Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paper Plane Arrows

I am thinking about another "Weaponized" series. This time, I want to address paper planes.


Those little buggers are really fun to play with. But they are light, plus you can't really throw them fast.

However, that changes when you add a metal tip. I made some experiments today, simply by attaching a bent paper clip as a tip.

Shot from a normal slingshot with paracord as a pouch, the little beasts fly straight, and fast. This is fun.

One of these emergency arrows can be made within just a minute.

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize

I plan to monsterize the concept, of course!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Survival Sling-X-Bow

I have been thinking about how to make a slingshot crossbow shorter, and also easier to cock.

I saw a video about a folding speargun by a Spanish speaking inventor a while ago. While it was impractical to use his mechanics, I took his break-barrel idea and changed it for a ball shooter.

The result is a powerful, short, easy to cock and accurate new weapon.


Unfolded and cocked:

The bands are attached to both a leather pouch and a length of paracord. The paracord is held back by the sear/trigger part.

The entire trigger/lock module is able to swing up and down, in order to follow the bands while the weapon is cocked/unfolded. This prevents chafing on the paracord and makes the drawing much more smooth.

The lock for the folding pivot is very simple. It is held under tension with rubber (what else), but the rubber is not needed for holding back the force. Sear and pivot are in line, rock solid.

The weapon only weighs about 600 gramms (1,3 lb), and is about 65 cm long (folded). I may add a red dot and a folding shoulder rest later on.

Here is the video:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Warning: Don't buy music for YouTube videos!

YouTubers, especially the partnership members, know the dilemma: Using popular music as a background makes a video so much more interesting, but as someone else usually owns the rights, all kinds of trouble may arise if you simply use a suitable mp3 file you have on your harddrive. Not being able to commercialize the video is standard in such cases, but you risk a complete shutdown of the clip and even penalties. YouTube has advanced auto detection software that is obviously very quick, and good.

So offers from professional audio suppliers are indeed very tempting. I fell for such an offer recently - during the first ever recorded usage of a chainsaw as ammo, I wanted "Hallelujah" from Händel playing gloriously in the background.

So I found this website:

See the link on www.proudmusiclibrary.com

Sounds very attractive indeed. For 53,50 Euros, "most commercial uses" are OK, and YouTube video uploads are specifically listed. The exceptions listed on the site did not apply.

I went ahead and did the deal. The song download access was swiftly granted, and I was a happy camper.

But the nasty surprise was just around the corner. YouTube did not allow me to commercialize the video, because of "third party matched content". In other words, someone else claimed to have the rights on the music.

Three different "owners" (Believe, Muyap and INgrooves) obviously prevented my video from making money for me. Just ONE such claim is enough to cause trouble.

As the money from such YouTube ads is the ONLY income I make from my channel and I need the funds for the materials I use, this is a desaster.

So I filed a dispute, as I had the perfect paperworks. Also I contacted Proudmusic.

Within a few days, the video saw many many thousands of views (about 250k so far) - all not making any money for me. Two of the three prospective "claims" were dropped over time, but the third one, "Muyap", still blocks the monetizing option of the video. This has caused damages worth several hundreds of Euros.  And counting.

I wasn't happy about it, and asked the owners of ProudMusic for a refund. The loss of the ad money was far higher than the 53,50 I had paid for the music license, but I really wasn't happy with the deal and thought that giving me my money back was the least the guys could have done.

But they were reluctant. After a few harsh emails back and forth, they "generously" offered half of that money. Not even a tenth of the sum I lost because of the - from my point of view - misleading info on their website.

It turns out that they can give you a license, but can't prevent others from claiming the rights to YouTube. As YouTube can of course not be the judge in copyright fights, they simply block the monetizing option for disputed videos and leave it be. Understandable.

ProudMusic does not tell you about this BEFORE you buy a license. Of course not, as nobody would consider buying a license in the first place otherwise. So they give you the impression that all you have to do is to cough up 53,50 and you are all set. Then, after your video is online and blocked from making any money, they will explain this "legal situation" to you, in great detail. It's not that they don't KNOW about this. They just choose not to inform potential customers. This is misleading and shady, in my humble opinion.

So. Don't. Do not. Not even when it really itches. Go and buy a music license from any of the providers if you want to make some money with your YouTube video.

And spread the word.

UPDATE: Turns out they NEVER owned the rights. Someone else claimed the rights successfully after two years or so, and I was forced to take the video down. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Featured by Gemany's biggest news magazine!

