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Author Topic: English Civil War Pikemen with open hands  (Read 2729 times)
d_Guy
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« Reply #15 on: 13 June 2019, 04:49:37 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Arthur. You do indeed open with an interesting (and occasionally heated) subject

Welcome!  I can live with either, but my one request is that if they are going to be moulded on, then they should be the right size.

Best comment I have seen on the subject - ever - and completely agree.
EC1,2 are lovely sculpts, all told I probably have two or three hundred in play. Their pikes, however, would best be characterized as half pikes. The problem is magnified by having one figure carrying the pike at the port which makes it look longer (it actually isn’t).

My preference, starting out, was for “molded on” because it is way simpler and I labored under a delusion that it would be easy to cut off and add a longer pike (I was wrong!). Mollinary has actually done this with his, I believe, and bravo.

Molded on pikes of proper length also suffer from the “limp noodle” effect (a counter measure has been suggested elsewhere).

Still and all, my ECW troops have the shorter pike, look uniform and storage is way simpler.
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« Reply #16 on: 13 June 2019, 05:20:53 PM »

Bill...(d-Guy) HAS hit the nail on the head.

The thinner the 'moulded on' pike gets.....the more 'noodley' it's prone to become.....If poor Leon's casters manage to get decent castings from the mould...... I don't want to see (Then they've got to go in the post !!!!)

Leon's caught between a rock, and a hard place, on this one. I don't want to see

Cheers - Phil

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« Reply #17 on: 13 June 2019, 07:05:10 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Arthur. You do indeed open with an interesting (and occasionally heated) subject

Best comment I have seen on the subject - ever - and completely agree.
EC1,2 are lovely sculpts, all told I probably have two or three hundred in play. Their pikes, however, would best be characterized as half pikes. The problem is magnified by having one figure carrying the pike at the port which makes it look longer (it actually isn’t).

My preference, starting out, was for “molded on” because it is way simpler and I labored under a delusion that it would be easy to cut off and add a longer pike (I was wrong!). Mollinary has actually done this with his, I believe

Not true, I am afraid! In all my thousands of ECW figures, the only Pendraken pikemen I field are the Pikemen for my Montrose troops, and they are actually sculpts from the Jacobite range. I was happy to use them, as their pikes are about two and a half times the size of the figure, still a bit short, but it sort of ‘looks right’, they are nice figures, and you can always use the General Monck ‘well they cut off a bit for firewood, didn't they?’argument.   The ECW pikemen have pikes which are barely twice the height of the figure which equates, if one listens t the Dark Lord’s very informative conversation with Henry Hyde, to 11ft 6inches.  That is not a pike, it is a spear!  And it looks like it. This is why all my hundreds of pikemen are actually AIM/Minifigs (apart from one battalia which use Lancer figures, with open hands and wire pikes). The AIM pikes have survived over twenty years without becoming noodly, and have managed a number of shows with no irreversible damage. How many have I had to replace? Precisely ..... one!  The point is, it can be done. In fact, if the ECW figures had pikes the length of the Jacobite ones, I would  probably have accepted the compromise.. Sorry for the rant!
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d_Guy
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« Reply #18 on: 13 June 2019, 07:27:45 PM »

Another belief shattered. I’m disappointed, Andrew, I have always had visions of you diligently cutting off the Pendraken pikes and replacing them one by one!
Oh well, life is full of disappointments.  Cheesy

I have a fair number of AIM/Minifig pikemen among my Irish. To once again prove my role here as village idiot, I cut them down to match the Pendrakens.
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« Reply #19 on: 13 June 2019, 08:01:43 PM »

Welcome to the forum Arthur1815.

for my $0.02's worth I have gone for a compromise with my Scots ECW project......here's a quick visual comparison.

I used Pendraken EC 2 pikemen with molded pikes for my Irish pike and musket units (I had to cut the pike head off and reglue it with the standard bearers as the 10mm flags I uesd were too long to fit on the existing molded pikes):



Whiile for my Covenant pikes I am using open handed Lancer Miniatures Scots Pikemen with 30mm pins (about 29mm actually since I have to cut the head off the pin)....OK I have used a picture of an Irish shot unit but the standard bearer is a Lancer figure:
  


With open handed pikes you do have to spend a bit of time (and a bit of frustration at times  Wink) gluing on X number of pikes - I would recommend doing this before painting the figures.

I think its up to individual taste really....."we all got to work it out for ourselves"      
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« Reply #20 on: 13 June 2019, 10:51:31 PM »

My post in the other thread would still apply unfortunately, as well as the other reasons above.  If you'd be happy to attach 100 pikes to figures then you're probably patient enought to clip 100 cast-on pikes off before attaching your own!  With open handed figures it forces that extra time/effort on everyone, many of whom don't want to be spending that time adding their own pikes.  As mentioned before though, we might try and lengthen them if we do some revamping.

