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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!


  1. Brilliant! I;ll file this tip away for future use.

    Best Regards,


  2. A Top tip in more ways than one, Bob!

  3. Looks just the thing! Another idea I have used is to glue wire or something similar instead of the cocktail stick, and over the wire slip a partially stripped end of a cotton bud.