Saturday, May 31, 2014

15mm Essex Confederate Artillery & Supply Train Pot Pourri

Moving to Virgina a few years ago inspired a revisit to my ACW stuff and while unpacking from the latest move, I found a lot of half started projects that wouldn't take too much time to finish off. Most of the guns, and much of the crew was already done. I have 4 man crews, all individually based. The guns, however, were not based, so that was step one - to match them to the limbers. I have magnet lined drawers and the guns bounced all over the place during the moves so this fix was a long time coming.

I had a few limbers done but not the horse teams or caisson crews. (Yes, that's a spare Minifigs rider I used to add variety.) One issue was that so much of these forces were among my first ever endeavors in painting, so I didn't want the new stuff to shine too brightly over the old. That usually meant not doing a third level of highlighting and also trying to match the colors to those I used before. Not too hard as it turned out.

In starting this period, we seemed to be preoccupied with early war ops where uniforms were more, well, uniform. I had some random crew around that could be used, but this time I went for a butternut. This is probably still too dark and warm, but as everyone always says, it's hard to get the colors wrong due to all the effects of sun, dye lots, etc.

Stray artillery officers - they were already based singly so may as well do 'em up as is. My artillery organization is, shall we say, flexible - lots of excess command and many possible gun configurations.

I'm definitely a neater, more accurate, painter than I used to be - more disciplined about going back and touching up.

I was tempted to highlight everything with just one more layer but it would detract too much from the old. The limber itself was dry-brushed many, many years ago.

What follows is a three photo progression. This first set was among the earliest "serious gamer" units I EVER painted - probably late 80's, 1990?. Apparently, I was sure most things could be dry brushed - I didn't understand the benefits of good detail brushes.

Picture 2/3: Here, I clearly learned to dispense with dry-brushing everything. Solid, blocked in colors. These were probably done in the early 90's - soon after the shot above it. This represents another nod to early war, where these independent, artillery companies could get all white horses for their teams. We know how that turned out.
Picture 3/3: The extra ammo caisson was without a team, so to match up with the old stuff I did these up a few weeks ago, keeping them very simple.

Random messenger figure - I suppose he could be used for either side.

Again, I had to resist another layer of highlighting.

This is another three era sequence from left to right: 1) a dry-brushed wagon puts this in the early 90's, ok blocking on the donkey/mules? To date, I have no idea what Essex intended. 2) Sometime later (a year or two?) I was very good at tidily blocking in colors but still a shabby wagon canvas resulted. 3) I did the third wagon canvas soon after the second but the third set of mules were unpainted until a few weeks ago. Restrained highlighting again but nice, clear, delineations.

A better shot of the newest donkey team and wagon now at center, the oldest at rear.
So. That's what I've been doing after one of the longest breaks (6 months) I've ever had from painting in awhile. Time to put the ACW stuff away for the present.


  1. Very, very impressive, excellent job!

  2. Except that I recognise some of the models as 15mm, the detail that you have achieved would put many 28mm armies to shame. Brilliant!

  3. Very nice looking, wouldn't like to advance my union brigades into that lot. Glad you clarified the Horse/donkey/mule? things, they do look strange.