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by Pauli Poisuo
At the Modern Rogue, we have a keen academic interest in fascinating weaponry—after all, our video department plays around with shuriken slingshots and razor blade flails on a worryingly dangerous and regular basis. Still, it’s not like we’re the only ones. Just take a look at these ridiculous do-it-yourself tools of destruction, that take concepts you might know from movies and video games, and turn them into strange reality.
[Editor’s note: It’s weird to think I should have to express this, but please don’t try to do any of these things. You will suffer horrible injury. Just ... don’t. That’s what we have Brian and Jason for.]
From the Shishkebab in the Fallout games to the fiery blade wielded by Beric Dondarrion in Game of Thrones, a flaming sword has always been a surefire way to show that the person wielding it is not, under any circumstances, to be trifled with. Even the Balrog of Moria in The Lord of The Rings, a towering demonic entity that single-handedly threw the Fellowship in disarray, felt the need to whip out a big-ass fire weapon to really underline the danger.
But that’s fiction for you. In reality, flaming swords can only be briefly achieved if you sadly dunk a blade in some flammable liquid and fumble for your Zippo, hoping like hell that you won’t singe your eyebrows off this time. There’s no way you can get a proper, sustained fire on your sw-
Wait, yes. Fire sword! Fire sword fire sword FIRE SWOOOOOORD!!!
That—frankly insane—design by JLaservideo is actually even better than just a sword with its blade on fire. It’s a sword that’s also a flamethrower. The basic sword is a neat rainbow chrome blade, with the hilt jerry-rigged to fit two butane canisters and a switch to release the fuel and provide the ignition.
Oh, and just in case the flamethrower sword is not enough, the crossguard is made from two smaller blades for the rare instances when something needs to be stabbed without an accompanying stream of fire.
Look! Tesla-themed electricity weapons, a mainstay in video games that enjoy their enemies extra crispy! Remember the amazing Tesla gun in the zombie mode of Call of Duty: WWII? Or the Tesla rifle in Fallout 4’s Automatron DLC? Or the famed Tesla Claw in the Ratchet & Clank games? Or the handheld Tesla Coil Gun from Smarter Every Day?
Sorry, that was a trick question. That last one is not actually a video game weapon. It’s a very real DIY Tesla gun, cobbled together by Tesla enthusiast Cameron Prince.
Holy crap! The dude is literally shooting lightning from a cannon. We know that the current is not lethal because everyone making that video survived to tell the tale and upload the clip on YouTube. But we still can’t help but mentally call him “Sir,” just in case there are increasing power settings and he feels like conquering the world.
Prince’s contraption is essentially a Tesla coil modified into a cool hand cannon, and it’s powered by an amazing-looking, water-cooled backpack that would make the Ghostbusters hang up their proton packs in shame. There’s also a cool built-in display and control panel, giving the user various power settings one can use to better rain electric doom upon the unwary world. Oh, Prince does say that regardless of the setting, the current is probably too low to wreck anyone’s vital functions too badly. While we’re not inclined to argue with the man holding a thunder gun, we’ll just say that “probably safe” is a less than comforting sentence, particularly in the field of weapon design.
Fully automatic crossbows are a staple of a certain happy-go-lucky type of historical fantasy, from the ridiculous gas-powered drum magazine bow in Van Helsing to the twin pistol crossbows of Jonah Hex. They’re invariably presented as ridiculous contraptions that are so far removed from actual physics that they might as well be magic.
Which is kind of stupid, because a cool, full-auto crossbow is actually easy as hell to make once you figure out how. All you need are some badass carpentry skills and a power drill. The latter won’t be used to build the crossbow, but rather, to freaking power the thing:
Joerg Sprave is a man whose work you might have seen online -- he’s the dude whose DIY contraptions consist of things like knife launchers and Coke bottle Gatling guns. However, those were mere steps toward his ultimate goal: to create a functional fully-automatic mechanism that enables him to pepper a target with a hail of arrows without creating a logistical nightmare of rubber bands and nigh-impossible reloading systems. He finally achieved this goal in 2017 with the power-drill crossbow, and was so happy about it that he actually named the video “A Dream Came True.”
The power drill bow operates with a deceptively simple rack-and-pinion gearing mechanism which enables it to hurl projectiles at a pace that Sprave very accurately describes as “brat-a-tat.” Man, now we kind of want that to become the official term for that fire rate. Who can we petition about that?
A Home-Made Gatling Handgun
Gatling guns are a mainstay in pop culture, but they’re generally reserved for the most supernaturally strong beefcake in the entire franchise: The T-800 famously wielded one in T2: Judgement Day. Less famously, but perhaps way more infamously, the Green Lantern used his ring powers to summon one in the Ryan Reynolds movie of the same name. It’s just not the most portable weapon if you don’t have actual superpowers. The closest fictional version of a handily (heh) portable Gatling-type weapon is probably wielded by Barret Wallace in Final Fantasy 7, and even that is just a straight-up Gatling gun he wears as a prosthetic arm.
Which makes it all the more impressive when you see this scrawny French kid just up and build a handgun Gatling from scratch.
Our French is a little rusty so we have to go by what we see, and what we do see is so casual and unassuming that it’s actually kind of terrifying. If you didn’t know what he was building, you could be forgiven for assuming that he’s creating a model airplane or something. And then, just like that, he’s holding a freaking Gatling handgun. Even the testing phase is strangely goofy: At one point, he becomes freaked out by the gun and runs away to hide behind a table, flailing his hands comically. After that, he spins around with the gun like a lunatic and the screen is flashing with wacky emojis and Doritos logos. And then, he fires the thing, peppering his target with holes. And that’s when you realize that none of that other stuff matters. When a man builds a hand-held Gatling handgun, he can project just as many “Wait, what is even happening?” things on the screen as he damn well likes.
Lasers are badass. That’s why most self-respecting sci-fi franchises have some version of a laser gun hanging on everyone’s hip. Of course, there’s a reason why personal laser weapons are largely confined to the realm of science fiction: Even the most advanced Fallout-style personal laser rifles developed by various militaries are still at the “China says they’re developing prototypes” stage.
DIY laser bazookas, on the other hand, totally exist ... and kick all manners of asses.
The mad scientist behind this particular hobbyist contraption is YouTuber StyroPyro, who in 2016 upgraded his earlier, only slightly less badass laser shotgun design to a monstrous 200W bazooka that can make you blind while setting you on fire. The laser bazooka’s insanely wide beam is made from a huge bundle of lasers routed through a focusing lens, and its creator says that it’s 33 million times worse to the unprotected eye than staring at the sun. Admittedly, we haven’t done the math on that, but it should probably be pointed out that a mere 0.5W laser can mess up your eyes if you just look at the point where it’s shining. So yeah, as awesome as it may be, maybe don’t admire the laser bazooka without cool sunglasses or ... just don’t look at it. Ever.
And that’s just the blinding part of the bazooka’s destructive properties. If you watch that video, you’ll notice that the weapon is literally that -- a weapon. The latter half of the clip is literally just StyroPyro burning through stuff and setting fire to things. He’s also casually stated that he’s planning to upgrade to even more powerful pulse lasers and “explosively-primed ones.” That’s ... what? While we can’t help but feel he’s just three or so designs away from emerging as a fully-fledged supervillain, we also know who we’re going to call the second there’s an alien invasion.
Like this article? Check out “5 People Who Got Fed Up With Expensive Stuff And Just Built It Themselves” and “Awesome Stuff You Can Make Out Of Random Household Junk”.
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