Last week I had a casting session and mustered 8 more privates and an officer to complete the first 12 figure unit. All looked ok out in the shed but by the time I got to my desk one of them had lost his bayonet. I grumbled, I wavered, but then I went back out and cast 2 more. Then I cleaned up the castings, still ok, then washed them, and lost 3 more bayonets. Argghhh! It would appear that hasty casting in -5C weather doesn't always aid the free flow of metal into the mold. I contemplated ignoring the shortage of bayonets but that seemed like a poor start for the unit. I couldn't help remembering though that my first attempt at casting a Canadian volunteer from the Fenian era, a converted 54mm Britain's Guardsmen, also had a mold problem which made that mold unusable. Anyway, although there was no difference in equipment historically, I decided to paint the 3 bayonet-less privates as Riflemen in green. I'd replace the redcoats during the next thaw (hopefully Tuesday). I began painting.......
|A mixed battalion of Faraway Volunteers in 1861. (One man shy.)|
Then I looked at the officer, one of my 1840's officer castings whose peaked cap I had filed down and squared up into an 1860's officer's cap, sort of. Something tickled the back of my brain, so after a few seconds I reached for the reference books again. Yup, I was right. Prior to the Crimean War British officers wore a waist sash, often knotted on the left, and so did my figure. However, after Crimea, it was replaced by a shoulder sash knotted on the left for sergeants but on the right for officers. C**P! I briefly thought about the old Britain's approach of "if its not painted it isn't there" but I had over exaggerated the sculpting of the knot and there was no way I could ignore it. Then I thought, maybe sergeant-majors were allowed to wear officer style frock coats? Six books later with more to go, I decided that answering the question was going to involve a long search, possibly years and wasn't likely to be found in my library, filing off the offending lump of metal would be faster even if it did take the paint off the nearly finished figure. Sighhh. All better now.
Time to get them into action.
|From an Oct 2011 repost of a 2001 battle report of the 1st Faraway vs Oberhilse battle set in 1861. (see link for the battle report.)|
In between painting and life, I've been trying to "wrassle" the wreck of several aborted armies back into what they were originally supposed to be, organized for the rules in hand. Along the way I was reminded that the organization and basing scheme is what was decided on 2 years ago, just before the unexpected outbreak of the Great War on my table top. An outbreak that seemed to disrupt everything for a year and 1/2. I also noted that for the 3rd time in 5 years, I have come back to a 40mm version of my original 54mm plan from 1999. Third time is a charm 'they' say.
Its often a good idea when testing to start small and simple so I have set up a very basic, as Old School as it gets, meeting engagement between equal forces. 2 cavalry squadrons, 16 infantry companies and 1 gun a side. "Take and hold the crossroad".
|About as traditional a basic set up and scenario as you can get.|