A little while ago, I showed how I had painted the Amera F214 Castle Keep. At the time, I observed that the model would be improved by the addition of a flag. Even though this was really a throwaway observation, I thought that I detected a subtle note of disappointment from my loyal followers that I hadn't attempted such an enhancement already.
Well, I haven't been able to come up with any compelling reason why I couldn't add a banner to the model, so I sat down this morning and got on with it. Total time spent was perhaps 30 minutes on the build and rather more on the computer (designing the flag), so this wasn't a difficult project!
Since I wanted the flag to be removable (partly for ease of storage and partly so that I could use different banners in the future), I made the pole much longer than you might have thought necessary. The socket itself was created by cutting down the casing of a cheap pen that had just stopped working, very conveniently for me!
To brace the socket and prevent it from tearing off the model, I cut out 4 right-angled triangles from thick plasticard (though I imagine that any stiff material - scraps of cardboard, MDF or plastic - would do). Originally I had made these triangular, with shorter sides of about 2.5" (8cm). However when I tested them, I realised that they were too deep and so I cut the tips off them. These parts are structural rather than aesthetic and therefore my original mistake won't matter in the finished model, but it does show once again the importance of dry-fitting everything before applying any glue!
The last part of the construction was to glue the 4 supports around the pen casing, thus giving the socket a considerable amount of support.
Finally, turn the model over and drop the flagstaff into the hole. Simple!
- The flag and staff were made very quickly and without much attention to detail, but there's no reason why one couldn't spend a lot more effort on such a piece.
- I did consider placing the socket in one of the corners of the keep, instead of in the centre. However it would have been greatly more difficult to work with the sloped plastic that is found there, so in the end I went with the much simpler option: the middle of the courtyard.
- When the flag is removed, the hole in the courtyard is barely visible (and would be even less so if I dabbed a little black paint over the edges of the drilled plastic). I can still use the keep without a banner, if I desire.