Union Artillery, Part 2

14 07 2012

In my last Union Artillery post I based and primed my artillery along with their limbers.  This time we need to paint them up!

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I begin by paint 4 out of 6 horsed on each of my limber stands a nice dark brown.  I mix up which horsed get a brown coat as much as I can so that there are no two stands alike.

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I then paint the rest of the horses a mix of gray, tan, red-brown and beige.  This is a feeble effort to make it look like a mix of different horse colors.

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I like the look of several horse colors but I have never gotten a really good feel for what the mix of colors of horses would have been common during the war. It seems like they are overwhelmingly dark brown though. 

Next I paint the “blanket” a navy blue and the leather harness and saddle a shade of brown.

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I have two different casting for horses and the easiest way to tell them apart is how what I think are the saddle blanket (6mm is small after all) pokes our from under the saddle.  You can see on the horses closet in the image above that the exposed blankets are on the flank.  On the next limber the exposed blanket pokes out behind the rolled blanket (or rather what I think is a rolled blanket).

Next I paint the rolled blankets a vermillion red ( white red as opposed to a yellow red.)

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The colored blankets actually make the mini’s pop on the table.  This is the easiest way to tell the Union limbers from the Confederate limbers.

Next I paint a whole bunch of things black.  It looks like I paint the horse collars, the wagon wheels and the tails and manes of the horses black here.

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Next I paint the caisson a shade of pine green.  This would have been a really common color for civil war wheeled equipment.

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Now the miniatures are painted.  Next I paint the dirt.

By the way… I know what you are thinking.  It would have been much easier to paint the dirt first. 

Yes.  Yes it would have.

I paint the base of the miniature brown (along with many a wheel and horse leg)

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Then I dry brush pretty much everything ankle high and lower with a red brown.

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I put the limbers aside for now and start in on the guns.

This time I paint the base brown first!

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Next I dry brush the bases a red brown

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I paint the guns a pine green (to match the caisson)

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Next I paint the wagon wheels black along with the barrels of the rifled artillery pieces.

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The barrels of the smoothbores get a coat of gold.  These cannons would be very bright given how often they were cleaned.

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Next I painted the tunics of the artillerymen a dark blue (not navy blue… that would be goofy.)

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Then some of the artillerymen get light blue pants.

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I paint one the stands with red pants and another of the stands gets a red strip on their pants.  Artillery Units of both sides would commonly have red bling on their uniforms.

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There are lots of little bits that need touching on the artillerymen at this point.  Hair gets painted brown or blond, bags and shells are painted black, and swabs are painted brown and grey.  I also give the tackle ropes on the carriages a nice yellow.

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The next big step is flesh color.  As usual, this is the “magic” step.  I also paint the sides of the guns and Caissons black and the rear bevel of the guns white.

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Next I add static grass to the bases and add another coat of black and white to the sides of the miniature stands.

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Once everything is nice and dry I apply labels to the rear bevel of the gun stands.

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Here is an action shot to give an idea of what these guys look like on the table.

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Union Artillery

25 03 2012

Artillery is a relatively small but critical part of the America Civil War battlefield.  They provided the only means of attacking units at ranges beyond a couple of hundred yards and at close ranges they could be used to mow down troops en masse.  Battles would sometimes hinge on the placement of a few pieces of artillery or the lack of these big guns at a particular place and time.

Artillery miniatures come in two parts; the gun and the limber.  A gun and limber stand combined represent a “battery” of artillery.  This was usually from 4 to 6 cannons, 50-100 men and the horses and limbers for carrying them.  (To find out more about my understanding of artillery please see my artillery blog entry)

Battery’s were further sub-organized into sections which where two guns.  Sections represent a “unit” of strength in my game and therefore are represented on the miniature itself.  A cannon stand will ether be a 2 or 3 section battery.  This is represented by the number of figures tending the gun. 

