Thursday, 14 February 2019

28mm ACW casualties and artillery

This is the continuing story of trying to get the Perry 28mm ACW Battle in a Box starter set onto the table.

In my last post on the subject, I had resolved to move things along by gluing up all the figures and putting them on temporary bases, so that I could at least game with them and choose rules and the best basing combinations while also getting them painted and properly based.

This is not everyone's cup of tea, but I have jumped the 'unpainted' hurdle and for me, the idea of gaming while painting seems to work. I can set that against a back drop of too often trying to paint everything before any play and then losing interest part way through a project.

The last time the figures were on the table, I gave a covering AAR (link in the resource section below). In preparation for the next game, the brushes have been out again.

First up are two Perry plastic artillery pieces. The guns come with six crew and a large base. In an effort to keep the footprint down, the bases have been cut down to a depth of just 70mm (they are 50mm wide) and only three crew have been used, but this does allow for some variety in poses.

As an addition to the Perry stuff, I picked up some metal casualty figures from 1st Corps while at the Phalanx wargame show. The Confederates and Union each get their own pack of 8 different poses. I generally end up using dice to show the number of casualties suffered by the various units, so decided to combine each casualty figure with a MDF dice frame. 

I am just showing a sample of four figures here (sorry about the shallow depth of field, I have only just noticed that), though the rest have been done (as by the way have 2 mounted generals, the four foot of snake fencing and the building that all come with the Battle Box)

My first trial figure used a 30mm round base and a 7mm dice frame with 7mm dice, but I found that though less intrusive, the dice were too small for my banana fingers to lift out of the frame, so I went for 10mm frames and 10mm dice on a 40mm round base. This turns out to be a much better solution and anyway, the increased dice size looks okay with the 28mm stuff. (dice, frames and bases from Warbases).

I am still trying to decide on the best way to use the ink wash. At the moment I am using a recipe of one part brown, one part black, one part water and one part floor polish, all followed by a quick and limited highlight.

Looking to my next game, I have been inspired by a battle on Jon Bleasdale's blog (Battle of McDowell), which is almost certainly best suited to a regimental level game, but my lack of 28mm units and limited table size means that I am likely to bathtub this and just show brigades and batteries, but game it in a regimental fashion (I could do it in 12mm on hexes, but that is for another time). 

I suppose the easy play 4 - 6 units per side, Neil Thomas style rules are ideal for this sort of 'fun' thing, but on my reading table at the moment, I have Rank and File from Crusader Games .... so who knows :-)

RESOURCE SECTION.
Previous AAR, Battle at Blogger Farm. LINK

http://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.com/2018/09/battle-at-blogger-farms.html

John Bleasdale's excellent account of the McDowell battle. LINK.

https://grymauch.blogspot.com/2019/02/acw-6mm-battle-of-mcdowell.html


24 comments:

  1. Thanks Ray, small fry compared to your recent rate of output :-)

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  2. They're coming along Norm. I use Warbases causality bases with a figure on them and save the small dice for the commanders if I use Black Powder. To be honest the last two ACW games we have used the Volley and Bayonet rules which are still excellent for large brigade level battles. That is in 10mm of course.

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    1. Thanks Robbie, I picked up a very battered copy of V&B at Phoenix bring and buy a couple of years ago for just £1. There is just something about the layout / presentation that seems to have something of the Featherstone / Grant joy.

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  3. Congratulations on your simultaneous painting and gaming. I spent / wasted a whole year building two armies and didn't get a single game in during that time because neither side was "properly finished". What makes that mindset even more ridiculous is that I'm a solo gamer with no one else's opinions to take into account!

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  4. Indeed ... who is going to tell us off or judge.

    I could horrify everyone and re-build my old 1970's style trees, which were matchsticks with cotton balls glued as foliage and sprayed with watered down green watercolour poster paint and made to stand upright wit a plastercine foot. They were great, not pretentious, not budget busting, crafted from materials at hand and simply enjoyed, allowing gaming to happen ..... the simple pleasures of gaming in the 70's pre-internet and pre- excellence!.

