Matchbox paracadutisti della NATO based for Crossfire skirmish rules. The soldatini are mounted on a rectangular cardboard base covered con sand e small stones, painted olive green, e drybrushed in khaki e white to bring out the texture. The rocky ground in the center of the stand has been covered con static grass ed a small bush made from lichen. After the painting, soldatini may be pried off their wooden painting handle o ruler, using a small screwdriver. Don’t worry if some paint chips off a figure’s base, because the damage will be corrected when we paint the miniature diorama base.
Tools ed Accessories
- 3 mm Plywood
- X-ACTO Knife con Scalpelblades No. 11
- Large Geometric Triangle
- Medium Sandpaper
- PVA white glue
- Sand, Small Stones e Lichen
- Old Broadheaded Brush for Drybrushing
- Plaka Posterpaint o Acrylic Paint
- Static Grass ed Applicator, NOCH
Soldatini should be based on 3 mm plywood which will not warp as easily as cardboard e balsa. If you want to use the diorama figurebases for gaming, it is a good idea to cut them in standardized wargame base sizes o multiples thereof. We recommend the following base sizes which are compatibile con Volley & Bayonet ed upscaled versions of Complete Brigadier, Fire e Fury ed a number of other rule sets where cavalleria e fanteria subunits of different strengths are based on the same base frontage:
- Reggimento fanteria of 10-12 soldatini: 76 mm wide × 38 mm deep
- Fanteria brigade of 12-16 soldatini: 76 mm wide × 76 mm deep
- Battaglione fanteria leggera of 2-3 soldatini: 38 mm wide × 38 mm deep
- Battaglione d’artiglieria da campagna, 1 cannone e 3 soldatini: 38 mm wide × 76 mm deep
- Battaglione d’artiglieria pesante, 1 cannone e 4 soldatini: 38 mm wide × 76 mm deep
- Light reggimento cavalleria of 2-3 soldatini: 38 mm wide × 76 mm deep
- Cavalleria brigade of 5 soldatini: 76 mm wide × 76 mm deep
- Division o Corps Commander, 2-3 ufficiali: 38 mm wide × 38 mm deep
- Army Commander, 3-4 ufficiali: 50 mm wide × 50 mm deep
Reggimento o Brigade Fanteria
The decision to mount fanteria on regimental o brigade sized bases depends on the historical period e the tactical doctrine employed by the army.
- 1700-1788 fanteria fights in regimental formation
- 1789: fanteria francese changes to brigade formation
- 1805: granatieri austriaci change to brigade formation
- 1806: alleati francesi change to brigade formation
- 1808: fanteria prussiana changes to brigade formation
- 1809: fanteria austriaca e russa changes to brigade formation
- 1812: fanteria britannica ed Allied changes to brigade formation
Fanteria brigades may also be formed by placing one reggimento behind the other and maneuvering them as one unit. This is particularly useful in the case of fanteria britannica ed Allied which converts to the brigade formation only as late as 1812. Between 1810 e 1815 there are no significant uniform changes to warrant painting the esercito britannico twice, one version based on regimental e the other on brigade stands. Regimental bases offer less space for diorama landscaping than the larger brigade bases, but a regimental army does make up for it con an attractive display of extended lines of troops.
Reggimento o Brigade Cavalleria
Cavalleria leggera, ussari, cavalleggeri, ulani, Cosacchi e dragoni leggeri are usually mounted on 38 mm × 76 mm cavalleria regimental bases. Due reggimenti placed adjacent to eachother form a brigade of cavalleria, con the exception of Cosacchi, who always fight as skirmish cavalleria leggera. Cavalleria media e pesante, dragoni, Carbineers e corazzieri are mounted on brigade bases.
Cutting the Bases
Building supply stores usually offer to cut the plywood o HDF board into strips of 76 mm width, from which we can easily cut the required bases. Using the geometric triangle, measure the base depth e mark the intended cut con a sharp scalpel knife. Do not use excessive pressure, the blade may break, resulting in serious injury. It is impossible to slice through the plywood con one cut anyway, repeated cuts are required. Rest the plywood on a cutting board ed use several careful cuts con the scalpel to work through the layers of the wood. This will ensure a clean cut that needs very little sanding along the edges. Always cut away from your hands e body, to avoid injury!
