Monday, January 21, 2013

Brig. Gen. Archer, 13th Alabama and Mass Graves....Oh my

“there are those damned black-hatted fellows again. ‘Taint no militia.  It’s the Army of the Potomac.”
 Brigadier General James J.Archer Battle of Gettysburg July 1st 1863.

Hello All. It's been a while since Ive posted anything. First off a big thanks to my good friend, Alex Landing from Ironheart Artisans, for the photo work of my Archers Brigade Project. This post and all upcoming will be chock full o' pictures. OKAY! Lets dive into the first set. Below are some angles of  " the little gamecock" himself Brigadier General James J. Archer and staff.
Again, I have chosen miniatures from Sash And Saber Castings to represent the brigade command stand. 

 I was shooting for a simple portrayal of Archer and a member of his staff in an exchange of what was happening on the field of battle in front them.

I really enjoy the simplicity of the two models eye contact and think it really pulls off the effect I was going for.

Next up are photos of the 13th Alabama Infantry. This time around, I decided to mix it up a bit and go with a battle line vs. marching column.  
 Again I have gone with Sash And Saber Casting for this unit. As I described in a prior post, this company offers regiment packs of 40 white metal minis without any duplicate sculpts. I find this really gives the unit a dynamic look with so many different actions of firing, loading, priming, etc.

 I also found with the few random casualties thrown in it really gives the unit a realistic middle of battle feel.
All in all I'm very happy with the way the 13th Alabama Infantry has turned out. The battle line was a welcoming change from painting right shoulder shift days on end :)

Last but not least, my unit casualty markers or mass grave markers as I'd like to call them.
 As you can see Ive decided to not use minis for my markers. I figured mass grave markers would be a little more appropriate for the brigade due to the heavy losses taken at Gettysburg.Well, the truth is, I took the easy way out and cut down the amount of minis I have to paint * cough cough I'm a wuss*.

 These were very fun to construct. It was challenging to find enough toothpick sized dead twigs to construct the cross grave markers. I think they came out as intended.

Well I hope you all have enjoyed the progress photo. Up next will be the 14th Tennessee Infantry. These are done and just awaiting photos so I hope to have them up soon! Until next time keep the paint flying and have a great day!

Big Rob

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hey Boys!!!! I think there are shoes in those barns!!!

The group recently started discussing the table layout and we all ran for our closets to see what was lurking in the boxes of hobby stuff. I came across my 'scenery' box and pull out some gems. They were really dusty and unpainted but after a couple of hours and a fresh coat of paint we have some buildings to fight over. This was a slight diversion from my army but a great game starts with a good looking table and I wanted to contribute to the build out this year. Last year Dave and I with some additional help from Brien, Chris and Becky were cranked out a cool table. This year I am on independent ops in Atlanta, GA so I volunteered to paint some buildings and was asked to paint some fences. They are next on the list of things to do.

I can't wait to see the table once everything is done. Enjoy the pics. I now officially have more finished buildings than I do Union troops. Uh oh!!!!!

This are both resin buildings but I couldn't tell you who the manufacturer is. Maybe Hovel.

This barn is a biscuit foam building and once again I couldn't tell you the manufacturer. Maybe Hudson and Allen or Old Glory.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Federal Cavalry

You know whats going to happen here in the morning? The whole damn reb army is going to be here. They'll move through this town, occupy these hills on the other side and when our people get here Lee will have the high ground. There will be the devil to pay! The high ground! Meade will come in slowly, cautiously. New to command. They'll be on his back in Washington. Wire hot with messages 'Attack! Attack!'. So he will set up a ring around these hills. And when Lee's army is nicely entrenched behind fat rocks on the high ground, Meade will finally attack, if he can coordinate the army. Straight up the hillside, out in the open, in that gorgeous field of fire. We will charge valiantly... and be butchered valiantly! And afterwards men in tall hats and gold watch fobs will thump their chest and say what a brave charge it was. Devin, I've led a soldier's life, and I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this. -Major General John Buford (from the novel, Killer Angels)

 I'm a little late to the party, but my painting has started in earnest. When we first considered the idea of doing a rough approximation of the First Day at Gettysburg, I knew that Federal cavalry was going to be an important part of our project. I also felt that, instead of attaching the various cavalry regiments to infantry brigades, we'd build a separate cavalry brigade. In this case, based on Buford's First Division, First Brigade- Colonel Bill Gamble's brigade. I volunteered to paint the 4-5 cavalry regiments that will take the field, along with their supporting artillery. I would then have the honor of commanding the Union cavalry brigade come Adepticon. With this responsibility foremost on my mind, I have started building the brigade with renewed ferver!
Gamble's brigade includes some home-town regiments:
8th Illinois
8th New York
Companies from the 12th Illinois and 3rd Indiana
I'll probably end up supplementing these with a couple of regiments from Devin's brigade, giving a nice mix of the cavalry troops present on the opening day of the battle.
12th Illinois dismounted (quick iPhone shot)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Irish Brigade Takes Shape

My army progress has been a little slower than I would have liked but I am moving along quite nicely since my return from the holiday break. Although I don't have any finished units I am working on the army in steps rather than one unit at a time. I am base coating and 'dipping' everything before I go in for the highlights. At this stage I decided to photograph my units ready for the 'dip'.

