Sunday, February 26, 2012

A matter of "Perspective"-2D ACW buildings

It is a rainy day here in Kosovo for my off day so I decided to tackle my idea of making buildings.  My initial thought was to just make some shapes and paint and label them as top down views.  Then I remembered my grade school art classes and decided to make them look 3D.

Very simple process of cutting the shapes from scrap boxes that were waiting to go in the recycle bin.  Then I sketched out the corners and trimmed them parallel.  I then painted them and added the details making sure to keep all my line parallel.

In the end I am happy for the time being and I did not have to spend any cash or risk shipping fragile models over.  Not to mention my supply of material is unlimited if I decide I need more.

Hope you like....

Simple Battlefield Terrain

While I have been busy painting my new ACW armies I have been pondering what I will do for a battlefield.  At home I have a box full of terrain such as buildings, trees, fences and even some foam elevation.  Here I have none of that.  Having my family mail it to me just does not make a lot of sense for the few times I will be able to use it.

Yesterday I was able to find a basic fabric store on one of our trips off base.  With the investment of about $20 I think I now have an adequate solution that will allow me to bring some basic skirmishes to life without just fighting them on a table top.  I secured a nice large piece of light green(2.5m x1.5m) cloth that will be used for the base terrain and is large enough to drape over some tables at the MWR building.  In the limited time I had I also found some brown corduroy (fields) and dark green (wooded areas).  Sitting in a box was also a pile of short brown shoe strings so I grabbed 10 which will do for fence lines.  Last night I started to lay everything out and realized I should have grabbed another light brown color for roads.  Oh well improvisation is the watch word for any gamer.  I decided to cut up one of my older tan Army T-shirts a I now also have roads.

The only thing that that is currently missing is buildings.  I am still pondering the idea of purchasing some 3D structures, but in the meantime I think some simple cutouts of cardboard will suffice to represent several structures and give a good flavor to break up the landscape.

As mentioned I have also been painting (more like touching up) some of my new 10mm Gordon & Hague ACW troops.  My last post addressed some of the techniques I used to give my confederates more of a Ragged look.  Since then I finished painting the rest of the infantry as well as Arty and Generals. 

The Union I decided looked good with their more uniform appearance.  The only improvement I made was to apply a black wash and then go over with a white dry brush to bring out the highlights.  Overall I am happy with the results.  Today I decided t tackle the union Cavalry.  The men are fine as is IMO, but the horses needed a little work to break up the uniform brown mounts.  I decided to add black, grey and even beige to the mix as well as a multitude of white stockings and some patches of white on the nose.  Again, when finished I went over with a wash and dry brush. Overall I think they look much improved and are ready for battle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ragged Rebs-Bringing My Armies to Life with Paint

Basic paints and tools
I was pleased to find the Vallejo paints I ordered from Miniature Market in the mail yesterday, so last night I went right to work modifying some of my Gordon & Hague 10mm ACW minis.

As I stated in my earlier post I think the Gordon &Hague figures are great right out of the package for gaming.  As they suggest on their website they are also very suitable for custom work to give them that little extra flare.  Since the series 1 Confederates come in a basic Richmond grey paint scheme I decided to start with them first. 

Out of the package before painting
 There was nothing fancy being done here, I just took one color at a time and painted over hats, blouses and pants to give them a mixed bag look for uniforming.  I then went back with a fine brush and added belts and straps back on that were covered up in the initial process.  Once I was satisfied I mixed up some watered down black to use as a wash.  If I were home I would have used a sepia brown ink, but the black wash did the trick for now.  Finally, I used the larger of the 3 brushes I have to give them a dry brush with dead white.

After Painting

The only thing missing is a clear coat of "Testors Dull Coat" to seal them and protect the paint.  Due to mailing restrictions that will definitely have to wait until I get home.  I have been considering the idea of using the Army Painter dip for these minis instead.  I have seen some pics of very nice results, but have never tried it myself due to cost and my old fashioned ink and dry brush painting.  I may give it a try though, so if anyone has some thoughts on it let me know.  Once they are sealed I will then add some sort of additional flocking to the bases.


I added a couple more regiments the next night following the same methods above:

Your comments and advice are welcome.

Until Next time.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gordon & Hague ACW Troops Arrived

Today I was pleased to find my order from Gordon & Hague arrived all the way to Kosovo.  Initial impression is very favorable as I unpacked the box.  There are couple of figures that seem to have come off the base, but this is easily fixed with a drop of glue.  These are the ACW 10mm pre-painted series one troops that are currently 45% off. 

Union Forces
Confederate Forces
Confederate Arty
Overall the Union troops look great in my opinion.  They are not artistic models, but perfectly fine for the battle field as they are.  The Confederates will definitely need a few paint touch ups to give them that field look vs, the Richmond grey appearance they have now.  No surprise here as this is exactly what I expected and the reason I also ordered a basic set of Vallejo paints and brushes so I can take some artistic license with them.  I think Gordon & Hague recognized the Rebs need a little work as well as the Series two minis which are due out soon have a new butternut paint scheme and the reason the series one are now 45% off.  They even encourage this on their web site and have some nice tutorials on how to make some basic improvements.  Even with the little bit of time it will take doing some touch ups I feel I will still be way ahead on time and cost compared to if I had to paint and mount all of them myself.