When you are cutting 76 mm × 38 mm bases, it is very important that the grain of the wood runs parallel to the long side, i.e. the front of an fanteria base or the side of a cavalleria regimental bases. You may have to cut a 76 mm × 76 mm base from the strip of wood first e cut that in half along the grain. If the grain is not parallel to the long side, the base will warp when white glue is applied to it. In the event that a base warps, the effect can sometimes be reversed by immediately brushing clean water on the underside of the base. It is very difficult to control the warp e counterwarp, better to cut the grain correctly e prevent the problem right from the start. When soldatini are mounted on 76 mm × 76 mm bases, the grain should always run parallel to the front of the unit.
Naming the Unit
Soldatini are usually painted in historically correct uniform e they take on a unique identity. However, not everyone who looks at the collection is necessarily familiar con regimental facings ed other distinguishing features. Hence, it is a good idea to put nametags on the upperside of the base to facilitate unit recognition. It is nearly impossible to add nametags after the base has been covered with sand, such work has to be done in advance.
An area 8-10 mm deep ed up to 55 mm wide in the rear of the soldatini is usually enough to accept a small nametag con one o due lines of text. If you own a computer, you can use a text o desktop publishing program to print regimental names on regular typing paper. Using an old German font like Fraktur, ideogrammi old englich o russi can look very much in period for reggimenti from these nations.
Any 6 point font will be large enough to read, ed it’s small enough to blend in well con the base. Diluted acrylic paint can be used to dye the nametag in the olive green ground colour which will later be applied to the entire base. When it is dry, the tag can be cut out, leaving an irregular 3 mm margin around the front e sides, which can later be hidden con sand. The rear of the tag should be flush con the rear edge of the base.
Before you name the reggimento, make sure you’ve got the spelling right, including any special ideogrammi francesi, svedesi, Danish, russi e tedeschi. Creative spelling like 42nd Highländers, 7th U.S. Calvary, Irisch Brigade, Generals Börnside e Kuster, can be fun, but it looks out of place on an otherwise historic battlefield.
Some German terms that are routinely misspelled by military authors anglo-americani sono Leib-Regiment o Leib-Garde (Life Guards), Leib-Fahne (Colonel’s Colours), e Frei-Regiment o Frei-Korps (literally a Free-Regiment of volunteers). The common misspelling of "Lieb-Regiment" is particularly silly, because it changes the meaning to "lovely, nice, o cute regiment", not usually a desirabel attribute for a tough reggimento della guardia.
If you remember that the German "ei" is pronounced exactly like the English "i", you’ll have no difficulty pronouncing "fry-coa" e "lyb-gaa-da" correctly. The less you roll your Rs, the more German it will sound. Another valuable trick is to pronounce the German "ch" like the English "sh". Doing so will compel your vocal apparatus to pronounce Blücher like "Blü-sher" instead of the incorrect "Blooker" so often heard around gaming tables anglo-americane. The closest English equivalent to the German "ü" is in the word "nymph", "ö" can be found in "turn", e "ä" is in "labor".
Commanders like Bärnklau, Möllendorf, Bülow, Lützow, e many others have their names spelled con ä, ö o ü Umlaut characters that are readily available on your PC compatible o Macintosh computer. If you don’t know where the Umlauts go, don’t guess, look them up. This editor has seen product catalogs listing the Sturmpanzer IV (Brummbär) spelled "Brümmbar" for no other reason than bad guesswork. One wonders if the vehicle model is researched e designed in the same haphazard fashion. Don’t trust wargame rule writers o scenario designers to get the spelling right either. If you care about your army, corps e division commanders, double-check their names in the New Columbia Encyclopedia. You’ll find the proper spelling, including first e middle names as well as aristocractic titles, e you’ll avoid embarrasing mistakes that are difficult to correct later.