Another factor is the domino effect, where if we do it on the ECW's, we'd then get asked about it on other ranges as well.
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« Reply #21 on: 13 June 2019, 11:06:03 PM »

The pikemen in the LoA may well be an anomaly. The reason they were made open-handed is that that's how I like them. I hate the idea of the work to paint figures is ruined when pikes get bent. Everyone has a pretty firm preference on the pikes cast on/ open-handed, and that's mine. I see the merits of the other way as its less fiddly, but they don't outweigh the problems for me.
I sculpted that range because I wanted to build armies for the period (that hasn't worked out due to time constraints, but I am still happy with the decision).  For that reason the figures were sculpted and just presented to Pendraken without instruction from HQ. Honestly I never considered that there would be a prefered house style- which may be pikes cast on. So the range shouldn't be looked at as anything other than esoteric. Nearly all the stuff I do is not commissioned by Pendraken, so I pretty much have free rein creatively. For Phil its mostly different so he gets more specific instructions. And as he points out there's no sculpting difficulty in doing it either way (but not both as it doubles the cost). That said I think the open-handed way is not problem-free in terms of casting the hands, if I recall correctly.
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« Reply #22 on: 14 June 2019, 05:04:51 PM »

I have with both the ECW and LOA ranges, so one with pikes and one without.

My opinion is that it was easier to add the pikes than cut away the moulded pikes then drill through the hands (which is what I did with my ECW figures).  My one criticism of the 'open-handed' figures was that the bases were not quite big enough to take the base of the pike and still have it in an upright position.

If you look at code LOA9 'Command, standing' the figures second and third from left both have their bases extended out to support the half-pike/standard pole, and a similar arrangement would be greatly helpful for the pikemen when the moulds come to be remade.

As an aside, whilst I use brass rod for my standard poles, I have used the stiff plastic bristles from a garden broom for the LOA pikes.  The bristles have a decent amount of spring, which prevents them bending, and are light, which helps with the gluing.  One broom will provide nearly enough pikes to do several armies of Alexander's Macedonians.
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« Reply #23 on: 14 June 2019, 06:44:49 PM »

Surely we could have both?  Wink
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« Reply #24 on: 15 June 2019, 09:40:34 AM »

My preference is for open hands.

I understand Leon's dilemma and accept that his decision probably does play to the majority and thus makes economic sense.

What I strongly disagree with is the assertion that snipping cast pikes/spears off and drilling hands is comparable to adding steel/pins/nylon/etc to open hands. It isn't, it's far, far harder and much more time intensive and that's why all my pikes still have their [short] PD pikes despite the fact that I'd much rather have longer steel pins. I feel that choice is as much 'forced' upon me as adding pins would be 'forced' upon the other camp. I did have the choice not to buy PD figures though, so ultimately its on me not Leon  Cheesy


EPM 06 - Prince Rupert's Foot - 00
by Zippee Jerred, on Flickr

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d_Guy
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« Reply #25 on: 15 June 2019, 06:12:28 PM »

As I said above, early on I had remarked that thought it would be simple to “snip and replace”. To repeat, I was wrong.  Zippee, among others, was right.

I want to use EC1a for Elizabethans with long pikes. I am still slowly working on replacing. Here is a set of experiments using different methods:

Clipping just above the hand is relatively easy but it must be done carefully and requires some file and sanding work to make flush.
Many experiment have shown that keeping the bottom portion of the pike makes the task simpler and provides better support for what comes next.

The brass upper portion of the pike must now be attached. I have tried a flush attachment (way too weak), cutting a notch in the hand (way too fiddly) and drilling a socket to receive  the upper pike.

Drilling is best (the two right most are done that way). I use a micro dremel and (counter-intuitively to me at least) higher speed gives way better tip control the lower speed. I secure the figure (wrapped in thin leather) in a heavy pipe wrench and then drill. It takes practice to hit the sweet spot in the hand.

The pike top is put in the socket with superglue gel. After a day I work a bit of epoxy glue around the join.

Others likely have more skill but it’s hard for me to imagine (after actually doing it) the process to be quick or easy.
Maybe others have a better approach?
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« Reply #26 on: 15 June 2019, 09:50:56 PM »

Welcome Arthur. 

there have been many threads about this and opinion seems evenly divided between those who want open handed pike men to allow pikes of a more realistic width, and those like myself who consider life too short to glue pikes onto 10mm figures.

I would never buy an army in 10mm (or 15mm for that matter)   that required pikes to be glues onto the figures
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« Reply #27 on: 16 June 2019, 08:52:40 AM »

Hi Bill.

If I do anything similar to the job you're doing above, I tend to snip the pole of the pike away completely. (Top and bottom)

I use the smallest 'burr' I've got to make an indentation in the top of the hand, and then drill right thro' the hand, top to bottom.

The indentation gives a ready made 'guide' for the drill bit, which I find makes the drilling itself much easier.
If I need to....I'll use a pair of tiny pliers to carefully squeeze the fingers of the hand around the shaft of the pike....and then use the 'super glue'.
If I make a mess....I'll just re-do the fingers with greenstuff. (Fair enough...that only takes me a few seconds to do that, because I've had so much practice with the g/s)

Cheers - Phil
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Leman
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« Reply #28 on: 16 June 2019, 11:35:01 AM »

TBH 10mm and 6mm pikes far too fiddly to mess with, but 15mm and above my preference is for open hands, or, even better, hands prepared for drilling.
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« Reply #29 on: 16 June 2019, 04:32:41 PM »

One thing I forgot to put in my reply above, was......

I tend to stick any 10mm model I'm working on, onto a wine cork (£3 for about 30, here in the UK.).....I use the 'wasted' green stuff that's already mixed....But gone 'past its best' for sculpting...To do this.

This might well be too much of a 'faff' if you're talking about doing a dozen or more.

Cheers - Phil
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