The challenge with banners is to make them animated, and strong. Many banners you see on wargame figures are far too thick, and look like duvets on poles. Often these are cast in metal with the figure. At other times you'll see paper banners that are too smooth and shiny, and rather fragile.

The banners you see here are very robust indeed, and I think you'll agree that they are nicely animated, rather than flat. They are made from cloth. The cloth I picked had a fine weave. Many of my banners are made from shiny, smooth, dense-woven labels cut from underwear. I cut out a piece the shape I want, making sure that the part that will contact the pole is long enough to wrap around the pole. I then glue the cloth to the pole with super-glue, wrap the end around the pole and glue it back to the main part of the banner. The glue dries quickly, so you have to work quickly. Have some tweezers standing by for pinching the cloth in place. Next, I saturate the cloth in super-glue. I use quite thin runny super-glue for this. Before it dries, I manipulate the cloth into the wavy form I want. This is not a process easy to describe, as it involves working with tweezers and such like tools, as well as the use of fingers, and the inevitable remedying of mistakes. The glue likes to stick to everything, especially skin, but I've always managed it.

Once the glue is dry, the banner is pretty solid. I paint it off-white, and then paint on the design, and varnish it to protect the paint. I find that a pure white background/undercoat is too bright for my tastes.

The figures you see above were converted for use as standard bearers by removing the axe and sword from their hands, and then drilling through their hands with a pin vice (see this page for information on pin vices), and then gluing in the shaft of a quilting pin to serve as a spear shaft. The spear heads were beaten out on a cobbler's last with a hammer.


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