Note: Two and Three section artillery have the same footprints in my game.  They are NOT represented by a different size of stand or limber.  This is perhaps inconsistent and not 100% accurate.  I do not believe this inconsistency crosses a realism line given that artillery tended to spread out.  There could be as much as 20 yards between guns set up to fire because artillery tended to get shot at with by other artillery and they frequently exploded for no good reason all on their own.  With this low density its easy to cram in other guns.  The problem with having different sizes for units is that the larger batteries would need to be longer stands when be moved and wider stands when they fire.  Awkward.  You can see below why this would be difficult to represent in miniatures.

A bunch of bits

Below are all the minis I need for two batteries of smoothbores and two batteries of rifles

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I look at this picture and immediately think “Wagon wheels… why did it have to be wagon wheels.”  These guys are small.

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They are roughly the same width as the word “liberty” on a penny.  Fun!

Here are the bits for a rifled artillery piece. 

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These are super glued together in a process that can only be described as haphazard.  A sort of “absence of process” if you will. I wish I could photograph this and glue at the same time but trust me I can’t.  Honestly this is hard.  Looking at this picture makes my fingertips hurt from the memory of prolonged exposure to superglue.  BTW… metal coated in super glue prefers to adhere to flesh than any other substance…. ask me how I know.   I couldn’t publish a video of me gluing these wheels on as it would get an NC-17 rating for language alone.  That reminds me… I need a beer.

Where was I?  Ah yes… miniatures.

Here is the smoothbore miniature from Baccus6mm…

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Notice that the wheels come attached!  These miniatures are my very bestest friend.

Limbers are small wagons that are used to cart the gun to and around the battlefield.  They have detached wagon wheels as well.  More Fun!

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Finally, here are the horses for the limbers.

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These guys are cleverly cast.  They come in strips of three like a string of teamed horses.  If they are not needed this way then they can be clipped apart and used individually.  This saves a ton of work for spacing when being mounted as a team.

In addition to the minis I will need two types of bases; Gun and limber.  The gun base is a 1 inch by 7/8 inch piece with a bevel on one of the narrow ends.  This looks just like my infantry basing process but with bigger pieces of metal.

My limber stands are trickier as I use two 1” by 7/8” pieces of cut sheet metal to produce the right size.  It’s a bit of a pain to order 2” by 7/8” metal as they would need to be custom cut and I only need a few of them.  1’” by 7/8” is a standard size for me; I use it for my officers, my guns and and mounted Cav.  More importantly I can also order this size as a standard from Wargame Accessories who sell me my bases.

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Here I have glued the bases to create a 2” by 7/8” stand.

Unlike my infantry projects, I mount my artillery BEFORE I prime them.  There is plenty or room to get a paintbrush between the minis and the artillery pieces and limbers will be just as difficult to attach to a popsicle stick as they will the final miniature stand so I just mount them up front.

To get the limbers and guns good and attached I will need to pin them to the stand using piano wire.  As you can imagine, given the wheels came detached, these guys are not sturdy enough for me to glue directly to the base.  To do this I will need to use a pen drill to drive a small hole into the bottoms of these pieces.

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Once I’ve successfully drilled a hole on each of the wheeled bits I then attach a piano wire to it and clip it off at the desired height.

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Before I attach the guns I need to glue the figures that will be servicing the gun.

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Two figures are used for a two section gun, three figures are used for a three section gun.

The dudes manning the gun are cast with a “ground” surface.  The guns don’t.  This means that I will need to put my ballast (sand) on the stand before I attach the gun to get it to look like everyone is standing on the same surface.

To create a ground surface to my artillery stand glue is applied using my handy dandy nifty neeto one of a kind glue applicator (regrettably not pictured).

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The stand is then dunked in fine ballast.

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I clean up the edges of the stand with my finger and let the result dry.

Next I spot and drill a hole using my pen drill for attaching the artillery.

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I then super glue the artillery piece to the stand.

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I perform a similar process on the limber stands.  The first step is to get two sets of horses on the stand making sure to leave enough room on the end to hold the limber itself.

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I then add glue and ballast.

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Oddly enough, the horse stands I have are not quite flat.  The tend to be leaners so I deal with this by gluing some ballast directly to the stand and then using the horses to a bed of this glue ballast mix and then pressing it into a level disposition.