Preparing the Terrain
Before soldatini are actully mounted con glue, the proper positioning should be tested on another base of the same size. When a realistic looking set-up has been found, the base con the correct nametag can be covered con glue, placed in front of the test base, e the soldatini transferred one at a time, maintaining the previously chosen alignment e relative positions. As soon as all soldatini are firmly placed in the glue, the base can be covered con a mixture of fine dry sand e small stones. Place the base into a shallow tray e let the sand flow between soldatini by lifting the tray at one end. To allow the sand to settle into the glue, knock your finger against the underside of the base a few times.
Because of the weight of the sand, soldatini may have shifted slightly. Check alignment e proper positioning again, before allowing the sand to dry. Never drop sand e stones onto the base from above. This may avoid shifting the soldatini, but they will get very dirty ed it is difficult to remove the dust from the uniforms later.
Realistic scale terrain depends on the proper mixture of sand e stones. Kitty-litter makes good stones in this scale. If you like your bases to be very historical, sand from famous battlefields may be the answer. Mount your truppe britannico on the ground of Minden o Waterloo, prussiani on the soil of Rossbach, Leuthen, Leipzig, Ligny o Plancenoit, base the francesi on the dirt of Jena, Austerlitz, Ulm o Marengo, ed use sand from Borodino for the russi. It is usually not a good idea to leave the sand unpainted, it just does not look right in this scale.
These Airfix soldatini from Washington’s Army are advancing across broken ground, the small stones e patches of static grass create a very pleasing, e realistic looking landscape.
Painting the Base
Leave the sand to dry overnight. The base may then be painted olive green, using Plaka posterpaint o acrylics, after which it needs to dry again for several hours. Drybrushing the base con khaki ed a careful second layer of white will highlight the stones ed other raised detail. It is impossible to avoid that some pigment will be drybrushed onto the boots of the soldatini, giving them a nice dusty look. Yellow paint may be prudentamente stippled between the rocks, creating the impression of small flowers e patches of moss. This is an important step in the detailing process, it adds interest to your bases.
To simulate dry ground, dark khaki may be used as an undercoat for the base, drybrushing e detailing it in a similar way to the above.
Use only old brushes to paint e drybrush the base. Sand is highly abbrasive ed it will destroy paintbrushes very rapidly. Old e frayed brushes are ideal for this work.
Static Grass e Lichen
The crowning touch of any figure base is the application of static grass manufactured by NOCH e Heki. Static grass is available in seasonal colours, the green brown of late summer being the most useful for giocatori wargame e collezionisti di soldatini. It works equally well con olive green e dark khaki bases.
This Indian army PIAT anti-tank team is mounted on a semi-arid terrain tile. The WW2 wargame soldatini may be used anywhere in the Mediterranean theater. Il caricatore is an ESCI 8th Army figure, the upper body of the PIAT gunner is from an ESCI Fanteria Britannica figure, con legs from ESCI’s 8th Army. Both men have the elmetto replaced con un turbante scrounged from Atlantic Indian Brigade soldatini.
Static grass is planted using the specifically designed applicator bottle from NOCH. For best results, the bottle should be half-full con static grass. Apply irregular patches of white glue to the base, place the base into a shoebox e spray gras onto the base from a height of 15 cm. Squeezing the plastic bottle repeatedly will eject small amounts of statically charged grass until the base is covered con a layer of approximately 5 mm of the grass material. Pick up the base, knock your finger against the bottom of it to make the grass settle into the glue, then shake off excess grass into the shoebox, to be used again later. Now comes the most important step of the process:
Blowing across the base lightly e from all directions, will make the static grass stand up like real grass. If this is not done, o the grass was not sprayed on con the plastic applicator bottle, the grass will not stand up. Patches of grass will lump together, sink into the glue, e take on the appearance of cut grass in a lawnmower. The glue will shine through the layer of grass e the base will be ruined. Do not use static grass unless you intend to apply it correctly. An alternative may be to cut patches of grass from model railroad mats, but they are nearly impossible to apply, particularly between the deployed soldatini.
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