Here's another unit of plastic figures. This time, its a regiment of cavalry, organized more or less according to the suggestions laid out by Brigadier Young and Colonel Lawford in Charge! -- three squadrons of eight troopers, each with an officer, plus a regimental staff consisting of a colonel, standard bearer, and a musician. You'll notice that the figures have been affixed to card bases, and that's because the Revell plastic figures are so light in weight that a good sneeze risks toppling an entire unit in one fell swoop.
And that is one of my pet peeves about working with plastic figures. Very simply, most lack enough heft to remain standing on anything but the flattest table and in the most still setting. Ever bump a table full of plastic figures during the heat of battle? Right. Which is another reason I am making the gradual move over to metal figures. Hence the cardboard bases. Now, some gamers who use plastic figures glue them to metal washers, to provide that necessary heft and stability, but I don't care for round bases on my infantry. Neither do I like the strange figure eight appearance of two washers stuck to the bottom of cavalry figures. Nope, were I to do this over again, I'd order some custom made thin plywood bases from one of the companies producing them, for example Litko. Live and learn.
I suppose if I based my figures in multiples of six or eight, in two ranks, (ala Peter Gilder), the problem would solve itself. And, indeed, I've seen several blogs where people do just that, making their plastic armies just as stable and just as attractive on the table as any metal army. Multiple bases certainly have the added advantage of leaving some room for minor terrain work, disguising the figure bases, and improving the overall presentation of one's figures to no small degree. In keeping with my original Charge-inspired vision for the Grand Duchy of Stollen project, however, I prefer to keep my figures based individually.
So, I guess you make your choice and you pay your price, or something like that. One of the strengths of the wargaming hobby though is that each person is free to paint, base, and present his or her army in exactly the way that best suits him or her. But I'm afraid I must draw the line at unpainted figures. Now, that's just me, and I don't mean to criticize anyone's enjoyment of the hobby. But I have seen a couple of published books and a website or two where unpainted plastic figures were the order of the day, and that particular aesthetic just doesn't tickle my fancy. Sorry. Besides, a considerable part of the wargaming and model soldier hobby is its visual appeal. And a table of unpainted figures lacks that eye-catching certain something that draws so many of us into the hobby in the first place.