Category Archives: acw

Union…and on…and on…

Another little flurry of ACW activity. The remaining Zouaves. I only had five stands of the Zouaves in kepi which were part of the original Minifigs force. Seen in foreground here with the lone standardbearer:


Not really enough for a unit for RF&F so I managed to acquire some more of the figures via a trade on TWW. 


These I managed to strip quite well using Dettol. This works quite well but you have to brush the paint off using a little washing up liquid and NO water. As soon as you add water to the mix everything turns to gunk and becomes much harder to deal with.

I had planned to use the Humbrol Oxford Blue again but when I did the first coat and compared them with the 15 original figures they really looked different. So…I applied a GW blue wash. This made it a nice dark blue. So I carefully applied the same wash to the original figures and they then matched pretty well! The red was still a good match and the rest of the figure was fine. I did add red lining on the rear of the jacket of all of them and repainted the rear pouch and the bayonets on the old figures as the yellowing varnish had tarnished these. Needed to add an extra standard bearer and added red to existing officers to blend them in. The whole unit looks very red and dark blue! But they are based and GMB flags added. For some reason the pics are a little washed out…

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I also took the chance  to add some flags to a couple of CSA stands missing them and make one of the existing ones less shiny.


I’ve now cleared the ACW away as I need to do some prep for next weekends To The Strongest game in Newark. But I do have another batch of Union primed and ready to go.

I’ve also just finished reading Sear’s Landscape Turned Red. 


A very readable account of the Battle of Antietam. The narrative gives a good feel for the sequence of events and the maps, though few, are clear. It takes a few chapters to set up the action but this is required really. And Sears seems to not be a great fan of McClellan who does not come out of the account well! Probably with justification.

Next in line is:


Looking forward to this one as have heard good things about it.

Hopefully I’ll get another update in before the Newark game.


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Union Blues…

The ACW projects continues. And expands…. Many moons ago I bought some Lancashire Games ACW Union cavalry as I liked the figure. I then sold them! I then bought some more (because I still liked the figure!)

lgacwNow, Lancashire Games are currently revamping their ACW range and the new figures are really rather nice. But they are marketed as 18mm and they are way bigger than any of the Minfigs and old Peter Pig I have. But the old range are just about the right size (a tad bigger but fine on the table) and now that the range is ‘Archived’ they have been selling off some of the packs on eBay. I managed to secure six assorted packs (2 x ABP140 Marching Infantry, 1 x ABP141 Advancing Infantry,1 x ABP142 cavalry and 1 x ABP146 Artillery crew and guns) for the bargain of £38 and added another three bought direct at a reduced price. This lot was kindly picked up for me at Derby by Simon T (Goat Major) and when combined with other Lancashire stuff acquired from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) is quite a lot of figures!

20161024_160715The other bag at bottom right is mostly Peter Pig (collected from SELWG by EB) and is assorted casualty and low ammo type figures. And an Essex ambulance.

This should keep me going for a while!

And to show I’ve not just been adding to the project I’ve actually painted a few more of the Minifigs. As mentioned in the last ACW related post where I finished off the Zouaves I had decide that Humbrol 104 Oxford Blue was a good match to that used on all my old Minifigs. So I decided to paint up a full unit using that. And now I’m not so sure…

20161024_155757 20161024_155740 20161024_155732It’s pretty close and may be affected by the varnish yellowing on the old figures but although it would do I’m really not sure it’s the right blue! But I’ll do the remaining Minfigs I have and the Zouaves I need to match and then additions like the Lancashire games stuff will be done differently. I think… Maybe the Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue. Maybe something else…

And I finished rebasing a few more low ammo markers and officer figures…

It’s never ending…


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I think I’m done basing ACW…for now…

At long last I think I may be done! The last bits I wanted to get done for my 15mm ACW re-basing are done!

First up: low ammo markers

20161012_093033I’ve still got four of these to do but need the bases which I will get this weekend.

