Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dervish foot rebased...

While the search for the perfect ACW rule set continues (stay tuned - the next rule set is "They Couldn't Shoot an Elephant" by the Too Fat Lardies), things have not stood still on other fronts...

Following the recent Sudan games where we attempted on two occasions to rescue the Belgian observing officer Captain Lucien Verbeek, representative of his majesty King Leopold II of Belgium (and not forgetting his horse Teufel), I became increasingly unsatisfied with the quality of the bases for the Dervish... the bases are large (9cm x 4cm) and in the case of the foot contain between 8 and 10 figures, so they are not light - the bases are made of plastic card (I use this for all my bases except on rare occasions when I've run out and then I use beer mats) and they were simply not up to the job. There were two problems - one, the surface tension of the glue used for the basing material was making them bow (and I hate that - they have to sit flat!), two, I couldn't get my fingers around the bases to pick them up... bottom line - the card was too thin.

A quick trip to Hobby Craft got me a sheet of 1.5mm plastic card at a quite eye watering price (next time I'm off to the web where it seems to be half the price..)! A slightly bigger job was to get the figures off the old bases, but a chisel ended blade on the trusty craft knife seemed to be the best tool. One gashed forefinger later - they were off...

Following a quick coat of Vallejo "Dark Sand", I used real sand for the basing material (on PVA), with a few rocks and clumps of sparse foliage for effect... the sand I use is builders sharp sand which comes with little bits of gravel of varying sizes in it - far preferable to the old flock I used to use...

I'm happy with them - best of all I can pick them up by the base now, rather than one of the figures..


I took last Friday off to get some more sailing in, Despite it being an inset day at school I couldn't tempt either of the sprogs on to the boat so headed off into the harbour on my own (which I really don't mind - in fact I quite like it in a selfish way!). It was a very very quiet afternoon though, little or no wind to start off with so I ended up anchored at the end of the creek to do a little fishing, and what would have been called "make do and mend" in Jack Aubrey's day. New ropes had whippings added to stop them fraying, old ropes were replaced, and all was very peaceful...

Happily the wind came up so sails were re-raised and I headed off into the harbour for a very pleasant couple of hours sailing... until I got back to the mooring and realised that like a complete and total plank I'd left my small anchor (with rope and chain) on the foredeck, and that at sometime during the afternoon while heeled to the wind, it had slowly and elegantly slipped over the side....

I've replaced it now, but if I'd known how expensive it was I'd have at least waved as it slipped over the side!!! Either way, even with that, it was still a brilliant days sail... sunny & warm - most unusual for this time of the year..

Distance: 10 miles (115 miles year to date)
Wind: "Changeable" (Started out with little or nothing, and rose to a Force 3)..


  1. What rules do you have your figures based for? Looks great!

  2. My commiserations on the anchor. I am sure that if ever I set foot on a boat again that is exactly what I would do. Demoted to ship's boy yet again.
    Desolation Island is a cracking book and one of my favorites in the series.

  3. Sounds like a good day sailing - next to modeling/gaming my favorite past time is sailing around the Chesapeake. I think we've all had our own "over-the-side" trials and tribulations. I've lost a hand drill, a leatherman multi-tool and new deck railing. Still, there is nothing finer than being out on the water in a brisk wind.

    I also have a copy of "They Couldn't Hit an Elephant" which I'm hoping to use with 6mm figures so I'm interested in your opinions.

  4. Your Dervishers look great with the new basing.

    I also like thicker bases. Among other reasons, it very much reduces the chance of damage to figures while traveling. It is much harder for bases to slide over each other severing ankles.

    -- Jeff

  5. Steve, these look fantastic. I'm a fan of the larger bases for these types of troops, and the colours are spot on.


  6. Ah the joys of rebasing - I seem to spend more time basing and then rebasing than I do anything else hobby related. I also only use the thicker plasticard as this is the one material that doesn't bow (so far). If you do find a reasonably priced source please let us know!
    The figures look great by the way...


  7. Stryker - there's a fair few I'm looking at... these are all UK (works out at about 1p a square inch for 1.5mm) (works out at about 1 or 1.2p a square inch depending on size)

    ..but these guys seem very cheap..

  8. Desolation Island. Good man!

  9. They look great. As for anchors all they are is fodder for future archaelogists! Feeling very pleased with myself today as have had a lovely sail in San Francisco Bay. Rather like Chichester Harbour but slightly bigger!