Men With Big Sticks

 Time for an update on those pikemen.

Here we are with a couple of finished ranks, one at stand and one at what passes for "Charge for Horse". I think you can barely tell they've got back and breast plates on.

For wargaming purposes a base of these will sit behind the middle of one off my regular battalions for WSS/Jacobite Risings. In game terms they won't "count", they're just a marker to say the unit has pikes. This has called for great precision when gluing the little fellows down.

Here they are from another angle. The pikes don't protrude as much as I thought they would, which is partly because they need to be at a shallower angle. Few manufacturers really make figures with the poses crouching as low as it required. I blame the use of short pikes, as the longer the pike the lower you need to crouch to get the right angle.

The guys at stand are less of an issue - at least until you put them in a box!

I'm currently working on the other poses.

The push of pike pose proved to be not the nightmare I expected once I'd carved the original out. Lining up on the supporting arm/hand wasn't too bad. The pose isn't quite right. You tend to roll your arm on the top of the pike to control the weight, and the front supporting hand should be perpendicular to the ground, but it's close enough.

Here's the other pose with the angled pike. Not so much "Charge for Horse" as "Charge for elephant/giraffe/hot air balloon", but again this isn't an uncommon representation of the pose. Carving away the pike was a tad tricky, as it was moulded into the sword holding hand, and I could have lost a sword or two but the plastic is soft and pliable which helped. Drilling out the hand wasn't too bad either once I'd carved out the crud between top and bottom hands, but I haven't got the angle perfect, so the pike isn't rested against the foot.

The marching pose had all sorts of stuff going on around the shoulder and hat that required me to get out a new scalpel blade to be sure of what I was doing. The trick here was to get the hole in the lower hand at the right angle so the pike rests more or less on the shoulder. I'm there or thereabouts on most of the figures.

There's two more poses to try, one is another standing pose and one is another marching so I'm hopeful they'll be okay to do as well.

More updates once I finished slapping the paint on these chaps.

UPDATE: Those two remaining poses were three, two standing and one marching. The standing poses turned out to be horrible, with the pike moulded onto the body and in one case into the face as well. I've managed to carve the old pike out and replace it, but I can tell you, most of those guys will be standing at the back and not giving any close ups.


  1. Nice! I recently picked up the Wofun War of Spanish Succession starter set (partly inspired by your 1715/19 scenarios) and, to my surprise, the Dutch regiment came with a single rank on one base of pikes. I placed it behind the standard/music rank, and the other four two-rank bases are with muskets.

    1. Hmm. Interesting. I'd be wondering if that's a valid unit composition for the Dutch post 1700. I thought Dutch William and his like were fans of the musket. Curious decision by Wofun.

      Still, good to see someone else joining in with the WSS fun and games.

  2. These are some convincing conversions works, Graham. The grounded pike/charge for horse pose is an odd one to my eye. Having never wielded a pike in anger, I think it would be very difficult to brace and steady a pike with only one hand while the other hand is busy stabbing and slashing with sword.

    1. The brace position works fine once you have things set up right. The puke keeps off the horse by its mere threat if you hold it steady, and the sword keeps off infantry trying to get under the pike. Holding the pose for a long time is challenging. We normally used two hands on the pike, but that may have been because not everyone had a sword.


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