A relatively simply conversion, but an important one, due to the fact that most figure sets do not include enough standardbearers for diorama and wargaming purposes. A typical box of plastic miniatures provides enough troops for three infantry regiments of 12–14 figures, but only one flag instead of the three that would be required. Conversion is the answer. An infantry figure has the musket removed and replaced with a flag. The flag itself is painted on plain typing paper and attached to a pianowire staff. The result is very convincing and it adds variety in poses to the existing figure ranges.
There are a number of suitable miniatures for this conversion. The standardbearer pictured above was converted from an advancing infantryman carrying the musket at his right shoulder. The hands were conveniently positioned one above the other, making it very easy to push a flagpole through them. First, the musket needed to be removed by careful cutting with the scalpel. It is important not to damage the folds of the uniform on the upper arm, yet to remove all traces of the musket.
The flagpole is 38 mm long, it was cut from 0.6 mm pianowire. Using a pair of pliers, the pianowire is carefully pushed through the figure’s hands. British flags measure 20 mm on the stave and 24 mm on the fly. Even in strong winds, flags do not usually extend away from the flagpole at a perfect 90 degree angle. To achieve a more realistic look, let the flag drop away from the pole at a 75 degree angle. Using a geometric triangle, draw the dimensions of both sides of the flag on regular typing paper. Allow 1 mm space between flag halves to wrap around the pole. Sketch flag devices and mottos with a pencil, then colour the flag with acrylic paint.
When the flag has dried, cut it out and spread white glue on the inside of it. Wrap the flag around the pole, match the edges and press the halves together firmly. Wipe off excess glue. Make sure that the flag wraps tightly around the pole. Allow the glue to dry a little, then roll the ends of the flag around a toothpick to create natural folds in the material.
- British Infantry, Airfix or Revell
- 0.6 mm Pianowire
- Handpainted Paper Flags
The 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment pictured above was uniformed as follows:
- Red coat, green collar, shoulder straps and facings, white lace
- Grey trousers and rolled coat on the knapsack
- Black shako with brass badge and white cords
- Coloured plume on the shako: White for Grenadiers, green in the Light Company and red with white tip in the Battalion Companies. British regiments consisted of 10 companies, 8 Battalion Companies and one each of Grenadiers and Light Infantry.
- Black Knapsack and cartridge pouch with brass badge
- Light blue canteen
- White haversack
- Red swallow’s nests trimmed white for Grenadiers and Light Infantry. These must be simulated with paint, they are not actually cast on any available figures. Men in the Battalion Companies wore white woollen tufts on their shoulder straps
Similar conversion procedures will be used to create standardbearers of other nations, but the dimensions of the flags will be different.