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"Flags: paper or fabric; which lasts longer?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

MiniPigs24 Nov 2020 6:18 a.m. PST

Any observations on longevity between the two materials for miniature flags?

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 6:27 a.m. PST

I can only note that many of my Napoleonic paper flags were awarded to their units in the early 1990s and are still looking fine and have not gone brittle.

John Armatys24 Nov 2020 6:53 a.m. PST

I have units with paper flags from the mid 1970s onwards which are in good condition (they all had a coat of Ronseal matt coat wood varnish after being glued in place).

SpuriousMilius24 Nov 2020 7:12 a.m. PST

+1 to John; I have many ECW units with typing paper flags that I sprayed with Clear Coat acrylic in the '70's & '80's & they're good as new.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 7:23 a.m. PST

Not quite so much longevity, but my flags are all GMB and the oldest is 16 years old and shows no fading or wear.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 7:39 a.m. PST

I have never had problems with paper flags. I always finish my figures with a spray of Dullcote, which also seems to protect the flags from the ravages of time (but not the abuse by certain gamers).

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 8:18 a.m. PST

I've been using paper flags since the 80s. All are still fine.

Sgt Slag24 Nov 2020 8:21 a.m. PST

Paper, since around 1995. Still look new. Cheers!

Timmo uk24 Nov 2020 9:21 a.m. PST

Like many others I have paper flags that I painted in the early 1980s and they still look like the did the day they were made.

ferg98124 Nov 2020 9:34 a.m. PST

Would you recommend varnishing all flags?



Steamingdave224 Nov 2020 9:43 a.m. PST

My wine bottle foil flags are still going strong in most cases, although a few in the 1980s Russian army show battle damage. Only fabric flags I have are with my 28mm Dark Age Saxons, which are about 15 years old and are fine.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 10:13 a.m. PST

Be careful varnishing paper flags. I found that Testor's Dullcote, my varnish of choice, sometimes left an odd residue on paper flags and sometimes it was fine. There seemed no rhyme or reason. I now add flags after varnishing and all seems well and they still last.

Brian Smaller24 Nov 2020 10:13 a.m. PST

I varnish my flags. They still seem to be holding up.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 12:54 p.m. PST

My 35 year old plus paper ACW flags have lasted very well

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 1:00 p.m. PST

My oldest paper flags are in their late 30's to early 40's. I expect them to outlast me.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 4:14 p.m. PST

I make my own paper flags and coat them with Elmers(TM) glue. They are all still going strong many years later.

14Bore24 Nov 2020 4:49 p.m. PST

My flags from 82 on are fine as well

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2020 4:11 a.m. PST

My paper flags from the 70's still look fine. Although I must admit that I've had a bit of trouble with those made from painted toothpaste tube sheet metal, they're getting a bit brittle.

EJNashIII25 Nov 2020 5:28 a.m. PST

Lol, I have a silk flag made in the 1970s, 1 to 1 scale, after so many years of battles (reenactments) the paint has for the most part chipped off. It is just a ghost of the original image. There is also a number of tears, holes and runs in the fabric.

Greystreak25 Nov 2020 3:27 p.m. PST

Indeed, never spray Testor's Dullcote over 'naked' paper flags--you're asking for trouble. Brush paint the paper flag with a nice, stable acrylic varnish first, then Dullcote.

raylev325 Nov 2020 6:51 p.m. PST

I've only ever used paper….I have units from the 1970s that have the same paper flags and they still look good.

Garde de Paris26 Nov 2020 2:25 p.m. PST

How durable are cloth colours, and how does one protect them?

I would like to purchase cloth colours for the 45th, Nottinghamshire Regiment of Foot, the Sherwood Foresters, to use with 28mm Victrix plastic Peninsular British, in action as during the French surprise attack by the 16eme Leger, 3 battalions.

I want to have one (or both) of the colour officers holding the flag, mostly "furled" in the crook or elbow of this left arm, while holding a pistol with his right (perhaps the other with drawn sword). I don't think I can manage with with paper colours.

Does anyone make such a set of colours?


5thZouave01 Jan 2021 1:14 p.m. PST

I have been using paper flags with plain old Elmers white glue for 20+ years with no issues. I print my own flags using laser printers and inkjets. All my flags get a coat of acrylic clear coat to seal them first while still on the sheet. After glueing them to the minis they get a coat of dullcote. I have had experience with some flags frosting over if you dont let them dry long enough before spraying with dullcote. I usually let mine sit for 24hrs once glued then dullcote, no issues ever again.

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