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Homemade Flamethrower

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It may not look like much but it'll give you a fiery surprise.
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Want to Kill It with Fire, yet the Aerosol Flamethrower or Molotov Cocktail probably isn't enough? Well, the Homemade Flamethrower has you covered!

This trope is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a homemade and jury-rigged Fire-Breathing Weapon or generally some kind of weapon or tool that uses or breathes. Created from a bunch of tools, scrap/junk and other doodads, that could feasibly be made into a flamethrower or flame-using tool. The reason this is done is because flamethrowers aren't exactly the easiest things to acquire. Sometimes you'll just have to make one on your own or have someone that's more savvy with tinkering to make one for you.

The weapon can be a godsend, especially if your facing enemies that have a particular weakness to fire. Although do be warned, these weapons are also eligible for Flamethrower Backfire, thanks to their slapdash nature, they are prone to malfunctions and depending on their construction probably won't last very long (either because of fuel concerns or it's not very stable). Given that most ordinary people lack access to napalm, the homemade construction can justify Video Game Flamethrowers Suck.

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Commonly if someone isn't really cut out to be some kind of Gadgeteer Genius or do some high-level MacGyvering. They usually settle for the next best thing, grabbing a water or squirt gun and fill the thing with gasoline, oil or other flammable liquid substances. Please Don't Try This at Home, because it's dangerous and it's not exactly practical either, as not only will you need a pilot light, there's a greater chance that the plastic water gun's barrel will just melt because of the flames from the stream or the pilot light itself.

This weapon is a possible Weapon of Choice for Pyromaniacs, mostly because no sane person in their right mind would give a Pyromaniac an actual flamethrower and they wouldn't be eligible to own one anyway.

This type of flamethrower also thrives in societal collapse scenarios. Mostly because in a post-apocalyptic landscape, most flamethrowers are either a rarity, broken or don't really exist anymore thanks to many manufacturers having likely perished during the apocalypse. It could be in the hands of raiders and bandits to harass some unlucky souls just trying to survive or survivors that face situations where burning is the most optimal solution against any threat.

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Note this trope can also cover a Flaming Sword, Hot Blade or Matchstick Weapon with a jury-rigged or homebrewed construction to it.

Super Trope to Aerosol Flamethrower. Also a sub-trope of Improvised Weapon, Homemade Inventions, and Fire-Breathing Weapon. See also Booze Flamethrower.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

  • One of the members in the Holy Emperor's army in Fist of the North Star was a mohawked and sunglasses-wearing mook that held a handheld homebrewed flamethrower and yelled the phrase "sterilize the garbage!. Although he gets his comeuppance when he runs into Kenshiro, whom gives him a taste of his own medicine. The character has become something of a meme in the Japanese-side of the fandom, to the point that he becomes a reocurring character in other entries of the franchinse, gets his own merch and even becomes a Destiny Talisman in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • After the iconic Chest Burster scene in Alien, Parker rigs up some "incinerator units", which act as flamethrowers. Captain Dallas uses one while trying to drive the alien out of the vents and onto the airlock.
  • Mayhem and Probs use something like this to burn aliens alive in Attack the Block. Their weapon consists of a super-soaker full of petrol to soak their target, which they then ignite using a firecracker. It's... very effective.
  • In Film/The Burning, Cropsy whips out a makeshift flamethrower when he confronts Todd in his hideout.
  • In the 1993 B-Movie The Double-O Kid, the accidental teen spy of the title fends off some enemy spies in one scene by filling a Super-Soaker he found on the trash with the propane of a small tank (of the kind used for miniature stoves, also on the trash) and using it as a flamethrower.
  • The infamous Doof Warrior from Mad Max: Fury Road, not only has a large double-neck guitar made from all kinds of parts, but it also just so happens to be able to shoot flames too! While the Doof Warrior doesn't weaponize it, Max is more than willing to.
  • In the movie Little Dead Rotting Hood, One of the rednecks shows up with one for the wolf hunt, apparently homemade using a grill propane tank for fuel. It turns out to be useful when the werewolves shake off bullet wounds.
  • One of the Mariachi's friends from Once Upon a Time in Mexico has a guitarcase with a hidden flamethrower.
  • Phantasm II: while rigging up weapons in a hardware store, Mike builds a flamethrower out of several propane bottles and a blowtorch head. Somewhat realistically, it only has a range of a few feet and he wears a welding mask while using it to protect his eyes.
  • At the climax of Silent Night (2012), the Killer Santa makes use of a homemade flamethrower he had at his disposal. Which he uses to light up Sheriff Cooper. Which may or may not be the same homemade flamethrower used and created by the Killer's Father when he went on a rampage himself. Using it on his wife after learning about how she was cheating on him. During the climactic scuffle between Aubrey and the Killer Santa, she gets the upper hand by using his discarded flamethrower against him.
  • In Sudden Death, Darren McCord (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) makes use of a small yet effective flamethrower out of a squirt gun filled with a flammable liquids and a lighter.
  • In True Lies while battling the Crimson Jihad in their base, Ahnuld's character Harry Tasker creates a makeshift flamethrower by starting the pump on a fuel truck and firing one of his MAC-10's into the spray to ignite it.
  • The World Is Not Enough had a bagpipe flamethrower being tested in Q's lab.
    Bond: I guess we all have to pay the piper sometimes.
    Q: Oh, pipe down, 007!

