EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, January 20, 2012

Like Bartholomew Cubbins' Hats

Just as you take one unit off the painting desk, Whish..then.... KerPlop! another one appears!

An 8th Reb regiment to balance the 12th Federal one finished this morning.  

Gotta keep the playing field uneven. Same mix of Airfix, Imex and Italeri.

I was pleased but surprised at the favorable comments on the ACW figures this week as I consider this to be a very rough and ready paint job, which is why the regiments take about 2 hours apiece. There is a part of me that would like to have done a more careful, more detailed (like musket barrels and bits, designs on the reb blankets etc), properly shaded & highlighted painting of the figures but alas not only is eye & hand not equal to the task these days but neither is my patience. Instead of 50 figures (counting the horse) in 3 days it would probably have been none. (Mind you if I churned out that many figures every week, I'd have to make an addition to the house. I think I might have just matched last year's output!)

Anyway, to be clear I'm very happy with the results of the rough and ready approach. The extras would be lost on the table top. Base coat, rough highlights, nearly but not quite dry brushing, and directed wash shading using a appropriate colour for each area rather than a one size fits over wash like I used to use.

Thanks to Shep Paine for his chapter on wargame figures for talking me into that last bit as well as reminding me that shading is about where the light hits, not just about folds. Actually Shep Paine's book is fantastic in many ways and is responsible for my occasional putterings with sculpting as well. Couldn't have done it at all without him. (Price seems to have gone up a bit since I got mine nearly 20 years ago.)

Slightly fuzzy looking Federal troops. That's not exactly my house but its a similar style, straight off the back of the Imex box. Could use a bit of touch up..

Ok enough painting for now. My 12 Federal Regiments are ready to defend against the combined force of my 8 plus Jerry's 3 Rebel units, but the ground they will fight over isn't. Jerry's forces are expected to embark at Avonport, move up the Avon River, disembark at Newport Landing then march up the Belmont Road to attack the Federal Brigade camped near Wallace Point where the Avon and Kennetcook Rivers meet,  across the river from the shore battery at Card Beach. The rest of the Federal Army will be encamped across the river and will have to be ferried across the Kennetcook off table.  Both rivers are tidal which poses some interesting challenges which I'll ignore for now.

View Larger Map

"A" marks my house, (Since it would have been here at the time, I'll be using the one above, it'll be near the edge of the table which will be roughly 2 km by 1 2/3 km.). The Kennetcook goes acroos the top, The Avon is in the side, flowing towards the Minas Basin and then Bay of Fundy. The corner with the clearing is Wallace Point with Card Beach which will be off table is across the river, under the directional arrows. The map is about twice the area that the table will cover.

Since I don't want to spend hours making a terrain block of my house (after all, hopefully most of the fighting should be across the Avon River as I push out of Hants County into King's County and down the Valley.)  it'll be tricky making even a vague semblance of the terrain, trying to figure out how to translate rolling hills into workable scaled down terrain and squashing the shape for convenience. But, it should be fun too.

Right, time for a cuppa then to get on with terra forming.


  1. Hello Ross,

    Amazing what a few hours of work can do to turn bits of plastic into highly attractive wargaming pieces. Very nice. I see that you too have found the Shep Paine book invaluable. It's a good one.

    Best Regards,


  2. A suitably ragged looking group of rascally rebs.

  3. Very nice unit of Rebs there Ross.

  4. Ross

    Very nice looking figs. Point taken on the washes for each base coat- the one coat fits all can be faster but doesn't always look as nice in the end.


  5. These figures have turned out very nicely.

  6. Thanks Tim, and they fought well, or some of them did. Tragic really, some of them were cast on the same sprue and found themselves divided on the painting table only to face each other across the field of battle. Brother vs brother!

  7. That all sounds very historically accurate!