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  5. Nice work Norm. My wooden blocks stand in for unpainted figures, which doesn't help my painting output on jot!

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  6. Thanks Steve, the wooden blocks are a great way to test out rules and periods as the whim dictates.

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  7. I like the casualty dice holders.

    While I haven't "stooped" (sic) to using unpainted figures to get some games in, I have often borrowed figures from other armies & periods which comes to the same thing. Alas, sometimes I played enough games that I found that I'd done everything that I wanted and never finished the originally planned armies because I was 'done'. Just as well I saved myself the time and work but a couple of times I had also spent the money to acquire figures that I never got around to painting. Oh well!

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    1. Thanks Ross, part of the problem is that most of us are probably running several projects at once, with some having that 'open ended' status.

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  8. Good looking additions to your growing ACW collection, Norm.

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  9. Thanks Jonathan, slow, but progress made, I am already feeling the need to flip back to my 12mm 1066 stuff :-)

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  10. Good progress Norm, it takes time and regular daily painting of small amounts to get through bigger projects. Finding those perfect rules is always a challenge and after the reasonable success of my modified bolt action I’m thinking more about taking core rules which I like and adapting them.

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    1. Thanks Matt, I have spent a lot of time in developing my own rules from the ground up and have always liked doing that, but find myself at the moment really enjoying reading the works of others and having more of a care free flirtation with them.

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  11. Nice looking figures and guns and smart work on your die holders,a little progress is still progress in my book!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain, ever onwards with this slow burn project, but I have enjoyed doing the casualty bases enough to want to quickly replace them with a regiment of infantry on the painting sticks ... perhaps even Zouaves!

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    2. Zouaves sounds great! Just on the subject of wash,I tried a home brew mix which was a bit variable to be honest, when I need it I use a GW wash Agrax earthshade I think, it's controllable and consistent so it's worth it I find.
      Best Iain

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    3. Thanks Iain, i think I used to use that ink when it went by a different name (GW seem to keep changing paint names). I have since used Army Painter, Vallejo and Winsor and Newton and various blends of all three, but a bit hit and miss, will get some Agrax Earthshade, which should at least work well on faces.

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  12. Nice job, well done with your ACW collection!

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    1. Thanks Phil, I need to do a bit more while I am on a roll, if I pause ...... I am done for!

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  13. There’s no harm in playing with unpainted figures, in fact I think the benefits of keeping up enthusiasm for a project is way more important.
    I’ve never been able to paint a whole army at once so I think using unpainted figures to be perfectly acceptable for gaming in my own house. Who am I trying to impress? ­čśÇ

    Nice job on the casualty bases. Getting enough of those for every unit can be daunting.

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  14. Thanks Stu, agree on the non-painted stuff. I have enough casualty bases for 8 units per side ....... but I don't have 8 units per side ...... yet :-).

    A couple of years ago I went to a wargame show where a gamer had put on a WWII game which looked interesting. The first thing he said was that he was sorry that there was some unpainted stuff on the table - it really only amounted to a few bases and a couple of tanks.

    He explained that he had promised to put on a game, but that required building the project from scratch. Real life had taken over and he was just a few models short of it being done, but he had felt it was important that he still turn up and support the show as promised.

    The episode made me think, I was fine with what he had done and in fact thought it was one of those tables that wargamers could identify with and that the message to other gamers could be taken as 'relax, enjoy your gaming and your painting, it will all come together eventually', an important message methinks. Spo I thought it a shame that his table may have been the most helpful, even inspiring there .... yet he still felt the need to apologise, no doubt he felt he was open to judgement and scrutiny from others and yet he had done the show a great service.

    I found the whole thing a little sobering really.

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  15. I shifted to ‘playing while painting’ ages ago and have still failed to get armies on the table...

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  16. I quite like the idea of trying out rules and the toughest decision of all ....... how to base, to stand any chance of not having to re-base any time soon. Perhaps it is a better way to find out whether one should kill a project early doors.

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