Saturday, 31 October 2009

Numbers. More Lace Wars.

I've got all my ducks in a row for my next casting session, which will be Monday. It's really important to work out all the unit sizes, and the poses required, before one tackles the job of pouring the metal. I intend to cast a few more of each pose than I shall actually paint and use, but it really helps to know how many are needed, so as to avoid the temptation of getting carried away on a favourite pose. I do speak from experience here...

I have to cast and paint both sides of this fictitious conflict, so any idea of large units and lots of them, isn't really on the cards. First of all I have to set a limit to the number of units I shall have, and of what type. If this is not done, I shall likely be overwhlemed as the task runs away from me.

So, two armies.

The Mounted General figure will be for high ranking officers only; Brigade officers and the Army Generals. I intend to have one Army General for each side, and three Brigade officers, two for the Infantry and one for the Cavalry. So a minimum of eight casts then. Not a lot of use from that mould really, so lucky that I got it cheap during one of Prince August's periodic "give away prices" sales.

Each Army's Foot contingent will consist of 4 x Infantry regiments, 2 x Grenadier regiments, and 2 x Light Infantry battalions.

Each Infantry regiment will consist of 24 figures, including an Officer, Standard Bearer and Drummer. Added to that total will be a mounted (or dismounted, depending on how democratic he feels) Colonel. That's a total of 100 figures, 4 of them mounted, per Army.

Then there're the Grenadiers, which will have the same organisation; they will need 50 castings, 2 of which will be mounted.

The Light Infantry battalions will consist of 12 figures each, but not include a Standard Bearer or the Mounted Colonel. I need to get a Bugler mould for these, so I'll be browsing eBay for one, and only forking out PA prices if I am unlucky there. So 24 figures per Army.

The Cavalry has to be downsized, I now feel. Initially I had intended to use 16 castings per squadron, but frankly the figures are large and a unit of 16 has quite a big footprint on the table top. Too big, really. So I've dropped their Order of Battle to 12, including all command. Each Army was to have 2 squadrons of Heavy Cavalry and 1 of Light Cavalry (Dragoons), each with the same contingent of 12 castings. 36 castings per Army. Again, I need to get another mould for the Dragoon; I'm thinking the Mounted Cavalryman, Raised Carbine, here.

The Artillery are next. Here I am not going to bother with limbers and horses. Again, with 40mm figures I feel the unit footprint on the table top is just too large. So two guns and 12 crew per battery, plus a battery commander (on foot). I'd originally gone for 1 gun per battery, but feel that would make them too flexible and powerful. Two batteries (4 guns) per Army seems about right for the overall force sizes. So aside from the guns, that's 26 figures per Army.

So the total number of figures to be cast is 8 guns, (already done), 8 Mounted Generals, 72 Cavalry, 200 Foot. 100 Grenadiers, 48 Light Infantry and 52 Artillery Gunners. That's if my maths is OK.

As regards uniforms, I am playing this by ear. I have some ideas, and basically my usual approach is to clean up a couple of castings and paint them up as a uniform colour template, as it were. When I am happy with that unit's colour scheme, I clean the rest of the castings for the unit and then finish it off.

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