    Literature 
  • In ''John Dies at the End", Dave has a flamethrower consisting of a supersoaker full of lighter fluid and a barbeque starter. Amy wonders how it's supposed to kill demons if they're fireproof.
  • In Monstrous Regiment sees the girls of the Last Detail captured whilst infiltrating an enemy-held castle. At a loss for what to do with them, they are locked into a makeshift cell which was formerly a castle kitchen. The unit's pyromaniac discovers miscellaneous kitchen utensils, a bellows, candles, matches, and most crucially a part-filled flour bin. The flour may be stale, but it is still a carbon-based dry powder. And whipped up into an aerosol, directed at an enemy and ignited, it goes up like, well, a flamethrower.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Arrow, Villain of the Week Garfield Lynns / Firefly, is a former firefighter driven insane after being Left for Dead. He uses a tank of gasoline and a lighter as a makeshift flamethrower whereby he hunts down his old squad by setting them alight.
  • In one episode of The A-Team, the jury-rig a flamethrower, but fail to jury-rig a pilot light. Instead the instructions are: throw the cigar in front of you, then open up.
  • In the Doctor Who episode, "The Christmas Invasion", the robot Father Christmases wield brass instruments that double as weapons, including a trombone-flamethrower.
  • MacGyver (1985): In "Trumbo's World", MacGyver creates a flamethrower with a garden hose, some metal piping, a tin can, duct tape, and a large can of "kitchen magic" to thicken the gasoline to that it burns instead of exploding. When the ants approach the complex, Trumbo pumps gasoline into the flamethrower, allowing MacGyver to rain fire on the ants and brush surrounding the complex, stopping them temporarily.
  • In MythBusters, Jamie made a homemade flamethrower from old scuba tanks, plumbing parts, and other materials he had in the workshop. The montage of him building it, unlike other projects, was hidden from view of the audience and informs the viewers that he had notify numerous government agencies about what he was doing, and through lengthy, time-consuming process, and finally, Jamie tells the audience that if they want to jury rig their own flamethrower at home, they shouldn't.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Hunter: The Reckoning character book Hunter Book: Wayward has a section on improvising weapons for use against supernatural foes. The example is a Hunter constructing a flamethrower out of equipment found in an auto mechanic's shop.
  • Just like most of the weapons of the faction, Warhammer 40,000's Orks have makeshift flamethrowers called Burnas used by the Burna Boyz. Similarly to the Shootas they use, they clearly are just bits and pieces of scrap metal and whatever is needed to make a flamethrower, powered by whatever kind of flammable liquid the orks used and also their sheer belief.

