Strelets Forum

Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.

Strelets Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Replacing French Pikes

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?

Trebian

Re: Replacing French Pikes

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.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

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?

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Graham Evans
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?

Trebian
Yes, open hands for pikes is much better. I use the same broom-bristle expedient as you for all my pikes (and standard bearers too) be they Ancient phalanx, Italian Wars pike blocks or Thirty Years War pikemen. Redbox got it right with their Lansknechts/Swiss Pikeman for the Italian Wars (Renaissance)...except they 'forgot' that a set like that usually has 40+ figures, not the miserly 20 or so they put in each box.

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....:confused:

Re: Replacing French Pikes

"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!

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Graham Evans
"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!
At least you do!:relaxed:

I'll probably end up playing around with the cuirass and re-modelling it to create a coat, much as you have suggested, and promote them all to standard bearers....with broom bristle standard poles of course.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Minuteman
Graham Evans
\"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!
At least you do!:relaxed:

I'll probably end up playing around with the cuirass and re-modelling it to create a coat, much as you have suggested, and promote them all to standard bearers....with broom bristle standard poles of course.
Best of luck using the bloke at push of pike as a flag bearer.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Graham Evans
Best of luck using the bloke at push of pike as a flag bearer.
Not every plastic soldier is cut out for greatness, and the 'push of pike' pose will either find himself face down in the 'mud' of Blenheim, Ramillies etc as a casualty marker...or will lose his head and join the ranks of 'un-useable' figures who have given up their heads for the greater good.

But come to think of it, one or both of the 'wrong way round' receiving poses may go the same way.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

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:

Re: Replacing French Pikes

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...

:wink:


Re: Replacing French Pikes

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?

Re: Replacing French Pikes

ironsides
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...

:wink:


I think I said I'm not sold completely on ring hands. I'm happy with grooves.

I recognise that putting in your own pikes isn't for everyone, so I don't know what the best compromise option is. Alas for theses figures - as for many others - they simply don't look like they're holding pikes. There was a manufacturer that used to put strips of plastic rod in packets so that they didn't have to cast a sprue of pikes. Can't think who it it was.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

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.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Roger W
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.
The rod I saw was like the broom bristles I use. Sharpening them or making spear points is easy. You squeeze the end flat with a pair of pliers then snip the sides off the flat bit with a pair of nail clippers. There's a link in the blog post above which shows you how it is done.

As for those who like not to do any assembly...I'd say putting spears in open hands doesn't take much longer than taking the flash off a cast one.

Re: Replacing French Pikes

Dear Graham,

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.

Regards, James