Sunday, 25 June 2017

Union Command

The next stage of the incremental painting of my ACW 6mm troops was another Union Regiment, and the Union Command figures. Since I painted my first Union unit I have acquired some of the Foundry three-shade system colours for this period - specifically Union Blue and Union Trouser Blue. I used these on all the figures here - the command elements are mounted so I can use a bit more variation in the horses.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Confederate Command

This is the Baccus Confederate Command group - 12 figures on four sprues, three of them carrying flags (guidons). As always they painted up nicely, and indeed having photographed them, I have noticed several bits where I can add further detail, though it probably won't be noticeable in normal use. I put them on various sized coins, in groups of one, two or three figures, which I will use to denote different levels of command. The flags are by Baccus - State flags of Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Blues ....

After Blenheim at the Wargames Holiday Centre I had a taste for black powder (the period and the rule set) and I wanted to get into them in some way. 6mm, naturally, but what conflict exactly? I have always had a bit of a yearning for the classic 18th Century Imaginations campaign, and I am also interested in finding out more about the AWI. However I feel it helps to have a basic knowledge of the period and combatants when starting something new - so you instinctively understand the difference between a Guard and a Grenadier, for example. That way you don't have to go back to check every detail before making a move. I have a reasonable grasp of the combatants and narrative of the American Civil War, so I decided to start there.

When I was down at Salute I picked up two Baccus starter armies, one Confederate and one Union Eastern Theatre. I also got the Black Powder supplement for the conflict, Glory Hallelujiah! One question I wanted to decide was the basing structure, and so I started out by painting and basing a single infantry unit for each side. The Baccus basic infantry element is four figures lined up side by side, 20mm wide. I decided that a standard unit (a regiment) would be two bases, each 40mm wide by 15mm deep. Each base would have two ranks, each of eight figures, two elements. On one of the bases, one of the front elements would be a command element, which Baccus supply as part of the unit, with flags, drums and an officer. I will also have skirmish screens - each one will be 40mm x 20mm, with four skirmishing figures per base. So a regiment will be 32 figures, 40 with a skirmish screen out.

I started with a Union regiment, and I was pleased with the results. Next I will do a Confederate equivalent, then try some other units - command, artillery, cavalry and Zouaves.

Friday, 28 April 2017

German support

Trying to clear the decks a little ready for the batch of purchases from Salute, I completed a couple of packs of 6mm German infantry from Baccus. These were WWG6 - Panzerschreck teams, and WWG7 - 12cm Mortars. You get half a dozen of the mortars, with three crew each, all separate castings. For the Panzershrecks you get twelve teams - each cast as a single unit on a small round base about the size of a 5p piece (but thinner). I mounted them in two ways - half of each pack on 1" square steel bases, as is my standard habit, and the other half on circular bases - coins of various types. This gives a bit more flexibility for use with other rule sets. As always I used Basetex to texture them, and then a variety of flock and other decoration to give them some landscape. These are very nice figures indeed, as with all the new Baccus WW2, and they are my core manufacturer for infantry in this period. I got some Falschirmjager at Salute, and I am looking forward to the eventual arrival of the vehicles.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Salute 2017

Off down to t'Smoke for my annual trip to Salute. I stayed in a hotel close to the venue - it costs a little more but it avoids a long trail across London in the morning. The hotel also allows a checkout at 14:00 which means you can go back at lunchtime and dump the morning's booty, and leave your luggage with the concierge. Saves a lot of lugging during the afternoon. My daughter is working there at the moment so I went down by train, and had dinner with her, all very relaxed and a good way to prepare for a hard day spending.

Up betimes, and a bacon butty in the cafe opposite (much cheaper and better than eating inside the venue). I walked up to the show, the length of ExCel which makes quite a trek. Salute is always held on the same weekend as the London Marathon, and ExCel is where they have the checkin process for all the runners. So down at the west end the place is full of lean lithe runners in tracksuits and Lycra. As you walk down the length of the halls the average weight of the attendees roughly doubles, as does the average blood pressure, and you have arrived at Salute.

