Thursday 21 January 2021

ACW 20mm Project the Union Army Update

With the Rebels (Confederate) Army now done (well enough units required for the One Hour Wargame rules army size) it is time to move onto the "Boys in Blue", the Federals. So, how do you paint them? Clearly there is some experimentation required here. The first stop is to my stable Vallejo Game Colour range - could these be the colours I am looking for? (see below, the Vallejo Game Colour "blue" range - Imperial Blue, Magic Blue and Electric Blue - I have my doubts about the last one as it is too light, maybe even a bit of black is needed to add to the mix - time to play):

The first attempt at a Union unit looks a little too bright blue, "too French" in my opinion, I could see them more on a Franco-Prussian War battlefield than ACW (see below, they seem to say "Here I am - shoot me!"): 

The solution is to reach over for the mysterious jar of Citadel Shade, marked as "Drakenhof Nightshade", and liberally apply it all over the blue uniform bits, letting excess settle in to the folds (see below, a resulting dampening of the blue colour was successfully achieved, but still more dampening IMHO was required): 

So a second coat was duly applied. In my conversations with fellow wargamers possessing ACW Union Armies a variety of recommendations came back to me, "almost black" and "Vallejo Oxford Blue" were the two most prominent (see below, for me I think I am heading towards the "almost black" end of the spectrum): 

The rest of the painting scheme (light blue trousers), bags, backpacks, blankets, muskets and water canteens is straightforward, so they all get a dab of paint (see below, a base layer having been applied to each area): 

A highlight (lighter colour) is then applied to these same areas (see below, the unit has or rather is starting to "come together", next painting the base to be addressed): 

Make the base a standard green with a bit of Tamiya Deep Green to make a uniform looking base to add flock to (see below, the lighter green colour brings out the uniform nicely):  

Now time to put some powder-sawdust flock on, which incidentally obscures most of the green I just painted but some is still showing through - so it makes it all worth while, can you tell I am fussing too much over this paint job (see below, looking a little 1970/80's wargaming standard to my eyes): 

Add a bit of static grass and the the transformation is quite remarkable, especially as the two tone of the powder flock extends very close in to the figure. The static grass rings outside the figures whicj I think is pretty cool (see below, looking very plush now, I am happy): 

Not at all bad. Here is the second regiment/brigade, standing to attention, complete with Union Flag (see below, yes I have pulled all the "standing figures" into one unit, which kind of works - thinking they are "waiting in reserve"): 

So two regiments/brigades (delete as appropriate) standing side-by-side (see below, that just leaves four more to recruit): 

Now looking down the line and I think they look quite impressive, 20mm plastic figures do have a certain wargame friendly character, not perhaps as animated as their big 28mm pristine sculpt big cousins - nor as dense in formation  as the 15mm boys but when all is said and done I like them - some folks call me "ginger" because of that 20mm affection, but that is fine by me (see below, I certainly started off in wargaming on a diet of these 1/72  scale plastic figures so why not end their too): 

Bring on the next regiment .. currently in its shade colours .. the thought of painting "number three" seems to a bit of a chore and remember I need six! (see below, as you can see by the T-35 in the background I have other projects on the go too): 

It is a case of "bring on the next regiment (or brigade) quick "while there is still paint in the pot and there is also a will to paint left in the painter (I feel a little or a lot of "ACW painting fatigue" coming on). Watch this space!

Strange Bedfellows from Caesar Miniatures

You can never make a bad buy from Caesar miniatures, so when I was buying for my brother an unusual set of "baseball" miniatures [it was for an old Avalon Hill "sports game" to replace the rather blank/bland counters] I could not resist treating myself to the Modern British Infantry set I spied (see below, de-busing from a Chinook): 

All Caesar wargaming miniatures are beautiful sculpts and I can safely say I was also impressed with their Sports Figures too ;) 

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Sci-Fi always has a use for a Naff Model

