Monday, 9 April 2012

Pirate Standard Bearers

I heartily recommend the War Flag website with its free downloads of flag sheets.  Some of them are a bit hit and miss, but if you use them like I do, basically as a painting by numbers template, then they are great.  You need to get the scaling right as some of them are too big and others too small.  I print them off in colour and over paint them.  You can add extra detail.  I paint them double sided, flat on the painting table.  Make sure you colour the edges of the flag too.  Do your detailing and shading with the flag flat on the painting surface, if you think you need some extra shading once the flag is on the pole (I usually find not), then having done the bulk of the work in a controlled way you have a pretty good standard.  Once the two sides are painted fold the flag and see how well it meets up on each angle.  Use scissors to trim if needed.  Now check how it looks on the flag pole before gluing.  You'll find the diameter of the pole will affect how the flag goes together, you might need to trim slightly again.  Only put PVA on ONE side of the flag reverse.  If you put it on both it will bond too quickly.  You need it to be able to slide slightly to make sure you line the edges up right.  Once you are happy leave the flag FLAT on the pole for five or ten minutes.  It should be well stuck now.  Carefully fold the flag to get the rippling effect, don't crease it, just gently bend the paper.

I chose six different flags from the selection on the War Flag site as I'm building up six different pirate factions.  All of the flags on the site are "historical" ones based on the flags used by famous pirates.  Give the figure and the flag a varnish and you'll be really amazed how strong the flag is.

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