Showing posts from 2007


The last couple weeks have been extremely busy at work so my postings have not kept up with the painting table. I will hopefully catch up soon.

Basing Prep and Flock

Following up on my making of the bases for JR3 in a former entry, I thought it prudent to explain how I finish the basing.

Tacky Glue
Black Medium Ballast (Woodland Scenics B83)
Blended Turf (Woodland Scenics T49)
1 Bag Dark Green Static Grass
1 Bag Light Green Static Grass

I begin by using "Tacky Glue" that dries clear (a bottle is shown in one of the photos) which is available at wal-mart for a couple bucks at most. I use toothpicks to spread out the glue to minimize the chance of glue getting on the figures. The Tacky Glue bottle is fitted with a nice long nosed applicator so the work needed is minimal. The next step is to dip the base in a container of the black ballast; lightly shaking or blowing off the excess. This is then allowed to dry completely. The need for this step is found in the need to even off the level of the ground. Depending on manufacture the figures could have a considerable chunk of base and simply adding flock will give the look of each man on hi…

Dip Failure

While continuing to paint the rest of the Iron Brigade I decided to dabble a bit in this so called "magic dip" stuff. The victims were to be the 84th New York; part of the next brigade I plan to paint. I purchase the proper stain, prime white and use all light colors. The end result was a major disappointment. Not only did I have to spend more time painting then my usual method, as I had to go over and over again with highlighting paint creating detail where the poly removed it, but I also ended up with a look that seemed to cheapen the paint job. Completely unsatisfied, these minis have been stripped clean and primed again for their second go at the painting table, which should directly follow my completion of the Iron Brigade. I'm running low on spray black primer, I prefer Armory or Citadel, but since domestic law states they must be shipped ground only I'm looking for a place close by from which to order.

24th Michigan

These figures represent my first paint job of union troops since I started gaming again. They are also from the lot purchased from Mark aka Extra Crispy at Scale Creep with state colors being carried by an AB figure. I have no reservations about recommending these miniatures to anybody. They prime and paint clean with room to play as far as how much detail you want to abstract (a common practice for me in 15mm). These particular figs were primed black and painted with craft, vallejo paints, and GW paint. This unit allowed me to find my stride as far as Union colors go. I've always been put off by most of my attempts to paint Union troops; the coats are never dark enough and the pants are always too light and blue. With these I'm very happy, the legs are a basecoat of Folk Art's Sterling Blue with a wash of Wrought Iron (has a greenish hue when thinned). I then highlighted by mixing the Sterling Blue and Vallejo's Light Sea Grey. The coats are based in Folk Art's Mi…

The Postman Rang Twice...

Well not actually, but figuratively. Not only did the samples I requested from RSM show up in today's post, but also part of my first order of Perry's. This is the first time I can recall seeing RSM minis and I find them more than adequate. It's not fair to compare them to Perry's for detail and quality as few can be, but I believe I'll be able to work a few units of these minis in somewhere. I decided when I started to play the field of minis as wide as possible and although Perry and Foundry will make up 90% of my armies, I will make room for some of these. The Continentals can always use more variety and RSM's price can't be beat.

Using Perry as my measuring stick Its safe to say that RSM are a couple of mm shorter, but not much. They are a tad thinner, but this helps with the difference in height as this gives RSM a taller look proportionally. Below I've posted a few photos so you can all give them a look, I've not researched yet and no stock num…

First Reb Brigade

Well I burned some midnight oil and finished up my first reb brigade. These are meant to represent Law's Brigade in the Gettysburg ANV OOB. All figures are 15mm Old Glory and flags used are from Although I have not researched the flags in in detail, when and if I find better ones to use, then I will replace these, but generally I believe these will work fine.

I've decided to use a unit marker on the back of each command stand. This contains informaion like "I/1 4th Ala ER" Meaning First Corp, First Division, 4th Alabama Regiment, and game ranking, in this case "elite rifles". These are glued directly onto the base and are void of basing material. One photo is provided in which you can see these markers.

