As mentioned elsewhere on the website, I have a model of a modular Vauban fortress (card model from Paper Terrain), which can be seen on the Fortifications page. I have created a number of alternate flags to fly over this, to show the current ownership. I thought I would write this blog to show how I made them.
I start by gluing a 2 euro cent coin to a 20mm square piece of thin card. I then cut the points off a wooden cocktail stick and glue this to the centre of the coin. The ferrule at the top of the flagpole is a piece of cut off sprue.
I then weld bits of sprue around the base to cover the coin. Some plastic sprue does not stick too well to the coin, but does to the wooden flagpole and card base. It is trial and error to find the best sprue for welding.
I then paint the flagpole with gloss white Humbrol paint.
The next step is to model the halliard (rope to raise and lower the flag) which I make from a thin piece of wire.
I use wire from old freezer bag ties, of the type used before plastic reclosures came in vogue. I grip one end of the thin wire in a pair of pliers, and strip the plastic off the wire.
I bend the wire in half and wrap it around the top of the flagpole, to simulate the halliard going through a pulley. One half of the wire I bend straight down and wrap around the lower part of the flagpole. The other half of the wire I use to attach the flag to.
I have previously found suitable flags online, made sure they have an obverse (front) and reverse (rear), converting them if necessary using Paint (it is on all Windows PCs). I then save the finished version of the flag as a JPEG into an Excel spreadsheet, with its title above it.
I printed this sheet, and cut out the flags as I need them. For my 1:72 flags, I get 4 per row on portrait A4 paper. I attach the flag to the halliard using Pritt Stick, bend down that wire and wrap it around the lower part of the flagpole. Finally I paint the halliard (Humbrol 72 Matt Khaki Drill) and the base (Humbrol 76 Matt Green), then touch up any damage to the white flagpole arising from fixing the halliard or painting it.
I currently have five fortress flags, British pre-1801, Scottish, French Ancien Regime, British post-1801, and French Tricoleur. I store them in a box which I purchased from Hobbycraft. That box lives inside another larger storage box containing all of the modular sections of my complete Vauban Fortress. I will add other flags from the 18th Century and Napoleonic Wars in the future.