Monday, 8 February 2016

French Crossbowmen - Aventuriers (2)

The preparation and modification work is coming along. I have the first twenty figures (four each of five different castings) done.

The old TTG figures had enormously long crossbows compared with the others so I cut these down in length first. I cut the (rather Landsknechty) hats off the Old Glory figures and made new hats or helmets from Milliput. I also modified the sleeves and tunics on the Roundway and Venexia figures to make them look less medieval / like Swiss or Landsknechts respectively.

In most cases, I made new bows from 0.7 mm brass rod, flattened with a hammer and then filed and bent to shape.

I don't like the as-supplied Old Glory crossbows with their fat strings (about 3" diameter, scaled up) and solid metal between the bow and string. After removing the first two bows and making new ones, as described above, for the others I just drilled out the filled-in portion and did a lot of filing to make the bow and string as thin as possible.

With some figures having strung bows, I decided (slightly reluctantly) that I would have to string the others. This didn't prove as difficult and fiddly as I had expected. I cut suitable lengths of wire, pre-bent it by pressing the middle against my cutting mat and trimmed to length. I put a small blob of epoxy on the ends of the bows and another in the middle of the 'string', placed them roughly in place with tweezers then nudged them into place with the tip of a needle in a pin vise. The strings and bolts are from the wire on a bottle of Rioja and about 0.25 mm diameter - well over-scale but still much thinner than the cast ones. For those without a stirrup on the end, I made a U-shaped piece from offcuts and glued them on.

I'm not sure which figures to use for the last four. I have changed my mind on this a few times but I think I'll probably use the Black Hat / Gladiator Games figures - these are rather bulkier than the others but people vary in build and, as long as the crossbows match, I think it will be OK. We will see.


  1. That's quite a lot of work in a small scale but I think you have improved them enormously and successfuly brought them into the 16th century. Looking forward to seeing them painted!
    Best Iain

  2. Thanks for commenting.

    I finished modifying the last four (Black Hat, in the end) yesterday and have all 24 primed and undercoated. With all the crossbows of similar size and heft, the small differences in height and (rather more significant differences) in bulk seem less noticeable, no more so than a random crowd of people will vary. Painting next but, given my glacial rate of painting progress, it might we a while before I have anything to post.