Once the ballast has had a chance to dry I then add a the limber.

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Now that this is done I prime everything!

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That is it for today.  Next time we will get these guys painted up.

Note:  I like taking my hobby pics with the data stamp turned on.  Sometimes the date chronology gets a bit mixed up because I forget a pic and go back to retroactively change the continuity of my project documentation (called a RetCon for those of you that are serious geeks) as needed to document what I am doing. Other times I get large breaks in my project because I get distracted so you can see the gaps.  This blog may be the high water mark for both of these phenomenon.  I have photos in this blog from April and September of 2011 and March of 2012.  I am pretty sure I did the basing of the minis last year while waiting for paint to dry on something else. 

In going back to my photo’s I can see that last summer I was really desperate to get pictures of me moving figures on the table so we could talk about rules such as fire and movement.  I got these guys based and realized that I didn’t need artillery for my blog just yet.  I needed confederate infantry and officers so I put the artillery (way back) on the back burner.





Commanders on the Battlefield

18 09 2011

Officers play a weird role in most wargames.  Regular units deal and take damage, have finite movement, and are looking for a reason to run away.  Officers on the other hand never shoot, frequently can’t be shot, don’t really belong in one specific spot and exist to suppress their soldiers natural instinct to run away. Occasionally they give soldiers a well timed die roll modifier to nudge them in the right direction.

Commanders exist to manage and coordinate achieving strategic objectives.  This is true at all levels of command.  They accomplish this by relaying information up to a level of command where that data can be analyzed and made sense of.  Decisions are made and orders communicated back down through officers to individual solders, and, if everyone is lucky, the facts that prompted the orders still hold true by the time it is acted on.  The level that this decision is made at typically scales with the size of the objective.

In McPherson and Revenge, officer stands do not literally represent troops on the table.  They are placeholders to help organize the table and show how much influence and luck (or karma) remains available to the soldiers nominally under their control.  They can’t be shot at and can be moved anywhere at anytime.

Officer stands

My officer miniatures from Baccus6MM are modeled as distinguished looking guys on horseback.  At 6mm this is pretty indistinguishable from Cavalry.  To make the stand look different from cav (which I haven’t done yet or I’d show you a picture) I decided to mix both horseback officers and standing figures.

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On this miniature I decided to use a standing flag bearer and an a drummer from the infantry command stand.  Note: I replaced the soft metal flag stands with piano wire on the flag bearer, I have lots of pictures of this process on my union and confederate infantry blogs)

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To keep from going through to many infantry command figures,  the next command stand will have an officer and an infantryman.

Next, I glue the figures to a 1” deep by 7/8” beveled stand.  (for more on stands, see my stand blog)

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I arrange the figures in a random but plausible pattern.  Each of my command stands will be played out differently from each other.

I then add ballast to the stand using white glue and my handy dandy nifty neeto glue applicator.

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So… if you have been following along up till now you may have noticed that this is the first time I have ever gotten to this point in the process without fully painted minis.  I prefer to paint the mini’s on the base actually.  Infantry are the exception because of how close they are to each other on the stand.  In particular their rows make them tough to paint.  I could have done this either way really.

Next I prime the mini’s black.  (No picture Sad smile)

I then start painting base colors.  Here I have done gray and blue.

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Next I paint with butternut.

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Then I start filling in with other colors including tan, off-white, red and light blue.

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With flesh paint the minis now look like something.  I also painted the ballasted surface dark brown and dry brushed it with a red brown.

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Next I do the front and sides in black.  I also paint the back bevel white.

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I apply glue (with the greatest glue applicator in the whole wide world!) and blow static grass onto the mini.

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I created a label with my generals name and an icon indicating their command level.  I cut out and and glue this label to the back bevel of the mini. (note… I changed mini’s on you.)

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One star denotes a Brigadier.  Two stars is a Division commander.  I go into a good bit of detail on the game impact of these rankings in my command blog.

