Thursday, 17 August 2017

Union Zouaves

Painted some more of the Baccus ACW, this time the Union Zouaves. I wanted to make them look a little different from their Confederate equivalents, though they could quite justifiably look very similar. Anyway for these I chose to model them on the New York Fire Zouaves, with red shirts and dark blue trousers. For the base I used AK Terrains acrylic textured paint, an alternative to Basetex. It is slightly easier to apply and "paint", though it seems to be death to brushes. But the colour choice is odd - there is a very deep chocolate brown, which I used on the Confederate Zouaves, and a Dry Earth which I used here. That, however is a very pale sand colour - they don't seem to do a mid-earth tone. I brushed it over with an earth shade and it looks fine flocked, but still rather arid. It would be nice to have one with a more temperate feel.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Battlescale buildings

A new supplier of 6mm buildings, Battlescale Miniatures. This is run by a guy called Steve Clay, who is on several Facebook groups, and is based close to Stoke. I thought I would try some of his stuff for my ACW project, and as a change from Leven, and I must say it is pretty nice. The resin is quite shiny, and very hard, with no apparent bubbles or flaws. The surface detail is good, and I painted them up quite quickly, mostly layers of drybrushing, with a few little details to finish them off. The models I got are the Dunker Church, which was on the battlefield of Antietam, a Farmhouse with Annexe, a Gambrel Barn and a Timber Clad Homestead. Unlike soldiers, where uniformity is expected, buildings need as much variety as possible, so a good new source of supply is always welcome.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Aren't they French?

Continuing with the ACW painting, the latest batch are a regiment of Confederate Zouaves. Baccus figures as always, and very nice too. These really are a bizarre set of troops, if someone had made them up you would not have believed them, and the Union side also had its own versions, which I will be painting next. Curious as they are, they do add a bit of colour and variety to what might otherwise be a rather dull battlefield of dark blue and grey.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

A light shines

I painted a number of Leven buildings which I have bought from two or three shows. Mostly rural buildings suitable for the ACW theme I am working on, but also including a lighthouse which I bought for no better reason than I liked the look of it.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Union Command

The next stage of the incremental painting of my ACW 6mm troops was another Union Regiment, and the Union Command figures. Since I painted my first Union unit I have acquired some of the Foundry three-shade system colours for this period - specifically Union Blue and Union Trouser Blue. I used these on all the figures here - the command elements are mounted so I can use a bit more variation in the horses.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Confederate Command

This is the Baccus Confederate Command group - 12 figures on four sprues, three of them carrying flags (guidons). As always they painted up nicely, and indeed having photographed them, I have noticed several bits where I can add further detail, though it probably won't be noticeable in normal use. I put them on various sized coins, in groups of one, two or three figures, which I will use to denote different levels of command. The flags are by Baccus - State flags of Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Blues ....

After Blenheim at the Wargames Holiday Centre I had a taste for black powder (the period and the rule set) and I wanted to get into them in some way. 6mm, naturally, but what conflict exactly? I have always had a bit of a yearning for the classic 18th Century Imaginations campaign, and I am also interested in finding out more about the AWI. However I feel it helps to have a basic knowledge of the period and combatants when starting something new - so you instinctively understand the difference between a Guard and a Grenadier, for example. That way you don't have to go back to check every detail before making a move. I have a reasonable grasp of the combatants and narrative of the American Civil War, so I decided to start there.

When I was down at Salute I picked up two Baccus starter armies, one Confederate and one Union Eastern Theatre. I also got the Black Powder supplement for the conflict, Glory Hallelujiah! One question I wanted to decide was the basing structure, and so I started out by painting and basing a single infantry unit for each side. The Baccus basic infantry element is four figures lined up side by side, 20mm wide. I decided that a standard unit (a regiment) would be two bases, each 40mm wide by 15mm deep. Each base would have two ranks, each of eight figures, two elements. On one of the bases, one of the front elements would be a command element, which Baccus supply as part of the unit, with flags, drums and an officer. I will also have skirmish screens - each one will be 40mm x 20mm, with four skirmishing figures per base. So a regiment will be 32 figures, 40 with a skirmish screen out.

