Friday, November 11, 2016

A Tricorne for 12mm Figures

One of my biggest frustrations in making wooden soldiers is that the period I liked the most, the American Revolutionary War, had a rather iconic hat that was very hard to reproduce: the tricorne. I experimented with foam sheet, but it was a lot of work and it only looked "okay". A month or so ago I was trying out these 25mm shaker pegs like Matt uses, and tried a "painting conversion" to make a tricorne. That went from "okay" to "bad".

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.

Although this is a bit in shadow, the painting really makes it look like a tricorne, especially when seen on the table. Really easy modification. Still very much in the minimalist style. I like it.




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