Next comes the flags.  This bit is tricky because, as I pointed out in my confederate infantry 2 post, the famous confederate stars and bars would have been far from common at champion hill.

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In the end I decided that generals whose units are predominately from Arkansas get the Van Dorn Banner (red with stars and half moon) and the units from Kentucky get the Kentucky war banner (blue with white cross).  I also used a Polk flag somehow.  Given that Polk was not at Champion hill, I’m not sure what I was thinking but I trust me.

To apply the flags I fold them, apply white glue and wrap them around the flag pole.  While on the flag pole I manipulate then with tweezers until I get something that looks like a flag billowing.

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I also paint the edges of the flag with a pinkish red to cover up the white seam.  I love the way this looks.

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Here is General Cumming and his Georgia brigade!

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I have General Cumming, his activation chit, four influence dice and his Battle Karma all together.  This is the way he would appear on the table.

Fun note: As I put this pic in the blog I just realized the Cummings brigade consists of universally HUGE regiments and are all Green.  I had an order of battle I followed it unquestioningly.  It’s only now that I realize that this unit will be hairy to manage on the table.  It will be fragile yet unwieldy and there will be no crunchy units to lead with. Had I used my judgment rather than a real order of battle I would never have created this brigade this way.  This cracks me up!

More Fun Fact!!! – Just looked at the battle again.  Cummings held the high ground at the begging of the battle and his troops… uh… sorta… well… collapsed. <goose bumps>

Bonus project!  Union Officers!

Some of my mini’s I paint way ahead of the blog entry.  This is the case with My union commanders.  I finished these guys a year  before I knew I would be blogging and sadly I painted all the figures I had so I don’t have any to paint up and photograph.  The process is identical except for the color choices.

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Scenes of Battle

17 07 2011

I have always been intrigued by how technology and history interact.  The civil war  brought about many changes to our culture and economy that might have occurred differently or not at all had it not been for that conflict. 

For instance, the DEMONSTRATED tactical superiority of the Iron Clad over every wooden vessel in the world hastened the demise of the wooden ship and all the industries and professions associated with it.  The sail powered fleets slide into obsolescence could have delayed for many decades without practical proof of its vulnerability to armored steam only powered ships.  With the emphasis now on coal powered fleets, those nations with foreign holdings had to choose to loose the colonies OR step up colonization to ensure a coaling infrastructure for their new fleets.  It was not enough to have India or Australia as colonial possessions.  One had to have a network of ports for fueling the ships required to defend trades routes.  Suddenly Africa and Southeast Asia were critical strategic assets.

Another example is the settlement of the American west. The removal of an opposition party in government created unprecedented decisiveness in body known for conflict and toothless compromises.  At a blow , the Louisiana purchase could at last be settled with the debate over slaves in the territories solved.  This space had been left surprisingly empty for 60 years simply because neither American political party wanted to hand its opposition votes in congress.  The course of the great intercontinental railroad was no longer contested and the seeds of American progress were at long last planted.

Finally, the naivety of what battle must have been like was thoroughly removed by one notable technical innovation.  Photography during the war changed how we saw conflict.  By the time of the Civil war photography was quite common but was used almost exclusively used to document how middle class citizens of the western world looked in their finest dress surrounded by their most valuable possessions.  The war created a tempting target for the 19th century photographer. 

Prior to the existence of photographic images of the war, battlefield imagery tended to be created to in order to convey a particular point of view or commemorate a particular event. 

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John Trumbull’s painting of the Battle of Bunker hill tells much of the story of the battle in a single view including the fatal wounding of virtually every famous person engaged in the fight.  While there are many casualties on the ground but it is difficult to make out any wounds and almost no blood can be seen.

During the war, American photographers followed around the armies of both sides for the opportunity to photograph soldiers of the war and the battlefield itself.  When the first true images of battle made it back to the cities a twelve thousand year old taboo had been broken.  Civilians understood that battle was death. 

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Newly drafted soldiers of both armies now had an inkling of what they were in for and families of soldiers saw the conflict and sacrifice in a very different and unromantic light.

