Thursday, 26 October 2017

Practical Ideas that work!

Every now and then(though not too often!) I surprise myself by coming up with ideas that actually work-this week I've come up with two!!!
Number one) I have had,for a few months now,10 old and battered horses-some with no tails and most with bent and broken legs,and 10 "Norman" knights,without shields:so I decided to utilise them,and make up a whole unit for my Crusader army.
I "hid" the legs of the horses with wine label foil,and it looked ok,but that is not the practical idea-no,the practical idea involves making shields for the knights!
I came up with the idea of photo-copying a sheet of shields I have from the Osprey Hospitallers book,reducing them on my printer,to a suitable size,adding a "blob" of superglue,and "hey presto!" cracking looking shields!!

This is the page,showing the banners and shields of the Grand Masters,taken from the Osprey Hospitallers(1)-a really good book!-I reduced it by 50%,then stuck it to a sheet of thin card(more of this card later!).When the glue was dry,I cut the shields out using a pair on nail scissors,and............................................

Very convincing!!-I did try to tell the lads that I had hand painted the shields,but they didn't believe me!!!!!-what do you think???

Number two) This must rank as one of my better ideas.
I have a couple of castles for the medieval period,but they have square towers,and some of the illustrations I have of castles from the crusades show castle s with round towers,so I decided to make some round towers!!-Now,being a POP(poor old pensioner) and a MOB(mean old bugger) I don't waste much,and try to utilise what I can from house-hold waste..................

I commandeered two empty pots of Gravy powder and an empty tin,and with my handy tools plus a sheet of thin card,started on the process of making round towers.

I carefully measured the height and circumference of the tin,marked a 10mm line at the top,for the battlements,and then........................

Using scissors to cut the vertical lines and my handy tool to cut the horizontal lines,I achieved the battlements!

I then rolled the thin card to get the required shape,prior to wrapping it around the pots and tins.A liberal application of PVA followed,and ...........................................

The towers are taking shape-I then let the glue dry thoroughly.

Awaiting an undercoat(actually two!) but you can see what the finished product is going to look like.

Under-coated(twice) and ready for a couple of coats of matt white paint.

Two coats of white paint to see what they look like with my existing walls.

Looks ok to me! any comments?

One final shot with two 25mm figures to show the scale.
If you were really adventurous,you could substitute doll's house stonework wallpaper for the thin card!!!!


  1. Very good... perhaps coat them with the same stuff as you have on the walls (polyfilla??) so they meld in?

    1. Hi STW,you have read my mind!-at the week-end I'm looking for textured polyfilla,and will coat the "towers" to look the same as the walls.

  2. You learn something everyday. I'd never heard of gravy powder!

    But nice work! The towers look good already and will doubtless look even better when finished. I admire that useful tool! Must keep my eye out.

    Nice fit on the shields and a smart idea. I suppose you could at least claim that you hand printed the shields?

    Anyway, I think you've earned a new set of initials to be proud of: C.O.C. ( Clever Old Codger) !

    1. Hi Ross,thanks for your comments-never heard of Gravy Powder?-only Tesco's best!!-I am still searching for "textured polyfilla" in hardware stores-if not Artex could be a soloution-keep reading a nd commenting'cheers,johnc(william)

  3. I can tell you watched Blue Peter as a kid! It's marvellous what you can make out of a fairy liquid bottle and a pair of Vals knickers! Nice work mate.

    1. Cheers Dennis,good to hear from you-did you have to mention Val's knickers???-I've come over all weak and wobbly!!!

  4. Great restoration jobs on the knights with the wine foil coverings for horses. Ingenious!
    The castle works well - I saw in Wargaming on a Budget by Iain Dickie a castle wall section using left over bumpy anaglypta wallpaper as cheap textured stonework. Great book cheaply available second hand online. Mod roc type plaster bandage is cheaply available from Hobbycraft type stores as well. Mark, Man of TIN blog / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog.

    1. Hi MMOT,thanks for comment-funnily enough I do believe I have some Modroc bandage somewhere-I might just give it a try,cheers,