Disorder Markers:

20161012_093041Only have ten of these but again, will be picking up some Peter Pig casualty figures at the weekend.

The final units to be done were Zouaves. I had two existing small units. Seven bases with turbans and five with kepi. As mentioned previously I was undecided on whether to strip all the figures and repaint as I had three more in turban and nearly 30 in kepi to add to them. The issue was matching the colours. If I could do that then no stripping required. None of the Vallejo/GW/CdA paints I have matched the existing blue and I didn’t have much luck mixing a colour. Then last weekend I went to the newly opened local Hobbycraft. They stock the Humbrol range so I grabbed what looked like a decent blue (104 Oxford Blue) and it is a match!! Then it twigged. The figures were painted years ago and likely then Humbrol Acrylic was the main choice. I then dug out my VERY old Humbrol red. Match. And my Humbrol Flesh. Match. Although the latter may be too far gone so needs replacing.

I ended up needing to paint four additional figures as I snapped the drummer removing him from the base. And there were four of the figures that had dark blue pants and gold piping that needed changing to red to match. And the white bits on the figures had yellowed with the old varnish so I needed to match that as well! But basically I think you’ll be hard pressed to spot the new figures in the unit.

20161012_093055 20161012_093104This means I can now strip the kepi figures I acquired and paint them to match the existing ones. I do need another standard bearer though….

So that is it. The Union army has gone from this:

acw05 acw03

To this:

20161012_093116The CSA looks like this:

20161012_093202And this is the whole shebang!

20161012_093215I have more units to paint (some Minfigs and a LOT of other stuff!) and a few more markers to do. But enough now for a decent looking game. Although still need to do fences and more trees.

And this weekend is the LAW gathering in Framlingham which I am most looking forward to!


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And now the end is near….

I’ve had a bit of a push on the re-basing. Partly to try and get it finished and partly because at the gaming weekend in Fram next week I’ll be picking up a load of unpainted lead to add to the project! So basically now I’ve finished the main bulk of the troops. The latest being these chaps:

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I still have limbers to do for those guns.

This leaves the Union army looking something like this:


I may need to do a few more command stands to allow for smaller units. There are all generic units (although one lot are clearly Iron Brigade) and I’ll be adding ‘real’ units as I paint extras.

The only outstanding are the Zouaves. There are two small units of these which MAY do for most games but for the turban chaps I may try and paint three spare figures to give me 8 stands. The kepi chaps are a smaller unit still.


I do however have a load of similar figures lined up to strip. I’m not sure whether to strip the lot and paint them all again or just strip and paint the new lot and mix them all in. It will depend on the turban chaps I paint and if the colours are a close enough match.


I’ve also started basing up the markers. The ones I have seem to be Freikorps but they will be fine for markers. I’m short on 20mm bases until next week to still have 4 to do. Need to think on whether 20 low ammo markers is enough for most games?


And also how many disruption markers I need. I only have the following so far but have more Peter Pig casualty figures coming.


I went for ovals for these as they don’t fit well on the 20mm rounds and  have a load of the oval bases from an aborted 28mm basing idea!

So there we are. Almost there….

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Finally limbering up….

The not going very well EB vs CB Painting Challenge has hit another way point and needless to say I have still failed to paint the 28mm Altefritzeburgers  I had planned. Iain however has finished another excellent Spencer Smith unit. See the details on his blog: but here are the chaps in their glory!


Iain updates his new blog even less frequently than I do mine but it is worth watching for some lovely troops and he will eventually get more content up there.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my head is just not in 28mm mode and having recently played a few Fire and Fury games I’m firmly of the opinion I should crack on with the re-basing, paint a few 15mm and finish off the project! So that is what I am doing for now…

To that end I have finished the three limbers I started and done the bases on three guns and added a divisional/corps commander…

20161002_163305 20161002_163337 20161002_163354 20161002_163407

The limber riders are done in the dark blue I’m using for all my new stuff. I’ve tried finding a blue to match what is there but had no luck finding or mixing one I’m happy with. I’ve realised the slightly off colours of the old Minifigs is down to the varnish used yellowing. So I’m never going to be able to match them really…20161002_163429

So, as you can see, I am getting there. I need to re-base the CSA officers and think what I need to add to them. And paint more Union cavalry!

