Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 - Figure Basing.... Almost

OK, I have a force of British Provincials and Rebel Militia that I painted up for the first round of Sharp Practice. They have been in a drawer collecting dust for years. I playtested a number of games of Sharp Practice with them but I got bored painting them and ended up with Napoleonic French and British standing in for the rest of the figures that I needed. The new version of Sharp Practice provides a more rigid group numbers. The old version was flexible (6 to 12 figures per group). This has left me with much head scratching as to what to do.

My original basing scheme has three figures on a square base with additional figures mounted individually for casualty removal. This worked at the time but I don't like it a whole lot. I am looking at the wonderful pictures from Lard Island and started to think, what about Sabot basing? Sure, but how?

I think I finally came up with a plan. We will see if it survives first contact with the enemy, so to speak. First, I wanted something that will withstand game play and hold the figures in place. Since I am using 15mm figures and don't have easy access to British steel currency, I am stuck with buying something more expensive than pennies. What I came up with is #10 steel Washers. I got a pack of 50 for $2.36 at the Home Depot. Each soldier will be based on one of these guys. Next, I had an old magnetic sheet laying around. Its around 4" by 8" in size. They hold the washers rather well. Next is what will be sitting on top of the magnetic sheet is a piece of Midwest Basswood. A 1/16" by 4" by 24" piece that was sitting in my garage. There is probably something better out there but this was already paid for years ago. No expenditure to be noted by the wife.

So now to figure out how to put this together. Looking at the quick and dirty reference sheet that Rich so kindly provided, I know that my group size for Provincial Colonial Regulars is 8 men. So I grabbed 8 washers and moved over to the basswood. Laying the washers out, I came up with a shape that was 1 1/2" by 3 1/4" in size. The washers fit in there just fine. This should have enough room for figures in odd poses to fit one behind the other without too much profanity later on. They may not look as closely ranked as my previous basing, but they should do. This is a test after all. I placed a tiny dot of PVA glue in the corner of each washer and put them into place. Once I had them where I wanted them, I saw that they were too wide. A quick trim and it was ready.

This I promptly primed black. This did 2 things for me. 1) it gave me 8 washers that are primed. 2) When I peel off the washers, I now have a guide for where to drill. The primer is the cheapest can of spray paint that Home Depot had that offered that adheres to wood, plastic and metal. That was rather convenient of them. While waiting for the paint to dry, I figured out what drill bit to use. It looks like the 1/2" bit should work just fine.

While waiting for the paint to dry, I made a terrible discovery. I am nearly out of matt varnish. Bummer. I guess there is a trip scheduled sometime soon to a hobby store in my future.

The spray paint dried and I pried off each of the washers. I now had a cutting guide for the holes needed. Things look simple enough at this point. But that is not to be. Utter and complete failure. The wood cracked in half destroying the attempt. Now to step back and punt.

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