Stiff upper lip

You have no idea how hard it was to come up with a title for this blogpost that was not at least PG13.

Today, I’m focusing on Iron Fang Pikemen. With the new edition of Warmachine and Hordes, there has been a slight change in these. In Mk2, there was 1 unit type (iron fang pikemen), with 2 different options for a UA. the first was the "vanilla" commander and standard, the second was a "black dragon" commander and standard. Which meant that it didn’t matter what shields your models were holding, the standard bearer showed you which unit you were playing.

That changed in Mk3. Now, Black Dragons and Pikemen are different troop types, so every single model should be recognizable as such. Which is all a long story to tell you that I had to get going on painting an extra unit of Vanilla pikemen.

So that brings us to the essence of this post: bendy spears. They were terrible when PP used metal, they are equally bad now that they use this plastic resin that they seem to be so fond of for some reason.

The pikes are 2 mm in diameter. Which means that people usually do one of 2 things: Either they use a 2 mm brass rod (which is pretty horrible to work with. They arre hard to cut and it’s really hard to drill a 2 mm hole into the plastic without ruining a lot of the detail) or they use a 1 or 1,5 mm brass rod, which will end up looking too thin (and being bendy as well).

So, I went back to my love of all kinds of plastic tubes and found a plastic rod that has an outer diameter of 2 mm and an inner hole of 1 mm.

I first cut up the plastic tube into pieces that matched the grey pieces of the original poles, measuring from the beginning of the head (or pommel) to the hand of the model.

Then, I cut away the grey, bendy parts of the pole, as close to the hand, the pommel and the head of the pike as possible.

Then came the drilling. I drilled a 1 mm hole into the pike’s pommel and head and through the hand. When drilling through a hand, I always advice to start from 1 side, drill half-way through and then drill from the other side until both parts meet. That will prevent the hole coming out in the wrong place.

With all the holes drilled, I cut off a piece of 1 mm brass rod. And simply made kebabs with the pieces I had, glueing every bit in place as I slid it over the brass rod.

Some models are holding their pikes in a stabbing way, which means that a part of the pike will rest against the underarm of the model. Now, if you’re handy with a blade or with files, you can easily cut these parts away, but I always found that it is almost impossible to do this without ruining at least some parts of your miniature, so I found another method.

To start, I cut the pole off at the spot where the arm meets the pole. Then, I drill a 1 mm hole through the pole, like I did with the other hand.

Next, I take a 1,5 mm drill and use it to drill into the pole, up onto the hand, using the 1 mm hole I drilled earlier as a guide.

Then I do this again with a 2 mm drill. Be very careful here. There is little to no plastic left around the drill, so it’s pretty easy to injure yourself if you’re not being careful (I do advise you not to use a power drill for this, but I was a bit lazy).

To finish it off, use a knife to cut away the last bit of plastic that is left of the pole.

When you have done that, you will be left with a nice, round bedding that your plastic tube should fit in to.

The rest of the process is the same as before.

Which leaves us with a lot of pikes.

The standard was a bit easier. The pole for the flag is only 1,5 mm, so I just used a 1,5 mm brass rod for this.

And that leaves us with a finished unit of Pikemen, ready for the painting table.

And since I don’t want to leave you guys without a few pictures of painted miniatures: I finally completed my doom reavers last week.

That’s just 1 of the units, though. I initially bought 54 of these to make a mad dogs of war theme force, but then Mk3 hit and you can’t play these anymore. So I decided to "only" finish 30 of them (which is the maximum you can play at 75 points). I have no idea if I will ever get to play them all at once, but I couldn’t get myself to leave them half-finished on my painting table.

Till next time!