I could have provided a link, but figured I would paste it right here
Many of us are unhappy with the existing range of Empire Greatswords; I personally find them dull, monotonous (they are all in one pose!) and just plain uninspiring. There is, however, a way to model your own double-handed swordsmen from the current multi-part Empire soldiers and militia.
Again, the magic wand is called Plastruct. The product code we need is 90744. As can be seen, these are narrow strips of plastic, roughly equal in width to a 28mm sword.
Browse the internet to get ideas. Search online images for “double-handed sword”, “two-handed sword”, “flamberge”, “landsknechts” etc. Below is a sample of different varieties of these swords.
Use the existing double-handed sword from the militia sprue as a size guide. Cut out a sliver of plastic with enough length for the blade and leaving some space for the tang. Use a sharp X-acto knife and a file to define a tang. Make the tang thick enough to hold the blade when glued to the hand and thin enough to fit into a hole you drill in the hand.
As you can see, I added a guard made from thin twisted wire and added decorative balls from green stuff to either end. In retrospect, this was not well done, as the balls ended up being (and looking!) too heavy for the delicate 28mm miniature detail. I also added additional hand guards from the same plastic strip – I cut out a piece short enough to be almost square and cut it diagonally, from one corner to another, in order to get two triangles, which I glued to either edge of the blade.
There are several different variations of 16th century sword guards, which can be reproduced in this way in 28mm, as can be seen below. Crazy Glue has been used to affix the wire to the plastic blade and to seal the ends of twisted guards for strength and durability. Additionally, several consecutive drops of Crazy Glue will ensure there are decorative roundings on the edges of the guard.
These are the pieces that will be used to make a double-handed swordsman. I am using a standard Empire body, tassets, halberd hands, and head with militia legs. The two sets of arms in the picture are identical – I am just demonstrating which halberd arms were used and how they were modified. I used a pin and a piece of brass wire to mount green stuff pommels on.
At this stage it is worth taking a look at the existing period illustrations to get an idea of what positions there are for fighting with two-handed swords. I particularly like the Talhoffer's manual, as it is an authentic late 15th century folio, which depicts fighting with various weapons, including double-handed swords. The illustrations will give some ideas. You will not necessarily be able to reproduce the same positions using the somewhat limited Empire plastics, but they might suggest a direction.
This is the assembled swordsman, modeled as using his sword to stab forward. The round armor plate protecting his underarm and shoulder was made from round gauge plastic sprue with a leftover plastic sliver for a spike glued to it. I put a drop of plastic cement on top of the resulting spike for it to melt slightly so that I could file it easier to shape.
Here is another pic of him from a slightly different angle.
Here are a couple of other variations on a theme: A commander with a full bascinet helmet:
and an unarmoured swordsman in one of Talhoffer's positions (Well, as close to it as I could do it):
Same miniature from a slightly different angle:
Unfortunately, there are no magic instructions as to what exactly to do. Hopefully, the pictures will be self-explanatory. You will need to experiment, try on bodies and arms, cut and reposition wrists (in this case, it was a question of cutting off the wrist and re-gluing it having turned it, so that the weapon would face a different way.
At this stage the swordsman is washed in warm water with soap to remove whatever mold residue there was (not to mention oil and dust from too much handling during conversion), and undercoated in black.
Same with this figure, except that I chose to undercoat it all in yellow, as the soldier is not wearing any armour and will be wearing some yellow clothing. I will simply paint his sword black and drybrush it with silver.
After making sure that the first soldier has been covered in black evenly, I drybrush the metal parts with silver. Note that the decorative balls on either end of the guard remain a sore in the eye and are way too heavy for 28mm scale.
At this stage, all the main colors have been blocked out in acrylics. I made sure 85% of the faces were done. It is important to do faces now and not worry about them later, in case you are happy with the way a figure turned out only to mess it up doing its face in the final stage.
More in the WORKSHOP section of my site!