Musing on basing and rules

I have one batch of figures to paint to reach 64. So I started musing over how to base them.

The place to start is rules and what rules will they be played with and also how big is my table.

So my maximum table size is 6ft x 4ft and usually it would be 5ft x 3.5ft.

Now rules. Reading through Blackpowder I love the command and control aspects, I like the thought of Field of Battle for solo play and I quite like lasalle. The one I haven’t read is the man at war rules.

So taking Blackpowder as the baseline then a standard line infantry unit has a frontage of between 24cm and 30cm in 28mm so to have a decent game in 15mm I need to half the distances to fit on my table so that’s a frontage of between 12cm and 15cm.

So I have 3 preferred basing schemes that I need to choose between.

Option 1

This option in 4 bases of 6 figures at 30cm x 25 cm. this gives 24 figures on a 12cm frontage.

In line…


In column…


This works pretty well with all the rulesets, but I wonder if the figures are a bit squashed and if the whole thing leaves little room for scenics on the bases.

Option 2

Again 24 figures but on 6 bases that are the Napoleon at war bases. It works out as a frontage of 15cm. I’m not sure if they look a little too spaced. But they would work with Napoleon at war as well as Blackpowder.



Option 3

Back to 4 bases per battalion but now we are 8 figures per base giving a total of 32 on 40mm x 30mm.

A very common basing scheme good for Blackpowder and others but gives a lightly large frontage of 16cm



So what’s it to be ? There are pros and cons in all 3 systems, but I err towards option 3.

I am a week away from having my batch of figures ready to base so no urgency but will need a decision next week.


Blue Moon French

I think most people would agree that AB are the best figures on the market, but I could see 2 problems firstly they are expensive and secondly I don’t want to waste expensive sculpts when I am re learning to paint. I haven’t painted 15/18mm figures for a good 15 years.

So I opted for some French from Blue Moon, available from Old Glory here in the UK. I must say the services was excellent and the figures arrived in 4 days.

The idea was to just get enough figures in full dress to build some rank and file ligne battalions marching. The backbone of my french napoleonic army.

The figures are nice, detailed and size wise a good match for AB. They are slightly chunkier than AB but at least it doesn’t look like the bayonet will snap anytime soon.

I painted the first batch without noticing that there is a small amount of flash between the right hand and the cartridge box. I am aged to paint this out but have removed it in subsequent batches.

There are 3 poses per figure code and they are all very similar, so the units will look like units but with some variation. I do think they could maybe do with 1 or 2 more where the feet and hands are slightly different.

They painted up well enough and I think I will use them for the bulk of my French army but I have yet to try Xan figures so may change my mind.

Considering I haven’t painted at this scale for so long I am quite pleased with the results. Yes I made some mistakes but on mass I think they will look pretty good.


I undercoat in black and then base coat in dark shade colours and highlight with light ish shade. I think they look good from 6 inches away… Zoom right in and they look messy lol.


I have painted enough for around 2 battalions I just need to decide how to base them.

10mm eye candy

I once had a brief dalliance with some 10mm napoleonics. I liked 10mm as a scale, mass effect, detail and cheap. But at the time the ranges available were limited.

I look now and there are more ranges available so it’s possible to build complete armies.

There are now even Spanish buildings suitable for the peninsula in 10mm.

Below are some AIM French. I liked the figures they were easy to,paint and detailed enough to make them look ok. But expensive to get here in the UK and a very incomplete range.



Now some Royal Horse Artillery have the French in their sights.


Some 28mm Offensive miniatures French

I only ever painted one of these battalions. You can see how I usually plan my French armies. I either a) 4 bases all fusiliers and just assume the flank companies are detached b) 4 bases with 1 as grenadiers and skirmishes as separate detached figures.


I always like big stands no more than 4 per unit. Usually between 24 to 32 figures.


Offensive minutes paint up very quickly and I think they look good. The range is a little limited but good enough for the bulk of the line in the Peninsula.

British 28mm by Victrix

Here’s some eye candy of my last figures I painted. These are 28mm Napoleonics from Victrix.

I liked the figures, liked the variation but they just took too long to put together.


I painted 3 battalions in total and based them in 4 stands of 6 figures.


Ultimately I just haven’t got the space for 28mm figures. Liked them and would love to go back to them but my maximum table size is 6ft x 4ft, not really enough for 28mm.


Starting Over

Welcome to my blog where I will track and talk about my progress through painting miniature historical figures, my thoughts and feelings and hopefully with some hints and tips that people my find useful.

My History

i used to wargame, napoleonics mainly, some ww2 and the occasional adventures elsewhere.  I have painted and sold many collections, mostly napoleonics and have given up over the last 10 years.

My main passions is the napoleonic wars, in particular the peninsula war. So I decided that I needed sow,thing to do, a project if you like, for the winter months when I can’t get on the golf course.

so here I am starting from scratch.

First thing I did was decide on figure scale.  After much thought I’ve settled on 15mm, or rather 18mm miniatures as a compromise of size, cost and detail.

and now so it begins….