Monday, March 12, 2012

The Die is Cut

or the Template is decided and some bases have been cut.

It was nip and tuck, but after some experiments with various numbers of figures on various sizes of bases with an eye to looks and how they operate under the rules, how they interface with the terrain that I have and plan to build, how easy they will be for strangers to figure out etc........ I have settled on a standard that I am happy with.

There were 3 leading contenders:

  • 2" wide bases for everyone with light infantry being split in 1/2 to give them a 4" frontage when skirmishing,  and artillery mounted on a double wide/double deep base and counting as 2 units. (becuase a gun and crew take up a lot of room.
  • 2" wide for regular line infanty, 60mm wide for every one else because 60mm is the narrowest that I can shoe horn everything into and I have a stack of precut one but I've already based most of  the line infantry and don't want to change them
  • 2" wide for line infantry with light companies being split, 3" wide for everyone else with 1 gun & crew, 3-4 light infantry skirmish types, 6-8 native spearmen or 3 cavalry.
The last one makes the most sense, fits the guns, makes the dedicated light infantry look and work ok while being easy to figure out because a base is a base is a base, seems to get the right effect for the cavalry while fitting my existing organization and just fits most of the terrain that I'm keeping and is easily accommodated when building more.

Now, there were some quaestions about the balloons Lwrence made for me.

Here's the upcomig airship as it arrived. The balloons are hollow plastic pumpkin Halloween decorations. The stem has been detached and the balloons spray painted. The double ones here are smaller than the single ones used for the observation balloons. The basket is made of a wooden base and frame with textured plastic basket weave. Small hollow plastic tubing has been cut and glued in place to guide the various rigging which is made of string. The base is wood with hollow brass tubing glued in place and spackle added to support the tunes and weigh down and beautify the whole thing. Elevation is provided by various lengths of translucent plastic which just fit the brass tubingand the neck of the balloon.

Because this one has propoulsion, it has extra bits which are cobbled together from odd shapes of wood from a craft section, some ship model parts and various scraps. Oh yes there is also a rudder from sheet plastic.

  So to summarize, the steps were:
1) Compliment Lawrence on the 28mm FPW Balloon he made for Mike.
2) Jokingly ask when he's going to make one for you.
3) Await delivery. Took about 2 years I think and delivery was 2 years ago........Good things come and all that.


  1. Hi Ross. I've been doing a lot of thinking about basing myself. I wonder: do you distinguish between light cavalry and line cavalry in your basing?

  2. Not if its European regular Light Cavalry but I haven't made a final decision on Irregular types, Cossacks, Mamlukes, Mahrattas and so forth

  3. Great balloons! I think I need to keep an eye out for things like little plastic pumpkins, wooden bits from the craft store, etc. (-:

    (I keep thinking about basing, too. All of my figures are based singly, but multi-figure bases have plenty of pluses, too. And even though I've been using magnetized movement trays, which offers more flexibility, it's not quite the same. I may base some figures on multi-figure bases for battles, and leave extras on single bases for skirmishes and rpgs. Maybe there's a case and a use for some single figures (as characters, for example) along with multi-figure bases? Base size is another issue, as you've demonstrated. More food for thought for me and my games.)

  4. I look forward to seeing your balloon completed and painted up.

  5. Another possible "balloon material" is decorative artificial onions . . . I've got a couple for that purpose . . . and their shape is great!

    -- Jeff