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I just got hold of a couple of the recent WSS French Pike boxes.
Alas, the pikes had to go, being the wrong length and a bit wobbly. You can see how I dealt with the problem here: https://wargaming4grownups.blogspot.com/2021/05/plastic-pikemen-problem.html
And a plea to Strelets. Next time, anything with a long pike, just leave them with open hands, please?
For pikemen or indeed lancers, im all for ring hands. Perhaps that way, pikes, flagpoles and lances can be made the right thickness and length a bit easier?
Also when getting an unwanted flag bearer in cavalry, we can then just substitute for a lance or something.
What I will say though is I think if doing seperate pikes, lances etc, something will have to be done about how much plastic is between the weapon and the sprue. Currently theres a "robust" plastic link between figures and the sprue. Can be quite tough to cut through at times. So for items as delicate as weapons etc, it will need be much thinner and easier to cut.
Honestly, I'd never use a cast soft plastic weapon like a pike or spear anyway. I used to replace them with florists wise or pins. Now I'm a big convert to plastic broom bristles, as you can see on the blog.
Rings, or simply open works for me. I have Strelets cavalry with ring hands for swords, so why not for long pokey weapons?
"I have one box of the Strelets French Pikemen, and other than three of the command figures I still do not know what to do with them...."
Well, at least I know what I'm trying to do with mine!
As a more causal wargamer that likes to minimalize assembly as much as possible (and also as somebody that still moves living spaces quite often), have to say I disagree with the above and appreciate the effort of making complete one piece pikemen. Naturally this effort was not 100% perfect, but the scores for this set are much higher on my chart than the RedBox ones or HaT's phalangists, MiniArt's Swiss, etc.
I just state this to ensure that Strelets knows the opinions on this are mixed, not 100% negative. Naturally the free hand poses have their advantages as you guys have stated. Ring figures would be cool, although the length of the shaft might make this unpractical? Just guessing on the final point there.
Either way, hope to see more attempts in the future. Pre-1783 AD times are a rough place to operate for 1/72 companies, so I appreciate the efforts regardless. Except for Lucky Toys' Huns, I have no idea what to do with them! :joy: :sweat_smile:
Graham, I think your solution looks excellent in every way....
Unfortunatly ring hands would not be possible without the actual hand holes being straight on to the tool face, I would suggest solid hands in which you can drill the holes through to take the pikes, this way it doesn't matter so much how the figures are oriented in the tool, and you can get more realistic poses and a firmer grip...
This would be my preference in any case... even the Zvezda pikemen which are otherwise good have really poor pikes, it just doesn't translate into injection moulding very well...
Always best to have seperate pikes from an extruded material...
While you guys are here, I was perusing the WoSS line and wondering: did grenadiers have their own command uniforms, or did they use line officers/standards/drummers/etc. at this point?
Lengths of plastic rods of a stiffer sort to the men, possibly with a point at one end, would be a great idea!! I'd be all for it.
So long as the hands hold the lance/pike securely, with some glue helping rather than being the only thing keeping them in place, im happy with a ring hand or groove.
Mars put lengths of plastic in their boxes (the Austrian infantry and Polish infantry (Sobieski's) at least). They are fabulous. Longer than required, given in large numbers, can be 'sharpened' at the business end. Hands are proper hands not rings and the pikes fit well. They are just the business for mine.