When I saw a 1/72 model being sold for £1 (in Boyes) I was not expecting "modelling quality" - and it turns out I was right, but instead of bemoaning a terrible representation of a Dutch APC, I could see the Sci-Fi potential of a 15mm futuristic "battle tank" thingy (see below, I must point out even the plastic of a was horrible quality to work with): 

Imagine it painted white, weathered with extra terrestrial muck and supported by Star Gruntz figures (see below, it will look OK as a 23rd century "mother ATV" for an infantry unit): 

Fun to vaguely plausible, not at all serious but not magic (although I do bear in mind Arthur C Clark's quote) that is my take on Sci-Fi- but get it to the tabletop nevertheless ;) 

Sunday 17 January 2021

PC Game - Flash Point Red Storm - WWIII "The War That Never Came"

This is my latest PC obsession, which has already caused the wife to pass caustic comments on my hobby and her hubby's strange sense of priorities. It hankers back to my teenage youth (the late 1980's) and the threat of the Cold War going "Hot" was in the back of everybody's minds (see below, never mind "Nina and her 99 Red Balloons" .. what about those T-72 Tanks? There are thousands of them!): 

What I love about this game is the WEGO system (something that would mentally kill you if you tried to umpire something like it on a tabletop, as the computer must slice a turn into so many little segments and hold tract of who goes first etc on a huge list of actions) and the "hands off AI" for a lot of the minutia (stuff the troops would be doing without you having to tell them to do it .. for example, indirect weapons repositioning themselves after a shoot is a case in point). The double bonus is the classic FOW (Fog of War play .. which leaves you [peeing] on "the seat of your pants") during play. The triple play bonus whammy for me is that it is breathing a bit of life back into my modern 1/300 scale collection (which seemed stopped at Modern Spearhead about a decade ago) as a few little extra models would not go amiss. I may look to expand it is the direction of some Americans and British (BOAR) - already having some Russians/Warsaw Pact and West Germans. 

The red rings around my eyes tells you all you need to know for now ;) 

Friday 15 January 2021

633 Squadron Project: 1/200 BRS Models

If you look closely you will see "half" of 633 Squadron (see below, queue theme music - I know you know it): 

This is one of my long standing childhood "silly dream" projects. 1/72 scale is way too big, as is 1/144 [as well as being seriously expensive last time I looked]. 1/300 seemed "almost right" but a little bit on the small side, so 1/200 seems the manageable compromise and the Warlord kit is very nice (plus I also have a Skytrex Action 200 Nazi Flak Battalion which is the same scale). I know I don't need twelve planes (as you can recycle them round) but once I have done the first six, in for a penny, in for a pound - just the question of a making the fjord scenery and a Nazi atomic factory to blow up ;) 

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Strelets Soviet WW2 Winter Partisans .. and that strange figure in my set?

Over the festive and New Year break I had the opportunity (like many of us) to do some "hobby sorting" which included some 20mm figure plastic figure basing (see below, some lovely 1/72 scale WWII Strelets Soviet WWII Partisans in "Winter Dress"):  

They are an unusual but lovely set and so full of character (see below, the rugged partisan leader who accepts no excuses): 

Rugged and determined, armed with a SMG and ready to meat out retribution to the invaders (see below, you have got to like those boots): 

The agricultural worker turned partisan, perhaps not a great shot with the rifle but he will be persistent  (see below, gotta love those ear flaps): 

Then this mystery figure, at first I am thinking this is really the partisan's great, grandfather riding one last time against the fascist hoards in defense of the motherland, after all he does look Russian, of a Cossack style of sorts but definitely the wrong century! (see below, what is going on? It turns out this is a Strelets "Easter Egg" or "Cuckoo in the nest"): 

The answer comes from the ever useful Plastic Soldier Review Page:

Sunday 3 January 2021

Vintage Airfix and Christmas

I found that I could not really say no (see below, some of the ones I missed when I was a kid): 

The doubling up on the Fiesler Storch was a case of one for Rommel and one for the European theater of operations (including rescuing Mussolini). 

Friday 1 January 2021

Happy New Year

 May fortune shine on you this year, Happy 2021