Hot Dremel action

12 Oct

For the November challenge I need a bunch of extra standard bearers and buglers for the Gateway horse – and that means quite a bit of brutal hacking at Spencer Smith castings. I’ve only got two of the donor castings to hand but I thought I’d make a start while I wait for reinforcements to arrive from darkest Norfolk.

One advantage of building my forces using the classic Spencer Smiths (the metal ones) is that I can take the most outrageous liberties without greatly offending the eye. The figure I’m using is the ‘dragoon officer looking right’ from the War of the Austrian Succession range. The designer has very cleverly sculpted the figure holding both a bugle and a sword – you simply carve off the item you don’t want. I’ve made a standard bearer and a bugler.

The chap on the right is the basic casting. The figure on the left is post 'hot Dremel action' . He'll be the standard bearer.

The chap on the right is the basic casting. The figure on the left is post ‘hot Dremel action’ . He’ll be the standard bearer.

I use the Dremel chuck supplied separately as an accessory. It means I can mix and match tools from any manufacturer. Unlike drilling, when shaping the lead with various grinding/cutting tools I use a high speed setting. The swarf flies off at an alarming rate – definitely time for safety specs and apron.

The tools. The cutting disc is about the size of a 1p piece.

The tools. The cutting disc is about the size of a 1p piece.

The top two tools are for shifting a lot of lead very quickly. The bottom tool produces the final shape and the round tool above that smooths out the cutting marks. The tiny tool above that smooths and cuts fine detail (not that there’s much fine detail to be honest).

I do worry that the long flag poles I need for the huge flags I like will ping off with handling. To make this less likely on this figure I strap the pole to the leg. It’s simply a loop of brass sheet with the tails shoved with a dab of glue into a hole drilled into the boot. It won’t really show once the figure is painted. The wire armature for the arm is added once the pole is set in place.

Flag pole strapped to leg. I make a small groove in the boot so the pole sits flat.

Flag pole strapped to leg. I make a small groove in the boot so the pole sits flat.

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A green stuff arm completes the conversion. Actually, I made a proper pig’s ear of the arm and it looks a bit odd. It’ll do. The photo has been selected so that my cock-up doesn’t show so much. The beauty of being my own editor.

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The bugler is a simple grinding job.

The bugler, with sword removed.

The bugler, with sword removed.

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