My artillery crew. The one crewman suffered a horrible fate when I attempted to dip him and the dip was beginning to dry out. I added some paint thinner to the dip and it only made things worse beginning to pull the paint from the miniature. So, I threw out the dip and $30 later I was back in business. 

The cannons are done. Rather than dip them I used a brown wash to give them some depth after base coating them. Once I finish off the bases I will give the cannon a little weathering. 

 A 30 man regiment ready for highlights. I started highlighting the command elements but decided to finish the army before moving on to the highlights. If I a desperate I would rather have the miniatures on the table then not fulfill my obligations.

 18 of the 30 man regiment ready for dip. I should hopefully have the other 12 done this weekend.

Here are 3 of the 30 man Zouave regiment. I really wanted to see what these guys were going to look like so I have been working on them a little at a time. There are a lot of details to paint on this regiment so I add them in the mix when I am sick of painting blue and black.

Here is the back to show some of the details. Nice miniatures and I look forward to painting the Confederates which are sculpted similar to these. 

Here are the horses for my cavalry and command stand. I opted for a regiment of 12 but I think that will be reduced depending on the army build out. I guess it could always be split into two 6 man regiments but at least I have options. 

Here are the riders for my cavalry. I am painting an additional standard bearer because I want to have the divisional flag on my command base. 

That's it for now. More to come soon and we prepare to whoop up on some Rebels. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hail the victorious dead

"It is believed that the enemy suffered severely in these operations, but our own loss has not been light."
General Lee in a letter to President Jefferson Davis,
July 4, 1863
After completing my first regiments I started the process of cleaning and basing some other models I need to work on including the wound markers for the Confederate side.  After seeing Dave Taylor's awesome markers for the Napoleonic game last year I knew, if I had the chance, I'd want to do some for something in the future.  When we decided on ACW and Gettysburg I knew I'd have my chance.
Once I had cleaned and based these I couldn't help but want to paint them up ASAP.  I thought about waiting as this sort of task is less repetitive than 30 man regiments and might be better for when I get burned out on regimental painting but I just couldn't stop myself.  Above you can see the initial base where I used green stuff to create a small "lip" to hold a dice for counting wounds.  The models are from Perry Miniatures who make wonderful casualty figures like the ones I used here.
I stuck with the same grey and brown colors I used on my Confederate infantry and added a little more weathering as well as some blood for these "special" figs.    A little morbid I know but I just couldn't resist.

The basing was done following the same scheme that the others in the group have done.  At the suggestion of Dave Taylor I purchased some tufts and flowers from Silfor Scenics and I have to say I love them.  I think you're going to be seeing lots of these on my models in the future.  On these bases I added a few extras such as larger rocks and field grass.  I skipped these on my regiment bases for time sake but I may have to rethink that on the next regiments as I like the added character it gives.
I'm hoping these will just be out for display and the Confederates won't need to use them much but if our game goes anything like the real battle, I have a feeling both sides will be using their wound markers more than they'd like.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The 24th Michigan, ready for basing.

Another unit bites the dust, so to speak. I'm another 30 models closer to completing the Iron Brigade, and feeling better for getting past this "hump" unit (this was the middle infantry unit of five).

I know I'm going to be swamped with other painting tasks and so on during January, so I'm looking towards February to convert and paint the 7th Wisconsin, and then March for the 19th Indiana. If that goes smoothly, I'll be able to finish off my command, artillery, and assorted markers in April, all ready for their big debut on the tabletop at Adepticon.

I hope you like them, and I hope we'll see some more Union regiments march onto these pages soon.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heth's Brigade Forms

Although I'm late to the posting party going on here at The Guns of April blog, I have been watching the blog and working hard to get into the action.  The fun thing about a group project is the motivation and inspiration you get from your fellow hobbyists.  Over the past month, as I worked on my first regiment, I spent a lot of time looking at the various posts here to ensure my regiments were up to snuff with the great work already presented here.

So without further ado, here are the boys of the 40th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, proud soldiers of Heth's Brigade and the Army of Northern Virginia. 
 As you can see I'm not quite finished yet as the 40th still need their colours but other than this I can call this regiment done!  I chose Heth's Brigade as I thought it was a solid representation of the stereotypical soldiers of the Confederacy and especially the Army of Northern Virginia.  I'm often more interested in the historical flavor of a period then the gritty details so you'll have to excuse any historical inaccuracies in my Rebs.

So one regiment down, three to go.  That's only another 90 infantry figures not to mention the Cavalry, Cannon, Wound and Disruption Markers I need to paint.