Deconstructing the ‘Blade Runner’ Blaster

As we eagerly anticipate the sequel of the science fiction cult classic ‘Blade Runner’, we reacquaint ourselves with the iconic ‘Blaster pistol’ with our Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson.  Known to aficionados as the ‘PKD’ (Steyr Pflager Katsumata Series-D Blaster or the ‘LAPD 2019’) the Blade Runner blaster was designed and crafted for Harrison Ford’s weary future detective/enforcer Rick Deckard in the celebrated science fiction movie ‘Blade Runner’ (1981). After decades of fanciful directed energy weapons (lasers, phasers, and energy-based ‘blasters’),Read more

The Royal Armouries Present at MAMO

Here at the Royal Armouries we have for some years collected objects associated with popular culture, including props for the movies and theatre. In 2008, the Armouries held an exhibition called Arms and Armour from the Movies; The Wonderful World of Weta. A new project called Collecting Cultures: Arms and Armour in Popular Culture has been supported by a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This project seeks to look at arms and armour through the lens of popularRead more

Collecting Cultures: Armour in Popular Culture

Much of the public perception of arms and armour is coloured by popular culture, yet many museums have been slow to appreciate and preserve the wonderful things made for films, games and other media. In the second installment of our Collecting Cultures blog posts, we turn to examples of the armour in our collection best known for its use on the silver screen. Necromonger Lord Marshal’s Armour Armour wise, we have been successful in acquiring a hero armour from theRead more

Swords and Guns in Popular Culture

In the world of arms and armour, the objects featured in contemporary popular culture are often underrepresented. Much of the public perception of arms and armour is coloured by the cultural mainstream, yet many museums have been slow to appreciate and preserve the wonderful things made for films, games and other media. For many, popular culture is the primary means of exposure to such objects and for museums, this area is key to developing a successful future events programme. PrecedentsRead more

Collecting Cultures: M-41A ‘Aliens’ Pulse Rifle

‘I’d like to introduce you to a close personal friend of mine. M-41A pulse-rifle. 10 millimeter, with over and under 30 millimeter…pump-action grenade launcher’. So Corporal Hicks tells Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986). In reality, of course, that weapon doesn’t exist yet, and this prop ‘rifle’ disguises a .45 calibre M1 Thompson sub-machine gun with parts from a SPAS-12 shotgun. Like much of the military equipment in ‘Aliens’, the M-41A was personally designed by director James Cameron. As is usualRead more

The Royal Armouries Leather In Warfare Conference

Recently the Royal Armouries played host to a wealth of knowledge and passion as we, in partnership with the Archaeological Leather Group, held the Leather in Warfare conference here in Leeds. We were fortunate to hear from a wide variety of fantastic speakers, each providing delegates with a fascinating new perspective on leather and its uses on the battlefield and in arms and armour. Attendees were treated to a range of presentations on subjects as diverse as Roman army tentsRead more