Saturday, May 31, 2014

15mm Old Glory Robert E. Lee

Lee here is based on a big washer. I taped over the hole and then put railroad ballast over the whole thing. Of course the figs were painted individually then artfully arranged first. Trying to get the composition right took some trial and error and a careful selection of figures. One limitation I made for myself was to not have any piece of any miniature hang over the edges of the base - with the washer it's pretty heavy and wouldn't work to have things protruding all over.

Nearly all figures here are Old Glory, Lee himself from the Confederate Generals & Personalities, Eastern set. The one exception is the Battle Honours flag bearer. His flag is from the old Confederettes/Heritage line.

The other Reb generals will be on smaller bases of one size or another depending on their level of command. The Union have two bases of this side - Grant and Mead - the accompanying figures are already sorted and decidedly less enthusiastic as these are. Most of them are from the Energetic Infantry pack.

I was going to just paint the name tab, black, and use white for the lettering but I thought, what the hey, it is the highest ranking Confederate I'll ever field. Better make it more special than that. Old Glory provides all those tabs at the feet of all the named characters. Did you need another reason to love (old) Old Glory?
With a bit more context .. Gotta get those field works done one of these days too!

Well, this wraps up my ACW work for awhile - on to bigger (25mm) and newer things!  I have a lot of different kinds of thing in progress, nearing completion, and my motivation is high.

As always, questions, comments and followers are welcome.

Thanks for looking!

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.

15mm Old Glory Union Cavalry

(Ignore that "Seccess" artillery in the background) These are actually from the Confederate Cavalry with Pistols & Shotguns pack. These were probably done at least 15 years ago, never saw the battlefield and unfortunately, I used a satin gloss on them. When I dull cote them later, I should also go in and trim down that water-spout high grass - we didn't have tufts in those days.

In a Johnny Reb game, I recall one of my Reb infantry units getting hit with a small 100 man Union shotgun unit at close range and it was devastating. Stuart's unit is long gone but I had to have one of my own - this time 200.

(Don't ignore that "Seccess" artillery now - see them get sandwiched by Federal cav!)

All our flags were handmade and hand painted with leaded foil sheets cut accordingly.
That flash is harsh!

Here's 400 Union troopers in action - units of this size were unwieldy in the game, and it was very hard (as it was historically) to line up a charge because of the broken terrain. I believe I have the dismounted unit for these too but they are not easily at hand. This particular unit has never seen tabletop action either.
Someone commented on the dead grass basing - my inspiration for grass came from growing up in California's central valley. Virginia, and out east in general, is far more verdant. That said, I have several divisions worth of both sides of the ACW in this grass so I won't be changing it for the regimental scaled units. (I have a nice force of Blue Moon miniatures organized for Brother Against Brother I'll do different basing on.)

Trying to show the flag detail here

I have a couple of these lovely backgrounds I need to make permanent photo boxes out of - but you'll get the idea here.
Thanks for looking! Questions and comments are always welcomed.