Messing With Pikes

As I continue to peer through the trees at the Benburb Battlefield:

I occupy my time with a wide variety of tasks and explorations in other aspects of wargaming. I am still anticipating the terrain features to arrive from the Kickstarter back in November (they’ll get here eventually – delay is the very nature of a Kickstarter startup). In the meantime I have ordered some streams and roads from another manufacturer (they are nearly ready to ship) and will finally have the battlefield ready to go!

I have been asked at couple different places how it is that I can keep the dinning Room table tied up for months? The short answer is I have a patient and understanding wife! We have also created a dinning space in our living room that she seems to really like AND on the rare occasions we have friends and family over for a meal, it seems to work for them also. They are all, of course, well aware of my eccentricities.

so – messing with pikes. Last year there were various discussions  on the forums regarding the preference for pikemen figures cast with or without pikes and the various solutions to the “limp noodle” effect that occurs with cast-on pikes. I shan’t bore you with the minutiae of the various arguments, but I tend to like cast-on pikes. I work in 10mm and use Pendraken for much of my work. Their ECW range uses cast-on pikes (their new League of Augsburg does not) so I have LOTS of figures with cast on pikes that need some “stiffening”.

I now have a decent working solution to “limp” pikes. I take no credit for this. Full credit goes to a poster on the TMP Renaissance forum – Bobgnar! I have thanked him there (after a year of dithering around about his idea) and thank him again here.

The product is RapidFix UV Liquid Plastic Adhesive. It has proven very easy to use and effective in helping hold a cast-on pike in a vertical position.

RapidFix Pikes

The application is simplicity itself. Take an old brush and apply the fluid to the pike shaft front and back. The liquid is viscous but flowable and applies easily. The UV light (which comes with the kit – but does not include the AA battery) is then applied for 15 to 20 seconds which causes the adhesive to polymerize:

RapidFix Pikes UV

The pikes are now much stiffer. Yes they can still be bent but not from the casual touching that often occurs when moving and handling the pieces. I do need to mention that the shaft will now have a bit of a gloss which does not disturb me but might if you want a strictly matte look.

Time will tell but so far I am very pleased with the result. I’ve decided as each Pike block ends up deployed I’ll do this treatment so that eventually my several hundred pikes will be treated. The UV light can instantly tell you if they have been treated (but likely you will be able to tell from the odd angles and s-curves assumed by untreated pikes).

The next time I paint a cast-on pike figure am going to try this after the primer is applied and see how well the polymer takes paint.