I started with a Union regiment, and I was pleased with the results. Next I will do a Confederate equivalent, then try some other units - command, artillery, cavalry and Zouaves.

Friday, 28 April 2017

German support

Trying to clear the decks a little ready for the batch of purchases from Salute, I completed a couple of packs of 6mm German infantry from Baccus. These were WWG6 - Panzerschreck teams, and WWG7 - 12cm Mortars. You get half a dozen of the mortars, with three crew each, all separate castings. For the Panzershrecks you get twelve teams - each cast as a single unit on a small round base about the size of a 5p piece (but thinner). I mounted them in two ways - half of each pack on 1" square steel bases, as is my standard habit, and the other half on circular bases - coins of various types. This gives a bit more flexibility for use with other rule sets. As always I used Basetex to texture them, and then a variety of flock and other decoration to give them some landscape. These are very nice figures indeed, as with all the new Baccus WW2, and they are my core manufacturer for infantry in this period. I got some Falschirmjager at Salute, and I am looking forward to the eventual arrival of the vehicles.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Salute 2017

Off down to t'Smoke for my annual trip to Salute. I stayed in a hotel close to the venue - it costs a little more but it avoids a long trail across London in the morning. The hotel also allows a checkout at 14:00 which means you can go back at lunchtime and dump the morning's booty, and leave your luggage with the concierge. Saves a lot of lugging during the afternoon. My daughter is working there at the moment so I went down by train, and had dinner with her, all very relaxed and a good way to prepare for a hard day spending.

Up betimes, and a bacon butty in the cafe opposite (much cheaper and better than eating inside the venue). I walked up to the show, the length of ExCel which makes quite a trek. Salute is always held on the same weekend as the London Marathon, and ExCel is where they have the checkin process for all the runners. So down at the west end the place is full of lean lithe runners in tracksuits and Lycra. As you walk down the length of the halls the average weight of the attendees roughly doubles, as does the average blood pressure, and you have arrived at Salute.

Plenty has been written about this show so I won't say too much. I spent the morning walking round and doing a bit of reconnaissance. My main theme for the day was my plan to get into Black Powder (the period and the rule set) using 6mm of course. I bought a couple of supplements from Warlords - the ACW and AWI books - and returned to the hotel to pack. Lunch was fish and chips at the "Airline Cafe" - again far nicer, far cheaper and far quicker than eating in ExCel.

Back to the show, and some serious figure purchasing. Baccus had their new Fallschirmjager on display, which led to the following conversation. Me: "Is that what i think it is, a Nebelwerfer?" Baccus: "Yes". "It's not in the catalogue". "No". "It's not on the list here on the stand". "No". "But it is available?" "Yes". "So I can buy some?" "We've sold out". (Collapse of stout party).

After recovering, I bought one each of the rest of the Fallschirmjager packs - Advancing and Firing troops, plus LMGs and Panzerschrecks. I also bought two ACW armies, Confederate and Eastern Union, as well as flags for both. I headed over to H&R to see what they had on offer. There were some nice looking new ranges - East German 1980s, and LRDG and Paras for WW2. However I struggled to get served so I decided to leave those and buy on the web, having seen how nice they looked. I bought a bunch of steel bases in various sizes, ready for the ACW troops, and some paints, and that was it. I left at about four, and with a good trip across London I caught an earlier train and was back home soon after seven.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bersaglieri at last

For the first time on more than two years I don't have any Italian 6mm troops waiting in my painting queue. The outstanding ones were a pack of Bersaglieri, which to be honest at this scale are not really distinguishable from normal infantry. I also had a pack of artillery crew - I used a few of these on the guns I painted last week, the rest are painted for stock. The Bersaglieri are nicely done, well posed and they painted up nicely. The pack included four of the odd little 47mm mortars which look more like machine guns from the way they sit on their stands. I put these on small coins rather than 1" square ones - I already have some mounted that way, so this gives me flexibility for use with different rule sets.


47mm Mortar plus observer

Single squad
The full pack painted and based