    Video Games 
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, a technologist character skilled in the gunsmithing and explosive disciplines can build their own flamethrower from a repeating rifle and a fire obstruction.
  • Just like in the first Alien, in Alien: Isolation Amanda Ripley can grab herself a flamethrower made from an incinerator unit thanks to Marshal Waits.
  • The first BioShock has the "Chemical Thrower". A strange weapon seemingly constructed from household and industrial items: such as wrenches, different kinds of hoses from fire hoses to normal hoses and more. While you usually get napalm, you could also get liquid nitrogen and electric gel as alternate ammo. There's also upgrades that affect the consumption rate and range of the Chemical Thrower.
  • Blood 2: The Chosen has a Cartoon Bug-Sprayer with a lit zippo taped to the top. While it's primary fire has it shoot extremely-acidic bug spray, the alternate fire on the other hand sets the acid on fire (apparently it's flammable).
  • The 6th entry of the Cubikill Flash game series (dubbed with the subtitle of "Rise of the I.T. guy"). Has it's main Villain Protagonist Rick, a nerd who works at I.T., making himself a flamethrower out of some gasoline, a lighter and a plastic water gun.
  • Dead Rising:
    • In Dead Rising 2 one of the psychopaths Chuck can encounter is an insane man wearing a mascot costume named Slappy (His real name being Brent Ernst). Whose main weapons are dual flame throwers made from water guns and gasoline canister. After defeating him, he automatically drops it for Chuck to use and he also gets a combo card in order for them to craft it himself. Not only that, the combo weapon will automatically respawn in the area where Slappy died. Although unlike Slappy, he cannot dual-wield them. Interestingly enough, the weapon doesn't have any kind of pilot light on it, which kinda begs the question as to how the weapon could shoot jets of flame.
    • Alongside the flamethrower there's also the Fire Spitter, although unlike the aforementioned flamethrower, the Fire Spitter instead throws fireballs (spitballs that are set on fire). The weapon is made by combining a toy spitball gun and a tiki torch.
    • Continuing the trend of it being a combo weapon it also appears in Dead Rising 3, however now being made out of a leaf blower and some cooking oilnote . The player actually unlocks the blueprint for it after helping Rhonda by creating a new mechanical arm with an attached flamethrower to fend off some zombies. As a replacement for the fleshy one she just lost.
    • In the same game, Another flame-spewing weapon is the psychopath Dylan Fuentes'... very phallic Lust Cannon, which has two spherical tanks, one containing liquid nitrogen and some kind of flammable substance respectively, with the fire and nitrogen firing out of the weapons' "shaft" and "tip". Both Dylan and Nick do pelvic thrusts when firing the weapon. Yeeeaaahhh...
    • Also in DR3, the combo weapon RollerHawg has dual flame throwers attached to both sides of the steam roller front which can set zombies on fire if they aren't flattened by the roller.
    • DR3 and DR4 also have the Flaming Sword in the former it needed a broadsword and cooking oil, while for the latter it was a gasoline canister and a blade. Although both clearly used much more materials than the ones needed.
  • In The Division and the "Warlords of New York" expansion in its sequel, the enemy Cleaners faction use fire weaponry in a misguided attempt to sterilize the Green Poison (including anyone they remotely suspect to be infected). Since they're made up of former sanitation workers, all of their flame weaponry are handcrafted and homemade, including assault rifles that have flamethrowers bolted onto the sides. They also know how to make their own napalm, and in one mission, the players have to destroy a firetruck they're trying to convert into a homebrew flame tank.
  • You can make one in Don't Escape: 4 Days in a Wasteland by combining a water sprayer, a petrol canister, and a lighter. Its primary use is as the most effective weapon possible against the giant spiders or locusts, but there is also an achievement for using it to light a fire.
  • In Evil Dead: Regeneration, Ash builds himself an arm-mounted flamethrower, from supplies he got after opening up a fuel storage.
  • The Harbinger enemies from The Evil Within 2 primarily carry around large odd and rusty homemade flamethrowers. Sebastian recovers one from the first Harbinger he encounters who was also a boss, although it is in a broken state. He must then fight and kill other Harbingers in order to get parts to repair it. The weapon is quite useful during the boss fight against Laura due to her being Weak to Fire. You even get an achievement for using said flamethrower!
