Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Operation Pickelhaube

With my French peg soldier unit well underway I am starting to turn my mind to producing a matching German Confederation troop...And - sooner or later - that will mean making some Prussians.

You can't get around it, wargaming the Franco-Prussian War - by definition - means you will be including some Prussian units. And that - in turn - means pickelhaubes!

It's a strange little helmet and I have been a bit baffled how I should model it. I decided to try and cast it - as I will need half a dozen - so I thought I best start with a basic shape which I could then sculpt into the final helmet...

If I started with a simple upturned 'bowl' shape I thought I could make several different shaped helmets. It was a very easy shape to cast but would need mounting on a peg so I could work on the shaping and the adding of the peaks...

However, I wasn't satisfied with the rounded shape...The Pickelhaube isn't really round, it has a flatter top and steep sides (a sort of squished semi-sphere). So I did some sanding and added some peaks using more Milliput putty (and sanded some more) and made another casting...

Second attempt...The sculpt is in the brown Milliput which
was then moulded to give me a working object with which I
can modify further before casting yet again!
I think this is a better shape now, so I can take this on and
make a new working casting.
I know this sounds like a lot of work - with multiple castings - but I decided I want to protect my basic shapes as I go along and then modifying only the resultant copies. This is so that, should I go wrong, I can go back to the previous shape (and mould) and start again.

Making a new mould with Instant Mold...It's a simple matter
of pressing the object to be cast into the softened material.
The Instant Mold hardens again as it cools and then you
have a mould.
And so...Now I have my final mould (my third) I can start banging out my working casts. Luckily, one of the best things about Instant Mold is that you can reuse old moulds by reheating them again, so there is no waste.

Next: Basic shapes done, I can now start to 'decorate' the helmet.


  1. Definitely on to something there.

    1. Cheers! I think it's getting there...Slowly. My own fault for picking the Franco-Prussian War as a theme. :D