I'm working my way through my back log of plastic figures at the moment. I found a box of Hat Hoplites, and as you can never have too many hoplites they were next on the list.
The last time I painted any hoplites was a while a go. At that time I was using metal florists' wire to make spears. I experimented with hammering the end flat and then filing it into a point, but honestly it was too much like hard work. My hoplites (and phalangites too) are therefore armed with what looks like, on close inspection, to be 8 foot barge poles.
Since then I have moved over to using the plastic bristles from a yard broom. That's a stiff broom, not a soft one. The diameter of the bristles is the same as the wire I was using, and they take paint just as well.
Handily they come pre-cut to a standard length, which is useful. You just need to snip them off of the broom head when you use them. I use wire cutters for that - easier than a knife - but recently I found it easy to cut off a whole block using a mini tool with a rotary cutting disc.
|My all purpose mini multi tool. Bargain in Aldi|
When I first started using these I just did the same as I did with the florists wire. This time round, however, I experimented with a bit of modelling on the tips.
I tried this out with the standards on my recent WSS paintjobs. It is really simplicity itself to produce viable looking spearpoints.
All I did was take a pair of pliers and simply squeeze the end flat. Unfortunately this leaves them with a slightly ridged surface, depending on the gripping marks on your pliers. I tried using a vice with a flat covering of the jaws, but it was too fiddly, and in any event, it turns out once you paint them you can't really tell.
|The pliers are a small handy pair I got in a set of two from a pound store.|
The nail clippers are a large size, bought in a market in Borneo
|Here are my trial spears. The butt ends need tidying up.|
And that's it. The work of seconds to produce fairly decent looking spears with spearpoints. This will be my chosen method going forwards, but I don't think I'll go back and replace the original barge poles. At least, not any time soon.