Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two entire armies - done!

Hello all - more 2mm ACW stuff which I've knocked into order. The rebel army has been rebased, and now stands at a pretty respectable level. I'm thinking of going for a corps as represented by between three to five 'units' in Black Powder, which means each individual 'unit' represents about two or three brigades. Incidentally this means each of the 20mm by 10mm bases used to make up a unit equates to one brigade. I've done the Rebels in three corps of infantry, plus one of cavalry, to represent Lee's army in the Wilderness, right at the start of the huge Overland Campaign of 1864. In total, thirty-four infantry brigades, seven cavalry brigades and nine artillery 'battalions' of corps-level guns. Below is a view of some of the troops, plus some terrain I've found - some stretches of trenchworks and a pair of large redoubts - pretty much essential for refighting the Overland campaign. Although these were bought from Irregular Miniatures some years ago, making your own should be intensely easy.

Here is the Union, which I have also managed to represent in it's entirety. Four infantry corps, plus one cavalry. 41 Brigades of infantry, seven cavalry, plus about ten artillery 'batteries' of corps-artillery. And wagon-trains, camps, and supply dumps, naturally.

I also had a go at adding a bit of 'detail' to the infantry, and had to give up almost straight away. If you're trying to vary the grey ranks with browns of various shades, your efforts become completely invisible even at a few inches' distance. Only bold colours have a chance, such as in the photo below. On a whim, I coloured one Confederate corps commander in red, to represent A.P. Hill's notorious habit of wearing a red 'battle-shirt' when he led his men into a fight. At least 'Lil' Powell' will stand out!

Here's a few of those Union 'tail' formations behind the fighting troops. I tend to plough mounds of spare units, wagons, riders, cavalry troops, and tents onto all army HQ bases, to represent the chaos at a large staff-base. The Union tends to have more tents, just as a gesture towards their larger numbers and better supplies. In the background to this photo, you can also see Sheridan's troopers in the US Cavalry corps, ready to tear up some railway tracks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2mm Extravaganza!

If you've not read it, I'd advise reading the blog 'Steel on Sand' for a good resource-pile relating to 2mm - for my money, one of the most routinely under-rated scales in wargaming. While my Wars of the Roses painting rumbles on, and my ACW campaign is on hold while I write up my campaign history (book-keeping - in real life, and in the hobby, it gets everywhere!) so I've taken my inspiration from it and dug out some old 2mm figures to see what I have. Turns out: far more than I realised! I have several armies of Horse & Musket kicking around in various states, so I thought I'd pick one to illustrate:

Take the above, for example - a full Confederate army in 2mm. I'd based it for DBA or something similar, but now with the excellent Black Powder rules in my hands, I'm thinking of converting it over to bases half this size.

Above are some Rebel infantry, which show the uneven and half-completed paint job I got through. Some units have little face-dots and stars-and-bars flags, while others are grey basecoats and no more. The above even has some rear-line regiments fashioned experimentally out of matchsticks. This may sound mad, but once painted and viewed from over the 'two-foot rule' distance, they are virtually indistinguishable from the moulded lead ones! To the front, a Corps commander plus his staff have a base of their own.

Here is a close-up on the cavalry, which includes Jeb Stuart and some light horse-artillery. The troopers themselves are modelled as a dismounted scrum of skirmishers (the collective noun?) to the fore, and a clutch of tethered horses to the rear. Looking at the photo, I've walked round the table and photographed them from behind - D'oh!

Now up to more refined levels - Army headquarters! the right shows the reserve artillery park of batteries, most of which are to be attached to the infantry corps. On the left is the HQ camp of R. E. Lee, with staffers, tents, hangers-on and even a little wagon. Behind it is the army supply base of yet more tents and such. One of the best things about 2mm is that you can model not just the fighting edge of an army, but the 'tail' as well, which can add a real extra dimension to large-level campaign games. (Plus, having it pillaged by enemy cavalry is a pain in the backside!)

Some close-up views of Johnny Reb. I feel like adding some variety to the uniforms, by putting in some splashes of browns and such - they're too neat and uniform! Each little 'unit' is a strip of a formed body of troops, forwarded by a skirmish line. I originally based them as 20mm by 10mm units, but then glued them together for DBA into 40mm by 20mm (as shown here.) For Black Powder I'll probably revert back, and a BP unit (probably around a brigade-sized outfit, at this scale) will consist of two 20mm x 10mm bases. This way they can go side-by-side for line formation, or back-to-back for a column. By converting scales I reckon they will move at about 2" a 'move' order and have a range of 4" for rifled muskets. At that scale, I can probably fight a battle on a small table or use a large one for effectively doing a series of battles - the entire Seven Days' battles on your dinner table?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First WotR Army painted

Hi - just a quick update plus some photos. I have almost completed painting 80 figures, or one of my Wars of the Roses armies - half the total I got delivered recently. The base-coats are on, and following a few little additions like livery badges etc. I'll be ready to 'dip' the whole lot in a stained varnish to add detail to the figures. Rounded off with an aerosol spray to kill off any glossy finish, then some flocking the base with grass, and they'll be done! Below you can see a ward of two companies, one under the Kingmaker Warwick, plus another minor noble with blue & yellow livery colours (doubtless some minor noble too humble to trouble a chronicler!)

My 'Main' Battle with the retainers of Henry VI or the Duke of Somerset (both blue & white - I've discovered many livery colours can apply to several people, reassuringly!) With him are further troops in Percy-ish colours, plus assorted minors, and even the five unpainted figures I've just to finish up (no doubt the unhinged Henry VI's personal escort, who'll be several miles off the field when the battle comes.)

Another small company of troops - Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter - in red and white.

The whole host, ready to battle!