Onwards and upwards!

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Yep! Still rebasing!!

Been rather busy of late so not much progress but I thought another update was due. I actually completed some more basing a few weeks ago but haven’t got round to posting it.


Some more generic Union and at the back some Berdan’s Sharpshooters.  There are still a lot to finish painting the bases on but getting there.

I suppose as basing was getting a little tedious I decided to break it up with a little painting. Three limbers for the Union. Needless to say, they still need basing!

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While rummaging through boxes I found a load of unpainted fences. Most of these I know are Irregular as I’ve used others of theirs. But the three pole fence I’m not sure on as I picked it up from Gateshead Gaming ages ago.

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So… all moving along albeit slowly…

Books. Yes. I’ve been adding to the books.

61gg21viiol-_sx365_bo1204203200_ 51wqpdckkgl-_sx322_bo1204203200_ 51uqmyd-mdl-_sx357_bo1204203200_ 51trvv4ml4l-_sx369_bo1204203200_ 51p639cdk9l-_sx321_bo1204203200_ 51fjgjxsx2l-_sx334_bo1204203200_ 51chm9racal-_sx332_bo1204203200_ 51asgehn3ul-_sx362_bo1204203200_ 41wbwsfial-_sx331_bo1204203200_

Possibly slight overkill… but most were bargains!

And to finish off, the new Dan Mersey rules: The Men Who Would Be Kings


And to claim the Free Postage the new Osprey on Cowpens:


And having not played a game for a few weeks I will be setting off for the wilds of Suffolk (Framlingham) in two weeks to join assorted LAW members for a weekend of gaming, beer and taking the piss out of Essex Boy! Looking forward to it.

Oh… and someone might be picking up a load of Lancashire Games 15mm ACW for me. These are from their old range and I quite like some of the figures which will fit well with what I have. Their new range is VERY nice with some lovely figures but they are 18mm and just too big to mix with my old Minifigs.

Hopefully I’ll get the limbers and a few other bases finished before that weekend…

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What a long and tedious job re-basing is… I can’t base the last few infantry stands as the new bases I have are ever so slightly too big. This is being corrected. But I have finally got everything off old bases and onto new. And the ballast/PVA mix applied.

20160907_184010 20160907_184017

I’ve gone for three crew for the guns as I think two just looks a bit light…

I say I’ve re-based everything but I exclude the Zouaves. I have just traded for 26 more in kepi and a couple in turban. I need to get an idea on unit strengths in various battles to see how many I may actually need. Either way I will likely strip both lots and re-base them.


But I did make an effort to get a couple of units actually finished!

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And at the front you can make out some sample strips of the 4Ground MDF fencing. I decided that leaving them MDF/Brown would just be too well, brown, given my dark basing. So as I have lots of cheap grey acrylic paint I sloshed that on and drybrushed with a lighter mix.


I think they look OK. I was concerned that they are very light and would move around but the surface of my Mat-o-War seems to snag them and hold them in place. I do wish they would do the fencing in longer sections though!

And to finish off I thought I’d lay out the CSA troops I have. These are a total mix of all makes and painting styles but the basing brings them all together I think. And I need to re-base the officers.


So good progress being made and hopefully get the rest done by the weekend. Oh…and I need to paint ten limbers as well…



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I hate re-basing!

I continually agonise over basing. Partly because I get some sort of perverse pleasure out of it and partly because I HATE re-basing! And for some reason I can’t cope with a basing convention that doesn’t let me have my troops marching down a road!

