I am betting everyone has this unit in their Union army, or are at least planning on having it. I have another Zouave unit to be painted – awaiting some command sprues from Perry and a fellow wargamer has kindly sent me the five or six extra minis I need to crank this unit up to 25 figures.
These particular Perry miniatures have the option of charging/advancing or right shoulder shift. I preferred the latter and am pleased with the look. These guys were actually easy to paint. The detail is well molded and easy to follow. One thing – I did not have any yellow paint so did their tassles and legging thingies in a yellowish-brown instead. I figure that they faded on campaign. Anyway, without further ado….
My second completed unit for this project. Honestly, these took just over a day to paint and maybe half a day to base in between mowing lawns and cutting firewood for next winter. They were so easy to paint, especially to the standard I am happy with. With two boxes of the Perry ACW infantry I was able to make a firing line regiment of 25 figures and this 30 figure regiment, with a dozen or so left overs.
What do I think of these figures? Like I said, they are easy to paint and they very much remind me of toy soldiers except in a smaller scale. They are a bit wooden and stiff but one must remember that these were the first plastic miniatures the Perry’s did. Later sets are way more animated. But these guys probably make up the bulk of ACW armies that have been collected around the world in the last decade so they definitely have a place in wargaming history.
As an aside, one time back when the Perrys were coming over to New Zealand to do some work for Peter Jackson, they brought some sample frames of this set and gave me one. These were pre-production test moldings. On their next trip in I guess 2008 I asked them if they would sign this little framed ‘sprue’ and being good blokes they did. Somewhat appropriately, there was one molding missing from the sprue – can you guess what it was?
When it comes to wargaming bandwagons I am a lot like Corporal Jones from Dad’s army – always a step behind everyone else.
In my lead/plastic mountain I had two boxes of the original Perry Plastic ACW infantry and box of Zouaves. Where or how I acquired these I just cannot remember but I suspect at a bring and buy at a convention. I know I actually brought a box of Perry ACW Cavalry from Scott at Kapiti Hobbies some time ago that I converted into British Zulu Wars Auxiliary cavalry.
Anyway, late or not to this party, I have entered the wonderful world of 28mm ACW.
I decided to go with 24-30 figure regiments as standard. This is the firing line regiment.
Back in about 2012 my old mate Bernard Dobbie gave me a box of Foundry Dutch Guard Grenadiers. A regiment set that I think came pre-primed.
This box set has sat in my Woolshed since then and I finally got around to painting them. Better late than never. I based these on 40x40mm bases – mainly because that is what the rest of my French infantry is based on. For my Spanish and British I have gone with 40x50mm which gives the base a bit more depth and I hoped would offer some protection to British bayonets in my various firing line battalions. I ended up liking how it looked and continued on that way with the metals I painted.
I dropped one officer figure out and replaced it with an Essex guard sapper. These guys are true 25mm I think – next to more modern 28s they are midgets but another nice regiment to bolster my French guards.
Anyway, enough rambling. These were mostly painted last week in Wellington, whilst I camped in my camper trailer parked up at the beach.
I got a couple of boxes of Warlord Games plastic Portuguese infantry a few years ago off Scott at Kapiti Hobbies. They sat undercoated and ready to paint on my table for the best part of three years whilst I was in the midst of my painting block. However, I decided to get cracking on them and finished them last week.
The Warlord Games set comes with 24 figures. Twenty are plastic and there are four metal command figures. The standard bearers come with wire flagstaffs with very pointy spear points. Be aware that they will jab you under the finger nail if you are not careful and draw blood. The figures come basically as one part miniatures to which you glue the backpack and the head variant you want – Barrentina or Stovepipe shakos and a head in a fatigue cap. I went with the barrentina shakos to match my earlier period Portuguese infantry already painted.
These figures are OK but are plastic. Which means I have been my usual paranoid self when it comes to fretting about broken bayonets. Some of the figures have some dodgy moulding – cuffs that merge into ration bags for instance, but on the whole they are pretty clean.
These guys will pass muster on the tabletop but not so much for close up scrutiny. I did not use the flag sheet that came with the box, but printed off a sheet of Portuguese flags I found on the internet and used two. I know they are not right for the regiment – one of the ones with red cuffs and piping – but frankly, I don’t give a rat’s arse about that. They look vaguely Portuguese so that is good enough for me.
