|IR15/II - musketeers of the second battalion of the Prussian Guard|
I recently finished painting and basing a battalion of the second battalion of the Prussian Guard (musketeers in tricorn hats). The actual figures had been painted several months ago, but I was awaiting the arrival of the GMB Designs flags to finish the unit and do the basing and terraining. Flags arrived and were immediately affixed to their staffs and are now ready for service.
The figures are the Prussian Guard Musketeers that were added to the Minden SYW figure range in late 2019. I decided to change my basing system from 2 ranks on a 60mm wide by 40mm deep base to three ranks on a 60mm wide by 80mm deep base. The third rank consists of the officer, NCOs and drummers. The end stands have the drummer on the outside flank standing next to an NCO. The other stands have one officer or one NCO.
The figure configuration per stand is:
8/9/8/9/8 = 42 figures
The old system has six figures per stand on five stands = 30 figures.
|View of the third rank of officers, NCOs and drummers.|
I kind of stumbled into this basing concept when I decided to paint some AWI Hessians (in a firing line) as Austrian musketeers. I added Minden SYW drummers, officers, standard bearers and NCOs to the Hessian figures to make the unit look more "Minden-like". I used the conversion by paint method to turn the Hessians into Austrians.
Because the front rank of my firing line has the muskets in firing poses, I was a bit concerned about having the musket and bayonet extending over the front edge of the stand, thus making it susceptible to breakage from rough handling. So I decided to keep the same 60mm frontage, but double the depth from 40mm to 80mm. in order to provide the base depth that would protect the muskets and bayonets.
I immediately noticed that I had lots of extra real estate on the bigger stands, so this allowed me to do two new things to the battalion: cram at least 8 figures onto the stand instead of 6, and add a third rank of file closers. Each stand has a third rank of either drummers (only on the two end stands), NCOs or officers. Bigger stands and more figures means that the size of the battalion would suddenly increase from 30 figures to as much as 42 figures. I have the flexibility to remove one of the stands (8 or 9 figures) to reduce the size of the unit more in keeping with my existing battalions of 30 figures. If I removed an 8-figure stand, that reduces the strength from 42 figures to 34 figures. Using a 1:20 ratio, this results in a battalion of 680 men, which is closer to the theoretical strength of 720 men in a typical Prussian infantry battalion.
However, removing one stand leaves me with four stands, of which the command stand flags are now slightly off-center when the battalion is deployed into a line formation. My solution was to add a stand representing the 3-pound battalion gun and crew and place it on one of the flanks. This would give me a configuration of:
8/9/8F/9/battalion gun. 8F represents the command stand with the battalion's flags.
I prefer the symmetry of a battalion that has its flags in the center of the battalion frontage.
I like the new look and this will likely lead me to paint a whole new Prussian and Austrian army for the infantry service branch. I don't have to change the cavalry basing, but I will have to increase cavalry strengths from 24 to 36 figures, by adding 12 more figures per regiment.
And so I will end up with two Prussian infantry contingents and two Austrian infantry contingents; however I will likely sell off the old 30-figure battalions as I paint more 3-rank battalions. I have the one Prussian Guard battalion compared to six Austrian battalions already painted.
Here are several pictures that compare the new (three ranks) basing system versus my original (two ranks) basing system
|New basing system (top) versus the original basing system (bottom).|
|The battalion frontages are the same, but the new system has the files much closer. There are 30 figures in the original battalion and 42 figures in the new battalion.|
|New system (left) has three ranks compared to two ranks for the original system (right).|