Tag Archives: ab

Whoever Saw a Dead Cavalryman?

The Scarlet J and I have another ACW game, later today. We’re going to re-play our last scenario, a meeting engagement with delayed reinforcements on one side, in which I thoroughly thrashed my poor opponent, when playing as the aggressor Confederates. We’ll reverse the situation, this time, and see how my Rebs fare as defenders. Expect a full battle report, if I win; otherwise, you’ll hear not a peep on this blog!

In the meantime, here are some photographs of what I’ve been working on for the past week. I’ve managed to paint up four stands of the mounted component of what might charitably be called a cavalry battalion. Ultimately there will be a full regiment of eight mounted stands, six dismounted stands, and two stands of horseholders. THEN I can, at looooooooong (long) last, call my Confederates for Regimental Fire and Fury complete. For now.

With RF&F basing standards, this would be 160 cavalrymen.

With RF&F basing standards, this would be 160 cavalrymen.

The officer and the sergeant carrying the banner are Blue Moon (on AB horses), the rest of the figures are AB.

The officer and the sergeant carrying the banner are Blue Moon (on AB horses), the rest of the figures are AB.

Here's the horseholder in front of the frame house I painted up this week. This is a JR Miniatures resin cast piece. I have to say, I hated this building. The casting was just horrible-pits, gaps, mold lines, soft detail everywhere.  That said it was dirt cheap (as wargames scenery goes), and now that it's all painted up, I think it's going to look pretty good on the table. How's that for mixed signals?

Here’s the horseholder in front of the frame house I painted up this week. This is a JR Miniatures resin cast piece. I have to say, I hated this building. The casting was just horrible-pits, gaps, mold lines, soft detail everywhere. That said it was dirt cheap (as wargames scenery goes), and now that it’s all painted up, I think it’s going to look pretty good on the table. How’s that for mixed signals?

As an aside (and note to myself), don’t EVER shoot miniatures facing towards a window. It’s never going to look good. Unless maybe they’re receiving direct sunlight (which has its own problems).

The photo below is a lot closer to what they look like in real life. As filtered through the version of reality my crappy KDS monitor is showing me, anyway.

On the old workbench, drafting lamp, 10 second timer set, frantically trying to get sheets of white paper in place.

On the old workbench, drafting lamp, 10 second timer set, frantically trying to get sheets of white paper in place. Yes, the building really IS that lop-sided

 

 

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The Campaign(s) Continues

No big news, but there’s been positive movement on both the ACW and 6mm WW2 fronts. Unfortunately, I’m fighting a four or five front ‘war,’ but there’s no one to blame for that, except myself.

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First up, some terrain progress with the 6mm WWII IABSM 3 (that’s a lot of acronyms. TALOA, everyone!) project. I painted up two small houses, a barn, a cottage, and a manor house, all by GHQ. These buildings paint up so easily, and so nicely-a little paint, drybrush, a sepia ink wash, and you’re set! They look even better in person, where every little flaw isn’t exaggerated by zoomed in digital camera. By the way, I discovered that if you use future floor wax as a component of your ink wash, applying Vallejo matt varnish by brush afterwards reactivates the wash, and swirls it around in a not-unpleasing, but still alarming and unintended, manner.

Cottage and Villa

Cottage and Villa

This is the Villa de GHQ

This is the Villa de GHQ

Dilapidated barn and two small houses

Dilapidated barn and two small houses. Here’s where you see how incredibly lazy I am about cleaning up flash and mold slippage. It’s a little annoying that GHQ puts their trademark on the outside of the buildings (grey house, right side), but I’ll forgive them.

Houses and barn from above. My road is way out of scale.

Houses and barn from above. My road is way out of scale.

I have 10 Sherman tanks about 80% done, crops to plant on the terrain board, and a few British infantry to paint up, and this puppy will be ready to go. Unless I decide to base the buildings and make little vignettes out of them. Which I might.

