19
January 2018

Articles

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Bill Thomas and his wife, Kiera, who made this behemoth of a rig together. Mad props to them and their efforts.

We’ve always made fun monsters, props and costumes over the last couple of years Matt Pennington, the boss of PD, has provided us with a bit of a platform and a budget to experiment and try new things out. We built a War Rhino last year which was well received, so we kicked around various ideas of what we could do next. We wanted to make something big again, and something that the players could actually get up close to and fight, and a dragon had always been on our list of things to have a go at. Here’s how we did it and what we learned…

I started by looking at lots of videos on you tube of moving puppets and found several rigs that worked in similar ways. I built a miniature version of the rig first out of wood and string, just to see if we had the theory right. It worked surprisingly well – take a look at the video:

Initially we wanted to make an aluminium frame for it, but it was too expensive. So, we scaled it all up and built it in timber. We had to add extra struts to it to make it stronger, because everything was bigger and heavier, and  the stresses and friction were much greater. In particular on the miniature, the left to right movement of the head just rotated on a bolt, but once we had the full sized head on the end of the arm, there was no way it was going to spin. We fitted four steel bearings to the joint to make it move freely. That was probably the single biggest cost at around $150, but it made all the difference.

Although the movement is all just controlled by strings, we used heavy duty paracord, just to be sure it wouldn’t snap. The string lifting the head up and down had a massive amount of weight on it. If we did it again I’d use steel cable and add pulleys.

We used plumbing piping to create the rough skeleton for the neck, which was then covered in a foam skin, leaving lots of room inside for the strings and for a tube to carry smoke up to the mouth. We used a plastic tube but next time I’d use metal, as the heat from the smoke machine the tube pretty badly. The head was built using plasatzote foam, and then everything was painted with several layers of coloured latex.

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In the video of the full sized rig, you can see Kiera operating it on her own. By the time the skin and the head were applied, the whole thing had become much heavier, so it needed two of us to work it. We attached buckets of sand to the operating end to act as a counterweight for the head which really helped.

We put wheels on the base and built a simple wooden track, like a camera track, so the rig could roll back and forth, which meant our dragon could lunge forward to attack, which surprised the players the first time they saw it.

We built in over two weeks, in the evenings after work and at the weekend, and cost roughly $1200 to make. They dragon itself doesn’t look amazing, but we’re really pleased with how well the rig worked and will definitely build another one sometime. It’s a pretty simple rig which gives some great movement. If i were to do it again, I’d either make it smaller so the weight is less of an issue, or spend more money on lighter weight materials. Give it a go, it’s surprisingly easy.

Credit where Credit is due: All photos courtesy of Charlotte Moss, Judith Dawn Taylor and Oliver Facey.

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”Go

”Want

Sep 23, 2015

 If you love LARP as much as we do, you spend a good amount of time perusing the internet for awesome LARP content. We are talking endless hours spent watching everything from how-tos for items you will never craft, to battlefield footage that may or may not have been shot with a potato. Every once in a while a web series pops up and you watch the episodes over and over in agony patiently wait for the next installment. Doesn’t matter-you can’t get enough. We at LARPing.org are all about connecting you with resources to enrich your LARPing experience, which is why we love sharing quality content to feed your addiction.

Especially if it’s about us.

momo post

When we learned one of our favorite Youtube personalities was making a web series about her character for our Voyage North trip this year, we got a little excited. Okay, a lot excited. Our staff works hard to help US and international LARPers experience the largest North American LARP and it’s so encouraging to see this level of involvement…before she even arrives on site! (Players, take note of this initiative).

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 12.48.54 AM

The She, being none other than the amazingly talented Mo Mo O’ Brien.

When Mo Mo O’Brien and friends announced they would be joining us this summer, we knew we were along for a whirlwind ride, but this is some next level stuff.

Her new web series, “The Reba Rapscallions” will chronicle her character, Saga, as she and her friends journey out of Reba and to our camp at Bicolline. We can’t wait to meet them!

Oh and yes, we are already shipping.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 11.52.39 PM

dat smolder.

 

Jul 09, 2015

We’ve covered a bunch of College of Wizardry the last few months because the work has been incredible, and the response from around the world has been ground-breaking in taking larp to a new echelon of exposure. It’s been covered by nearly every major news outlet all over the globe and has given people new insight into what larp can become. For just that, we’re incredibly proud to support them in their efforts.

That being said, now is your last time to support their efforts to buy a freakin’ castle, join one of the upcoming runs of College of Wizardry in Poland, or just grab a cool perk with some Harry Potter-esque rewards!

A word from Claus, one of the organizers:

download movie Midnight Special 2016 now

As of this writing, there’s 66 hours left, and we’ve managed to raise $120,000 with the help of 542 backers. That means that we’re doing two College of Wizardry larps in November, a 20 min documentary movie and a phyiscal teaching book for the larps, that’ll also be out as a free PDF.

Raising money enough to buy castle didn’t happen this time. We haven’t given up on that dream yet, though and we’re talking with potential investors already.

The bottom line is that we’re extremely pleased with how things have gone, and we hope that we’ll manage to raise the last $55,000 needed to enable us to run three events. After all, a lot can happen in 66 hours!

”To

”One

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Apr 27, 2015
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