One of the more enticing weapons you can acquire in recent Fallout versions is the fiery shishkebab. Debuting first in Fallout 3, the shishkebab is a makeshift flaming sword built from a battered motorcycle gas tank, a lawn mover blade and an old hand brake. Inspired by the debut of Fallout 4, community editor Caleb Kraft of Make Magazine went to great lengths to recreate this virtual video game weapon.
Kraft wanted to copy the shishkebab as it appeared in the Fallout 4 concept art as closely as possible in this build. He recruited his friend, Ryan Fitzpatrick (platinumfungi), a self-described artist, tinkerer, and retro gamer, to help design this apocalyptic prop. The pair worked for five days to design the sword and the costume to go along with it.
They started with the basics, deciding to use a Japanese samurai-style sword, or katana, as the sword’s base, butane as the flame source, and a motorcycle handle as a throttle to control the flow of gas. They welded all the pieces to the sword and added a simple ignition system from a propane grill. This borrowed part let them light the sword quickly and easily while holding it in one hand. Though most of the build went smoothly, they had to make a few compromises on the design in areas where the parts looked ridiculous, such as the placement of the add-on lighter by the handle.
Kraft recorded the process of building the shishkebab and published it in five daily YouTube digests that move from conceptualizing the device to assembling the parts and finally tweaking the aesthetics to make the prop look realistic. The videos showcase the challenge of building the flaming sword, revealing both the setbacks they had to overcome, the semi-dangerous choices they had to make (butane?) and the parts of the build that went smoothly.
Once the sword was completed, the two makers turned their attention to the costume, which included a pipboy on Kraft’s arm that was built in one hour and some Fallout-like weaponry in the shop background. No good make session would be complete without a demonstration and Kraft doesn’t disappoint, stabbing and setting fire to a Make magazine and Roger, Make’s mutant cardboard intern. You can watch the shishkebab in action in the summary video above and then head over to Make magazine to check out the daily building blasts.