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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pesky Plumes

Another annoying problem with old figures is that often a perfectly fine figure is ruined by having a broken plume, especially French and Russian figures with their long thin plumes. I have had many figures that required repair in order to complete a unit, and so I devised this simple method.

Tools required:
  • A small pin vice with miniature drills.
  • Super glue.
  • Wooden cocktail sticks.
  • An old nail or similar steel point.
  • Sharp knife
  • Fine file
Here is the subject figure. It can be seen that the plume has broken clean off at the point it meets the shako:
If any of the plume does remain, cut away with the knife and file smooth. Decide where the plume needs to go, normally as close to the front edge of the shako as possible.

Mark a small indentation with a sharp steel object (I use an old nail) to form a guide for the drill bit. I use a drill of around 1mm:
Slowly drill into the top of the shako, at a slight angle for about 2-3mm:
Clean off any rough edges with the knife. Take the cocktail stick and cut off the first 1mm from the point and discard. Then cut off another 5mm (length depends on size of plume needed):
Push in and glue the thin end of the cocktail stick into the hole in the shako:
When the glue has set, round off the top of the plume using the fine file. There you have it - a new plume!

Broken Swords and Bayonets

A common problem with old figures is that often they will lose a bayonet and cavalrymen and officers often have blunted or broken swords. When restoring old figures it is possible to carry out simple repairs.

To do this I use the following:
  • An empty drinks can, or better still the lid off a bean tin or similar.
  • A good pair of kitchen scissors.
  • Sharp modelling knife.
  • Super glue
  • Pliers.
Here is my first subject, an old Minifigs cavalryman, with broken sword:

Cut out a section of the drinks can ( the bean tin lid is more sturdy, looks better, but is a little more difficult to cut and shape):
Then using scissors, cut a very narrow sliver of metal - this may curl, but can be easily straightened:
Cut the new sword to size with scissors and shape the end:
Now the tricky bit. Using the knife cut a slot in the figures hand:
Fix the new sword in place with super glue and gently squeeze the hand back together using the pliers:
Job done.

Using the same method it is possible to repair bayonets. It is a bit more fiddly, but with practice it can be done. Here is my subject:
I make the bayonet in the same way as the sword, but include a tiny lug at the blunt end:

I cut a tiny slot in the end of the musket - tricky this:
Attach the bayonet in the slot with super glue and close the slot with pliers:

Thursday, 12 October 2017

For interest - Austrian gunners

I needed some Austrian Artillery to go with my S range Minifigs Austrian Army, however, after months of searching I have not been able to find any. I thought I would try some Warrior figures to see how they would work together and I was happy to find, that despite the very different pose styles, size wise, they work OK. Here is a picture of some Warrior Austrian Horse Artillery with some old S Range minifigs in the background:

Austrian foot artillery look like this:

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Peninsular Warriors - French Artillery

Having completed the bulk of the Allied force, I am now turning my attention more towards the French, with this batch of  figures covering the foot artillery.

My plan is for the French to initially have three foot batteries and one horse artillery battery.

The French line foot artilley, all by Warrior Minitures:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

More Peninsular Warriors - British Highlanders

Another British infantry regiment takes to the field, this time it is the turn of the Highlanders, again from Warrior Miniatures:

Monday, 9 October 2017

Peninsular Warriors - Allied Staff Officers

There are just four staff officer figures available from Warrior. Of these only two are of use for the Peninsula War, as the first figure is a model of Napoleon and another is a Prussian general in Feldmutz type cap.

The remaining two are a Field Marshal and a Marshal, which are described as suitable for any army on the Warrior Miniatures website.  They are fairly generic and with the right paint job they do look OK. First off we have the 'Field Marshal' figure, which I have painted as my Spanish commander:

The second is the 'Marshal' figure, which I am using as my second British brigade commander (or Division), depending upon the scenario):
I have two French marshals too.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Peninsular Warriors - British Royal Horse Artillery

Another offering from the Warrior Miniatures stable are these rather splendid Royal Horse Artillery figures. My plan is to have one battery of horse, one battery of line for the British, and two Spanish batteries. The French will have three line and one horse battery.

The British Horse Artillery: