The Waving Flag: Fun With Flags

Thursday 17 January 2019

Fun With Flags

I seem to be doing a lot with flags at the moment. I've currently working on a couple of War of the Roses command elements, complete with multiple flags, but they aren't quite ready yet.

As a change of pace I've been painting some Roundway (yes them again) medieval Russians for use as mercenaries for my Polish & Lithuanian armies.  For extra variety I decided to add paper lance pennons:

As you can see I have varied both the size and shape of the pennons but it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

It's been a while since I did this sort of thing but the first one (far left) went well.  However, subsequent attempts failed miserably. I needed a more reliable method.

For the first pennon I used my standard method. I cut a strip of paper to the height of the pennon, shaped it round a piece of brass rod, glued it together, trimmed the edges and cut out the tails.

Unfortunately this approach has an inherent flaw.  It depends heavily on correctly lining up the two halves of a small piece of paper folded in two.  With dry paper this isn't too bad but when they're coated with glue it's that much harder.  I found this very hit-and-miss.

In fact it, proved far too fiddly bordering on frustrating.  I always seemed to be 0.5 mm out which is a lot when the pennon is only 3-4 mm high.  Trimming these edges made the pennons smaller and even more difficult to handle.

After a short walk and a bit of a think I decided to try a new method; well at least new to me.  I glued an oversize piece of paper around a length of brass rod taking care not to get any glue near the brass rod. It was far deeper and longer than a single pennon as I wanted to get 5 or 6 pennons from each piece:

Of course the larger piece of paper was easier to handle and I didn't have to bother lining up the edges exactly.  Within 5-10 minutes the paper was dry enough to cut without tearing.

It proved much easier to cut "blank pennons" of the correct height from the larger piece and all with perfectly aligned edges.  Likewise cutting a tail, or tails, was straightforward.

The only drawback with this approach was putting a bend in the pennon.  However if you work quickly you can curve the pennons before the glue dries completely.  It's not ideal but it's enough to avoid the "dead flat" appearance.


PatG said...

Great idea - thanks

Vexillia said...

No problem. On reflection the second method is so simple I'm now wondering why I bothered with the first method at all.

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