First Reb Regiment

Here is a look at the first reb regiment to make it back all the way from the stripping brew to the painting table and back on to my own homemade cut bases. These are painted using a black primer and an assortment of gray's, browns, and other hue's to get a good mixture but maintain some common colors, mostly in the lighter gray and prevalence of captured yankee pants. I will vary colors more from brigade to brigade, but within each brigade there will be a hint of cohesion, but not much more. For now, these pictures will give you all an idea of my state of painting, which I was myself anxious to see. Overall I'm okay with the job, but not really pleased. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be (its been a long 10 years away), but hey, this is the first step. I had a little fun adding the blood stained head bandage and some flag dmg, both I will claim as tiny meaningless painting victories. The figures are all Old Glory 15mm and the original pre-work flags are …

First Order of Perry's

Today witnessed my first order of Perry Miniatures for my AWI project. I decided to begin by doing vonDonop's musketeers along with their Grenadier for use later in a combined battalion. This is my first experience with The War Store and I'd have to say that I'm already pleased by Neal's willingness to communicate about orders. I've had a few sites not get back to me for nearly a week recently when asking about figures. Neal delivers and I can see this turning into a long customer/retailer relationship. I also picked up a few sets of Foundry paint.

Old Glory Order

Today I was able to finalize a special order from Old Glory 15's. Containing mostly specific command figure types and enough bucktails to fit the regiments in my OOB, I'm very pleased to get this done and look forward to its arrival. Jay proved extremely helpful and I also look forward to ordering more figures via special order in the future.

Orders, Orders, Orders (2)

I was informed today that the last shipment in my first round of orders has been shipped. This shipment contained the back order items of 10mm and British Grenadier from

I'd have to say that each and every one of the companies I did business with delivered with 0 complaints from me. Some went further and provided outstanding service that, in my experiences as a consumer and as an e-commerce professional, has largely become nonexistent. It was good to see it live on in some quarters.

JR3 Basing

So far my main point of concern with the new Johnny Reb edition is that the basing has gone from 5 stands to 4. Since none of my infantry survived, rebasing is not the issue, its the effect the change has on table appeal; that which I find in smaller ratios and more lead. Finally giving JR3's concept the benefit of the doubt, I play tested the rules with variable unit frontages and 4 stands to regiment. We did so without miniature eye candy, instead we used counters to give the full weight of the experience to the rules themselves. In the end I was very happy and the tests won over a convert to wargaming, my 18 year old nephew.

Unfortunately the accepting of this change brought me face to face with a new problem. The variable unit frontages for JR3 would mean purchasing many sizes of bases. I know many out there would say "just get one or two sizes and call it good" but I'm of the notion that if I'm getting wet, I might as well go swimming, so its variable frontag…


I have placed an order for a number of AB figures from Eureka USA to supplement my need for command. As their website is tempting I found myself securing a number of dismounted cavalry for future use and some kepi zouaves for the 84th NY. I actually ended up placing 2 separate orders, but they quickly realized this and refunded the shipping on one order. A+ service!

Painting Desk

Over the weekend I've been busy trying to take my painting desk from concept to completion. The frame is very basic; 2-2 drawer filing cabinets with a piece of 3/4 inch plywood cut to fit width wise on top. I glued a piece of compressed fiber board on top of this to create a nice work space. I may eventually go to a sheet of plexi-glass on top, but at this point I don't see the need. I have built a five foot, 4 tier, paint stand that will be fastened on top to display paints. I have also hung a set of four foot shop lights above the desk and slightly towards where I'll be sitting to negate shadow while I work. I will post photos shortly.

Having reached completion and primed some miniatures for its christening, I've taken and added some photos.

Paints (2)

I took my daughter shopping for kindergarten school supplies today and as I'm still on the lookout for a number of paints I happened into an old hobby/comic store that at one time served as the closest outlet to GW stuff. It turns out that a few months prior to my stopping in they had decided to no longer stock any GW merchandise and had successfully blown it all out the door. However there remained a shelf the manager desperately wanted for other products that was currently home to 167 Citadel/GW paints. He let me have the lot of them for $20. It turned out that I not only was given 167 individual paints but he kept throwing stuff in the box; 3 cans of citadel spray paints/primers, 3 GW dry brushing brushes, and a couple bottles of zap a gap. Obviously there were more than a few duplicate paints, but despite this, I believe I had officially struck gold. My daughter made out very well that day as well. We found not only all her supplies, but a number of nice clothes and a lovely b…


Unfortunately none of my paints from long ago survived. This has left me with the problem of securing new ones. My old collection was rather vast and well established in colors and pigments discovered over time. I've begun by ordering a few vallejo that seemed prudent, a number of their washes, metallics and flesh tones. I've also managed to visit a few craft stores like "Hobby Lobby" and "Wal-Mart" where I was able to secure a number of colors on the cheap. One particular day saw a sale at Hobby Lobby where all craft paints were on sale 40%. I walked out with about 80 or so ranging from Folk-Art and Americana at 60 cents apiece to Anita's at 30 cents each. A few mom and pop hobby stores had the brushes on hand to fill out what I needed and I've also secured some Future at the local hardware store. All in all not a bad start, but pale in comparison to my former array. I'm looking towards getting a good selection of Citadel and at some p…

Orders, Orders, Orders...

