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Saturday, 19 September 2020

ACW Restoration Project

Another unit marches off the production line.  This time it is a Minifigs 25mm Confederate regiment.  The figures are listed in the Minifigs catelogue as 'Irregulars', but to me they look pretty much like most confederate infantry in the field.  I have added some browns and buff to add a bit of variety.

These figures were a joy to paint and quite pleasing when finished. Next in line for this project are some Union gunners.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

My Big Idea

I have always had a desire to play games representing some of the bigger battles, with several corps or complete armies involved.  I have looked at some of the Command and Colors scenarios and also Bob Cordery's Portable Napoleonic Wargames systems.  Both rule sets are very good and work for me; however, the one thing that does not is the representation of the units and formations on the table.  

Obviously, to make a game portable it has to be quite small and involve just a few playing pieces, but for me, wanting to use the rules on a bigger table, having a corps made up from nine figure divisions does not work.

So, for the past year or so, I have been looking at ways of addressing this and finally came to the conclusion that 2mm figures provide the answer.  I have replaced each figure used in the Portable game with around 70 in 2mm scale.  Thus a corps, in this case Anglo Dutch Napoleonic, would like this:

It occupies the same space on the board (I am using four inch hexes) as the 25mm figure version, but I think it actually looks more like an army corps.  Three or four of these would make up a complete army.

Furthermore, painting is quick. Once based and primed in black using a rattle can, the above corps took me less than a day to paint. It is possible to get a bit of detail onto these figures too. here is and artillery unit:

I have also started my French army:

I plan to continue to build up my armies and will play out a scenario to see how it works with small figures.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Russian Napoleonic Foot Artillery

I recently purchased these figures along with some infantry.  They were well painted and just required some touching up and new bases.  They will make a useful addition to my growing Russian army.  The figures are Minifigs S range, 25mm:

Monday, 31 August 2020

Alan Cook

I was deeply saddened to learn yesterday of the death of Alan Cook, who will be known to many as one of the ABC wargamers.  I only got to know Alan during the last couple of years, but during that short time I thoroughly enjoyed his company, his infectious enthusiasm for all things wargaming and seeing his beautifully painted armies.  The last time I saw Alan we played a short Peninsula War battle, with his long standing friend Bob Black - this was just a fortnight ago.

Alan was a wonderful figure painter and a very talented converter of figures, making and casting hundreds of items. He created an extensive Crimean War collection covering all major adversaries. There were Franco Prussian armies, American Civil War, Russian Civil War, Russo Turkish War, Colonials, the armies for 1866 Austro Prussian War, Warships and I have probably missed out some. He built up his armies and played his games very much in the Old School way.

I wish I had met him sooner, but during the time I did know him I thoroughly enjoyed the hours spent discussing wargaming and model soldiers, as well as playing with them. He will be sorely missed.

It is well worth logging on to the ABC Wargamers blog to see Alan's work, and where I am sure there are more tributes.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Miniature Figurines ACW Restoration Project

This week I managed to restore (well repaint) three ACW units by Miniature figurines. Two of them were stripped back to bare metal.  First off is a Confederate battery, which had been in the paint stripper:

They were a delight to paint, as are all of these lovely old figures.

The second unit was originally painted as Confederate infantry, but they had been varnished, which had turned brown.  My only option was to drop them into the paint stripper and return them to bare metal.  I have painted them as a Federal infantry unit:

The final unit is made up of Union Zouaves. These figures were nicely painted and being blue, had not been affected by the varnish, but they were a bit worn with paint chips.  These figures were restored by adding paint to the earlier work:

I have another unit in the paint stripper and a Union battery half completed.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Bavarian napoleonic Foot Artillery

I bought these figures off Ebay a couple of months ago from a chap in France.  The figures had been neatly painted in a very basic way, so I set about touching them up and adding detail, such as facings, buttons, hair etc.  The result is a very pleasing little gun and crew.

The figures are by Miniature Figurines and are 25mm scale:

Friday, 21 August 2020

Another Restoration Project

I was looking for something in the garage yesterday when I noticed an old box file tucked away at the back of the shelf.  Not remembering what it contained I took a look, to rediscover an abandoned project.  The box contained a heap of old 25mm Minifigs American Civil War figures that I had picked up at a bargain price a decade or so ago. 

I remember at the time debating what to do with them.  As they were quite nicely painted it seemed a shame to strip them down, but they had been varnished and this had turned the figures into a golden yellow colour.  They had also been mounted on plastic bases and heavily flocked, which had set like concrete and was going to be a pain to scrape off. After pondering for a while the figures went into the too difficult basket and the box slowly worked its way out of sight and out of mind.

Well, I thought, perhaps it is time to do something with them.  A bit more pondering and the decision was made to strip them down and repaint them.  I will use gloss in my usual toy soldier style.

The box contained mostly Confederates, including all sorts of infantry, some artillery and a mass of irregulars, most of which turned out to be non ACW. Here's the box with quite a few already removed:

On the Federal side there are some Zouaves and some irregular infantry.  Here are some examples of the figures in their original state:
It can be seen that they are quite nicely painted, but the picture does not show well the old yellow varnish.  Anyway, into the paint stripper they go.  First out were these artillery men, a mix of CSA and Union:
A blank canvas no less!