  • Fallout 3 (and by extension New Vegas) has a melee variant of this trope called the "Shishkebab", a Flaming Sword built from junk; specifically a motorcycle handlebar as well... the handle, the handbrake becoming the hand guard, a lawnmower blade and the motorycle gas tank being worn like a bacpack as a reservoir of fuel and a pilot light to provide ignition.
    • The Fallout: New Vegas add-on Gun Runners' Arsenal. Adds a unique variant called the Gehenna, In comparison to the standard Shishkebab, Gehenna has a brighter flame, different valve, handle and the motorcycle gas tank is more rusted.
    • It gets a massive redesign in Fallout 4 and beyond. Compared to the Shishkebab from the previous game, it's far less makeshift weapon. Rather than a lawnmower blade and motorcycle parts meshed together to form the weapon, it is built around what appears to be a wakizashi-style sword with a proper hilt. The reservoir of fuel is shifted from a motorcycle gas tank worn as a backpack to a small tank on the blunt edge of the blade, with a series of pipes attaching to emitters along the edge of the blade. Below a second tank appears to power the pilot light that ignites the expelled gas. The pilot light is triggered by what appears to be the sole shared element between the two designs, a motorcycle handbrake attached to the hilt.
  • Keeping the Far Cry tradition of flamethrowers being a part of the arsenal. Far Cry 6 introduces the Tostador as a part of it's Resolver weapons lineup. It appears to be made from mainly a leafblower with all other sorts of bibs and bobs attached to it. It showcased in one of the live-action promotional shorts starring Giancarlo Esposito. Not only that, but if you get the Collector's Edition of the game it comes with a life-sized model of the Tostador flamethrower.
  • Some of the mooks in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise are armed with large homebrew flamethrowers with matching tank backpack. One of the Destiny Talismans in the game is of the somewhat popular meme character: Flamethrower Man, which upon use immediately gives Kenshiro a flamethrower to use. Kenshiro can also learn a "secret technique" where he steals the flamethrower and uses it on their owners.
    "Obutsu wa shōdoku subeki da."TL note: .
  • Hearthstone has the Improvised Flamethrower card for the Tavern Brawl game mode.
  • Thanks to the very unique weapons system of Homefront: The Revolution. A homebrew flamethrower is one of the available weapons on hand, but the player must first purchase the crossbow. Naturally and fittingly, it inherits the gas pump handle/grip used as the base for the crossbow and other related weaponry. It's gas is carried in a medium-sized horizontal green jerry can with the nozzle/barrel being a whole emptied fire extinguisher.
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn's Frozen Wilds expansion, the Forgefire is a flamethrower made out of what seems to be part of a Bellowback's blaze pouch, with some wooden bits for handling and aiming.
  • Hot Dogs, Horseshoes, and Hand Grenades has The Junkyard Flamethrower was added along with the system that allows Sosigs (and, later, you) to catch on fire. Among the components include half of a soda can where the fire exits and the fuel is a canister of nail polish remover. There's also an adjustment knob to let you fire a wide, short gout of fire or narrow it down to a longer range stream. The current trope image from Team Fortress 2 is also available as a Meat Fortress weapon.
  • Killing Floor 2 has the Caulk n' Burn the starting weapon for the Firebug perk. Which seems to be a hand-held homemade flamethrower made from a custom double-barreled caulk gun, possibly butane and other junk.
  • Joel can acquire one in The Last of Us. A flamethrower made out of pipes, a bicycle brake lever as a trigger, some kind of soda can as the nozzle, and other miscellaneous parts. With the source of its fuel being a small red propane tank hooked to the bottom. Joel first finds the flamethrower in what appears to be a garage or loading dock, at the University of Eastern Colorado. Suggesting that it may have been made by a student or a survivor that used to reside there.
  • Lemmings 3D has crude flamethrowers in the Ancient Egypt-themed levels which spit flames from the walls and burn the Lemmings. Unlike other examples on this page, the player can't control them but can avoid them by using the climber, turner, or builder skill.
