I ordered a spare set of Risk figures the other week, from eBay. They came just before I went away last weekend, so I spent idle moments of our break deciding just what to do with them. The figures in my original set are all earmarked as the core of my Russian and Swedish armies, so the options for this set are either to do a third army or expand the current ones. I have decided on the latter - I will use the set to do more Russians and Swedes but it also allows me figures to do some irregular units to support either side. And so it is that I have spent today painting Cossacks.
I put the figures together during the week. Risk has one basic cavalry figure, waving his sword in the air. I decided to make four Cossack units, each one with six figures (as opposed to the eight in the regular units). Two bases would have two figures, and two one figure each. To get round the single pose I decided to remodel half of the figures as lancers, chopping off and repositioning the right arm, then adding a wire lance. I use plastic-coated florists' wire, which sticks to the hard plastic of a Risk figure with ordinary modelling glue very nicely.
In addition I filed the corners off the tricorn hats to make something a little more rounded.
Here are a couple of units before undercoating.
And here are the four units, finished aside from the basing.
You can see the difference between the lance-armed and sword-armed figures here.