Casualty markers

Battlefields of the civil war era would be marked by casualties.  The scenes of the bloodiest fighting would have the highest concentration of the fallen.  You could literally make out where men stood in their firing lines.  No battlefield was an exception to this rule.  The wounded might be taken from the field during or shortly after the fight but the dead would certainly have remained until well after the battle were over, perhaps days.

In McPherson and Revenge casualty markers will be used whenever a “hit” is scored against a unit.  Indeed for every stand, three casualty markers can be placed.  These markers will be placed near to the unit receiving damage and thus the history of battle will be left on the table.

I have quite a few Baccus 6mm casualty figures.  These, for infantry, are a single soldier lying on a 1/2’ square.  This format is very convenient for basing but presents a unique challenge to paint.  It is the only figure I use that comes pre-based.

Here are the Baccus figs:

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They come in strips of 4 and require separation.  At this scale they really don’t look like much. 

After breaking them apart, I glue them to popsicle sticks and prime them.  (no picture Sad smile)

First, with the union, I paint coats blue and pants light blue.

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Next… I paint rifles, boots, and hair brown.

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Next is the tricky bit.  Rather than use my static flocking, I use blended turf.  Static flocking would be impossible to keep off the figures themselves.  Also… rather than use glue (and my fav glue applicator) I use green acrylic paint and a brush.

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These things are tiny and grass is just not going to give me the coverage I need.  Green paint has pretty adhesive like qualities and has the advantage of NOT looking like crap when exposed. 

As an aside, I have known many a war gamer that applies sand/grass/whatever using acrylic paint as it never looks bad and can be applied with a paintbrush (by definition.)

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Confederates are similar….

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… guns, hats, hair, face, bags…

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and grass…

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Confederate Infantry, Part2

19 06 2011

Last time I had my confederates painted but un-based.  Let’s finish ‘em up.

We start by popping them off of their popsicle sticks…

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,,,and gluing them to my infantry bases.

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I glue ballast to the bases and then paint everything a dark brown.

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I then drybrush the bases a lighter shade of brown,,,

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I then paint the vertical sides of the base black and the beveled backs white…

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Then I use my handy glue applicator to apply glue in splotches to the base and then I blow static grass over the whole miniature.  This gives the appearance of clumpy grass.

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Then I print and cut unit labels for my infantry stands and glue them on the bevel.

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Next comes the flags.

About Confederate Flags

In much the same way a confederate soldier was grateful to show up to the battle wearing pants, a confederate regiment was really glad to have a flag and weren’t really bothered if it was a bit different.  Unlike their union counterparts, the confederates did not have four score and seven years to agree on what banner the bore in battle.  As a result, there were not one confederate flag used during the war but many and units would fight sometimes with either a confederate national flag (which was frequently regional in origin) or even its state flag.

Here are few I have found…

Many units from Kentucky fought with this flag …

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Units from Arkansas fought with “Van Dorn” flag

Van Dorn Flag 

Units from Polk’s Corp had their own flag.

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And there were MANY variations on the battle field of the much maligned Confederate national flag.

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The famous confederate battle flag (St. Andrews flag) began use in 1862 and were championed by Generals Joseph E Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard.  Wherever they were posted they made the effort to make the flag a standard. 

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Virginia adopted the flag quickly and began mass producing the flag for not only its own army but units in other states as well.  As you can image, many of the units fight in the war had been formed well before the arrival of these flags and did not care to set aside their colors (thank you very much).  As such, battlefields, particularly in the west, had a myriad of colors and older units maintained their esprit de corps by hanging onto their distinctive colors.

It was not until 1864 that the flag saw the near universal use that is commonly perceived today. 

Champion Hill, fought in May of 1863, far west of Virginia with troops from Kentucky, Arkansas, and even Missouri would have had a large variety of flags.  It’s possible that few if any of the more famous confederate flags saw use of during the Vicksburg campaign.  I have made an effort to use as many different flags as possible because I want as mottled a look for my confederate troops as I can get.

