Improvising Spears

I was walking around a toy soldier show (bad idea) with some money in my pocket (bad idea) when I stumbled across boxes of 1/72 scale plastics (unfortunate) that were only $4 USD a box (very unfortunate). These guys were not my usual genre and I already have a ton of other stuff waiting on my work bench. Not to mention I was traveling so I would have to haul them home. So naturally I bought all of them.

After I scrubbed the figs on the sprues with hot soapy water I rough cut them free. I then mounted them on half inch washers as most of their bases fit nicely. Here you see the last man to be equipped with the spears that came in the box. I thought they looked a little cumbersome to begin with, so to add injury to insult I ended up being two dozen spears short. It figures....

That left a bunch of his brothers (note the ranks in the background) still needing a weapon to wield. Not a problem.

I went to the local grocery store and walked down the house cleaning aisle. I found numerous brushes and brooms and picked the one that I thought had bristles which were the closest to the heft of spear I wanted to equip my fellows with. It cost me about $2.50 USD.

Once I got the brush home I chopped off a single sprout of bristles at the base.

As you can see a single sprout of bristles yields quite a lot of spear shafts. The trick is to find the heft and stiffness that work best for spear lengths. These are perhaps a touch on the narrow and flimsy side, but since I'm not looking to be overly critical they will serve my purpose just fine. Others would even go so far as to smack the very end with a small hammer to flatten it. They would then cut the tip into a point thus yielding a broad spear head. I refuse to get that detailed for this project - I just need the boys to be carrying something into battle!

I then turn to what ever fast fixing glue I have at hand - in this case Krazy Glue. Just put two tiny pools into the hands of your figure and lay your piece of bristle into his clutches. Blow gently to help set the glue and then you're off to the next guy.

Once the glue is well set I clip the bristle to the desired length. I make this cut at an angle to at least give the tip a points end. You'll notice the finished product looks okay despite being much narrower than the packaged spears. Keep in mind you can always bring a fellow with you to the store as you compare the different bristle widths. In the end a base coat of paint and a top coat of color will add some thickness to the spear. Who's next?

Cheers & Enjoy!

© 2009, Gabriel Landowski