Login / Register:






Forgot your password?

Register new account
Remember Login


The Craft

Pins and Section Markers
by Lanse Tryon
aka Herr Oberfroschmeister

Your average CAV army has about 10-20 models, depending on points size and personal inclination. Since initiative is run on four-model Sections, it is imperative that one uses a way to differentiate between sections. If this is not done, someone is bound to forget who goes with what, and then the game goes steadily downhill.

I have found that pins, attached to the bases of CAVs, provide a great place to put color-coded beads, thus allowing easy section identification.

All you need is a CAV model, a paper clip, and a pin-vise. The drill bit should be wide enough to allow the paper clip through the holes it drills, but exact sizes don't matter as much. I recommend that the CAV be mostly painted before this procedure is done. I also recommend that you test-fit the paper clip through whatever beads you are going to use, since ripping a stuck bead off your model is no fun at all.

Turn over the CAV, and eyeball where you want to drill the hole for the pin. You don't want it to come up through the CAV's foot, and you need to place it so that the bead you will put on the pin will fit without needing pliers to get it there.


Here are two shots of the base in the process of being drilled. Notice that there is plenty of free space on all sides of the drill bit. This will make putting the bead on the eventual pin much easier.

See the paper clip. Straighten out the paper clip so that you have a bit of relatively straight wire. The straight part will be your pin.

Cut the paper clip. I cut this one to about 3/4", which is longer than I usually use.

Test-fit the wire. Figure out how tall you want it to be, and remember or mark how much wire you had below the base at this point.

Make a right-angle bend in the wire at the point where it stuck out from the underside of the base. Make another bend in the bottom part of the wire, so that the pin can stand up on its own if you want it to.

Stick the pin back through the hole in the base, so that the underside looks like this. A couple drops of super glue at this point will glue it down.

Stand the CAV back up. You should have a pin securely fastened and sticking up through the base. Alternatively, if you do not have a drill, get a thumb tack with a small flat head, and place between the CAV's feet, point up. I recommend blunting the point first, as bleeding all over your nicely painted CAV is not generally considered a good thing.

Flock the base, or finish it to taste. The extra putty, glue, or whatever you use, will lend additional stability to the pin. Note that the pin is tall enough to stick out about a centimeter above the flocking. If you have used a thumb tack instead of drilling the hole, make sure the flocking covers the thumb tack's head.

Here we have eight CAV models of different types. The infantry and aircraft models were pinned the same way I have just described. On the right, the pins were stuck into the vehicles in such a way as to make them appear as antennae.

I keep a small empty mints-box in my minis case, full of the beads I use. The clipped pins are in case the posts in the bases fall out, and I don't have time to repair them. In that case I can just stick the colored pins in the holes left. This happens more often on vehicles than CAVs. The pins make the vehicles look like they're holding balloons, but hey, whatever works.

Here you see the two sections of CAV minis, all marked according to their respective sections. Thus identified, they may take to the field without confusion.

Return.