I had a bunch of left over Elite Miniatures figures and decided to make an ad-hoc battalion of Spanish infantry. This unit represents a battalion cobbled together from recruits, stragglers from beaten units and so forth. I added two standards – because I like flags. These were images of the internet, resized and duplicated horizontally to have a front and back.
I took part in a Black Powder mini-competition a month or so back at Call to Arms, the annual convention of the venerable Wellington Warlords club. We had five games over two days using a point system devised by a couple of the competition organisers. I decided to take a Spanish Army but had to settle for Spanish with a brigade of British supports because I did not have enough Spaniards painted. I didn’t get too badly whomped (2 losing draws, one winning draw, one hiding and one win).
What I decided though was that I needed more good Spanish infantry. So this last week I painted and based a battalion of Walloon Guards. These are my usual Elite Miniatures from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia. Getting these from Nathan is a no-brainer for me. He is a great guy to deal with and the AUD and NZD almost have parity.
I am pretty happy these guys turned out seeing as they are my second unit in three years. I mean, close up they are alright but they look cracker from Wargames Distance. I also painted most of these guys while away last week for work and when I am away I am now staying in my camper trailer. Internal lighting is OK as I have three 24v LED strip lights that provide good overall illumination but not great for fiddly work like miniature painting – but I am working on that. A 2400 lumen work lamp (solar or usb charged) is on it’s way so should not be a problem much longer.
The flags I just used images off the internet of Spanish flags and resized. After I did this I found an envelope of flags, including some I was sent many years ago by Lawrence from This Life in Lead blog. Among those were two Ramos fabric flags for the Walloon Guards. Oh well – that is life’s way of telling me to paint another battalion of Walloons. I am still missing finials and cords – will order some soon as I have about six battalions in need of them. I had heaps but ran out – well – about four years ago.
EDIT – I forgot to add that the standard bearers are Front Rank figures. I am pretty sure that Lawrence gave me them as well. Thanks Lawrence.
And yes, the chickens came up to see what I was doing and one tried to peck my miniatures. Vicious little bastards are chickens.
Elite only make two poses for the Spanish light infantry in bicornes. A kneeling firing and a standing loading pose. So I added a regular Spanish officer and a couple of drummers (one of which is in a shako).
While I have been doing no painting recently, have gotten a few games in here and there. Some pictures from a Western skirmish game. Six teams of four. Each group had their objectives. Won by the Pinkertons who defended the bank against Mexican bandidos. The other teams didn’t really achieve much apart from turning on each other. Rules used were The Rules with No Name.
A few months back I saw this picture on my Facebook feed. I immediately thought that was a Wow! unit. Bonaparte’s sister Elisa was Grand Duchess of Tuscany and something-or-another of Lucca and Piombino (Princess I think). She authorised the raising of a bodyguard regiment from her Luccan and Piombonese subjects and given the uniform I am guessing she and her ladies-in-waiting had some hand in the design. I am not sure that the unit was ever raised in it’s entirety before she had to abdicate and retire to private life. But I knew that I wanted to try to paint it.
However I did not want to buy any new figures so decided to do this unit as a ‘What If’. What if it were raised and Napoleon, with his need for manpower had called it to duty. To that end I decided to model this regiment on campaign. I have half a dozen boxes of Perry French plastic infantry and the spare Carabinier heads from the Perry Cuirassier/Carabinier box set. I needed some more heads and I got these from TMPer Virtualscratchbuilder who posted them to me from Denton, Texas. A couple of weeks later I have got them as finished as I ever get anything.
I have modelled them as a French Infantry Battalion with a Grenadier and Light Company. Also a couple of separately mounted voltigeurs and a custom casualty base for the unit. The flag was too complicated for me to bother with so I went with a simple tricolour in the colours of Lucca and Piombino. Oh yeah – and I gave them an Eagle – why not I say. There is also a solitary Victrix officer in there.
They will be joining some of the other fictional and almost fictional units in my Napoleonic armies in the cabinet. Hope you like them.