I made flags by either downloading them purpose built for wargaming, by finding images I liked on the internet and resizing them or by making the flags from scratch using Visio.

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Once printed I cut out the flags using a craft knife and pre fold them.  I then glued these to the flag poles on my command stands.

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While still wet, I do a good bit of twisting and folding to achieve a flapping effect.

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Once the flag dries I need to deal with the white seam where the flag halves meet.  By trial and error I get paint to match and paint along the seam.

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I then drill holes and attach map pins to various command stands to mark veteran status.  Green for green and yellow for elite (not red… that would be cruel)

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Here are some pics of a few units…

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Confederate Infantry, Part 1

15 05 2011

For reasons I don’t fully understand, I cannot handle the thought of painting a confederate soldier in a proper uniform.  It seems to me a treacherous act of revisionism.  Confederate soldiers did well to arrive at the battle field wearing pants.  In as much as the word “Uniform” means “the same” confederate didn’t really have uniforms.

Many regiments early in the war would have marched out of their hometowns dressed to the nines but within just a few months uniform options would have been reduced to what could be found or patched together.  A common source of confederate pants on campaign would have been the sky blue trousers of fallen union soldiers for instance.  Hat’s would predominately been just hats.   Later in the war things like dyed cloth had all but disappeared from the south and gray cloth required dying.  Un-dyed cloth was the predominate color of the confederate uniform throughout the war.  This beige-ish color was frequently referred to as “butternut”.

Gray had been the agreed upon color of the confederate soldier at the start of the war. This was a pragmatic choice. Cadets at all US military schools wore gray to distinguish themselves from actual soldiers and gray uniforms existed across the south in significant quantities.  As the war wore on gray continued to be a preferred color but it became increasingly scarce because of the increased processing require in its generation.

There was a huge difference in the soldiers that fought in Virginia and those that fought west of the Appalachians.  Western soldiers would have had MUCH worse access to uniforms because of the distances that supplies would have to be delivered.  A regiment of western confederates would have looked like well armed hobo on the battlefield.  In contrast, soldiers in Virginia would have been pretty well supplied with cloths given their distance from the confederate capitol. 

Many war gamers prefer to paint soldiers in their parade uniforms but I really like my confederates totally grubby.

The process

Here are a few of my minis.  Notice the shortage of distinct “kepi” hats.

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I replaced the flag on the command stand with a piece of piano wire and I modified the officer figure by giving him a flag.  I really like the look of command stands with two flags. (more on this later)

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After priming I paint a few random coats and pants gray.

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I then paint a similar number of pants and jackets a fairly dark off white.  This is my “butternut” color. By this time 3 out of 4 coats are painted and about half the pants are painted.

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Next I paint some pants a sky blue and some a dark brown.  I should be about done with my pants at this point.

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Next I paint coats/shirts weird colors like pale red, green and beige.

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At this point my guys look crazy unmatched.  Goody!

Next I paint the cartridge boxes and forage bags.  Just like their union counterparts I paint these black and off-white respectively.  I also paint a couple of hat black because I have the black paint handy.

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Soldiers typically fought while carrying a ton of their crap.  If I where a good blogger I would know how heavy the civil war soldiers stuff was but well… you know.  Many of my figures have a bed rolls slung across their soldiers.  This is common item on pictures and paintings of soldiers so it must have been really valuable.

I paint bedrolls a mix of colors including pale red, dark brown, light brown, dark green and grey.

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Next… hats!  I paint hats a mix of pale yellow, medium and dark brown.  (This is in addition to the black I used earlier.)

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Rifles and flag poles are painted a dark brown.

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I then paint flesh colored dots for the faces and hands.

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This is the magic step the same here as it was for the union troops.

Next time basing, flagging and labeling.





Union Infantry 2.0

10 04 2011

When last we left our Union infantry they were still glued to their popsicle sticks.  A great place to have them if you are wanting to paint but not were we need them if we want to get them into the game.

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First I need to pop these guys from their bases.  This goes pretty quick using my handy craft knife.

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Here are the troops all loose.

