Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We are coming father Abraham

A departure from the norm today so I can blog a little about what is undoubtedly my favourite period when it comes to military history, the War Between the States. I have long had a fascination with this period (as perhaps you can tell from my mugshot to the left) but have been pretty unsuccessful with bringing that interest to wargaming fruition as it were. I think my main problem is that in the past I have gone about it wrong or to put it bluntly in the wrong scale. About a year and a half ago or thereabouts I started a 6mm project and completed around 20 regiments for each side. I was unhappy though as although I liked the models up close when I held them I felt they 'got lost' on the table and did not give me the feeling of character, individuality and excitement that I think the period merits. Now I am not knocking the scale in general, it is undoubtedly excellent in many ways, however it just felt too impersonal for me and I am afraid my interest in completing the project waned.

All pictures are clickable to enlarge!

"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"

A couple of weeks ago some friends and I attended Salute 2009 in London. I do not know what overtook me but having not planned to I was overwhelmed with the desire when I was there to get some Civil War figures. I had heard of the Perry plastics before of course but I could not help buying a box when I saw them there, and on a whim a pair of Flag Dude flags too. Having got home I was not even planning to paint them straight away - being short on time and heavily involved in my 18th Century armies. I then saw, however, a couple of threads on TMP about dipping these models and saw Monty's great looking troops over at his blog and I knew I had to have a go. The models above are the result. They took but a single evening to produce (around 3.5 hrs painting) and in fact I have to say I really like the results. They are a bit muddy and lacking in detail, but if you can knock out a unit in a single evening then to be quite frank, who cares?

"Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights hurrah!"
"Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star!"

I now plan to develop this project alongside my 18th Century armies, as those are being painted carefully and meticulously and will take some time to reach a playable state. I also plan to use my 18th Century armies with the Charles Grant rules and so I look forward to having armies based for a more modern set to complement them, in this case I am going for Guns at Gettysburg, which are based on the General de Brigade system. The 2 6mm photos above and below are of models I painted over a year ago. I always paint both sides nowadays as the difficulty in finding opponents with complementary armies can be quite a problem. In addition I like to play solo games and to host games for people that do not have armies and so having two complimentary armies on hand is always a bonus.

"We are coming, coming our union to restore,"
"We are coming, Father Abraham, with three hundred thousand more!"

I think the problem for me with the smaller scale is that I felt that when they were on the table I felt more like I was pushing around wooden blocks than model figures. My eyesight is not great and I had serious trouble dealing with the small elements in a game. I know many will differ with me here but I simply prefer the aesthetics of the larger models and the intimacy of smaller brigade and regimental level engagements. It will also help that I do not need to get a whole new set of terrain, with the majority of the pieces I use for 28mm games in other periods perfectly usable with these models.
Anyway it has been a busy few days but the Marquisate of Valerno's first regiment is finished. I will hold off posting any pictures until I can set up my gaming table this weekend - no dedicated gaming room for me I'm afraid. I have some friend's converging on Schloss Burnstone this weekend for some WW2 skirmishing using the Rules of Engagement and with a scenario I have adapted from one of Mr Grant's Table Top Teasers. We shall have the pleasure of using my friend Eddie Jackman's models, his painting skills are of the level the rest of us can but dream of. I shall take photo's!

"Hear the 'Battle Cry of Freedom,'"
"How it swells upon the air,"
"Oh, yes, we'll rally 'round the standard,"
"Or we'll perish nobly there."


Capt Bill said...

Very nice figures indeed!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Back in the days when I did some ACW gaming, one of the things that inspired us was playing some of the Bobby Horton tapes in the background.

Now they come on CDs of course. If you haven't heard any of them, I urge you to take a chance and get one . . . to me they really have the feel of the period.

-- Jeff

Steve-the-Wargamer said...'ve described exactly what I want from my ACW project... also my feeling about 6mm figures - just not quite right.... if you'd mentioned your antipathy to table top games based around hexes, squares or grids that would have been scary.. :o))

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

PS. nice painting by the way - but had you considered using one of the army painter lighter shades?? How did you decide on the one you used??

Mr Burnstone said...

Thanks guys!

@Jeff - thanks for the link. I have some Civil War music but none of Bobby Hortons, I will check it out.

@Steve - Well I am not very keen on hex games either! I used the Army Painter Strong tone mainly as I already had it on hand after using it to paint some Sudanese Mahdists last year. Maybe I will try the lighter tone but in fact I quite like the effect I achieved with the darker stuff. I have my clean looking troops with my 18th Century armies!

All the best,


Monty said...

Bloody good 'uns, Josh! What rules are you planning to use, as I see they are four to a base?
I was also interested to see your comments on 6mm figures, as I used to play a little ACW in that scale and was thinking of getting some Baccus.



Mr Burnstone said...

Hi Monty,

Thanks! The rules will be 'Guns at Gettysburg' by Dave Brown and available from Caliver Books. They are a variant on General de Brigade which are a very popular Napoleonic set and having looked around they seem the most suitable rules for what I wanted which was fairly fast play brigade level actions in 28mm. Those pics are of Baccus minis and I have to say they are very nicely sculpted, just a little too small for me :)

All the best,


A J said...

I have a big collection of 6mm Colonial for the Sudan which has served me well for years, but I would like to replace them with 15mm. 6mm is good, but not quite right.