‘Remove the Head or Destroy the Brain’: A History of Zombie Slaying

Ahead of our ‘Science of Zombie Killing’ talk this October, we brush up on the many different ways to defend ourselves in the event of an outbreak of the living dead with Royal Armouries’ Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson.  Is this the ideal zombie weapon? Well, not really… It wasn’t the intention of the late George Romero, a progenitor of modern zombie culture best known for his zombie apocalypse films, but a lot of us seem to enjoy the killing ofRead more

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

Together for Peace | Turning Guns into Art

The 21st of September marks the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year’s theme, ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All’ celebrates global unity, support and tolerance. Each year, this day offers an opportunity for us to reflect on and embrace our common humanity. The continuing mobilisation for ”peace, both within and among all nations and peoples” is an aspiration reflected in our  ‘Farewell to Arms?’ exhibition, which explores the positive changes that have been – and are stillRead 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

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

How was artillery developed in World War One?

By Adrian Parry, University of Portsmouth. The British army fired 273,000 shells in the first 36 months of the Second Boer War. Yet in the four years of World War One, it fired over 170 million shells. This amounted to over five million tons of ordnance. In September 1915, British guns fired 535,000 artillery rounds in four days at the Battle of Loos; 1,732,873 rounds in June 1916 in the eight days prior to the attack on the Somme; 3,258,000 roundsRead more