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"Wire / Rod for Flag Staffs?" Topic

25 Posts

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Karl von Hessen23 Oct 2016 7:58 p.m. PST

Obviously the answer is go to my local hobby/game/craft store and find one that looks right for the particular size figure(s). Unfortunately multiple leg & hip fractures have me confined to quarters for the time being. So I will need to send my aide-de-camp (AKA, wife) to buy them for me. Having seen some figures with staffs that appear way UNDER size (too thin) and/or others, mainly those cast with the figures, the diameter of fence posts, I'd like something that looks "right".
Another question: I've seen some pictures where the staff appears to be in 2 sections with a brass or other metal

Winston Smith23 Oct 2016 8:16 p.m. PST

I use .032 brass rod.
Better yet, send her to Hobby Lobby and get the blue pack of brass rod which has several different sizes so you can choose.

Rich Bliss23 Oct 2016 9:26 p.m. PST

For 28mm, I use .047 brass.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2016 4:38 a.m. PST

I hope you have a speedy recovery from you fractures. I had my lower left leg broken in four places when my horse fell on me at an ACW reenactor tactical event. So I can appreciate what you are going through.


Ottoathome24 Oct 2016 5:32 a.m. PST

Forget the brass, it's too soft and will bend and fatigue too easily.

Hard wire music wire is what you want, comes from .019 up. Get it from K & S metals I use .047 and .055 but it gets smaller and lighter. It's hard, rigid and will last forever.

TIP. One of the tricks I use is to find the right size of brass tubing to "telescope" onto the gage of music or piano wire you use for the flag staff. Once I find one combo that fits snugly, I solder the wire into the hands and base of the figure, and wrap the color or standard around a length of brass tubing that is cut just to the width of the flag and glue. This makes the flag removable if I want to have the regiment switch sides or it gets torn or dirty and I want to replace it or upgrade it. I print my colors and standards off a printer.

Anyway, in your situation, send me your postal delivery address at I will cut you some lengths of the wire, with the telescoping brass "sliders" and give you the exact statistics on what to send your ADC with.
No charge. My prayers for your speedy recovery.

Winston Smith24 Oct 2016 5:42 a.m. PST

Otto, I much prefer brass rod.
I find the steel music wire too hard to cut. Brass is easier to work for me.
And I have never had a problem with flag poles bending.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2016 6:17 a.m. PST


Another question: I've seen some pictures where the staff appears to be in 2 sections with a brass or other metal.

Many modern flag or guidon poles come in two sections that screw together. The joint on both sections is normally brass. I don't know if more historic (say 18th and 19th century) poles were made that way.


jwebster24 Oct 2016 8:17 a.m. PST

The problem I have is with creating the "thing that goes at the top of the pole". Usually something pointy. Brass rod is easier to flatten and then blob some liquid green stuff on or something like that. Have no idea what the longevity is. Must get around to finishing a flag one of these days


Timmo uk24 Oct 2016 8:29 a.m. PST

An advantage of brass is that being a relatively soft metal it's quick and easy to hammer, cut/trim and file a very fine pointed head. If you use steel wire this is rather harder to do.

I use 0.8mm for 28mm which I suspect is still slightly over scale.

mindenbrush24 Oct 2016 8:54 a.m. PST

I use the standard steel spears/pikes from various manufacturers cut to length.

Karl von Hessen24 Oct 2016 8:03 p.m. PST

Thank you all for the information , well wishes and prayers. Jwebster, I got some staff tips with finials from Front Rank (I believe) which are easy to glue on and look good IMHO. Also, I've found out the hard way that filing metal rods/wire to a point can be a painful experience if overdone.
Otto, P.M. sent. thanks so very much for you help and generous offer.
Isn't TMP a wonderful place? So many people willing to help perfect (or near perfect) strangers, I met Mindenbrush via TMP and he's been a great source of help to me along with sending me things to try before I bought them.
Thanks again…all of you.

Karl (aka Carl Jaklic, Hermitage Pa, US

Yesthatphil25 Oct 2016 7:10 a.m. PST

Yes … brass is best. I use .8mm (1/32") for 15mm figures which gives a good look. The fashion is to use a thicker grade for larger figures although .8 would probably be a more authentic size.


AICUSV26 Oct 2016 11:24 a.m. PST

Period staffs were single piece, generally there was a brass finial at the top and bottom. The top was usually a spear point or eagle or such, while the bottom ws just a brass point.

I just use steel floral wire, for the price of a brass rod you get a whole bunch of these (of course I'm a cheap SOB).

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2016 1:35 a.m. PST

I am frugal so I use paper clips that I straighten out and then clip to size. Always have some lying around, and the ones that are mangled can still be made straight with pliers or a vise.

The tops, well that is a different matter- I never get there.

spontoon13 Nov 2016 11:15 a.m. PST

I like the spears/pikes from the Perry Brothers. Some of those cast-on poles look like cabers, for the tossing of!

Rev Zoom20 Nov 2016 11:04 a.m. PST

For 15mm I use steel straight pins. Point down!

AICUSV22 Nov 2016 11:41 a.m. PST

Use to play with a gamer who replaced all the swords on a cav unit with sewing needles (point up), you had to very careful when moving the unit.

Garde de Paris26 Nov 2016 6:23 a.m. PST

Now, AICUSV, they were NOT sewing needles! They were flattened brass as above, but – yes – very sharp. My Vistula lancers were deadly to their commander, as well as to the enemy!


Akersminis14 Dec 2016 10:10 a.m. PST

I go onto North star and order the brass spears and them cut them to size. They are resilient and cheap in cost.

dibble14 Dec 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

Col Scot ret

I am frugal so I use paper clips that I straighten out and then clip to size. Always have some lying around, and the ones that are mangled can still be made straight with pliers or a vise.

What you need is a couple of steel or metal, flat plates. Unbend the clips, lay them on the bottom plate, apply the top plate, then push the top plate back and fourth with the flat of your hand whilst applying pressure. This will cause the wire to roll back and fourth between the plates thus straightening it and thus you will get absolutely straight pieces of wire. As long as the wire material is softer than the bass and top plate, almost any type of wire can be straightened in this manner.

Paul :)

mindenbrush29 Dec 2016 4:43 a.m. PST

Hi Carl,
I shape the end of my spears, flagpoles etc with a sanding disc in a Dremel drill and holding the rod in my hand.
If the rod is short enough, you can mount the rod in the Dremel and hold the sanding disc.

Karl von Hessen29 Dec 2016 9:11 p.m. PST

Thanks Graham and everyone else. Happy New Year to you all.
Ottoasthome, I never did get the rods you mentioned…

Ottoathome30 Dec 2016 4:08 a.m. PST

Dear Karl

That's because I haven't sent them. I haven't had time to go and cut them but I w3ill do that this weekend for sure.


von Schwartz12 Jul 2018 6:08 p.m. PST

All the figures that I have purchased Friekorps, Mini-Figs, Mikes Models, Essex have always included a standard bear with command packs and they always have the standard. I just cut off the bottom part of the relatively soft metal and replace it with wire of appropriate size and glue the top eagle or other figure on the top of the flag, gives a nice strong staff and the 'Eagle' remains the same.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2019 1:13 p.m. PST

Hey Karl, fractured pubic bone here. I would try the tinny cocktail straws for 28MM. I game in 10mm so I use plastic broom pieces. I like that plastic wont break and wont stab you.
Hope you heal up soon.

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