As you do when you’ve just finished painting a new unit, I recently put my newly-completed (but not yet based) Minden Miniatures Seven Years War British troops onto their first parade as soon as the last lick of varnish was dry.
A slightly overcast day produced perfect lighting conditions, resulting in a portfolio of photos I’m quite proud of. But a gentle breeze did play havoc with the dressing of the lines, being specially fond of blowing over the standard bearers with a follow-on domino effect through the first company. So the carefully aligned formations in these photos had to be painstakingly redone between each shot!
As you can see, the basing is not yet done. And I have not completely firmed up my ideas on how to do it, either. I’m not going to base for any particular ruleset – at the speed I am painting these large units (three months for this one) I suspect that by the time I have assembled a whole army, the rules that they’ll be used for are probably not even written yet!
The number of figures and the organisation are loosely based on the old wargames rulebook Charge! Or How to Play Wargames. But those rules pre-date the concept of basing entirely, using individual figures that must’ve been an absolute pain to move round the battlefield.
I am inclined towards having eight figure bases made up of two ranks of four. This would make two bases per company. The officers, NCOs, drummers and standard bearers would all be on individual bases so I could position them around the battalion depending on its formation.
However, to throw the cat into the bag, I’ve now also started thinking about having each company based in single, rather than double lines. So a company in line would then be 16 figures long, plus supernumeries. And the whole battalion would be a massive 48 rank-and-file figures long. These days one is more accustomed to seeing miniatures in double lines, but I think that having two ranks represent three or four real ranks is no more realistic than representing the whole company frontage with a dozen or so figures.
Anyway, I haven’t come to a decision yet. So who knows what will happen.
Overall, I have found the Minden Miniatures figures a very paintable range. The sculpting is very crisp, and the detail is easy to pick out. The figures respond particularly well to detailing with GW paint washes. And of course such fine troops deserve the best of flags, and nothing beats GMB Design for these.