MDF Figures – New for Thomo

MDF Romans – fat fingers for size comparison

These have been around for a few years and have been seen at various shows around the UK. I have not seen them however except for the odd mention in the wargame press. I have been thinking of an American  Civil War project and decided that it would be in 6mm, given the lack of space I have here for wargaming in.

My preferred 6mm ACW figures would have been either Heroics and Ros, Rapier, Adler or Baccus 6mm. However H&R have had their figures off catalogue for some time now (expect for the WW2 and Modern Infantry) for a number of reasons and due to the plague, Baccus have been controlling the amount of customers they can service by having their online shipping cart, online for brief periods, and the periods away from my payday.

Enter Commission Figurines. I had heard them mentioned before and then one of the guys at the Virtual Wargames Club mentioned that he had seen some at a show so, as they make both MDF figures and buildings, and as I am always looking for a building or two, I thought I would try them out. Catalogue downloaded, read (about 3 minutes), reread, and then an order was typed up and emailed off. A reply came back with confirmation of supply, and a price. I confirmed I wanted to go ahead, PayPal invoice arrives and then after a few days (I guess while Walt “lasered” some bits of MDF) a package was dispatched to the Philippines. Fast forward about 6 weeks and a card from PhilPost was left at my gate, so I duly trundled off in trike to the Post Office to collect a light weight box with the following contents:


Quantity Code Description Price
1 6ENMix 6mm Entrenchments – Mixed £3.50
1 6WAT1  La Belle Alliance £3.50
1 6WAT2  La Haye Saint £5.00
1 6Fence  6mm Rail Fence Pack £4.00
1 BR1 Girder Bridge £10.00
1 6House  6mm House Pack £5.00
1 Infantry in Kepi, Blanket Roll, Marching £2.00
1 Infantry in Kepi, Firing Line (16 command figures, 56 infantrymen) £2.00
1 Cavalry in Kepi (12 strips of 3 figs) £2.00
1 Dismounted Cavalry (36 troopers firing line, 2 horse holders & 6 horses) £2.00
1 Artillery in Kepi (3 Rifled guns & 3 Smoothbore guns, 4 crews, 2 x 6 horse limbers, 2 officers) £2.00
1 Generals (6 poses in hat, same 6 poses in kepi) @ £2.00
1 Roman Allies/Auxiliaries £2.00
1 Heavy (Thracian) Cavalry £2.00
Total £47.00

I was very happy with the service, the speed of delivery given the current position of the of the world and the international movement of mail, goods and parcels.

Firstly the buildings. They are simply lovely and will look the business when assembled, painted and placed on the tabletop. The only really challenging part, well, really two challenging parts:

  1. I have not worked with MDF before so am considering glues and construction techniques
  2. There were no assembly instructions with the buildings. With La Belle Alliance and La Haye Sainte, not problem, but more of a challenge with the 6mm house pack

The figures themselves are nicely produced as well, and reminiscent of very small flats that were first used in wargames. I will need to learn a new painting technique for these but hey, a change is a good as a holiday. I am champing at the bit to start working of them (both buildings and figures) but am resisting starting while I think my way through the process, try some dry fits and work out glues (superglue, PVA, hot glue gun, etc).

Photos of some of the received items below.

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A New Period – American Civil War

I have had an abiding interest in the American Civil War (ACW) since my very first wargame which I lost to friend Jeffrey. It was a USA vs CSA battle in Airfix 1/76 plastic with the Airfix Cowboy set used to provide cavalry. Masonite table surface, hills from plasticine so the game also had that plasticine smell about it. I can’t remember which side I was playing but I do recall it was a loss for me. Rules were the Don Featherstone ones present in War Games and for the record, I won the second game as the Ancient Britons taking on the might of Rome, again using Airfix plastic figures – the charge of the Roman chariots was something to behold.

I had a large collection of 15mm American Civil War figures, where the Union was painted and I left them in Singapore with friend Anthony. I am still hankering for an ACW set however. I have toyed with the Baccus 6mm ACW boxed set, containing lots of figures (well over 800) for £82.50 for those of us overseas, more if you live in the UK or Europe. Also included are bases, flags and Polemos rules. I also considered Heroics and Ros as well as Rapier Miniatures (Rapier still appear to be off the air at the moment but the link is to their Facebook page where there should be updates when everything returns to normal).