As I’ve been dabbling in Fire and Fury again I’ve finally decide to re-base the Minifigs Union force I have. As mentioned in previous posts this was acquired many moons ago at the Edinburgh show and was based using the ‘standard’ 1″ Fire and Fury bases with mostly three figures to a base but also a good few with just two (I assume to eek out the figures for more units).  20160831_092114The CSA troops have been based to match this and as I have NO intention of re-basing them. And the only Minifigs I have added to the force myself have been based the same and using my standard colours.20160831_092141 20160831_092215However, with the intention of trying Regimental Fire and Fury I had a little pang of indecision. The standard Fire and Fury bases ‘look’ right at the brigade level on the table. However, if representing individual regiments I think troops in two ranks look better. Although RF&F deploys bases two deep I wasn’t sure on the look of that. Some people just do two ranks and treat it as two bases under the rules. This also allows more flexibility for use with other rules. However, taking this route would mean re-basing the CSA to match and that would reduce the number of units I can represent. And the more I looked at battle reports of RF&F games the more I decided that the standard basing looked fine! So I’ve started the process…20160831_092250 20160831_092154As I’m keeping the army as all Minifigs 2nd Generation (as much as possible) there may be issues making up full units all in the same general poses. I have already sorted a trade for some Zouaves in kepi so can make the existing unit up to a size usable in RF&F. But until I pick some scenarios that use them I’ll need to wait and see if I have enough!

But I still hate re-basing!


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A few books…

I had a bit of a flurry of book buying activity over the last few weeks. Some through Amazon, a couple of eBay ones and some via Facebook. And a few from that persuasive Mr Ryan and Caliver books…. As the last few posts have inferred I am on a bit of an ACW splurge at the moment. Having acquired Regimental Fire and Fury from Iain Burt..

rff seemed sensible to acquire the two scenario books. These, like the rules, are rather nicely produced with some interesting ‘special’ rules.

rffv1 rffv2

A quick search online saw some recommendations for low level battle accounts and led to these two:

antietam chickamauga

And a rather good bargain on Facebook nabbed this lot!

dtacw Glory-Hallelujah-Cover officeracw uniformsacw wihacw

And finally, as I have all the SYW Wargaming in History books, Tim Hall recommended the ACW ones and Mr Ryan was able to oblige:

wihv3 wihv6 wihv10

That lot should keep me going for a while!

I’m slowly starting the re-basing of my Minfigs Union troops to put them on MDF and match the basing style of the rest of my stuff. And maybe paint a few more…


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Bit of an update…

Summer holidays. Kids off. Life. Work. Lots of things getting in the way of hobby time. No more games played and no painting done. I’m still on a bit of an ACW theme. While away in Spain last week I managed to read Thomas Keneally’s Confederates which I really enjoyed.


And am now starting on Antietam – The Soldiers’ Battle which is looking good as well.


I have a number of other ACW books due as a result of a little splurge but more on those when they arrive. I’m also awaiting the arrival of some more 15mm ACW figures from Essex Boy along with a copy of Regimental Fire and Fury. Looking forward to trying these. I’m still agonising a little over basing. ALL my ACW is based 3 to a base for Fire and Fury but I’m torn between sticking to that or rebasing so they are in two ranks. Just cannot decide. Rebasing would be a BIG job but I like the feel of a more regimental level game for the period and am not sure the two ranks of ‘standard’ Fire and Fury bases looks right…

I’ve also secured a few old Minifigs from eBay to add to the Union troops I have and have decided that the Union forces will stick with older Minfigs (2nd Gen, not the strips) and the Confederates will use anything else that is going! So if anyone has any old Minifigs ACW lying around I may be interested?

I do need to start painting again as it is looking like my painting challenge with Essex Boy is going to fail for a second month. Such is life…

I’ve also submitted my order to Forged in Battle for the last Kickstarter. I’ve gone for lots of pike, Gauls, a few Republican Romans and some generals. I’ve still got a couple of weeks to crack and order more!

Having missed the Other Partizan at the weekend my next show is Border Reiver on 3rd September. Looking forward to that!

So there we are. Updated…


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