I said in an earlier post that I’d make some notes about building Perry Miniatures War of the Roses plastics. I never got back to that. Here are some thoughts about that now that I am back on that project.
It is tremendously fun to put these figures together especially when you start creating things that are a bit out of the set – mixing and matching parts from the various sets. I’ll give you a few examples here on figures that didn’t photograph all that well actually. The first up is a foot knight holding a head he’s just lopped off. I admit it’s kind of grim. I’m not exactly sure who it should be. I was aware of a lot of heads being lopped off during the War of the Roses but when looking for an example of that occurring in battle, it’s hard to find one. It seems like it was mostly done to prisoners after battles.
This was a fairly simple build. I started with a foot knight. I liked the arm with the axe in it from the mounted men-at-arms set. Then I found a corresponding arm from the foot knights set (it’s important to note the subtle differences in armor on different arms and try to find matches). I took a helmet with a plume, chopped off the plume, then glued the helmet to the bottom of the hand and the plume to the top.
I shave a couple of pieces of sprue and blued them onto the bottom of the severed head so I can depict blood spilling from the thing. It’s pretty grim and now I wonder whether I’ll actually use it for anything. I wish the picture were better – it should look better with paint on it.
The next guy is pretty straightforward but he should go well on the same stand yelling to others that a similar fate is waiting for them:
I took some arms from the English Army (1415-1429) and added them to this guy to get an archer who has drawn his sword and is ready for a fight.
The next one is a similar idea, but more work. I took one of the swords from the mounted men-at-arms set. Those have half a hand that is glued to the other half of a hand on the armored arm. I wanted it on an unarmored arm, so cut half the hand off a barehanded guy and glued them together. There was a bit of sanding to get them to fit. (It would have been a lot easier just to cut the sword bearing hand off one of the Agincourt plastics, but it’s good to learn I guess).
I’m not sure what archers did with their bows once it came to blows. I imagine they tossed them or handed them to someone to take behind the line, but this guy still holds his.
I figure archers are pretty constantly trying to figure out what is going on with the wind and that is what this chap is doing:
I’m not sure how well you can see it but the right arm is built up quite a bit. At first I just stuck it on there held in the air but then realized that he ended up with a very short arm. When you do it that way the top of the shoulder become the bottom of the armpit and that anatomy isn’t quite right. So I shaved some sprue and used it to hold the arm up with the top of the shoulder in a better position. You can stuff sprue in, drench it in some plastic glue and let it set up. Then I filled it with putty. After priming I’ll be able to tell what it looks like and sand it to a nice proportion.
This next one is the most major work I’ve done on a figure with parts from 4 different boxes.
I noticed a standard bearers arm with brigandine in the light cavalry box. I wanted it for one of my brigandine wearing bodies from the War of the Roses box as a standard bearer. That was easy enough. I drilled out the hand to put a wire rod in for the standard. The other arm was a bit of a problem – the light cavalry arm is meant to be holding the reins of the horse which looked kind of uninteresting on a guy standing on foot, so I decided to weaponize it. I sliced the arm off just below the brigandine and then started look for corresponding parts. I got a similar arm from somewhere (I’m not sure what sprue it came from actually – maybe a command sprue?) and an armored left hand from the foot knights box. I put that together so I had an armored hand attached to the arm being held sort of to the front. I then decided to put a mace in it from the mounted men at arms box, so trimmed the mace above and below the hand it was on and glued it to the new arm. It all came together pretty nicely.
A simpler standard bearer is this guy with an arm and still plastic standard from the light cavalry box:
I’m not sure about the left arm – it might be the corresponding left arm with just a shield attached. Very straightforward.
But I have to say, these are amateurish. If you want some real inspiration for bashing these kits, you need to read Captain Blood’s thread from the Lead Adventure Forum how a pro does it.
Here are some basic things you need if you are just starting out:
The plastic side snips make removing the stuff from the sprue a breeze. I got the plastic sanding sticks at Hobby Lobby. They are awesome. There are a lot of seems on these figures that need to be sanded down. If it’s a fine seem you can shave it with a sharp x-acto (you need to keep a sharp blade and it takes a careful touch to shave without gouging) but most of the time sanding them with one of these sticks is a lot easier.
It’s hard for me to see the seems well on the figures as they come – the plastic is a little too dark. So I sand them where I can, but after I’ve assembled the figure I prime it with light gray and then go over it again looking for the seems. The light paint makes them very visible. It’s a little bit of work but not too bad.
I use this to glue my figs but I’m sure other plastic glues are fine also.
This stuff is great. You apply some of it to one surface you want to glue then stick the two things together. If you hold it for about 3 seconds they are stuck. It stays flexible for awhile though so you can reposition things. It is kind of melting the plastic and once it’s completely done, after about an hour, to separate the parts you are just cutting them apart. You can also use this stuff to smooth over a rough spot, it will melt small disturbances down into something smoother. It’s awesome stuff.