Today and yesterday I completed my first round of web orders in accordance with the decisions I've made recently.
Johnny Reb 3 British Grenadier British Grenadier Scenario Booklet American War of Independence by Greg Novak Vol 1 & 2A few assorted 10mm OG AWI packs

GFI Online:2 packs of 10mm OG AWIOld Glory:1 bag of confederate command figuresScale Creep:A bunch of Hardee Hat infantry with enough command to do the brigadeA number of Vallejo of the Civil War: An Illustrated Guide for Historians, Collectors, and Reenactors by Robin Smith and Ron FieldDon Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War by Don Troiani, Earl J. Coates, and Michael J. McAfee

It's So Easy...

Looking far and wide for information about stripping miniatures free of paint I found a lot of information and even semi-scientific experimentation and their data. However, since Iowa is right above Missouri, I occasionally feel the twinge of "show me" and that's just what the leading contenders would have to do. Rather than use any typical paint thinner I thought it would be more fun and useful to survey the top household products.

The Contestants:

300+ Miniatures of Old Glory's ACW line, primed and painted over a decade ago. Primer is of Armory black and paints are of citadel, a few craft paints, and whatever brand Stone Mountain sold back then. The sealant was of Armory, matte.

Simple Green

Easy Off (no odor variety and heavy duty original)

Pine-Sol (lemon odor)

4 "Hard" or "Stiff" bristled Johnson and Johnson toothbrushes
Almost in the guise of a "300" movie parody, 300 miniatures are put to the test against 3 powerhouse household products…


Following many a good read and advice offered around the web I finally came to a few decisions. I'm going to pick up where I left off with the ACW in 15mm as well as start building up AWI armies, at this point decided upon 25mm to take advantage of Perry's line, but I will be ordering some 10mm as I'm intrigued.

So where to begin? After much debate and trepidation I've decided upon continuing along my Johnny Reb roots and will obtain the new edition. The changes in basing particularly has given me pause, along with the fewer figures required as I enjoy the massed look on a tabletop. The great Y!Group that supports JR3 has helped me, if not to overcome my doubts and fears than to at least face them with a little more hope.

I've decided to build around the ANV and AoP at the outset of the Lee's invasion in '63. This will provide for many "what if" scenarios and historical encounters. Tallying up my present lead I decided to begin with the 1st Corps fo…


My excitment continues at the rediscovering of a much loved hobby. Magazines, books and rules have been reread. Visiting my many previous bookmarked forums and discussions I utilized the valuable information so many of you out there provide. I now face a need of direction. My main interests would include ancients, ACW, ECW, Colonials, Napoleonics, some skirmish 20th century and anything 18th century, espeicially the AWI (not much that I don't have an interest in). Having a rather large personal library of history books and biographies (my one lifelong bad habit) I have begun to reread many old passages looking for inspirational direction and anything to jumpstart old memories of games past.

My present inclinations are towards beginning again with the ACW and AWI. Further research is in order; rules, figures, paints, all are to be determined.

Wargaming Archaeology

Having made the decision to wargame once again I needed to find out exactly where I was and where I wanted to go. My first acts included using the web where I proceeded to get liberal with the bookmark button. On a side note, my appreciation of a browser's bookmark feature was never fully realized until I had children. Finding many great forum's, groups and blogs I was able to find out that the hobby hadn't changed that much in the last decade. There were some new rules, some old ones had gone out of print and sure the information age had taken its toll on the genre, but for the most part, the state of the actual act of miniature wargaming was just as I had left it. Unfortunately, the boxes that I had packed up 10 years prior had not had as calm an existence.

As much of my old collection was stored in one of our family homes, much had gone missing, some had deteriorated due to dampness and freaks of plumbing/heating. All in all though I'd have to say that my excitement …


After much time and consideration I've decided to create this space to communicate my return to wargaming as well as my interests and pursuits within the hobby. Its my hope that you will find this entertaining and maybe helpful in your own wargaming ventures. The many wonderful, informative and helpful blogs and forums which I have found, upon my return, have been invaluable to me and weighed heavily in my decision to take on this endeavor. In summation this is my own little effort to contribute to the hobby's collective information online and hopefully advancement.

As always, thank you for stopping by.