Modifying CMD Stand
The only other thing I plan to modify is the Union Command stands.  They currently have a single flag bearer per stand.  I am going to order and extra set of Union CMD stands (twice as many as I need).  Then I will switch the flag bearer from one stand and place the extra union soldier on the one I remove the flag Bearer from.  This produces a set of CMD stands with two flag bearers (National and Regimental colors) and another stand of basic infantry so nothing will go to waste.  The infantry stand will just have an officer on on it which is not a problem.

Unison Cavalry with Skirmishers
Rebel Standard Bearers

When I return home I will hit them all with a coat of Testors "Dull coat" which is common practice for me to seal the figures and remove and shine as you can see on some of the flags.  One other trick I learned with the flags is that I used fabric glue (did not have white glue) to attach the paper flags.  The end result was it created a very durable flag that almost feels like plastic and holds its shape very well.  I will likely make this standard practice in the future.

Future updates will include modifications and play test battle reports.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recently given a "Major Award"

I recently subscribed to another blog "Megablitz and More" and as a result I was given a major award just like The Old Man in the movie Christmas Story.

In light of this I felt it was only appropriate to display such a prestigious award.

King Boris III of Forbodia
From the announcement:


I am pleased to welcome the blog's 100th follower.  In fact, because someone dropped out last week I feel it only fair to award the '100th Follower' prize to both Springinsfeld and afilter.  Welcome to you both.

The prize for this achievement is a framed and signed photo of King Boris III of Forbodia.  Clearly only Springinsfeld and afilter may print copies of this sought after item.....

 Link to the announcement:

Thanks Tim!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Newest Venture in ACW gaming

This past year I returned to ACW mini gaming when I discovered Regimental Fire and Fury as I posted in a previous blog.  When re-building my armies I went with 10mm scale that I had to paint and base for the most part.  Even though I went with a modest sized force to start with is still took a couple months to complete my armies of Infantry and Artillery to get ready for my first skirmish.  Unfortunately news of my current deployment came about that time, so my armies are now on furlough until I return.

Recently as I explored the web and some of my favorite gaming forums I discovered an exciting new product line in ACW mini gaming, pre-painted ACW armies.  WOW!  If you have read some of my other posts you know I am a fan of the pre-painted play out of the box games like Axis and Allies Minis.  Now someone is making a ACW version.

The company, Gordon and Hague Historical War games, is a small start up created by a fellow gamer and history enthusiast who recognized the need and is trying to fill the gap for gamers like me who love to play, but lack the time to build and paint armies due to other demands in life.  The comapny currently offers a full line of ACW figures which includes Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Militia, Scouts, Command stands and Generals for each side.  To top it off the scale is 10mm which will hopefully blend in with my current armies at home.  Apparently things have been going well as they sold out of their inital offerings of Army boxes and are preparing to expand their ACW line up with a series two (New Paint schemes).  They are also looking expand with new historical unit specific figues as well as launch a American Revolution series as well.

Link to Web Site:

Additionally, they offer a set of rules to compliment the ACW minis (Severed Union) as a free down loadable PDF.  At first read they are a nice simple set of rules that would work well for a new gamer or a veteran who just wants something less complex.  The file is very professional looking with an excellent layout full of color pics and exmaples. When printed it makes a nice book that one would expect to pay $15-20 for at a local games shop all for free.

I have been in contact with the company founder and game designer and offered some recommendations to modify the rules slightly which have been well received.  In the coming weeks there will be a updated version made available which will include a Quick Reference Sheet/Player Aid I helped design.

Example from Web Site
Needless to say I could not resist the temptation to place an order and check this product out myself despite being overseas right now.  Based on the pictures the minis look amazing.  They only offer a few basic poses currently, but this is true of many 10mm lines as at that scale there is only so much detail that can be offered.  Besides no ones else is offering pre-painted minis. One thing they offer that I did not have yet is Cavalry both mounted and dismounted.  At 45% off the current Series one blister packs in stock I could not stop myself from buying some as those prices are comparable to unpainted figures.  In the coming weeks they will be re-stocking and offering complete series two army packs again so a new gamer can start playing right out of the box with little to no prep time.  Additionally, the Web site offers some nice tutorials for those that cannot resist the urge to customize their figures.

In a couple weeks I hope to have my order and be able to test play theses rules using some of the modifications I suggested with some of my fellow soldiers and provide the company more feedback.

As with many companies these days they are also on facebook, so you can follow their progress on upcoming lines as well a make suggestions on what you would like to see in the future.

I thought I would be able to stay away from gaming during this deployment, but I guess that was to much to ask.  Besides everyone needs to take a break once in awhile. :)

A full review will be coming your way when my armies arrive.