However, much as I like Baccus figures (and H&R and Rapier for that matter as well), what has caught my eye is Commission Figurines. Their website is a single page only but it links to their catalogue.

Why do I like Commission Figurines so much for my future ACW project? I think the thought of trying these figures appealing, especially as they are wood (or more correctly, MDF). Apart from the novelty of MDF wargame figures, they are considerably less expensive than the current metal ranges with 88 ACW infantry costing about £2.00. It would be possible to build two reasonable forces for about £20.00. Very tempting.

I guess I could also argue that as they are wooden, I am not being affected by something new, bright and shiny  😉

Yes, one more for the list of projects so I think tonight I will plan a post Pandemic purchase of these.

#6mm #acw #wargames

I Hate You Little Wars TV – 1st Manassas (Bull Run)

There I was, happily minding my own business, preparing some World War 2 1/285 scale aircraft for painting, planning then to move on to my 6mm Anglo-Saxons, and then perhaps off to something nautical, perhaps 1/1200 scale galleys or modern vessels when Little Wars TV presents First Manassas. They show the battlefield, then discuss the tactics and Gen. McDowell’s performance. Just have a look at this.

Now I am getting an almost uncontrollable itch to paint 6mm American Civil War figures. Of course, to do that, I would need to purchase some 6mm American Civil War figures as I do not have any in the lead pile. English Civil War, Ancients, Napoleonics, World War 2 and Cold War figures in stock aplenty but no American Civil War figures. I have several sets of rules on the bookshelf, lots of reference works but no figures.

I hate you Little Wars TV. I must resist!

ACW Countback

Sunday I finished putting the last of the American Civil War figures on wooden bases ready for decoration and later varnishing. I also had to do a quick paint job on five flags (which I am totally unhappy with and will get around to changing later … really). When all that was completed and the varnish was dry on my observation tower (see yesterday’s post here) I thought “exactly how many figures do I have”.

I laid them all out.

The Union ACW figures laid out including markers. A mix of Minifigs, Essex, Lancashire and Old Glory 15s.
The Union ACW figures laid out including markers. A mix of Minifigs, Essex, Lancashire and Old Glory 15s.

It looks a lot.I guess it is. A count of the figures tells me that I have:

  • 188 stands of infantry
  • 28 stands of cavalry
  • 23 dismounted cavalry
  • 7 stands of horse-holders
  • 14 artillery pieces
  • 10 limbers
  • 14 general and aide stands
  • 2 ammunition wagons
  • 1 ambulance
  • 4 advancing colonels (one mounted)
  • 8 low on ammunition markers
  • 16 disordered markers
  • and one signal tower

Now all I have to do is decorate the bases for all these (and attach some flags to the standard bearers.

First of the ACW Finished

My test piece, a signal tower, for the Union 15mm ACW army I’m putting together is finished. I tested the basing on it today. The bases were covered in sand and some small rocks. Then just using ordinary acrylics from Art Friend here in Singapore the bases were covered in a sloppy mix of dark brown, then dry brushed with a red brown, then a yellow brown and finally an off-white (each dry brush layer was applied a little more lightly.

Glade green and yellow grass was then applied with the lot finished off by the addition of some meadow flowers. Done!

The sandy bases with the first brown wash applied to half the base
The sandy bases with the first brown wash applied to half the base
A red brown dry brush is applied across the base
A red brown dry brush is applied across the base
A yellow brown dry brush is then applied a little more lightly
A yellow brown dry brush is then applied a little more lightly
and lastly an off-white dry-brush is very lightly applied across the top of the base texture.
and lastly an off-white dry-brush is very lightly applied across the top of the base texture.
Yellow grass and a green static grass are now applied in clumps. Lastly some meadow flowers (from the Army Builder range) are added. These give a great touch but only a clump or two should be used here and there. Too much and it looks like a hippie festival battle.
Yellow grass and a green static grass are now applied in clumps. Lastly some meadow flowers (from the Army Builder range) are added. These give a great touch but only a clump or two should be used here and there. Too much and it looks like a hippie festival battle.
Further around the base
Further around the base

2013-02-23 16.16.25

2013-02-23 16.16.36

Last Night’s Game

2012-12-06 22.09.37The Union forces (er, unbased) march on to attack the Rebs.

