Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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 Midnight Blue with a black wash then highlighted again with shades of the base coat.

I made the fence from square toothpicks with the ends cut off after which they were dipped in a random wood stain I found in the house.

Rather pleased with the effect produced by the cannonball hole in the US Flag.

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 numbers were provided so showing my "greenness" in the period I concede I know not the exact troop classification for each model. The 4 Perry's in the group photo are 2 Hesse-Cassel Musketeers and 2 Hesse-Cassel Grenadiers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

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 warflag.com. 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.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

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 from warflag.com.

After I finish the current brigade I will also look into some alternative painting techniques. I may try that "dip" method, although on face value I'm not expecting much. That's for the next brigade...maybe.

Friday, August 17, 2007

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

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 WarWeb.com.

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.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

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 frontage for me. Litko was an appealing option, I will no doubt use them for my AWI and other periods, but for basing two entire armies with up to 5 different stand widths just for infantry I had to come up with something else. Not to mention the sizes I needed were not stock, but would have had to be custom cut. Also, I wanted to save money, if possible, on basing the ACW forces so that I can spend more dough on lead. My thoughts of Perry AWI always in my mind.

To solve the problem I looked for a constant and what I found was stand depth, which is constant at 3/4 inch. With a little thinking and a few minutes rummaging through the house examining everything in small dimension, I came upon what was to prove my solution. Popsicle sticks! Well not the skinny ones, but the large variety come in the exact depth I need 3/4.

The next issue was the cutting of said sticks. Lacking a laser I needed a solid solution that could produce consistent results. I tried xacto'ing, dremel'ing, and even gave the mini craft table saw a go. None of these worked. There was chipping, splintering, inconsistency, and every other problem under the sun. It wasn't long before I had a breakthrough. I was watching some show on tv and a guy was using a hand chisel to shape some wood. I thought to myself that if those things are sharp enough I could probably make a precise cut with one or two whacks. Sure enough, after testing a few times, the sticks proved soft enough to secure the chisel then with a couple of whacks it was cut clean. I did find that using a block of wood underneath was best, preferably a piece with a knot in it (for extra density) directly under the cutting.

The glorious upside to all of this would be that it is extremely cheap.
  • $15 chisel
  • $0 Hammer (had one)
  • $3.95 for 75 sticks or you can get a box of 300 for $3.80, but there are more irregularities in the box. These are Wal-Mart prices.
  • $0 small square (to draw straight lines. had one)

Under the basing guidelines I'm using, at the largest size stand, you can get 1 regiment's stands to a stick. A lot more if you count the smaller sizes needed. Considering the largest size only, one bag of sticks will give me 300 bases for $3.95. Below are some pictures to give you an idea. Some are darker to aid in the pencil marks showing up.

The only thing not listed here that I will do in the future is adhere materials on the bottom for magnetic storage capability.

Monday, August 6, 2007


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.

More GW Paints to Place

The Painting Angle

Thursday, August 2, 2007

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 bean bag chair of a rather loud purple color. She also enjoyed her first taste of Moose Tracks ice cream at our favorite ice cream shoppe. Her previous favorite had been the Cotton Candy flavor.