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On the ACW front, I’m still mired in the long process of finishing up my Confederates. I completed a couple of limbers, disored/silenced markers, wrecked gun markers, and out-of-ammo markers, but still need to paint up an ammo wagon and an ambulance. It’s neverending! I also need to base up a brigade of the famous Danish volunteers of Texas. Oh, and I have a regiment of cavalry to paint. Woe is me! Our next scheduled game is the 15th.

Is it strange that these dead horses and wounded men make me feel a little uncomfortable?

Is it strange that these dead horses and wounded men make me feel a little uncomfortable?

These wounded Confederates are the first Blue Moon figures I’ve ever painted, and I have to say, I really love them. The anatomy isn’t quite as good as the best of the AB, but the poses are just fantastic. The wrecked gun markers (dead horses with caisson wheels) are all Blue Moon, as well. The wrecked gun ‘diorama’ style bases are kind of bugging me, now that I’ve done them. They don’t look particularly naturalistic. I’m sure it’s a skill that will develop with application and time, though.

A better shot of the wounded.

A better shot of the wounded.

The Blue Moon casualty pack includes a few accessory muskets, which is a really nice touch. Really, those figures made enough of an impression on me, that I plan to do quite a few Blue Moon figures when I switch over to paining Union troops. Oh, that unpainted 15mm resin house in the background is by JR Miniatures. Cheap, but it’s a real pig-bad flashing and pock marks everywhere. Maybe it will look ok painted.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’m going to try to finish up my Brits for IABSM in 6mm next week. Also, there’s some new stuff coming down the pike, that may be of interest.

Bless You Craigslist

A couple of days ago I was trawling Craigslist for bicycles, Land Rovers, and cameras, and happened across a two-month-old add for a used Panasonic Lumix LX-5. I’ve been wanting one of these cameras since it was the LX-3, because even though I have a cheap dslr, I almost never take it anywhere with me because it’s so cumbersome and I’m scared to leave it in the car or damage it. I’ve been taking most of my photos on my iPhone for that very reason.

Anyway, the Craigslist price was right, and the camera came with a really cool leather case, so I am now the proud owner of a high end compact camera with a nice bright Leica lens.

The Lumix/Lorax

The Lumix/Lorax

Ironically, after setting up and taking a couple of photographs of some miniatures, I have to say my iPhone photo OF the new camera looks roughly 20 times better than any shots I took WITH the camera. That said, it’s a complicated camera, and I haven’t come to grips with the controls, yet. Come to think of it, I may have been in some weird ‘pet’ (as in Fido) shooting mode.

Regardless, in addition to scoring a cool camera, I’ve painted my first few 15mm ACW figures.  I have approximately 200 more to paint (and buy). It’s a bit daunting, and I haven’t really developed a methodology yet. I have, however, learned that the shoes (called brogans*) are supposed to be black. I’ve also learned that you probably shouldn’t paint anything pure black in 15mm. I’ve also also learned (actually I learned this a long time ago, but haven’t done anything about it) that I really need a secondary direct light source for photographing miniatures…

A square crop. All the hipsters are doing it. The Lumix will shoot in this aspect ratio natively, if you tell it to.

A square crop. All the hipsters are doing it. The Lumix will shoot in this aspect ratio natively, if you tell it to. It will even shoot in FOCUS if you tell it to. I didn’t tell it to here, obviously.

The figures are AB via Eureka Miniatures. They're great figures. My painting doesn't do them justice.

The figures are AB via Eureka Miniatures. They’re great figures. My painting doesn’t do them justice. These guys badly need a shot of Dullcote.

My painting is really dull and messy. It’s really starting to bug me! I guess I need to take my time and be a lot brighter with my highlights, but will I ever get anything done, if I do?  Who knows? These are the sort of hobbyistic existential questions I ask myself on a regular basis.

I’ve posted some useless posts on this blog, but this may be the worst of them all!

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*My grandfather used to call boots brogans, but I had no idea until roughly three weeks ago that the word went back to the American Civil War (and I’m sure it goes further back than that). Grandfather Dellinger died at 101, five years ago, and I’m sure he must have known some Civil War veterans. It’s fascinating how close the ACW can seem.