The Royal Armouries is one of the oldest museums in the world and houses over 75,000 objects spanning more than 2,000 years of history.
We inspire people to discover and understand compelling narratives of human endeavour and experience shaped by arms and armour. For over 30 years the Royal Armouries has delivered consultancy, services and expertise for video game, film and TV production companies.
Our secret weapon
Our curatorial network includes authoritative leaders with diverse expertise in the fields of arms and armour, military and political history.
Jonathan Ferguson, Keeper of Firearms and Artillery, works extensively with companies in the entertainment industry. He provides advice on a variety of areas, from weapons to a soldier’s uniform to ensure technical, historical and audio-visual accuracy.
Jonathan also regularly appears in front of the camera and is the host of the Armouries weekly ‘What is this Weapon?’ series on YouTube which examines the unique items in the Royal Armouries collection. He also works with Royal Armouries partners and is well known for hosting the long-running and popular ‘Experts React’ YouTube series for the video gaming website Gamespot.
Chatting to Jonathan recently about his role he said, ‘As my (wonderful) job title suggests I, and my team of curatorial colleagues, are here to manage the Armouries institutional knowledge of its firearms collection and indeed all things gun-related, from the 14th century when they were invented, to the very latest automatic weapons. I’ve been with the Armouries for 12 years now, developing my expertise, helping to grow and provide access to the collection via research, enquiries, exhibitions, and media work.’
As experts of arms and armour we offer the following:
· Curatorial consultancy and research on historical contexts, technical accuracy and authentic representation.
· Filming locations. Our sites include the iconic White Tower, a Victorian fort overlooking the important naval base of Portsmouth, and a jousting arena with green-screen capabilities in Leeds.
· Access to our extensive collection of historical items for design inspiration and to help your project achieve realistic representation.
We recognise that each project is unique and offer tailor-made packages to suit your requirements.
We have worked with video game developer, Rebellion on several projects including Sniper Elite 4, and more recently Sniper Elite 5, due to be released next month.
Our curators supported some of the early design work for the game, providing expertise and training that focused on pseudo-realism, period-correct weapons, equipment, vehicles, uniforms and ballistics modelling. We also provided source evidence to animators on how a Second World War Allied soldier would have been trained to hold and operate specific weapons.
On working with the Armouries Rebellion had this to say, ‘Despite making such games we live in a country where (rightly) guns are rare and we’re not used to handling them – so even a few hours tuition can set the mind racing with the finer details of how guns work and how our games should be more accurate. The firing of the Colt pistol being a case in point, where it’s effective/accurate range was surprisingly short and would put a lot of Hollywood films to shame…’
In February, Royal Armouries hosted a developer seeking to authentically replicate a range of firearms in their new game.
Jonathan spent multiple days on site with the client, providing expert information, access to our collection with handling and training sessions. The developers also gathered a bank of images, audio and video reference content to take back to their studio.
Accuracy and realism are central to the experience of the game and we can’t wait to see the results of this collaboration early next year.
Get in touch
If you want to learn more about working with the Royal Armouries and gaining access to our exceptional collection and consultancy services, you can contact us and speak to a member of our team or if you want to hear more about our latest news and offers and receive 10% off our online shop, subscribe to the Royal Armouries Image Library newsletter.