Where have I been?

I suppose it was inevitable that when I said back at the end of April that I was about to start my WWII gaming, I would immediately start doing something else. I spent May, June, and July doing nothing productive apart from shopping for WWII things and actually playing games, which is what I’m here for I suppose. In early August I found that I was off to London for three weeks for work, that was after we’d booked our family holiday to Port Douglas, so that was a month away from home. Also, a while back I’d agreed to paint some American Civil War figures, in concert with the guys I play horse and musket games with. And suddenly it was time to start.

The Union force. I've yet to finish a few brigade command stands.

The Union force. I’ve yet to finish a few brigade command stands.

A while ago I won a lot of painted Heroics and Ros figures on EBay, but since the other players were using Baccus, which are much bigger than the H&R figures, I opted for Baccus myself. Because I didn’t know where to start in choosing how many figures to paint, I arbitrarily chose to paint enough figures to refight the Battle of Cedar Mountain. I have the old SPI game from the Strategy and Tactics magazine, and I found a Fire and Fury scenario (It looks like we will be using the Fire and Fury and the Regimental Fire and Fury rules). Actually I may be a few stands short because I’m not sure whether the brigade command stands count toward the number of stands mentioned in the scenario, but I’m not too worried as I’ve been consistent. Because I don’t have a lot of time (well I do, but it seems to vanish), I have decided to do the ‘fun’ painting (senior commanders, artillery, and horse) myself, while I commissioned Turbil Miniatures to do the basic painting on the infantry. I started my work with the Union troops, because their more uniform appearance meant I could get them out of the way more quickly.  I finished them the week before I left on my trip, and also that week the Turbil figures arrived.

Somewhat blurry close up of the Union artillery and cavalry. I used Vallejo Prussian Blue, and Lifecolor Israeli Blue for the uniform colors. I've given some of the gunner red trim on their uniforms.

Somewhat blurry close up of the Union artillery and cavalry. I used Vallejo Prussian Blue, and Lifecolor Israeli Blue for the uniform colors. I’ve given some of the gunner red trim on their uniforms.

Once I was back from my travels, as soon as I was over my jet lag, I gave the Turbil Union figures a quick neatening up, and repainted a few details: their boots were the same brown as the bases, but I painted them black, also their haversacks were off white, but most of them look to have been black too, along with the Hardee hats (which had been painted blue). I also painted the rifle barrels and redid the flag poles (in brown, not green) and the drums (in ochre, representing the gold colour that a lot of them seem to have been). All of that sounds like a lot, but it only took a few weeks (including nights off) for 280 figures or so. Anyway in many cases the difference is only evident when I look at the figures through my desk magnifier. The flags are from Baccus. They might be a bit over scale, but only by a millimetre or so. We are using scaled down bases (20mm for foot) so that we can use Andrew’s dinner table for larger battles. 20mm is about the smallest you’d want to use, by the way, as the bases feel pretty tiny.

Closeup of some of the Union troops. I painted the division commander in the foreground, and Turbil (and me) painted the infantry.

Closeup of some of the Union troops. I painted the division commander in the foreground, and Turbil (and me) painted the infantry.

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8 responses to “Where have I been?

  1. Looking good! The Baccus stuff really looks to be the bees knees.

    I must remember not to go out & buy any – too much on my plate as it is right now. But their FPW stuff keeps calling me & I already have a couple of sets of rules…..

    IIRC, in the original F&F, the command stand of the brigade is one of those listed – so if a brigade has six stands, it is made up of five plus the command stand.

    X

    • There are others in Melbourne who might want to do FPW too, one day. I’ve just read a great book on the Battle of the Marne. It was interesting reading of the number of senior officers on both sides who were FPW veterans – it certainly shows in how the animosity was carried over between the two wars. FPW and early WWI French wouldn’t look very different, would they?

      • Pretty similar – garance red trousers, white “spats”, blue greatcoat – main difference would be the lack of epaulettes in 1914, which seem to have gone during the Republican phase of the FPW. Even the backpacks seem to be similar.
        And of course, in 1914 you still had Zouaves and Turcos. Win!

  2. Great start. I like the way F&F basing works with the Baccus (have a bunch of Baccus Confederates awaiting attention) but thinking I might sell them off and shift to FPW. What rules would you be likely to use?

  3. Not 100% certain which way I’d jump – “They Died for Glory” is a nice set (originally published as a 4 page pull out in The Courier back in the ’80s), and the Polemos FPW set looks very interesting too. And the Baccus minis look like they might work well.

  4. Good to see another person expanding into 6mm. Here almost all our armies use H&R and we use Volley & Bayonet for games from the SYW to the FPW.

    • I’ll have some nicely painted H&R ACW figures going cheap soon 🙂 How does it feel using the same rules set for such a long timescale? I know DBx covers a longer one, but we like to kid ourselves that Sumerian donkey carts and 15th century French knights were separated at birth, but SYW and FPW were pretty different kettles of fish. Phil Barker’s Horse Foot and Guns does it by using completely different troop types from one end of the period covered by the rules to the other.

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