Wargames set in the Americas from the 11th to 19th centuries

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Battle of Centreville 2: Union cavalry - first horses completed.

We actually had a bit of light this morning so I managed to finish the first half dozen horses for the Union cavalry.  Fortunately I only need 12 for Centreville and I have already tarted the others. I even painted the faces and hands of the cavalrymen but next will be the saddles and saddlecloths.  I am consciously trying not to paint to my best ability here but just make them "good wargames standard".
I hope to get a bit more done tomorrow morning.

In the evenings I am starting to assemble and base my first units of Confederate infantry and have done 15 so far.  Once I have finished the Union cavalry I will start painting the Confederate infantry and then base and assemble the first Union infantry. 

The biggest discovery today was that I can still see to paint if the light is good enough.  Probably November was not the right month to re-start painting again after six months off, though!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Battle of Centerville 1: Union cavalry under way

The Battle of Centerville from An Introduction to Battle Gaming

Not that I need any more projects but I have always wanted to do something around the American Civil War and have even painted a few figures for the Battle of First Bull Run.  I started my proper wargaming with Airfix ACW (supplemented, of course with the US Cavalry) back in the early seventies. A recent article in one of the wargames magazines re-fought a fictional battle from Terence Wise's An Introduction to Battlegaming using Perry plastics. Rather than worrying about orders of battle and huge forces for a historical battle I reaslised I could do the same, recreating a 'historic' battle from my early wargaming past.

Now, I already had a box of Perry plastic cavalry so last weekend while watching TV I assembled these and cur bases for them. It took me two nights but by the end of the X-Factor (which the Old Bat watched and I only glimpse at if the X-Factor dancers appear) I had them all done.  Things took longer than they should have as I had lost my plastic sprue clippers somewhere.  I think the bat has pinched them for her flower arranging!  She denies it, of course!  The horses come in two parts and the riders consist of main figure with separate right arm, hat and carbine

Anyway, this morning I lined them up to start working on their bases.  I use Humbrol plastic model filler for this and also filled some of the gaps around the necks where the two halves of the horse fit together as some of them weren't as tight as they might be.  

By lunchtime I had got the filler on the horses and bases and added a few bits of ting grave, and sand with PVA so they were ready for undercoating after I had lunch and went to Waitrose.

I didn't get back until about three but I just managed to get them undercoated outside before it got too cold and damp.  I used up the very last of my Games Workshop spray undercoat.  I was so pleased with my progress that I put down the base colours of the horses a bit later too.

After a bit of research I found that Union cavalry horses were procured centrally, unlike the Confederate cavalry where individuals had to  provide their own mounts.  The government favoured chestnuts, bays and black horses.  I will save the more exotic horses for the Confederates.  There was no tradition of greys for buglers in North America, either.

The next stage will be to shade the horses, then do hooves and eyes and the socks and nose blazes etc.  I really like painting horses and these have limited harnesses, thank goodness. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Toluca battalion under way

I first undercoated these figures about two years ago but have dug them out to give them a bit more attention.  They will represent the Toluca activo battalion at the Alamo who were one of Santa Anna's top units. losing 30% of their number at the Alamo and the rest at San Jacinto.  I have used the Boot Hill Miniatures running figures to make them a bit less regimented when compared with the permanentes.

The battalion's flag was captures at San Jacinto and survives to this day although 'activo' was misspelled during restoration

This unit had around 320 men during the Alamo campaign; which means 32 figures at my initial 1:10 ratio.  I need another ten figures and as part of these I will order some skirmishing figures to represent the cazadores.  It is unlikely that the cazadores in an activo battalion would have all had Baker Rifles (I have two in the unit so far), so these will be fine.