As mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to convert some SSM minitures as NCO's. As two model soldiers of the Grenadiers de France, the unit currently being reconditioned, had damaged muskets, I decided to remove these (ooooh) and replace them with scratch build espontoons (aaaah).
Now this would prove to be the tricky bit. Armed with some 1mm diameter wire, cut to length I set about carving some sort of espontoon "head" to put on the wire staff. Whilst I was busy, I also tried to sculpt a head for the staff of the unit's colours. I was quite proud of the result. But then I just had to compare with the Minden Miniatures "flagpole / espontoon" castings. I must admit that the roaring laughter from those -even though they should know better- looking over my shoulder didn't help...
But then I remembered something which would prove very important in this venture: I had a nephew. Actually, I never forget that, he's after all the only family I have left. But the point is: he's a very accomplished military modeller, winning prizes in modelling competitions, writing articles for modelling magazines and all that sort of thing. And I've seen him do some eyebrow raising stuff with some brass wire and a soldering iron. So I phoned him explaining my problem. A date was set and he would teach me how to solder.
-Left my first attempt (steel wire and carved plastic sprue),
in the middle the Minden cast and on the right the soldered espontoon. I was bit impatient taking this picture,
but a bit more filing should make a perfect spontoon for my SSM's.-
Yesterday I found a store that had all I needed to start soldering myself. For about 15 Euros I had everything I needed. I think the picture speaks for itself, doesn't it. This also means I will be replacing the Minden staffs with brass wire, but keeping the cast heads. I guess you can also do swords and spears and lots of other weapons and implements for toy soldiers.
Maybe it would be a good idea, when I produce the next batch of "Kurzgewehre" to try my hand at a small tutorial, if there is any interest out there. Maybe I'm the last person on earth that didn't know how to solder?