Nigel put on a game of good old ‘Fire and Fury’. It had been years since the last time I had a game of ACW using those rules but as expected I fell right into his trap.
The scenario he put on was a quite simple attack defence affair with a couple of Confederate brigades of foot with a few cannon supporting them trying to oust a fairly similar number of union regiments from a defensive position at a river crossing. It was a great game though. The Union dismounted cavalry took an amazing amount of shifting and the lines of infantry surged and recoiled across the battlefield in that manner which is peculiar to F&F and both exciting and excruciating as a player.
If you have never played F&F I urge you to do so, it is always an exciting game and predictably the outcome was that feeling that begins in the pit of your stomach and you know is going to cost you ££’s especially as Nigel had put the game on using 25/28mm figures! It was also a bit of a perfect storm as only matter of a couple of weeks away was the Gateshead wargames show. After a quick chat with Nigel it was decided that what he really needed was a few more Union infantry…
At the show…I picked up a couple of boxes of Perry plastics – Union Infantry and Cannons with limbers. Also Old Glory UK had a stand and it has to be said that I really like their miniatures, so I picked up a Union regiment pack from their 25mm range too. I also had a bit of luck that one of the traders had a single ACW mounted commander for sale at a discounted price!
Here are the plastics, painted and in the process of being based…and then with the bases partly done.
The Perry plastics are really good, the miniatures went together well and they have a decent amount of detail. The artillery pack is fantastic since it provides a good amount of options but most importantly (to me) the three cannon it contains all come with a limber! Of course it would be even better if they had horses but its not a great chore to get horses especially when you can swap one of the cannons + limber with a mate for them (thanks Nigel!).
As I have already said, I do really like Old Glory miniatures and these ACW were a joy. There was a large variety of poses in the regiment pack – in fact I don’t think any two miniatures were actually identical! Here is a photo of them undercoated and dry brushed with white prior to painting:
And then a photo of the completed Division awaiting the bases to be completed:
For painting these I used Vallejo ‘Oxford Blue’ for the main dark blue of the Union coats and I mixed up a light blue just using what I had to hand for their trousers. I was not too fussed about the actual shade of the blue for either since there was not such good colour control during manufacturing back then anyway.
For the bases I use a slightly different method these days since reading Henry Hydes ‘Wargaming Emporium’ ( a very fine book). In there he talks about his method of mixing sand with PVA glue and then using a cocktail stick to spread it around the base. This is the method I use now, but I also mix some of the paint in with the sand so that it makes painting it afterwards easier. I have found that using this method is much easier than painting a base with PVA and then sprinkling sand on it because it is less messy and also gives a bit more depth to the look of the base.
The paint I use is ‘Dancing Bear’ emulsion from B&Q, its only a few £’s for a tester pot and goes a very long way.
When this is dry I dry brush the base coat with ‘Lions Slumber’ from the same B&Q range, this gives (I think) a very natural earth look to the bases and they are then ready for flocking. For these I used some static grass and a some fine whitish gravel (ballast from N-gauge railway I think).
Photos of the completed division all ready to go! Note the missing horses on one of the limbers – this has since been rectified.
Flags are currently simple colour printouts so will be replaced with something of higher quality at some time in the future…