Anthony and I played a little regimental Fire and Fury last night in the process of trying to learn the rules.

This also meant that no work was done on the Koreans. More on them tonight I hope and perhaps over the weekend – especially as I am travelling next week – Jakarta first then back to Oz. I would like to finish the Koreans before I go so that I only have the Hungarians to finish before Cancon 2013.

In the meantime, Friday night so that means … Fish and Chips.

The New Toys – ACW Union Finished

2012-10-18 00.14.35I opened the parcel from Miniature Lanka and started unpacking. The first thing that impressed me was the effort that was made to ensure that the figures arrived intact, even down to using a courier service for the return parcel. Indeed, the parcel was prepared and sent on Monday from Sri Lanka and received Wednesday in Singapore so a good turnaround.

The packing care was good as well with a cardboard carton hacked to the correct size to hold everything firmly but without squashing it. Best of all was the way items were packed internally.

2012-10-18 00.17.56As before, the infantry and horses were sealed into individual pockets within two plastic sheets. The artillery and limbers were mounted on a piece of cardboard after some sponge rubber was wrapped around them. The whole little parcel was then wrapped in some adhesive tape. You can see the little packets to the right.

The task of unwrapping them started in earnest, slice, cut, unwrap, repeat.

As I mentioned, this package completes the 15mm ACW Union forces.

2012-10-18 00.39.02In the parcel this time was 8 more artillery pieces, bring the total in the army to 13 or 14 (OK, so I need to count in the boxes). Another 8 limbers with horses and crew were also included. This means a total of 10 limbers, not quite enough for one for each gun but it will do.

Also included were the figures for another 6 command stands, taking the total to 12 command stand groups (6 figures on two bases makes a command group). If pressed, obviously I can half that and make a lot more stands. There was also two ammunition caissons and an ambulance. Lastly, enough figures for another 15 stands of infantry at 3 figures a stand. This gives me enough infantry I think to handle most of the battles I am likely to have in Singapore.

The real work now starts as all the other figures are stuck to bases but no flocking has occurred on them. The next task with these then is glue them to bases then start the process of flocking and decorating the bases. To that end, I need to play with some art acrylics here and acrylic medium to find a cheap solution for the first colour wash on the base.

Lastly will be the addition of paper flags to those standards that need flags still then followed by varnishing the whole crowd.

All the basing and figures are set for Regimental Fire and Fury.

New Toys

2012-10-17 21.30.26Jessica called me to the front desk today. When I arrived she handed me a box. It was from the nice folks at Miniature Lanka and should contain the rest of my Union ACW forces in 15mm. This should be another couple of regiments of infantry, a lot of figures for command stands, an ambulance, 10 or so artillery pieces and crew as well as a supply wagon or two and a brace of limbers.

Also in the box will be some 15mm Ancient Greeks. For the life of me I cannot remember buying these little buggers let alone giving them to Priyantha to paint but apparently I did. Looking forward to unpacking the box but I fear I do not have time tonight so you’ll need to wait until tomorrow night to see what was in there.

Still More Basing

wpid-IMG_20120714_1343061A little work in progress. I have been basing these guys on and off for a week so far. I reckon I have about 60 bases to go, then a few previously based ones to fix. I was originally basing on 30x30mm bases for infantry and 30mm wide for cavalry, artillery etc but decided to go with Fire and Fury original base sizes. Next I can start flocking. The flocking will give me something else to do whilst I am waiting for the last batch of figures from Miniature Lanka.

There are times, like when I am trying to rebase figures, when I wish basing was still paint the base in mid-green rather than the nice sand and static grass look. When the bases have had the PVA glue and sand treatment it is a real Be-atch to get the figures off those bases.

Target is to finish these bases tonight!