The idea of building a Late Victorian army is one I've thought of for a while. Looking at all Ross's blogs helped to keep that thought going and I finally decided to go for it.
Now, I've got quite a few books on the subject, but figures I have all have sun helmets and I wanted home service so I could do a UK v Prussia war. Ross had already convinced me that the way to go would be larger scale toy soldier, 54mm sounded too big and too expensive, so I plumped for 42mm.
Jumping in time - who does the figures? Asked on WD3 and found that Spencer Smith did 42mm 1897 figures! I'd always thought of them as 30mm only! So I went and ordered a load of figures - 24 figures of my initial order duly arrived (nice figures though one head miscast) bought as a Guard regiment and a Line regiment.
At which point I did what I should have done first. Checked sources...
1897 comes from a book 'The Great War in England' by William Le Queux, published in 1894 when Russia and France were the enemies - I'd forgotten that... so forget the Prussians. Must re-read it soon - it's pretty good.
Next, check organisation. 'The British Army' by 'A Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army', published in 1899.This excellent tome includes such things as a note 'I occurred to the publishers of this work on 'The British Army' that it would be appropriateto bind it in the actual material used for the uniforms of our soldiers in South Africa, etc, known as 'Khaki.' More importantly, it has Knotel colour plates and unit organisations. Which lists a British battalion as having 8 companies, suggesting 8 figure units rather than the 12 figure units I had gone and bought...
Finally, for more uniform details 'Her Majesty's Army' by Walter Richards - from 1888. Must get some of the plates from that on my Pages section!
The French and Russian invaders? Chances are I'll use Irregular Miniatures - French from the Franco-Prussian War, Russians from the Russo-Turkish.
So, that's the plan. So far.