Monday, January 17, 2011

Austrian Standard Bearers

SHQ Austrian Ensign from Pack AUA21 - German in Shako command
Also pictured, Games Workshop Hand Drill

I'm a cautious modeller and one that is always seemingly convinced that he's going to "spoil it" or make a mess of things. I have little enough confidence in my own painting or modelling skill, which I suppose is one of the reasons why I like using the services of a professional painter. The results make not always be as good as my own, though they are infinately faster, but it does rather take the tension out of the experience.

That said, once I find something that I'm comfortable with, I'll plough along happily enough, so when the time came to finally use my shiny new Games Workshop drill, there was trepedation at first, followed by a sudden desire to drill everything I could find once I established that I was unlikely to destroy the figure, my hands or anything else for that matter.

The figure on the right is the Ensign as supplied, while the chap on the left has had some surgery. I have some figures with lead flag poles and to be honest, they are never completely satisfactory, so I took the plunge and cut away the pole with a sharp Stanley blade. I then drilled the figures hands and slid in some brass wire and the job was done. I only wonder why I didn't start doing this years ago.

Advice for the Hand Drill Naif

1. Work in an area with plenty of light and wipe your hands before you start. If like me you don't have a vice and are reduced to holding the figure to be drilled in your sweaty paw, be careful. Stabbing yourself in the hand is best left to the professionals.

2. Take your time, withdraw the drill and check that you're at the right spot. Clear the spoil away as you go.

3. If you're in any doubt about how to use your new drill, go to a Games Workshop store. One of the glassy eyed cultists behind the counter will be delighted to show you to how.


  1. Kinch, sir. You are on a roll with your blog - excellent! Nothing better than finding one of the superior wargames blogs updated daily. Although, I have to express envy at your choice of relations - mine are/were all mad or members of free churches.

  2. Well done! Now for a razor saw, you'll be swapping heads and what not in no time!


  3. I hate to disagree with Ross but i reckon the jewellers saw is the ultimate decapitation device, and you can get a good one on ebay for less than a tenner.

  4. I use my pin vice (or GW drill) mainly for putting holes in MDF bases to insert trees and the like to make my bases look pretty.

    Of course, using one on a 6mm figure will simply leave him looking like a cannonball has taken a huge chunk out of him!

    I was lucky to find some extra drill bits (a tad thicker than my usual ones) in a sale at Hobbycraft (half price for the win!) allowing me to put bigger trees to shade my Napoleonic troops.

    An excellent little tool.

  5. Ok, DC is right, a jeweller's saw is the superior device, a rapier rather than a broadsword.

    Of course if one is a bit ham fisted and also forgets all too often to lubricate the blade with a bit of beeswax etc, one can find one self breaking a blade per figure. Well, in theory anyway, hrmph (not to self, buy more blades for my saw...) :)


  6. I'm glad the mess appreciates the regular updates. All my wargames gear is packed away, so I'm making up for it by blogging regularly.

    I've only ever done headswaps on plastic figures where a sharp knife usually suffices. We'll see about the razor saw in the fullness of time.

    I have a sinking feeling that it could have a negative impact on my number of fingers.