for building their Reds. These cores will work for pretty much all small to medium Reds. If you are moving past the 6' range into 7' and 8' you might want to use a Bandshoppe pole. Bandshoppe poles are used for most polearms are will probably last longer than you will. Once you have your core, you'll need to decide what kind of Red weapon you want. Most Reds are swords, while a few are clubs and axes. Red axes are built similar to blue axes, but you will need to reinforce you axe head a lot stronger, and you will need to add more padding, or better padding to make it safe.
The first link is to a tutorial on how to build a red sword with some more advanced materials. Not everything in the tutorial is actually a good idea, so you should look through the posts that follow it and glean some advice from then. Generally, Red swords are built with a beginning layer of 4lb foam, foam that its much denser. Then some 2lb foam, normal denseness, followed by softer foam or a thin tear resistant foam.
The second link is more of a set of guidelines to follow when making a good sturdy Red sword. Pretty much everything it this post is good solid advice. You'll notice that neither of these links is as step by step as the blue sword tutorials. That's because Reds are harder to build, and most people over time come up with their own slightly different methods of making them.
Remember in the blue sword section me mentioning that awesome guy Alric? Well he also sells kits for Red swords. They usually cost of a fiber glass core, a 4lb foam routed box, a nice strip of foam for the striking surface, and a stabby tip. I'll post the link to this guy later on, since he sells kits for a bunch of different things.
Step 6: Spears and Stabbies
Fact number #34- Everyone loves stabbing people, no exceptions. Stabbing in general is incredibly fun. Whether it's adding a stabby to a weapon you already made, or using a spear, you will feel a sense of glee that can't be found anywhere else in the world except in the fleshy stomaches of your enemies. If your using a spear, make sure that you have the body mechanics down (what does that even mean?) so you don't end up blasting people in the face.
Here is a decent tutorial for making a spear out of basic material. The only thing I would suggest you do differently would be not using pipe insulation and instead either spiral wrapping a long thin strip of blue foam around the core, or using one long rectangle of foam to wrap the core. An important note don't try to cheap out and use smaller PVC! You are already cheaping out by using PVC in the first place. If you use any PVC smaller than 1" it will flex way to much to be legal.
Scroll down to the spear section and click on the eryndor one.One of the most important factoe in building a spear is the core. This tutorial uses a Bandshoppe pole, which makes an AWESOME spear core. The rest of the tutorial is very good an will get you a nice spear.