Saturday, May 28, 2016

Canadian Ninja

(Title in reference to the Michael Dudikoff action film from the mid-80's).

Friend of mine is refereeing a "Morrow Project" campaign. Among the many armed groups prowling the post-nuclear-war wastelands are, he decided, at least some who have kept alive certain martial arts traditions. (Even if they have no memory left of the ninja craze that swept the west around the 80's.) When he brought this up, one of the players (presumably facetiously) suggested that the groups "up North" might use throwing stars in the shape of the maple leaf on the Canadian flag.

How canon this eventually became within the campaign, I do not know. But that suggestion called for a prop.

You might call it a "Throwing Maple." Or a "Ninja Leaf." Maybe "Maplekan?" Or my favorite (very subtle), "Shurican." This is a practical prop, in the sense that it is metal and will stick in a tree (or at least a fence).

However. This is not knife-grade steel; it was cut from an outlet box cover, 16-gauge galvanized steel of some ferromagnetic but basically cheap low-strength alloy. It also only looks sharpened. I spent longer researching California Law then I did cutting it out, with the result that is is completely blunt and suitable only for display use and thus fails to meet two of the essential criteria.

This was a quick prop. Found a maple leaf image, printed it out at 4" across and used Spray 77 to stick the print directly to the metal (an outlet box cover from OSH, cost about a buck.) Cut out with a jigsaw with medium metal-cutting blade, then smoothed with hand file. The longest part of the build was making the bevel; that was achieved almost entirely with hand filing, via an old set of needle files.

My original intent was to gun blue or even parkerize. The blue wouldn't take and parkerizing is a little too scary to get into right now. So spray paint. I figured I could go over the edges with a file or emery paper to bring them back to naked steel. Well, yes, if I wanted to spend a heck of a lot longer. After getting the paint all scratched up, I knocked it back with quick passes of the emery paper (aka wet-dry 220 grit sand paper) and did the black with a DecoColor paint marker instead. Then, since it looked banged-up already, dipped the whole thing in Birchwood Casey Plum Brown (aka insta-rust) and buffed/weathered it with steel wool to give it that "been carrying this throwing star around in a pocket of my black gi for a few days" look.

No comments:

Post a Comment