Monday, July 31, 2017

Blow Gun Darts as Spears/Pikes?

Blow Gun Darts
My wife knows that when we make a trip to the hardware store, only part of the trip will be devoted to shopping for household improvement items.  Almost always, a reconnaissance for items to be pressed into service on the hobby front is included in the shopping trip.

While this post is not about a recent hardware recon, it is about maintaining vigilance for items that can be useful in the never ending pursuit of hobby paraphernalia.  Case in point is a recent thread on TMP requesting information on sources for spears and pikes.  As an alternative to Nortstar's excellent product, blow gun darts were mentioned.  What?  Blow gun darts?  That piqued my curiosity.
50 pack darts
A quick search on eBay brought up a number of vendors for steel blow gun darts.  For about USD8 including free shipping, I ordered a 50 dart package as a trial.  The package arrived within days as shown above.  

First task was to compare the size of the Predator darts with Northstar.  As shown in the comparison photo below, the Predator darts are almost exactly the same size as the Northstar 100mm pikes but slight less in length than the Northstar spears.  Insignificant difference.  The gauge of steel looks the same size as well.  A good match!
In addition to the 50 steel darts, included are 50 colored cones for the darts.  Well!  These colored cones are an interesting bonus.  I can envision these colored cones being pressed into service as morale markers, unit status markers, or any of a number of game markers.  Great stuff!
In what other game functions could these colored cones prove useful?

24 comments:

  1. Wow those are vicious looking things, Jonathan, but a great bargain! Mind you, you will have to be careful how you pick them up, or is that a cunning plan to ensure that other players handle your pikemen with care? I have gone away from metal pikes, lances and standard poles, using 1.5mm ABS plastic rod. It works really well, bends and takes the knocks.

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    Replies
    1. I like metal pikes and spears. I especially like the "twang" they make went bent and released by an over-reaching midriff.

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  2. I use my steel spears to stir paint! :))
    A necessity when you decant dropper bottles into small jam jars.

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    Replies
    1. Spears need to be cut down to size so I use the left over end for stirring epoxy.

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  3. Oh very nice idea! Have to use this one!
    thank You.

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  4. wow great idea. Do you dip them in Toad poison as well? That would further discourage people from mishandling your pikemen. Also great bonus with those moral markers.

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    Replies
    1. No poison tips needed. The threat of being impaled is deterrent enough for most.

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  5. Good find - clever re-purposing.

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  6. That sir is pure genius. Best recon I've seen in a while.

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  7. Replies
    1. Yep! An idea I will be putting into use.

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  8. Those do look very similar to the NS spears, at a good price too. Interesting how the "100mm" NS Spear & Pike are slightly different lengths.

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    Replies
    1. Very similar. The different length is likely due to flattening and elongating the head for the spear. Well, that is my hypothesis...

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  9. And if the pesky neighbors start acting up again...

    How do the tips of the darts compare with NS pikes and spears?

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    Replies
    1. For pesky neighbors, I guess I need a blow gun too? NS spears have a flattened point. Both NS and Predator "pikes" are sharpened to a point that is the same diameter as the shaft.

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  10. Looks great, nice repurpousing, I tend to use florist wire that I cut to length it's cheap, the right kind of diameter and isn't pointy! I've got a unit with ns spears and they are painful!
    Best Iain

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    Replies
    1. For my ECW pikemen, I long ago used steel rod or piano wire. I simply snipped them off to the length desired. They had no machined point. While the piano wire works well, I do prefer the machined point on the tip. They do pose a bigger safety hazard, though. Oh, the piano wire was much less expensive than the purposely machined pikes and spears.

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  11. You could also mount the markers on the leftover darts and launch them at inattentive players...

    Good find. I may try some out when my current batch of Northstar pikes run out.

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    Replies
    1. Ouch! You can make a pike comparison next time you are over for a game.

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