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The Craft

Replacing Those Huge Bendy Swords

by Lanse Tryon
aka Herr Oberfroschmeister

It's happened to all of us: We race breathlessly to the gamestore for that new release, snatch it off the shelf, and realize, to our despair, that the sword got mangled in shipping and no appears to be more a banana than a weapon. We've also had the problem where there's this swashbuckler mini we really want, but due to molding and casting limitations, the sword is large enough to be a scottish claymore.

You can't buckle your swash with a claymore, it just doesn't work. Trust me on this. No, I haven't tried it either, but I figure it's obvious enough in this case that I can claim trustworthiness without experience.

Well, fear not, there's a solution. This article will show how to replace that floppy bendy oversized blade with a sturdy, thin, and pointy fencing blade.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS USED:
  • 010011b : Pirates Female Swashbuckler
  • Two safety pins
  • Pin Vise
  • Drill bit the same diameter as the safety pins
  • Clippers
  • Superglue

INSTRUCTIONS:
First, straighten the safety pins as best you can. A bendy sword does nobody any good, and this is going to be your blade. Make it straight.

Cut the sword blades off just above the hilts.

Eyeball the safety pins, and clip them so that the pointy end is about 2mm longer than the sword blade you just cut off.

Drill a hole in the top of the hilt where you want the blade to go. Drill down far enough that the safety-pin end deosn't wobble, and won't destroy the hand if it takes any stress. I find about 2-3mm is good.

Place the cut safety-pin ends into the holes. Wiggle them a bit. Are they too long? If so, cut them down to size. Be careful here, since wire tends to shoot across the room and hit the cat in the eye if you're not careful. Again, I haven't done this. Just trust me that it's a bad idea.

Once you're sure that everything is as it should be, glue the replacement blades into the hilts.

At this point, I extensively reposed and rebased the example mini, because I'm just compulsive like that. In the process, I broke both the mini's wrists and one of its knees. This is bad. Yes, you can trust me on this, and this time it's from experience.

However, after some repair work, it appears to have turned out well, and none of you would know of the mishap if I hadn't told you. See how helpful I am?


Look at the hand after it's been primed. Notice how if you didn't know better, you'd think it looks like it was made that way originally.
After all of that, the mini was painted. Since I am a better converter than painter, I'll leave the painting instruction to better painters than I.

Were it not for the re-posing, this conversion would have taken 3 minutes to complete. Do be aware, however, that a safety pin is very sharp, and if you do not blunt the end (I find sandpaper works well - do this before priming), your players will be constantly getting packing-foam peanuts and sticking them on the sword so as not to poke themselves every time they reach for it. Yes, you can trust me on this too, and this is also from experience.

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