There was one weapon in particular from the Fallout video game series that caught my eye. It was a flaming sword called a shishkebab. Fashioned out of hammered lawnmower blades, a gas tank from a motorcycle, and other miscellaneous parts, this thing will ignite any monster you slash. I thought it would be a really fun build.
When I saw the concept art appear online for the new version of the shishkebab in Fallout 4, I knew I had to make it happen.
I enlisted a friend of mine who goes by the name Platinumfungi to make this thing real. I wanted to be as true to the concept art as possible, and of course, it had to actually work! Ryan, or Platinumfungi does incredible work on custom props and Nintendos and I knew he could help me get the details right while I obsessed over flames!
Ultimately, we deviated from the design a tiny bit. The fuel canister in the game design wasn’t actually something we could reproduce in our limited time (their piping also didn’t make any sense). I also wanted to go with a different ignition system.
Usually, I just release a build all at once, unleashing it on the world. This time, however, I thought it would be fun to journal the process in a behind-the-scenes style series.
On day 1, we mostly just brainstormed. I knew that the whole success of this project would fall on whether or not that flame system worked. It turns out that it was pretty easy to build. I initially wanted to do a much more complicated system using multiple valves and propane, which is safer. However, butane ultimately won due to its relative size to the sword.
On day 2 we finalized the actual throttle design. Mounting that motorcycle handle to the sword ended up being a lot of work, but ultimately it worked out very well.
On day 3 we got to fully test the fire system! It felt really good to hold it in my hands and feel the flames coming out. We started to add a few of the purely aesthetic parts and even got a quick spray of color on it. We also deviated a bit from the design when we found that some of the parts we used just looked silly.
This is the day that we pretty much finished the sword. Adding the ignition system was fairly easy, it’s the same system I used for the Flame Ukulele. The trailer for the game came out on that day as well, so we took a few moments to watch that on camera.
On the last day, we made the costume I would wear as well as the pipboy on my arm and the decorations behind me. We stopped at a local prop rental place called Studio2060 and picked up some random guns. Ryan then strapped some random bits on them to make them seem a bit more like what you would see in the Fallout universe.
For the pipboy I gave us a challenge. I wanted to create a pipboy prop in one hour. With a liberal dose of hotglue and spraypaint, we managed to pull it off with more than a minute to spare!