Saturday, 25 July 2015

Wrestling with Redcoats

Der Kriegspielers DK 176: Swiss Line Infantry Battalion
DK 176: Swiss Line Infantry Battalion
Ian's second squadron of Prussian lancers are well under way, but I'm sorry to say they're not quite finished and would have been too late to take part in the spectacular fight which  has broken out at Mont Saint Jean in any case. As a result I've decided to post something that I started working on a few weeks ago when it seemed that Ian's cavalry were never going to arrive.

One of the things one quickly begins to accumulate when collecting vintage figures are various problem castings that it's difficult to know what to do with. In my case the worst example was a set of sixteen DK 176: Swiss Line Infantry. These rather promising figures had everything going for them except one thing - a complete lack of musket butts! What made this especially annoying was that they were just what I needed to go with Chuck's 1809 French standard bearer. Even more importantly, I wanted some redcoats!

After considering various options involving milliput and superglue, which didn't look very promising from a strength point of view, I decided there was nothing for it but to have a go at making some of my own using a soldering iron. I've never dared to do this before, but having consulted an expert (yes, that's you Roy), I equipped myself with some self-fluxing solder, a soldering iron, some micro-files and a pair of flat sided pliers. 

Der Kriegspielers DK 176: Swiss Line Infantry Battalion
DK 176 with modifications!
The hardest part was to get a blob of solder attached that was long enough. However, once this was achieved a bit of pinching, cutting and filing was all that was needed to get the right shape. The result of my first attempt is in the next photograph.

The next thing I had to know, of course, was what Chuck's DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Standard Bearer would look like standing next to him. I'm not exactly sure how I managed to squeeze the lettering onto this, but let's just say that it's a relief to know I won't be doing any more of these for a while!

Der Kriegspielers DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Standard Bearer
DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Standard Bearer
Well, one thing led to another, so pictured below him are the DK 7 drummer and charging officer figures needed to round off the command group. The drummer has been slightly modified to create the swallows nests favoured by the 3rd Swiss Regiment.

I chose the 3rd despite the fact that, "as any fule kno", almost all the depictions of the 3rd show they had the peculiar habit of wearing their pom poms slightly off-centre and wore their shako cords even more eccentrically. My excuse is that, as neither Marcus Hinton or Duke Siefried catered for such peculiarities, I didn't have any choice, and besides, not all the pictures of them show them like this! The truth, of course, is that I just couldn't resist their snazzy black facings and white piping.

Normal Prussian Lancer service will resume in the next post.


Der Kriegspielers DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Drummer
DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Drummer

Der Kriegspielers DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Officer. Charging
DK 7: French Line Infantry Command, Officer, Charging


  1. Beautiful figures , I admire your daring with a soldering iron ! , Tony

  2. Lovely strong red there, fantastic painting and a big improvement with the added butts!

  3. Matt these are simply wonderful! Very impressed with the soldering iron work - I've never attempted such a thing myself. Any hints on restoring bayonets and swords?

  4. Great work - I have been advised to use a soldering iron in conversion work in the past, and I always have to lie down for a bit when I think about it - I just know I would reduce perfectly good soldiers to puddles of melted metal!

    These are really very good indeed - very impressed. Painting is lovely, of course, but I've come to expect that!

    Thanks for showing us these - inspirational.

  5. Wow! You have outdone yourself - all of those look great!

  6. Thank you chaps! Can't resist a red coat, and no mistake.

    The secret Ian, is to make sure you have a good clean, newly-filed surface to work on, about six pairs of hands and lighting reflexes so that you can get your pincers on to them when they're still warm!

    Wellington Girl (9) says they look like Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and do you know, she may be on to something. So, in order of appearance, may I present John, George, Paul and the supremely talented Mr Ringo Starr!

  7. I am very, very impressed. My own soldering technique is very much a work in progress and I cheat and use paper flags!

  8. I am very impressed Matt, you have rescued those little chaps from buttless ignominy. They are now fit to stand proudly in any army!
    As we have come to expect, your painting is superb

  9. Excellent work, and a beautiful flag.