Monday, November 28, 2011

American Civil War - Confederate Battalion

I have finally finished that box of 36 Perry ACW 28mm figures, started oh so long ago! They have stared at me rather mournfully ever since I got started on that journey into Piracy ;-) I finally felt they deserved to be finished.
When I started the project they were just going to be for Black Powder gaming, but then I realised there may be some skirmish gaming opportunities for them also.

So I am pleased to present to you, a Confederate Battalion with Battle honours of Seven Pines & Manassas, upon their flags.

Firing Line
 Here above seen in all their glory in full firing line.

Skirmishers deployed
 Here above seen with skirmishers deployed. Having checked the Black Powder rules on such a Mixed order formation, it seems about a third of the unit should be deployed as skirmishers in this fashion, so thats 12 figures out of the full 36 figure set.

Full Skirmish Order
And here above in full skirmish order.

All the figures are based on nominally 20mm (but actually19mm) zinc plated steel washers. Being steel they are attracted to magnets, and so I made sabot bases from 3mm mdf sheet cut 40mm x 40mm. This was then covered with a layer magnetic paper, painted brown, and flocked to match the figures. As the figures are light weight plastic, the strength of the magnet works well, the base can be fully inverted and the figures don't fall off.
Mounted on magnetised sabot base

4 figures on a 40mm x 40mm sabot base.

Magnestised sabot base
The sabot base itself, flocked just enough to allow the washers contact with the magnetic layer.

The figures themselves I must admit, I took several short cuts in their painting, realising that with 'gerzillions' of figures for multiple periods still to paint, I had to try and get quicker.
So, I black undercoated, and then base coated all figures in their required 'mid tone'.
I then washed the entire figure in a 50/50 mix of Vallejo Dark Brown and Black wash.
I then worked back up the colours using the original mid tone colours.
I didn't do the eyes, just left them as a dark brown line in the eye socket recess.
Being plastic figures I only gave them one coat on Vallejo acrylic matt brush on varnish. I didnt bother with the polyurethane gloss, reasoning that the gloss was only really required for metal figures to resist chipping from the metal surface. Plastic figures don't require this.
The base was flocked with GW sand and this was just given a wash of Vallejo Dark brown wash. Normally I'd then drybrush lighter browns and cream colour to the sand, but didn't this time, content just to add the static grass.

I think the figures still look fine, and a lot of time and effort was saved. I am happy with the result.

So I can use my figures as originally planned for Black Powder as ACW troops.

I can also use them in full skirmish order for Rules with No Name, on Joe Harrison's Leadwood.

And finally, again as skirmishers, I can use them for some GASLIGHT gaming, whether as ACW themed troops, or perhaps as a Colonial force; the '1st FusilierAbteilung of Neu-Bavaria', to go alongside my planned Prussian themed VSF army.

So several uses out of one box of figures. More bang for your buck I say!

Second thoughts too: Using the washers also means I am no longer defacing Her Majestys currency, by using NZ10cent coins for bases, though oddly enough, the washers I bought are exactly the same size as the 10cent coin, yet have a hole in the middle (therefore less physical metal than the coin) and cost 21 cents each to buy... not sure what that says about the state of our economy? I wonder if  I might get any odd looks if I tried to pay for my lunchtime sarnie down at the cafe with a handful of washers....  'honest, they're worth more than the coins in your till !"  ;-)


  1. Scott,

    I have found that a coat of paint over the "magnetic sheet" does not interfere with its magnetic properties at all . . . so you don't have to leave it dark brown if you don't want to.

    Looks like an excellent plan by the way.

    -- Jeff

  2. Very clever basing!!! Damn nice looking figures too!

  3. Hurrah! ACW!

    not very relevant, but anyway...

  4. Very Nice Scott - they look great. And great idea for the basing...

  5. Nice work and in favourite period!:-)


  6. Very nice Scott. Great looking Reb's.

  7. Thanks Guys, good to get feedback as always.
    Now my dilemma is, do I continue painting the rest of my Perry ACW as Rebs, and build an army, or do I alternate them and paint a box as Union for some in-house gaming with young son & other visitors...?

  8. They came out really well and I like the base idea.

  9. I,m no fan of the secessionist cause but one can,t help but be impressed by such beautifully painted troops...even if they rebels. Great work Scott

  10. What a nice looking unit; excellent work! I keep still hankering after some ACW!

  11. Nice Rebs and good workaround with your sabot idea. If it were me I'd probably try to alternate back-and-forth for a couple units. That way you can play some skirmish games while you build-up your forces.



  12. Yeah Cury thats probably a good idea, and the Union will be easier as their uniforms are more 'uniform'! The only problem I have with the Union is just how dark to make their jackets. I have in my mind they are Dark Navy Blue, yet many depictions, especially on TV&Movies I see them as virtually black...


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