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D.I.Y. spears and arrows
(5 voti)
Written by Leonardo Torricini   

There are different ways to make spears and arrows.

The lack do additional weapons is often a problem, particularly for the spears, and even more for the arrows that apparently aren't available at all.

Therefore is necessary to provide such accessories on our own.

I need it often or my self made figures, like everyone who's needs more weapons than the few ones in the sets.




A good solution is to use the plastic fibers of brushes and brooms, it's very diffused in wargaming.

Spears made this way are very flexible and impossible to break, but nearly impossible to paint without primer, due to the flexibility the paint may flake and peel off.


Otherwise we can stretch a rounded hard plastic sprue with a flame, to get a long stick of the right diameter, and cut it in sections.


Is not very easy but with some practice you can get long uniform sticks of various thickness.

The spears made in this way are not so flexible but also more fragile.

sprue 1.JPG
The way to make the spearheads is the same for plastic brooms and stretched sprues.
sprue 3.JPG
sprue 4.JPG

We need to heat one end with a flame and squeeze it flat quickly, before it cools and hardens back again.

I squeezing it flat with the finger (my skin is quite hard and thick) but you can do it in many different ways, in any case mind your fingers because the hot plastic burns!

sprue 5.JPG
This way you will get a tiny rounded flat spade
sprue 6.JPG
Finally with a cutter you can cut the excesses and shape the tiny spade pointed like a real spearhead.
sprue 7.JPG


I prefer another cheap way, the common pins, you just have to cut off the heads with nippers.

There are also different ways to shape the spearheads on pins.



Pins are sharp and may hurt!

For this reason I always sand or file the top, but pins remains potentially dangerous anyway.

Usually I sand also all the surface of the poles to paint it easier and for more firm glueing.

With one or more layers of primer or paint we can make a thicker pole.

primer 1.JPG
In the same way, with primer or thick paint, we can make the surface rougher or streaky like the natural wood, you just have to scratch it gently all along while it dries.
primer 2.JPG

To streak the surface you can use a brush (better if hard and a bit wrecked), or a thin point, or a pointed cutter.




Until now I used soft metal pins, squeezing the top flat with a clump to get the typical leaf shaped spearhead.

spillo 2.JPG
spillo 3.JPG

Nowdays the soft metal pins have become rare, the common standard pins now are made in steel or tempered metal, such pins break neatly if bended or squeezed flat.

So once run off the old pins no more cheap metal spears…



We can add the spearheads to the pins, but we need an easy and quick way… I think I found a good one.

First I sand the point and the poles surface as usual.

punta 1.JPG
When the pins are ready I deep the top in the primer, just a bit, so a little drop will remain on the top.
punta 2.JPG
Then I turn the pins upside down by the other way, and I keep them standing using a piece of polystyrene or foam.
punta 3.JPG

Leaving the pins standing the drops will go down a bit, getting larger downwards and leaving the top uncovered.

After a while the primer will be nearly dried, that's the moment to squeeze it gently with the fingers to shape it in a flat leaf spearhead.

punta 4.JPG

You'll probably need to try several times to find the right moment, the primer should be well dried on the surface to avoid to stick on your fingers, but still soft inside to be squeezed flatter.

Wet fingers may help to handle the primer this way.

punta 5.JPG

Now we have our leaf pointed spear ready.

I used primer but in the same way you can use other kinds of paint or glue.


As further details we can add one or two strings around the pole, just below the spearhead or in other places like the handles.

filo 1.JPG
The quickest and easiest way is to strain a thread line of primer or glue around the pole rolling it between your fingers.
filo 2.JPG

Otherwise you can use a thin sawing thread, or a copper line from an electrical cable, and glue everything over the pole.

We can make the spearheads and all the details harder and firmer with a bit of liquid superglue, being careful to avoid excesses that could cover the details.


In this way we can make several realistic spears in a very short time.

With a bit of practice and developing this technique probably you can make also more complex spearheads than the simple leaf shaped.





In the same way we can make also arrows, both in plastic or metal.

But the pins are too thick for the arrow poles.

Furthermore the arrow heads and the back plumes are much smaller than a spearhead, and probably much quicker and easier if made with plastic.

So for the arrows is better to use the plastic, in the same way of the plastic spears.


For the small size we must find a brush with thin brooms, or heat-stretch a sprue in a long thin line.

freccia 1.JPG
fter having cut the sections of the arrow poles you have to flat both sides, the back side for the plumes should be a bit longer and wider.
freccia 2.JPG
Then with the cutter we shape the arrow head point.
freccia 3.JPG
For the plumes of the nocking first you have to cut a bit the external parts, to shape it parallel to the arrow pole.
freccia 4.JPG

Then we can do the nocking gap with a "V" shaped cut.

The cut is very tiny and must be quite precise, so you need a good pointed cutter and a steady hand, magnifying lens can be great help..
freccia 5.JPG
Here we go, the arrow is done as well.