Plenty has been written about this show so I won't say too much. I spent the morning walking round and doing a bit of reconnaissance. My main theme for the day was my plan to get into Black Powder (the period and the rule set) using 6mm of course. I bought a couple of supplements from Warlords - the ACW and AWI books - and returned to the hotel to pack. Lunch was fish and chips at the "Airline Cafe" - again far nicer, far cheaper and far quicker than eating in ExCel.

Back to the show, and some serious figure purchasing. Baccus had their new Fallschirmjager on display, which led to the following conversation. Me: "Is that what i think it is, a Nebelwerfer?" Baccus: "Yes". "It's not in the catalogue". "No". "It's not on the list here on the stand". "No". "But it is available?" "Yes". "So I can buy some?" "We've sold out". (Collapse of stout party).

After recovering, I bought one each of the rest of the Fallschirmjager packs - Advancing and Firing troops, plus LMGs and Panzerschrecks. I also bought two ACW armies, Confederate and Eastern Union, as well as flags for both. I headed over to H&R to see what they had on offer. There were some nice looking new ranges - East German 1980s, and LRDG and Paras for WW2. However I struggled to get served so I decided to leave those and buy on the web, having seen how nice they looked. I bought a bunch of steel bases in various sizes, ready for the ACW troops, and some paints, and that was it. I left at about four, and with a good trip across London I caught an earlier train and was back home soon after seven.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bersaglieri at last

For the first time on more than two years I don't have any Italian 6mm troops waiting in my painting queue. The outstanding ones were a pack of Bersaglieri, which to be honest at this scale are not really distinguishable from normal infantry. I also had a pack of artillery crew - I used a few of these on the guns I painted last week, the rest are painted for stock. The Bersaglieri are nicely done, well posed and they painted up nicely. The pack included four of the odd little 47mm mortars which look more like machine guns from the way they sit on their stands. I put these on small coins rather than 1" square ones - I already have some mounted that way, so this gives me flexibility for use with different rule sets.


47mm Mortar plus observer

Single squad
The full pack painted and based

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Magnetic Tows

Most GHQ guns - artillery and anti-tank guns - come packed in a standard way. There are two guns modeled in firing position, two in towing mode and two towing vehicles. This makes sense, but it has always left me with a problem of how to base everything. I want to have the vehicle towing the guns for transit mode, but also have them available alongside or near the guns when firing.
My recent discovery of small cheap powerful magnets has given me an idea which I have put into action with some Italian guns - 75mm Cannone (artillery) and 45mm anti-tank guns. I painted up the guns and tows, but before doing so I glued a magnet under each of the vehicles. One type was wide enough that the magnets are entirely out of sight, with a little drilling to make a recess underneath. On the other vehicle the magnet is visible, but it's not a problem for me - they are not very prominent, and could easily be taken for a spare wheel under the chassis.
Once painted I based the guns - on steel bases, as are all my 6mm models. The firing models were on landscaped bases with crews as normal, though I tried to make sure there was a bit of flat space available. The guns in towed format I put on longer thinner bases, landscaped as rough tracks, and the guns were glued on their wheels, so that the towhooks are at the height of the towbars on the vehicles. I left plenty of space ahead of the guns for the vehicles to sit in place.
The magnets hold the tows very securely on the bases - I can easily pick up the whole thing by lifting the vehicle, though it comes off simply enough when you need to separate them. So now I put the towing vehicle on the transit base while the guns are moving around in my battle. When they un-limber I substitute the firing base, and I can pop to vehicle on there as well if I wish, to show it is available to move the gun again if needed. In practie I probably wouldn't do that with the ATGs, as it looks odd to have a truck so close to a gun which is presumably about to come into action against enemy armour, or is supposed to be hidden in ambush.
The pictures should give the idea - four images for each gun. First in traveling mode, and then a shot with the tow removed to show how the gun is glued to the base. Then the gun in action, and finally the same but with the tow on the base as if about to hitch up.