The one upside to an unexpected and prolonged lockdown has been the revival of my Colonial era project. Despite letting a month pass without posting anything new on the blog it's not because I haven't been busy painting.
The first forty Perry 28mm plastic Mahdist Ansars are now completed and I have the figures from a second box assembled and based awaiting primer. To oppose them I have a box of Perry British Infantry, some of which I started way back in April 2020. This is a fairly versatile box set that can be used for a number of campaigns beyond the Sudan, including the North West Frontier and Afghanistan.
I like the idea of playing large skirmish games with these and I have a copy of Daniel Mersey's The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK) which are ideally suited to the period. I would dearly love to see Too Fat Lardies' black powder rules Sharp Practice expanded to include this period and have been following John Savage on Twitter and Facebook, as he has been testing a variant for the Sudan that may see publication in the forthcoming Lard Magazine.
Most skirmish rules involve individual basing, which works fine for me as I'm happy to use sabot bases to help move groups of figures. That's ideal for more regular or drilled units but doesn't quite look right for tribal groups or irregulars. I know there are sabot bases available where figures are spaced in a more irregular pattern but I quite like the idea of basing in 3s, 2s and 1s. This would give tribal units a less rigid appearance while allowing for ease of movement and the removal of casualties. So that's been my approach.
The bases are cut from larger pieces of 2mm MDF. The edges are beveled to give them a more natural appearance using the sanding tool on a Dremel.
As for painting the figures I thought this might be a good opportunity to try the Citadel contrast paints for the fabrics. I primed the clothing in either white or dark sand. With the white I used the contrast paint Apothecary White and with the dark sand Skeleton Horde. The results were very pleasing and I can foresee a number of other applications where the contrasts will work well. The figures did receive a final highlight with a paintbrush, but overall I achieved the effect I was after very quickly.
A group of Tribal Infantry in TMWWBK is made up of sixteen figures including a leader. Sharp Practice tends to have smaller size groups and I'd expect Tribal Infantry to be in groups of approximately twelves. Either way the 3,2,1 basing system would work for either. So for TMWWBK I'm looking at a group of sixteen being made up of three bases of 3 figures, two bases of 2 figures and three bases with a single figure.