A month or so back I was contacted on social media by a guy who I last saw in the 80s when he was a young teen and he used to come to the Manawatu Miniature Strategists Society club meets. He said that back in those days I was one of his inspirations to paint and collect wargame miniatures. I was really touched and it was great catching up and seeing where life had lead us.
He is quite a prolific collector/painter now. He saw I was doing ACW and sent me this box of Sash and Saber (and some Perry and Foundry) miniatures. I have not gone through it all but looks enough figures for a complete Union brigade, command and a regiment of mounted and dismounted cavalry. The box of Perry ACW cavalry is in a blue plastic – I have never seen them molded in that colour plastic before. I am guessing that is an old production run.
So now I am going through the lead mountain to find stuff I can send him as he is currently doing an Italian army for Black Powder Napoleonics. I know I have three or four boxes of Perry and Victrix French infantry, some command figures and some cavalry – a good start I hope.
It was interesting that a few Sundays at wargame club in the 80s had such an impact on someone’s life. I am still somewhat at a loss for words.
Thanks David. You are a top bastard.
Look what arrived in the post today. To be honest, this was the second largest order I have ever done from overseas. I usually get bits and bobs. I get nervous forking out large sums of money and waiting on an order to arrive – but arrive it did. An ACW Confederate cavalry brigade including horse holders and dismounted versions. Lots of guns, limbers and limber horses. Dismounted Union cavalry and horse holders – a brigade worth. Lots of generals, mounted cavalry command and various command sets. Also bulked out my Anglo-Zulu Wars – limbers, command, mounted and dismounted infantry and Frontier horse. Everything was well packaged and not so much as a dent on a box.
“Not a Toy” Ha! Who are they kidding.
What I am currently working on. What are you working on at the moment?
A regiment of Federal infantry and a gun/crew undercoated and first blobs of paint applied (Perry Minis). Also, more artillery assembled and sorting out horses for more six horse limbers – found another 27 of those old Hinchliffe horses in the Woolshed in a box. Lead Mountains can be a great thing to have at times.. Also a bunch of Federal generals (Perry and Adventure Miniatures). found another 27 of those old Hinchliffe horses in the Woolshed in a box. Lead Mountains can be a great thing to have at times.
Finally got this unit finished a few weeks ago. I started it back in March but it sat on the painting desk mocking me as I lost interest. Finally got the mojo back and started back on them. . Glad I got them finished because they are such a colourful unit in an otherwise drab looking army. EDIT – Just remembered why I lost interest. My dog Snow, an Abruzzi-Maremma came into my room and his tail of death swept half the unit off the table and there were half a dozen broken bayonets and rifles. So before I could even start painting them again I had to repair a bunch of figures.
Apart from the Iron Brigade (post to come) I am not really doing any particular order of battle. Just painting units that catch my fancy or ‘generic’ regiments that can be used pretty much any time in the civil war period. So far I have the Iron brigade painted, a generic brigade and am working on a generic New York brigade that has three zouave units (5th, 146th and the 14th Brooklyn and a couple of other regular volunteer units). Not bad for lockdown period and was still working during that time.
These are obviously Perry plastic Zouaves. I had some left over from the 5th New York I did earlier this year and also had acquired the Battle in a Box set which had another sixteen figures (off the top of my head). I have a few left so might make then as skirmishers or perhaps as a company within another union volunteer regiment.
Flags are not exactly right for this unit but who is really looking at the flags when they are on the table top?
I really want some six horse limbers for my ACW armies because they just look so freaking great. But…they are an expensive addition to the army. I was looking in the Woolshed and found a box with a few dozen old Hinchliffe Napoleonic limber horses. When I say old I mean I think I got these in 1980. I looked at these, looked at the plastic Perry limber I had and thought – why not. OK – the collars are wrong, the harness is wrong…whatever. I can use the money I save to buy some dismounted cavalry.
I added a couple of Perry plastic artillerymen. One I sort of converted to a sitting pose.
At some stage I will add some harnesses from the horses to the limbers and between them etc. Not sure what I will use – maybe some crochet string and seal it with pva. Any ideas welcomed.
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.
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.
I thought I might get out what I have painted so far. I am quite pleased at how this army is coming together. Not so pleased with how long it is taking me. Mind you, I have done a British Peninsular army, some pirates, fantasy figures and Anglo-Zulu War armies in the middle of it so perhaps I shouldn’t be beating myself up too much.
The bulk of the figures are Elite Miniatures. I get mine from Nathan Vinson at Elite Miniatures Australia. Having a supplier so close and who is such a great guy to deal with is a god-send. I have been getting good use out of the standard Spanish March Attack figures – they are being used as line infantry, guard units and marine infantry. On the workbench at the moment is one being painted as brown coated militia.
The rest of the figures are Front Rank and some Perry. I have used Perry Carlist War figures for some of my Spanish Militia Battalions. Almost forgot – there is a single battalion of Brigade games Spanish Militia as well. Also a single Eureka figure and some East Ridign Miniatures Monks.
I really like the Spanish Army of the ‘early period’ up to about 1811. The myriad of uniforms and strange little units will keep me busy for some time to come I suspect.
Front Rank staff and Elite Line.
Two Line battalins and a militia battalion
Brigade Games Militia
Some East Riding Miniatures Monks based with Perry Carlist War monks
Elite and Perry Plastic Cavalry
Elite Artiller – huge guns
A Eureka monk
A brigade Games Teresa figure
Front Rank, Elite and Perry
Brigade Games Militia
Front Rank Guerrillas