I visited Germany's biggest newspaper when I was in Berlin on the 12th, for the Hansel and Gretel premiere. They filmed an interview with me in front of a green screen. Today, the coverage went online!

See the article on bild.de

Very nice review - hopefully, some more people will now find my channel.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beginner's Moorhammer, Medang Burlwood

A friend of mine wanted a beginner's version of te Moorhammer design. I made a wide forked frame (12 cm clearance between the fork tips).

He wanted blond wood, and I chose Medang burlwood, from Cambodia I think. The wood is amazing - because of the 3D effects. If you move and tilt the piece slightly, under a good light, the changing effects are stunning.

Multiplex core. Linseed oil finish.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Witch Hunter Movie: The German Premiere!

Paramount generously sent us tickets to the German Premiere of "Hänsel und Gretel, Hexenjäger". So we drove to Berlin yesterday!

The event took place in the "Kulturbrauerei", a former brewery, now a very fancy party mile with bars, restaurants and a full cineplex.

When we registered our tickets, we got several nice ribbons to be tied around our wrists - one for the after-movie-party, and one that gave us access to the reserved seats in the main theater (I think the movie played in three or four places simultaneously).

Here I am standing in front of the red carpet.

We then went inside, and then upstairs to view the people coming in...

Me and my wife in front of a huge standup:

Then it was time to sit down. We got the best seats in the theater, right in the middle! All around us were people that played smaller roles in the movie, like the kidnapped children of Augsburg. The movie was filmed in Germany, not far from Berlin, so all these guys came.

Paramount of course brought us the main actors, too - not only Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner, but also Famke Janssen and Joanna Kulig (the evil and the good witch), plus the director, Tommy Wirkola, and the two producers.

Here is a zoom of the (lousy cell phone) picture:

The movie started, at last. And I have to say I loved every minute of it! And I am not saying that because I was involved in a tiny part of the promotion.

Action. Weapons. Gore. Weapons. Monsters. Weapons. Beautiful people. Weapons. Funny lines. Weapons. Did I mention the weapons?

The movie is a full 3D production, making the fighting scenes even more spectactular. But the intro and outro is probably the best part of the whole thing. Stunning.

After the 90 minutes were over, I was totally excited.

The after show party was kind of boring - maybe because I couldn't drink, as we had to drive home afterwards (four hours in the car, lousy weather). But it was the usual crowded club, free drinks if you could get one. The VIPs were in an eclosed part, like animals in the zoo. I actually felt bad for them, they clearly did not enjoy themselves. So we left after 10 minutes or so.

But - it was a truly unforgettable and wonderful experience. Plus a great movie. Watch it, in 3D, on the big screen, as long as it still plays.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Full auto minigun!

Full auto guns have their very own fascination. Therefore, The Slingshot Channel revisits the Gatling concept - but this time, a far more advanced construction has been employed.

This new design shoots commercial pistol crossbow bolts, with eight "inline" barrels. (Interested fanatics may learn how to make such a barrel here:

The new gatling gun is much smaller, and no longer powered by a hand crank: A Black and Decker power screwdriver turns the barrel drum. True assault rifle feeling!

The surprisingly accurate weapon isn't maxed out in terms of band strength, but the little bolts easily penetrate the original B+D metal box for the power screwdriver.

Two HiSpeed super slomos show the action of the wheelgun in detail.

Also, you can win an original "Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters" backpack - filled with a slingshot surprise! Just leave a comment to this video.

A "The Slingshot Channel" production.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lynn Thompson On Mouse Knives

I had the pleasure to meet Lynn a year ago at the Nuremburg IWA show, and I was impressed by his knife fighting skills.

He recently wrote a paper about the issue, which I find very true and logical.

Here is the pdf

While it does contain advertising for CS knives, it is really valuable in the general context - the only thing I miss is a chapter about EDC slingshots :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Eight Bolts!

I tried hard to finish this new toy for the Sunday video... but it was too much work.

Five of the eight "barrels" are working!

All you have to do is to press the trigger on the B+D power screwdriver, and the bolts are on their way. 80 milliseconds per shot. Is this the fastest full auto crossbow yet?

You hold the weapon like a machine gun, really.

I am excited by the accuracy - the groups are very tight.

Here are some pics of the unfinished weapon:

Will max out the rubber and add some cool looks. The weapon will premiere next Sunday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

There's a party,,,

...and we'll be there!

Guess what was in the mail today.

Looking forward to my first film premiere... and meeting the stars at the party after the movie will be great!