Wargaming Tradecraft: Fletching (Creating) Arrows




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Fletching (Creating) Arrows


You may have noticed a wound on the wrap up post for my Hordebloods Axer Blademaster. It was an arrow that I made out of guitar string and feathers - pretty straight forward stuff but a nice way to add realism to a project.

Little details like this, wounds for example, add a nice touch to make your miniatures seem like they're interacting with an environment somewhere. You don't need to go overboard, covered in damage and blood - be subtle.

This process would also work quite well for notched arrows, (arrows in crossbows and pulled back in bows) adding arrows to bows or even just arrows slung in a quiver.



Guitar String


Nothing terribly new here, I've used guitar string before. It's cheap and great for pipes, spikes, claws, etc. You could probably even pin smaller models with it too.

For this project, I just needed to cut a short length slightly longer than what I wanted sticking out of him. (So there's a little I could glue into him.)


Feathers

I picked up some feathers from the hobby store. (Think it was Michaels, aka Hobby Lobby in the US.) As you can see, not too expensive either. $2.49 for that small bag, which still goes pretty far in our hobby. The bag isn't resealable, so I transferred the rest of the feathers into a ziplock bag. If you don't, it's gonna get really messy in your hobby space as a little air will blow these things EVERYWHERE.


For this project, I only needed one feather. That's what I like about hobby supplies for miniatures - Sure, you can't go out and buy a feather for 5c, but a bag goes SO far.

I also cut a short piece of guitar string, remembering to leave it a little longer than the arrow so one end can be glued into the miniature. Be careful - these things get sharp!


Glue the Feather

Using a clamp to hold the string, I apply a little super glue, then hold the feather against it until it holds in place.



Trim the Feather

I used wire cutters because they have a fine blade and trimmed the feather down.

Following that, I used a hobby knife to trim the end into an angle and cut 2 more pieces of feather to be glued on.

When applying the glue this time, be careful not to get any in the feather already on the shaft. For this, I suggest getting some glue on the tip of a pin and using that to apply it. A pair of tweezers will help you hold the final pieces of feather in place while the glue dries.


Final Product

The finished product is a little messy, but gets the job done. With a little practice, I'm sure it would come out even cleaner.


Adding Bow String

If you want to look at other ways to customize bows and arrows, take a read at my tutorial on Bracing Bows. (Adding string.)

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