  • Metro has the various flamethrowers made from cobbled together spare parts. In the original Metro 2033, it's a fixed weapon, but from Redux and Metro: Last Light onwards, it can be carried around, using its own unique ammo in the form of fuel oil that has to be scavenged. They're especially effective against mutants dwelling on both the surface or in the Metro's tunnels and are still lethal against human enemies, where they thankfully don't explode from stray bullets.
  • In the second ObsCure game, there was to be homebrew flamethrower which seemed to have been made with a water gun (presumably loaded with gasoline or some other flammable liquid) with a wick placed in front of the barrel. Obviously the ignition of the wick would have ignited the flammable liquid fired to obtain a jet of flame, but the weapon itself was cut from the game for unknown reasons. However, it does make an appearance in Final Exam but it appears as a somewhat regular flamethrower.
  • In Oddworld Soulstorm, you can make a flamethrower using the tank of a fire extinguisher, a battery, a wiring kit, a steel hose and Soulstorm Brew (a drink whose flammability is its least lethal quality). It's far more wild than the officially produced ones the guards use.
  • Team Fortress 2's Pyro primary arsenal is mostly made up of homemade and jury-rigged flamethrowers for them to use. Which probably makes sense as the Pyro themselves are definitely not someone would ever willingly give a flamethrower...or anything of remotely-lethal capability. For example, the stock flamethrower is made out of a long metal pole, connected by a hose to a propane tank. The tank is attached to the pole via fastening bands. A continually lit pilot light can be seen at the nozzle. The trigger is made out of a team-colored gas pump handle. Also another thing to note is that most of the flamethrowers have an alternate fire called compression or air blast, which is a blast of cone-shaped gas emitting from the end of the weapon.
  • In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Ethan can get a small homemade flamethrower named the "Burner", which is created by combining its two separate parts, the Burner Grip and Nozzle respectively. Also its fuel/ammo can be created by combining Solid Fuel and Chem Fluid together. It's most effective when taking on Marguerette and her insects, which coincidentally when you get to her part of the Baker Estate, where you acquire the parts to make the Burner anyways.
  • One of the weapons in the first The Suffering game, is a homemade flamethrower that needs to be assembled from different parts like a bicycle pump, gas cans, and flares. You can find the instructions that tell you what you'll need, although they are not necessary for creating one. Judging by the instructions and how it was seen next to the corpse of a prisoner, it seems it was going to be used for rioting or escaping the prison.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Two stories on Not Always Right has a customer purchase a squirt gun, lighter fluid, and a barbecue starter / matches, respectively, both times to deal with a wasp infestation.

    Real Life 
  • Chemist and science columnist Theodore Gray has constructed a metal-cutting thermal lance from bacon (prosciutto, technically). He's also made fireballs by spraying powdered sugar across a candle flame, to demonstrate how dust explosions work.
  • A particularly gruesome example in the city of Cologne in 1964. A rampage killer named Walter Seifert burned eight elementary schoolchildren alive with a homemade flamethrower converted from an insecticide spray gun, and stabbed two teachers to death when they tried to intervene, before finally killing himself by drinking insecticide.
  • FlamethrowerPlans.com, true to its name is a website dedicated to teaching you how to make your own flamethrowers. It's surprisingly legal to do in a lot of places, being allowed in 48 of the United States and all across Canada just to name a couple but make sure you know what you're getting yourself into — where legality, safety, and common sense are concerned — before you try!
  • Famous or maybe even infamous tinkerer and engineer. Colin Furze made an arm-mounted flamethrower somewhat inspired by the X-men Mutant, Pyro.
  • The Infamous site, WikiHow has a few articles that can help you make one of your own.
  • The Super Soaker Flamethrower

 
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Ash's Arm-Mounted Flamethrower

Ash makes himself a flamethrower arm-attachment out of some supplies from a fuel storage to help with his Deadite problem.

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