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Friday, 10 January 2014

Why that size, why that number?

                               I had a question from another blogger asking me about base sizes and numbers of figures. I realise now that I haven't really explained what formulae I used to get here or my reasons for how I display the troops. so here goes.

                              The scale was an aesthetic and space driven decision because  I have a small playing area but I still wanted troops big enough to retain a high degree of distinguishing figure detail 10mm does that (or in the case of Kallistra 12mm). The base sizes grew out of my previous experience of playing V&B and grand armee.  60mm bases feel good . They are a nice size, easy to handle and simple to move around and often leaves room for diorama effects. Furthermore they are a good size for arthritic hands to pick up. Decision made:- 10/12mm it was going to be and 60mm frontage was the size.. So game on. 

                              My starting point was that the standard base would be 60mm by 60mm and any variances would be based on that. I finally settled on 60x60 for cavalry and 60x40 for the infantry. I tried 60x60 for infantry but if you pack the base it looks like too many, too deep and if you leave scenic space in front or back you lose the packed effect..

                            For the cavalry I use 11 or 12 figures figures per base. Twelve is just about as many as you can fit aesthetically to that size base. Any more and it looks like the central line in the rush hour.  If I'm trying to give the impression of "organised" , semi-trained "regular" troops, like late Romans I use 12 figures. If I'm trying to portray a more heroic look then I use 11 or even 10 so that I get a more animated look to the base. The skirmishers have 7 figures per base and I try for a diorama approach but it looks a little sparse to me now and maybe 8 would be better.

                         For the infantry I use 18 figs in 3 lines for a shieldwall warband. It would be hard to squeeze any more on. It could be done I suppose by squeezing on a fourth line at the back but then I think you would lose what scenic effects I have managed to achieve so far. It would also make it impossible to have any irregularities in the line up. In this era non linearity helps with the appearance. It looks great when a line snakes backwards and forwards a little. For warriors I use 2 or 3 less figures allowing 1 or 2 figs less in the front rows. That makes it look like the gung-ho guys are pushing ahead. For skirmishers I use 9 figures and that in my opinion looks about right.

                       I hope this helps explain how I arrived at the look I've achieved so far.


  1. Thank you very much Robert for your basing story, very interesting to know about your thoughts and ideeas. I acctuallt thought you used 40mm wide bases.

    Looking forward to see more of your nice 10mm minis !

    Best regards Michael

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Robert. It's always nice to see how others go about basing their figures.