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How I got more paint on my thumb than on the figure and learned to love it!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Broken Elf Spears

Argh!  I hate it when the spears break off of the model especially on 10mm infantry stands.  It's especially bad on the Warmaster High Elf infantry. I just can't stand looking at a gorgeous line of elf warriors and seeing an missing spear.  What's worse is these elaborate Elvish spear points are uniquely detailed and barely wider than the narrow spear shafts.

My current painting project is to rehab an old GW High Elf army and most of the elf spears are bent, broken or twisted.  Efforts to fix the bent and twisted spears have resulted in only more broken spears. Ugh!

I searched on Google for others who may have run into the same issue and found a single article.  This player had decided to do away with the wonky spears altogether. He cut off all the original spears and replaced them with thick sewing needles. That seemed a bit crazy! Each stand had five sharp tiny daggers pointed skyward. I would need to take extra care when handling such models. If I weren't paying attention, I could easily stab my Painted Thumb while attempted to charge the Dwarven ranks! Simply blunting the needles would make them look like long poles rather than spears. So, I had to find a better solution.

My first attempt was to carve a tiny 'Green Stuff' sculpture. I rolled out some thin cylinders of the Green stuff and let them dry. Once they hardened, I carved out the unique shape with a hobby knife.

Original Spear point in top center

Then, tried to glue them on top of the existing poles still on the figures.


They looked okay but they broke off again with ease.

My second strategy was to create a Green stuff mold. This trick is good for replicating bits and small pieces. But the spear points were so small they would not make an effective mold.

Finally, I made 'Green stuff lollipops'.  I cut a short piece of brass wire, then formed a flat oval of green stuff on the top of the wire.  This gave it a green lollipop look.
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I let the green stuff dry and then trimmed the lollipops down to resemble the original spear tips. Next, I drilled out the existing spear from the figure as much as possible. Then, I glued the new spear to the model.

New spears on the tiny elves
It's not a perfect solution but I'm hoping it's good enough if viewed from afar.  One of the benefits of 10mm figs is that details are not as noticable.

Anybody else come up with a good 'spear' hack?  Or run into a similar problem?

3 comments:

  1. Hello! One good solution is to replace original spearmen with Eureka, Pendraken and Magister Militum infantry. Some of them are swordsmen and axemen, very hard to break, some have better spears. Good luck!

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  2. The Dark Elf spears are similarly fragile!

    For myself I bought too many High Elf spearmen, went through the blisters and gave away the weakest / broken ones to other players who didn't mind. Then I used the remainder to make whole units.

    The ones that I did try to salvage I doused in superglue, then I used Green Stuff in strips, which I wrapped around as though they had some partial banner or pennant. This could be reinforced with another coat of superglue.

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  3. Not a bad idea to reinforce with superglue. I'm still searching for a good way to repair the units I have. With 3D printing becoming more affordable, I may try that. Also, I think I should model the tiny hand holding each spear. It may help make a stronger joint.

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