After purchasing one box of Perry Miniatures Continental Mercenaries, one blister of Unarmoured Halberdiers/Pikemen Marching, one blister of Helmeted Halberdiers/Pikemen Advancing, Weapon Held at 45 degrees, one blister of Helmeted Halberdiers/Pikemen Attacking, Weapon Levelled along with both sets of metal heads, Swiss Heads and 1490-1520 European Heads it only remained for me to make up my mind what army to choose to start. It was pretty much always going to be a pike based army and with anniversary of the Battle of Flodden coming up next year it was very tempting to attempt to do the battle as a display game. I'm from the North East of England and had until recently been resident in Edinburgh for nine years so you can see the attraction that particular battle has for me. In the end I decided that this may be a one trick pony in terms of getting a game so I have opted for the equally attractive Swiss, scourge of Charles the Bold.
I started assembling some of the Continental Mercenaries and popped one of the Swiss heads on one of the crossbowmen. the head seemed a little awkward and it's possible that I may have to do more filing in order to get a better fit next time. It's a bit too late to do any more filing on this chap as the head is firmly in place so I may give the figure a raised padded collar in order to fill out the back of the neck.
Then an idea popped into my head......
Above you will see the contents of the pack EA4 Helmeted Halberdiers/Pikemen Attacking. The heads were removed with a saw and the necks were filed until they were more or less flat. I then drilled into both the torso and the head with a pin vice and a 1mm drill bit. Having examined the mini's I came to the conclusion that the heads were sitting a little too high on the mini's- basically the anatomy looked all wrong. So, what to do? This I pondered for a good while. Then it came to me. Much as the Swiss heads are designed to fit into the concave necks of the plastics, what was needed was for a similar approach with the metals, I pulled out my Dremel chose a drill bit that was just about the same size as the neck on the Swiss heads and very carefully drilled into the neck of the metals. Not too much, just enough to leave a similar 'hole' like the plastics. The result whilst probably needing a little more practice was a more realistic look to the posture of the head:
As you can see above the results are reasonably natural looking. Then came another idea..... so far there are four packs of six Halberdiers/Pikemen available from Perry Miniatures. I will buy three packs of each and leave the first pack as it is, the second will be adorned with the Swiss heads and the third with the plastic heads from either the Bows and Bills or Continental Mercenaries boxes. This means that I can get a grand total of 72 head variants from just the four metal packs available!!!! Add to that the fact that the same can be done for the pike in the plastic box and you have a huge number of variants- so many in fact that I haven't calculated the number as of yet!
So, no need for any duplicates in my Swiss phallanx!