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.

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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

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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!

WIP – 15mm American Civil War – Union

DSC01450Most of the 15mm ACW figures are painted and just waiting basing. I had originally started basing on 30mm frontage bases when we decided that we would follow Fire and Fury basing – that is, a 1-inch wide base as the standard. This resulted in my “unbasing” some figures and rebasing on the 1-inch size.

When using a 30mm square base, I was basing 4 infantry figures per base. However, as we are changing to the 1-inch base, I will only be sticking three figures to the infantry bases. This will also give about a 25% increase in the number of bases available.

The photo to the left is a view of the basing material and the first batch of cavalry being based. I got my bases from Litko Game Accessories. LItko offers a plywood base as well as adhesive magnetic tape pre-cut to the base size. Mind you, it does take a while to stick the magnetic material to the bottom of the base, but the fit between the wooden base and the magnetic material is great.

The figures shown above were unbased to start with. I also had some 15mm cavalry already based which I needed to unbase and rebase. The picture below shows the figures based so far.

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Miniature Lanka Painting Service

DSC00014I had some American Civil War figures in 15mm scale from four manufacturers. OK, I had a lot of figures – both sides. Around 400 or so Union Infantry and about the same in Confederates. I was collecting them to paint about 10 years ago and have managed to leave them in the lead pile since then. I carried them from England to Korea to Australia and then lastly on to Singapore.

“Are you going to get round to painting them Thomo”, inquired Anthony.

“Yes, no, maybe”, was the reply.

I looked for a painting service. I have had figures painted in the past – usually by the children of Tony Barr of East Riding Miniatures. I wanted something local and preferably not too expensive. I sparked up Google on the laptop and started searching. There are a surprising number of companies painting figures now and based in Asia. Several companies in Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, China (well, Hong Kong SAR and China really) and Bangladesh. I have even tracked one down in Africa.

All have pricing near to each other and offer figures painted to a number of levels. All seem to offer ethical working conditions for their employees as well. I settled on Miniature Lanka for the first batch of ACW Union figures. I had a ten year old Minifigs Union Army so shipped that off to see what sort of paint job Miniature Lanka would do before committing the rest of the figures. I thought, if they can do a reasonable job on the Minifigs, then the Old Glory 15s and Essex Miniatures should come up a treat as well as the Lancashire Games.

IMG_0374They did a good job. I settled for collectors standard (they will paint basic wargames standard, collectors standard and museum standard).

Best was once the figures were painted, digital photos were sent for my approval then the figures were packed up and sent to me. The packing was brilliant with no paint chipping or bent flagpoles, muskets or bayonets. The photo at the top shows how each of the figures is sealed into its own little pocket in clear plastic. The sheets of figures are then laid on top of each other in the box and sent back to the customer.

IMG_0291The photo to the left is the completed artillery from Miniature Lanka with my basing. I will get around to taking some better photos later.

Well done Miniature Lanka.