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11 May 2012 - 10:5783853
Weapon Props?
As I was thinking about how to make a crowbar out of foam and cardboard for my next costume, I started wondering about something:

Has anyone ever had any trouble with people considering props to be dangerous? I'm vaguely worried about how people might react. My friend, who will be coming with me, has fake bullets on her costume too. I've heard of people being arrested over baseball bats, and I just wanted to know if it's safe to carry around fake weapons?

~Thanks for your time!

"Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me,
The cube had food and maybe ammo,
And immortality."
~Doug Rattman, Portal

11 May 2012 - 12:1683855
It's a love/hate thing about props. It takes a lot to make them realistic and for you to be proud enough to add them to photos. On the other hand, there are risks with a decent looking props, such as being taken aside, removed from your person or even arrested which puts a damper on the day.

For cons, people do tend to lower the quality significantly, and it shows. Guns which were previously functional as toys are gutted, repainted and have the additional 'blaze tip' which means to paint the tip bright orange so it can't be mistaken for something real.

Though if you wish to use it later for a private shoot you could always try to change this to a removable cap, so for your case with the crowbar you could make it out of foam, paint it pretty but do something with the tips so people know it isn't real, and even go to the point that it's removable. The second someone holds it they know it isn't going to be real but the trick is in the appearance. Maybe have a sheath for the 'sharp' end if it isn't too much trouble or paint it an obscure colour. Getting a guard for it might even be favourable for you so it doesn't snap as easily if knocked.

As for the bullets, you could either paint them an odd colour (like with Nerf guns) and keep some for private shoots, or even mould them out of foam pellets?

11 May 2012 - 13:2483859
Unfortunately anything that can be mistaken for a real weapon gets treated like one as far as police are concerned, after all you don't usually want to ask for a demonstration of the bullets before you fear them!

Every event has a set list of guidelines you can find on their website for avoiding getting booted out, but if you're making it from foam and card then you should be fine and well within them.

The golden rule is: if we hit you with it repeatedly, will it break before you do?

It is a case-by-case thing, the more obvious it is you're in costume or that it's fake, the better off you are, and something like a crowbar even if you make it look totally realistic, if it's out of foam it won't swing realisticly so it'll be fine in photos but still not get you arrested, which is a plus.

Guns and projectile weapons in general get off less easy since they have to be unrealistic even from a great distance - bystanders don't come up for a closer look before a three-digit number is dialled in a phone..

And obviously keep violent-looking props hidden/secured/put away when in public places or on the journey to/from the con.

Fake bullets.. on a bandolier it's generally fine, especially if they still look plasticy or they move like they're made of plastic when you walk, some loose ones to sprinkle on the ground for a photoshoot (as long as you pick 'em back up!) fine, but if it's inside a windowed magazine clip inserted into a gun... less likely.

11 May 2012 - 13:3683861
I generally use LARP weapons - the look semi-realistic but are clearly not metal or wood - and are made for smacking people with without actually hurting them.

Most cons tend to have rules about smacking people - but even so, they are harmless.
My Isabela costume has two foam shortsowards that.... kinda look real from a distance - they look better than carboard props, and are lighter and less harmful than wooden ones.

But again, it's ulitmately up to the rules of the con what is an isnt allowed. Normally LARP weapons in my experience, are allowed as long as I keep them sheathed unless posing for photographs.

The DARK MOON brand of Larp weaponry might have some crowbars? I got a Lead pipe from them - looks great and is about as harmful as a rubber ducky!

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