Saturday, November 22, 2014

Without a Trace?

As part of the refurbishment of my ancient Indian army, I wanted to add some traces to the chariots. I had done this for my Assyrians decades ago using some paper tape. That came supplied with a bag of Historex 54mm plastic French Imperial Guard Grenadier Bandsmen figures (to make cross belts). I had previously used the figures to scratch build a model of my freind and fellow college bandsmen Tom, with his trombone (and beer) close at hand. However, decades later, there was no ready source of this material available.



Two Minifiigs 25mm Indian Four Horse Chariots - after the addition of Traces.


It seemed to me that tape like Dental Floss might work - so a trip to the pharmacy was made to acquire a sample for experimentation.  If it works, 100 yards should make all the traces I could ever want!


Nice minty fragrance... not sure if the waxing of the tape will cause issues, though.  Oh well, good for dental hygiene at least if it proves to be a bust!


To make it easier to color, I tied one end of the dental tape to a cotton tipped applicator (plenty of these on hand in my office!).  I used a big brush to liberally "paint" the tape with acrylic craft paint in a suitable color. Some skip areas due to the tape twisting, but not bad!


Happy with the dark green, I did some dark red, blue , and yellow tapes also.  I then cut the tapes to the approximate lengths needed - that's 8 traces per chariot for these Heavy units, almost an entire length of tape as shown in the above picture! I found the best way to cut the tape was with a sharp Xacto knife cutting down onto the tape on a hard surface (wood). Avoid excessive sawing motions which can make it fray


I then glued the ends of all 8 traces to the appropriate locations on the horses, using Duco cement (chiefly Nitrocellulose in Acetone), which dries and sets very quickly. Once that had hardened, I glued  the driver's ends of the tapes t his hands, one at a time using the same glue. A little touch up of remaining white areas was needed, end results as seen above. Now, about those 15 recently painted New Kingdom Egyptian chariots I have...

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Phil. I was happy it worked OK!

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  2. Except that now I'm going to have to equip my Egyptian Chariots with them, too!

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  3. Dental floss for traces? I like it! I am surprised that the waxed version holds paint.

    You are a patient man, sir!

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    1. Well, it only took me about 30 years to add the traces, so I suppose you're right, Jon.!

      The waxing didn't seem to have any real effect on the ability to hold acrylic paint - I put it on pretty thickly!

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  4. Looks good. In the days when I usd to use fly tying tinsels - worked really well.

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    1. I've seen others mention this as well - not being a fisherman, I doin't have ready access to it, although I have wasted silk suture material (non sterile, black, has to be discarded) for rigging on some of my ships!

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    2. They're quite readily available to buy by mail order. Fly tyeing threads likewise for rigging.

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=fly+tying+tinsel&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.yahoo:en-GB:official&client=firefox&channel=sb&gfe_rd=cr&ei=zQpxVOODCMWBPaTkgKAO#q=fly+tying+tinsel&safe=off&rls=com.yahoo:en-GB:official&channel=sb&tbm=shop

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    3. Thanks. On the plus side, they come in a lot of colors. On the negative, I'm not sure how wide they are, and they are mostly shiny (Mylar). Certainly another potential option.

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    4. They come in a wide range of sizes. Actually, a massive range of sizes. This is one example of a chariot - I did paint the traces though.

      http://easterngarrison.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-max=2014-10-25T17:02:00%2B01:00&max-results=7&start=21&by-date=false

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    5. Tried to link directly to the picture, took me to the page - afraid you'll have to scroll to the bottom - sorry.

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    6. Yes, those traces on your chariot also came out very well. Thanks!

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  5. What a great idea. No chariot traces for me, but I'll keep this in the back of my mind.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, John. Now I just have to start on the Egyptians, too! :-)

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