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.


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


Here are the troops all loose.


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.


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.


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





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.


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


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.


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



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.


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


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




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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


I cut out all the flags.


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


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.


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.


Here are my completed 12 regiments.


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.


Next week… Movement!