You may have noticed Sharp Practice and musket-era wargaming dominating the Historicals section lately. Its fair to say its my personal favorite period to think about and research, and since there are some really accessible games to play, it has been what I’ve been spending much of my time on.
I finished a force for Sharp Practice a few years ago and wanted to provide a profile here. I have something around 90 Confederate infantry painted up with officers, musicians, and standard bearers. Since finishing those models I’ve done cavalry, artillery, deployment points, and more infantry, but this is the main force I wanted to showcase – sort of a how-to on building a Sharp Practice army.
This is the force I painted to with some extra models thrown in for good measure. Obviously I painted way too many dudes but I wanted to also put together a brigade for Black Powder. I chose the 4th Kentucky because some of my relatives were in their ranks at Shiloh. Later on I painted the 22nd Kentucky (Union) as I had relatives there as well.
Here you can see the overall force. I’ve used the sabot bases from Warbases and Supreme Littleness with magnet holes in them (seen here). They worked out really well, with almost no difficulty painting them up and getting them ready.
In the front you can see the two groups of skirmishers. I think I like the three bases of two better than the one base of six.
I mostly tried to emulate the Columbus Depot jacket, which was made of jeancloth, and mostly light gray to a light brown once worn. Many of the troops have the blue cuffs and collars that you can see below.
Most of the models I used are from Sash and Saber, Old Glory, and Perry Miniatures (plastics and pewter). Perry makes amazing miniatures but I have to say my favorites are definitely from Sash and Saber.
The skirmishers are mostly in action poses, either loading, firing, or moving, as they would be when they’re skirmishing in a pair.
I love the super-dynamic posing on the dude who is yelling at the enemy while standing, and the guy who is reaching into his cap box to pull out a percussion cap. The officer behind this group of skirmishers with the field glasses is probably my favorite (from Sash and Saber artillery crew).
The focus is bad on this one, but you can see here the two groups of eight who are marching at shoulder arms. Two of the gents on the right have gotten a little excited and leveled their weapons at the enemy.
A better look at the dudes in the back – as well as the band that is used as the deployment point. The guy in the middle in the back in the cadet gray actually has corporal stripes molded on, which is really really cool.
These guys are mostly Perry plastic and Sash and Saber. They’re moving forward at the right shoulder shift to get into battle as quickly as possible. Many of the sculpts you find out there from all different manufacturers are at right shoulder shift.
Some support options – a standard bearer and drummer. Even if I don’t actually include them in the force with rules, I like to put these dudes on the table because they look cool.
Here are some more overall shots of the force:
I do make some changes to the actual force list from the Sharp Practice rulebook. You can see the rules here:
Even conscripts were trained to do controlled volleys, so I give them Controlled Volley: Always (for both Union and Confederate). Other than that I leave them as is.
Thanks for reading – we will be doing more force profiles for Sharp Practice, Black Powder, Chain of Command, Bolt Action, etc. so check back later! In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.