It was when I saw Matt's pikemen in his last post that I discovered that you could get button plugs, flathead plugs and roundhead plugs small enough to work with the ~12mm figures that I was building. I immediately went to the American Woodcrafters Supply Co. website and bought a bag of each to experiment with. Button plugs make great helmets and can be used for a picklehaube, flathead plugs can be used for a kepi or a shako (depending upon which end is up), and roundhead plus make a for a great grenadier bearskin.
When I got them one of the button plugs fell on the table and rested a certain way, with a stray bit of debris on it, and an idea struck me.
I stroked three pen lines on the plug and all of a sudden I knew I had an easier way of making a three-cornered hat. Just three simple cuts with a hobby knife. The top would still be rounded though. Would it look okay?
After making the cuts – they actually broke a little bit because the pieces are so small and brittle – I took a flat sanding block to the sides and smoothed it out.
It actually did not look half bad. The top was still too round, but I was determined to keep the approach as minimal as possible. What would it look like with paint?
So here is a British infantryman in 1768 Warrant uniform with his tricorne. Basically I painted it all black, edged it in white, then painted some dark gray for the depressed areas, then painted black for shadow. That is about as complex as it gets.