Pinning Knights and Horses
Monday, 25 February 2013

This article is for Tulmir, and of course, the Lords and Ladies of the Round Table. Enjoy!

  Pinning Knights and Horses

  A major challenge every Bretonnian player faces is the careful storage of his or her hard-worked on Knights. Some of us use foam trays specially made for our miniatures, some of us used modified toolboxes, some use just boxes of an appropiate size for an Army. However, our lances, banners, swords and scabbards, tassels, and even the crests of a helmet can bend and break, ruining hours of hard work.  The best way to prevent such disasters, is of course, careful storage, and the best way to store and transport our knights? By keeping rider and mount stored separately, of course!


  • Pinning allows for easy, safe storage of both Knight and Horse without taking out large chunks from customizable foam-block movement trays.
  • A pinned Knight has a holding point that allows for easier painting and retouching.
  • A pinned Lord model can be switched between different mounts, so that the same knightly model can be used for different lists.


The following article will give you steps, knowhow, and the why-it-can-be-a-good-thing. 

 I apologize beforehand if the pictures are fuzzy, I do not have a dedicating miniature camera.

 Materials and Tools

The following is a list of the tools and materials you'll need for this tutorial. 


  • Pinning material (Paper clips will be used for this tutorial)
  • Wire cutters
  • Super Glue
  • Pin Vice/Hobby Drill
  • Drill bits for pins; 1 same size as the pinning material, 1 larger then pinning material
  • Paint of choice
  • Pointed file 
  • Modelling knife
  • Models (of course!)


 Issues with Regular Construction

For reference, I have taken an image of an older model of mine and pointed out some of the issues with just gluing the knight to the horse.



























One of the biggest issues is priming the miniature. It takes careful handling to fully prime a glued knight, leading to missed spots under the horse and legs, and under portions of armor.  

1- Here you can see where poor storage has started to damage the lance, bending the plastic. 

2- As can be seen, on both sides the legs rest in front of the front shields on the barding. Unless painted seperately or very, very carefully, painting either armor or heraldry will cause issues.  The placing of the lance on the right side is also an issue, as it blocks part of the barding and straps.

3- Another problem is wear on the paint job. Even though this model doesn't have a shield, it would be having the same issues with wear and paint damage, even possibly end up breaking off depending on the attachment strength.

4- The scabbard, more extraneous plastic, has started to bend.  


 Before you start-

The best way to prepare the knights is to start with unassembled models. Knights that already assembled can still be pinned, but you have to be careful because of how the mini is probably glued together, as the drilling can push apart the legs.    



 Preparing the Knights

We're going to start with a pair of assembled legs, seen here. 

































 As mentioned earlier, a knight in any stage of construction can be pinned, but I prefer to start from scratch, and this is also for clarity of the tutorial.


 Step one is to make sure the legs will fit the horse without issue. One of the good things about the Bretonnian Knights is that the saddles on all the mounts are smooth, and that there is a high Swell and Cantle for the knight to sit between. If there is an issue with the fit, it is best to carve down the saddle to make a smooth fit. 






































 Here the legs are fitted on two different mounts. Now that we are confident that the legs fit, we can move on to the drilling.


 Step two is to drill the hole for the pin. The best thing to do is to make the hole right in the center of the legs, on the seam where they've been glued together. Try not to angle the hole, so that the pin will be straight up-and-down, which makes some of the last steps easier. 






























 Here you can see the legs, drilled and ready for the pin. With just the legs you can drill all the way through, but if there's a torso attached you have to be careful. 


 Step three is to glue the pinning material in place. Since this tutorial is using a paper clip as the material, we'll be using super glue. Make sure to let the glue dry before doing anything else with the miniature. 



























  Here are the legs, pinned and ready to go for the next step. I missed a picture of the whole paper clip, so I've gone ahead and done Step four, where the pin has been trimmed to length, from knee to mid-calf. The pin needs to be straight as possible so that the next few steps go smoother. 



 If you use the pin as a holding point for painting, do not do step four until you are finished with the knight.  



 Drilling into the Mount

 Now that the knight has been prepared, the next step is to prepare the horse. For this you'll need paint, the pin vice with the larger bit, and a pointed file. 

 Step five starts with placing a small amount of paint on the end of the pin. Before the paint dries, place the knight as evenly as you can on the horse. This gives you the point where to drill into the saddle. 



  The spot of paint is the point on the saddle is where Step six will happen, taking the larger drill bit and drilling into the horse.  


 Here you can see our horse, along with the pegasus, both drilled and ready to go.
 Step seven is to check the fit of the pinned legs. If the pin-and-slot do not go smoothly, then you can either drill a larger hole or use the file on the hole to make the fit better.
 Our knight is now able to be fielded on either horse or pegasus, and all three can be safely stored with little hassle! (Except for the pegasus. Darn wings!) It may seem like a lot of work, but the heartache that can be saved will make all the work entirely worth it. 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 February 2013 )