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"Making pikes for 40mm ECW figures" Topic

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Blueboy07 Jun 2016 7:28 a.m. PST

Hi all.

Just about to embark on my 40mm ECW project using S&S figures. Any tips on making pikes? Material used, pike heads purchased etc.?

Any guidance gratefully appreciated.


Korvessa07 Jun 2016 7:39 a.m. PST

I use broom straw (well on 28mm anyway).
From a short distance it looks almost as good if you cut the end into a point. But the pest part is if you bump into it – like you invariably will – it just bends out of the way and then bends back, so they always look straight.
They never break off, etc.

Green Tiger Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2016 7:54 a.m. PST

For the same reason and possibly more suitable for 40mm – plastic rod – should be able top get itr from a model/craft shop.

Wargames Designs07 Jun 2016 8:53 a.m. PST

I use thick florist wire, I cut it 5mm longer than needed and flatten one with a hammer onto the end of a lump hammer. I then trim to a point and grind off any burrs with an electric knife sharpener. Then I cut off any excess length so they are all exactly the same length. Usually I can make about 150 or so per hour so pretty quick really.

For tools, I use a claw hammer, a lump hammer, a heavy duty pair of wire cutters and an electric knife sharpener with the grindstone cover removed.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jun 2016 10:39 a.m. PST

Buy Northstar spears – 100mm long with the leaf head – clip to your favorite size.

Jeff of SaxeBearstein Inactive Member07 Jun 2016 11:44 a.m. PST


Visit your local "welding supply" shop. . . . They will have a variety of "braising rod" material in various thicknesses . . . and these yard/meter long rods cost only pennies.

You will need good "wire cutters" depending upon the thickness of braising rod that you select as looking right for your figures.

Here are a pair of links so you can see how my 28mm figures look with this type of pike. If I recall, I think I cut mine to 85 or 90mm in length, but you will probably want longer ones with your larger figures. (As usual, click on images for a closer look; or open them in a separate window for best look):


You will notice that I chose to put five "pikes" (one is for a flag) on each base in the same configuration as the five pips on a d6 . . . to me this gives a better feel of close order pikes than the usual four pikes (which look too open for my taste), I also chose to use only three shot per base because I feel that they would be more "open-ordered" (primarily because of all of their lit matches).

Anyway, using braising rod has been the best (and cheapest) solution I have found.

Oh yes, for safety's sake, I choose to NOT put a point on them . . . and I know that I've avoided some pierced hands because of that.

Whatever you choose, have fun!

-- Jeff

Timmo uk07 Jun 2016 12:55 p.m. PST

I use brass wire. I make up batches of pikes. I hammer the end flat being brass this is dead easy. I cut to a point with clippers and dress with a file then snip to length. I'm repairing hundreds of 15mm pikemen for a friend and once I'm in the zone I can churn out pikes.

I use 0.5mm for 15mm. 0.75mm for 25 mm but at 40mm figures scale you could probably work out the scale thickness of a pike and have a chance of replicating it.

I make the pikes for my figures a scale 18' long. A bit longer than they probably were but they look about right.

Mac163808 Jun 2016 2:07 a.m. PST

For a more than 30 years I have using copper wire, as with Timmo It can be hammered and filed to a head.

It can be obtained for 1.5mm Twin and earth electrical cable, the most commonly used used cable in homes.
The bare center core is best but striping the insulation of the conductors will work well for 40mm figures.

You can obtain it from any DIY store or any electrician you may know, off the coil or striped out it make no difference.

I find 3 x the height of the figure is a good length for a pikes.

Blueboy08 Jun 2016 3:02 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the good advice – much appreciated!

I'll probably go down the DIY route and as a first attempt try hammering out one of the wires recommended.


Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2016 7:33 a.m. PST

If you can find plastic push-broom bristles in the right thickness,you can just flatten the ends with a heated nail head,and trim with small scissors,without all the hammering and grinding. (And hand-spearing!)

Part time gamer14 Jun 2016 3:39 p.m. PST

40mm, I woud love to see this even while still a wip.

Now for the pikes, I think it safer to 'err on the side of caution'.
As stated by *Korvessa,

..the best part is if you bump into it like you invariably will it just bends out of the way and then bends back, so they always look straight.
More importantly, straw or plastic "wont" leave you with 'pin pricks' in your fingers and possibly even bleeding.
IF however you choose to used brass or other metal, granted it looks good, I would suggest NOT cutting them to a pointed end. But.. they are your troops, do them as you see best.

Just something you might want to keep in mind especially if you have small children around.

Queen Catherine14 Dec 2016 10:54 a.m. PST

When you get you S&S figs, go ahead and order the packs of pikes with heads. In 40mm, the pikes won't look right without a defined head on them. These are pretty cheap, and quite long. The code for them is:
PSJ-1 Pikes

They are 3.5" long with heads, which makes them 12' long in scale. If you make them much longer, they'll be table obstacles. Also, historically, the pikemen often cut them down from the 18' or so.

Hope that helps.

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