Tuesday, 21 February 2017

On the workbench & pondering The American Civil War.

Been a bit slow on the painting front last week or so, I'm taking a break from the FIW and catching up with some of the Flames of War stuff that's piling up a bit. I tend to prefer to just buy what I need when I need it as I find having a lead (or plastic) pile can be slightly demoralising. I managed a spray undercoat session at the weekend, in the shed down the garden as usual, and got a fair few bits sprayed up ready for painting. I use Army Painter Matt black primer and find it covers well and leaves a nice flat finish. As said before I prime my tank models on the sprues as it's just so much easier to not miss anything, especially around the driving wheel and tracks, and it's a simple matter of spraying one side, leaving to dry, turning over and spraying the other. I have had a box of 5 x StuG assault guns sitting here for some time so they got sprayed up ready for assembly. I should add that I find no issue with assembly, the plastic glue simply melts the primer away to form a strong bond. I also sprayed 4 lovely little Steyr trucks, transports for Panzergrenadiers, and a platoon of Late German infantry. Again, I'm probably a bit unusual in that I base my figures first before priming and painting, I just prefer to do it this way and even with my standard 5 figures per base I find no problems in painting them, a bit of twisting and turning required but I'm used to this method now. The figures are by Peter Pig. All of this lot will hopefully be finished by the time the first order for 28mm ACW's arrives from Renegade.

German HQ set

Peter Pig panzergrenadiers.

 Panzer 4's, model H with stand off turret armour.

A pile of undercoated StuG's!

Resin and metal Steyre strucks by Battlefront.

And on the subject of the American Civil War I have been giving much thought to rules. To quickly outline my long association with this period, it certainly extends back into the early eighties, the scan below shows my then collection of Minifigs 15mm figures on my home made 6 x 4 terrain boards. I remember that they were very heavy due to the amount of filler used in construction, but I was extremely proud of them at the time. These figures were later replaced with early Battle Honours figures by Tony Barton and then expanded with Polly Oliver figures. These in turn were replaced with 25mm Connoisseur figures and those in turn by Dixons. Somewhere along the line I also collected Old Glory's and Redoubt. These days I don't have a single ACW figure in my collection, but that's about to change!

Blurry old pics from the 1980's Minifigs 15mm pure nostalgia.

Shots of my Redoubt collection lifted from my previous blog, they were already long sold on by then.

Why on Earth did I sell them!

In the Nineties I also got into ACW re enactment as a member of SOSKAN and enjoyed several fun years as a private in the 42nd Pennsylvania 'Bucktails'. I learned much about the life of the ordinary soldier and the rigours of period drill. If I have one enduring memory of that time it was being on the Union skirmish line at Knebworth during a joint SOSKAN & American Civil War Society event that also included other European and US re-enactors, and watching the vast numbers of Confederate infantry and artillery emerge from the woods to form up, stretching across the length of the park, an amazing experience and one that sent shivers down my spine!

Yours Truly and eldest daughter at the American Museum Bath, late 90's. Note the authentic imported Bucktail. they stank to high heaven so I shampood mine much to the amusement of the rest of the guys! Equipment stripped off, but carrying my .58 Enfield musket that required a shotgun certificate to own.

Bucktails on the Knebworth picket line, I'm second from right.

My Wife came along but was not into 'dressing up' so we camped in comfort!

Waiting for Johnny Reb to attack, picket duty with the 'Authentic' camp behind us, those guys were the hardcore reenactors!

I think that the more I learned of the reality of Battle in the ACW, the more I backed away from gaming it and it's taken until now for me to return to it. So as not to waffle on for too long I'll save my thoughts on rules for another post, but the images below give you an idea of my favourite set from back in the Nineties, Johnny Reb 2nd Edition.

For me JR II remains the finest set of ACW rules ever produced.

My scribbled notes on the playsheets from well over 20 years ago.

I played these rules extensively then against my regular opponents.
They included a beginners guide to get new players started.


  1. Nice tip on priming tanks on sprues, I might try it for my 28mm ones. Your redoubt ACW look great, I hope you're next batch match up, me I'm incapable of getting rid of virtually any figures!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, I find it has really made priming tanks so much easier. Still waiting on the ACW's.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes indeed Ross, it's where many of us started.

  3. If you're considering different rules sets for ACW, can I offer Regimental Fire and Fury or Pickett's Charge? Both have been very enjoyable and evocative for the period of war per the books I've read and documentaries I've watched.

    (I'd also offer an honourable mention for Longstreet which was also fun, though was less about command and control and more about "doing one over" on your opponent during his/her turn with well placed cards. It DOES though have a rather splendid campaign system.)

    1. Thanks for that Dai, I have not seen the Regimental F&F set, although I do have very fond memories of games with the old 'Brigade' set, groundbreaking at the time they were released and very easy to pick up. I'm tempted to do a nostalgia project and return to JR II.


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