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Once they are all separated I begin gluing them with white glue to the bases I created earlier.  I have 47 bases worth of mini’s here.

When gluing I am particularly careful to keep the strips from touching the edges of the base or each other.

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Command Stands get a front row of office/Flags/drummer bits and a regular infantry back row.  I have a dozen command stands and 35 regular infantry stands.  Here are all 47 stands glued.

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Next, I use diluted white glue to attach fine ballast to the tops of the infantry bases.

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By the way, if I were informed that a class of preschoolers were going to be given two hours of unmonitored access to my craft table and I could only move or hide one item, I would place the bottle I use to apply glue to minis in this step.  Everything else I own is easily replaceable.

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I modified a squeeze bottle by reaming out the tip, placing a short piece of brass tubing in it and molding some modeling putty around it to keep it in place.  I made it originally to put glue in tight places but it’s useful for darn near everything.  I can lay a really fine bead of glue or squeeze glue into really tight places.  The hole is small enough that it doesn’t need a cap and it never clogs.  I have been using it now for 10 years.  It is… my precious..

Sorry… where was I ?  Oh yes.  Miniatures!  Next I paint the ballast dark brown

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This step is a pain, as you can imagine.  I know how to squeeze brown paint IN BETWEEN the rows of miniatures.  How do I do it without getting paint onto the legs of the figures?  I don’t.  I make a mess and then clean it up later.  This is why I pre-painted the strip bottoms brown.

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Next I dry brush the base a lighter shade of brown.  Again, trousers will be smudged… It’s OK.

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Once the bases are painted brown, I touch up everywhere I may have smudged a leg or two.  Next I apply black paint the sides and fronts of the bases.

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I then apply white to the beveled back of the base.

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Next I apply “splotches” of static grass. (using my very favoritest glue applicator!)

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Once I apply another coat of black and white paint to the sides of the bases I am done with the painting.

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Next, Labels.  I take the regiment names from the order of battle I created last year and place put them in a Visio document, along with cut lines.  I them print them out onto matte photo paper.

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I used to use overhead projector sheets which I stole from work BUT, in one of those depressing changes in office tech that make you feel suddenly very old, overhead projector’s and their transparent sheets utterly disappeared from the modern office landscape.  Bummer.  Photo paper though works like a champ though.

Next, I cut out labels using a straight edge and my handy craft knife.

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One the labels are cut I attach them to my bases using silicon glue.

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I use silicon glue because it comes off cleanly.  One day I may want to change the order of battle for my minis and I know I can get it all off if I had to.

Next… flags!

Flags are interesting.  About 8 years ago you could buy flags online or at conventions and they came on laser printed paper.  Time have changed.  Now you can go online to a place that has images free flags (such as Warflag) or sells low price PDFs (such as Wargame Vault) or you make them yourself.

Union troops carried a US flag into battle along their regimental flag.  This regimental flag was navy blue and hade a large golden eagle on it similar to the presidential seal.  These flags because really special as the names of battles in which the unit had fought would be handstitched onto the flag.

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I have flags I bought from Baccus old school style (printed by Baccus) but I don’t care for regimental colors.  I used Baccus’s us colors and some regimental colors I found on line.

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I cut out all the flags.

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Then I apply white glue to the back of the US flag and place it on the flagpole.

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While the flag is still wet, I bend the flag using a pair of tweezers to make it appear that it is flapping in the wind.

I repeat this process with the regimental flag.

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Next I trim the wires, paint the exposed metal brown to match.  I also paint the edge of the flags gold.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but both flags have a gold trim that matches the paint.

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Here are my completed 12 regiments.

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One last tidbit.  One of the regiments I painted is “elite”.  Without explaining what this means in game play, it is important that this be identified on the table.  To do this I embedded a red map pin on the front right of on the unit’s command stand.  A green unit will have <wait for it> a green pin.   By an odd coincidence there was only one regiment in this batch with a non veteran status so I didn’t get pictures of how I built this.  I will get photo’s when I do my confederates.

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Next week… Movement!