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Saturday 14 October 2017

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:


  1. Simple and effective and it uses recycled material. I will try this out on some of my Garrison Napoleonic figures.

  2. Excellent tip thanks. I have a load of old Minifigs Middle Earth figures that need mending.

  3. Despite having a hammer and miniature anvil I have never been able to make satisfactory swords from pins so this method is a welcome alternative method

  4. I´ve replaced broken off swords using staples...drill a hole in the Hand, insert staple (flattened out and cut to lenth) and add a wee drop of cyonate glue. I´ve never though of using tin..I may try it for halberd heads.

  5. This is genius, and also explains the rather curious and very thin bendy bayonets attached to some old Hinton Hunt Bavarians I picked up last year. I wondered how that had been done!

  6. Reminds me of the old Britain's tin swords.

    Looks like a better end result than my attempts at flattening wire.

  7. This looks a heap better than methods I have used in the past. I've thought of using tin, but never brought myself actually to try it.

  8. Great tip. May try this to replace some musket straps.

    1. The aluminium drinks cans should work OK for that purpose.