For some reason throwing knives in larp and boffer combat are far more common than throwing axes, despite the latter being an actual battlefield weapon, unlike the first. That reason of course would be that larp and boffer weapons don't behave like normal weapons and often a throwing knife would have the same abilities like a throwing axe with the added benefit of smaller size(thus more can be carried around and concealed). In reality a throwing knife would be useless on a battlefield where everyone is wearing at least some kind of protection. The throwing axe, or francisca on the other hand has been used with great effect in a manner similar to roman javelins - to mess up the enemy formation before a charge.
Here I'll show you how to make a decent homemade larp francisca, and show you how you can recycle what would otherwise be trash.
Larp throwing axe
Recommended for: Battlefield throwing weapon(its too big to conceal) to be used before a charge or mid-combat. Its more versatile than a javelin, since having one tucked in your belt won't impair your movements. Short hand to hand backup weapon. You can use it in close combat if need be but bear in mind that its not durable enough for continuous hand to hand fighting - the plastic would make the head bend rather than tear if tangled, but I don't recommend it anyway.
Budget: 1-15$(depends on what you have available)
Materials:Pipe foam, 2 or more big plastic bottles(I used beer bottles) Cardboard(Old pizza boxes for me) Various tapes, glue, fake leather strip, training foam mat(or camping foam mat) - optional.
Tools:Scissors and paper knife.
And here we go!
Photo of the materials used before starting to work.
After that we cut out the same shape from the plastic bottles. While the plastic will give durability, the cardboard will give it volume and add some weight.
Now its time to make the head. Shape the axe head carefully in the same way shown in the basic larp sword guide You don't have to make it too wide since there is nothing heavy or hard behind it.
Now its time to wrap the head and the shaft in strips of camp/training mat foam. You can use pipe foam too, camp/training mat foam is simply more suitable for the task but its hardly a must - I did it because I had it available on hand.
This will cover the hard edges of the plastic and give even more volume to our axe. Now it will actually fly.
Finally both the axe head and the shaft are ready for covering.
We start with the axe head and wrap in in tape. I chose classic grey duct tape for its fabled durability.
I could have done a bit better here. A second pair of hands would have helped.
advanced soft knife tutorial
Add quick glue and wrap it around!(and as with anything involving quick glue work fast...pun intended)