Tuesday 11 December 2012

Aaargh! Help! 28th Shakos!

I've been looking forward to painting the 28th for a long time, being uniquely the only British line regiment to wear the stovepipe shako at Waterloo. This makes them the perfect unit in which to put all those Peninsular figures I've accumulated over the years.
That is until I found out that the 28th did not wear a shako plate - they had the number "28" with a sphinx badge and a scroll above and a scroll below. This means that all my figures - Front Rank, Foundry, Perrys, and Vixtrix are - "wrong".
Obviously every one of us involved in this remarkably silly hobby makes our own rules about what is "real", what needs to be pedantically adhered to and what we can turn a blind eye to. I must admit, my first thought was "ah, **** it" and just paint all those big brass shako plates.
But I knew it would always bug me and furthermore there's something about that proud number 28 that I thought would look really good. And so I set about trying to find a solution. I tried 3 things:

1) I printed out lots of little gold 28s on black paper and stuck them on with glue. Good points - looked quite nice. Bad points - a) if you looked closely (which you'd have to in order to see the number!) you could also see the edges of the paper. b) I supsequently found out about the sphinx and the scrolls and saw that the numbers were too big.

2) I printed out even smaller gold 28s (font size 4) this time with the sphinx (a blob) and scrolls. Good points - these  were more in scale. Bad points - a) same problem with the paper being visible b) the badge was now so small that it was almost invisible, making the whole process rather pointless

3) I tried painting on the numbers. Good points - none. Bad Points - a complete mess, I can paint eyes, I can paint sergeant stripes, but I can't paint numbers that small.

Here are some pics to show you what I mean - please ignore the mess of the rest of the painting, these are at the very early stages!
Left to right -  Method 1, Method 2, Disaster 3
If anyone could think of a solution i'd be interested to hear!  Additionally, if anyone makes decals I'd be very happy to buy them from you!

Close but no cigar. You can see how the glue on the back seeps through the paper and makes the already faint "28" almost illegible.


  1. Method 2 looks the best to me - try using Pritt stick to glue them down, I've used it for various labels and it seems to last and does not leak glue. Good luck with the 28th!

  2. Number 2 for me too; it might be worth contacting one of the companies out there to see if they would be able to help, little big man studios would be a good bet:

  3. Could you ad some water to the back of the paper to make it fould better to the shacko? try woodglue/ white glue with this.

    To hide the seem, try liquid greenstuff. And then cover the liquid greenstuff with some black paint.

  4. Why do you not get some waterslide decal paper, this is what I used on my samurai to make the banners. Have a look at them on my blog. The decals you want are so small you could get almost the whole lot on 1 sheet. Essentially you print on the decal paper using inkjet printer, you then have to spray on a couple of coats of gloss polyurethane if I remember correctly. I was shocked when it worked.


  5. All great tips guys, many thanks - I will give them all a try!

  6. Wow! Steve from Victrix has come to my rescue!

    These look amazing and I shall update with pics when they arrive and are stuck on.

  7. What evidence do you have that the 28th (or anyone else) wore the stovepipe cap at Waterloo? I think you might struggle to find a primary source.