Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Union Troops for Tactica

Main part of my winter efforts were troops for our presentation game at Tactica in Hamburg in February. Namely ACW Union troops. Somehow I didn't manage to post the units step by step so I'll present them all in one go now.

For our game we needed several units of Union infantry. So I promised my friend Holger to deliver two 24 men units respectively four units of 12 figures. One of the units was painted before the Painting Challenge started but the other was to enter and leave the painting table around Christmas. Here it is:

The unit is made of 24 figures from the Perry Miniatures plastic boxes. Here obviously mainly skirmishing poses from box ACW120. Of course it's a bunch of work to clean and assemble all those parts but they deliver a wonderful variety of combinations to create unique units.

Two bases carry the colours. One the Union flag and one the regimental flag. They are by top-notch flag maker GMB Designs who delivers some of the best flags on the market. I decided to split the colours to have them truely in the centre of the unit when fielding all six bases. When using two 12 men units then each of them keeps one flag. To my mind that looks better than having two flags in a smallish unit of three bases.

The whole unit is based with for figures per 40mm x 40mm base. Somehow that took root as our standard basing for Blackpowder games.

Every infantry brigade need a certain amount of artillery support. Thus I prepared three guns and four crew men per piece.

Two of the guns were based properly and with its crew properly attached to the base. The figures and guns are again by Perry Miniatures and come from their excellent plastic box. It contains enough parts to build three guns, three limbers and 18 crew. It is also versatile enough to produce either Union or Confederate artillery.

With the describtion from the leavlet it's possible to build figures according to the ACW artillery drill which I did more or less.

The third battery is kind of unfinished. The gun itself is painted as the other pieces are but the crew is kind of substitute. All four figures are completely painted but actually they are the remaining crewmen of the first two guns. They are meant to operate the limbers but in this time of dearth they were ordered to handle the third gun. Thus they haven't been based yet...

Command Vignettes
Those reliable Yanks needed some commanding officers of course. For our game I had the honour and pleasure to deliver a brigade commander and a divisional commander. The first one was made from the plastic sprue that the Perrys deliver when ordering Blackpowder 2 from them:

Actually I wanted to give him a standard bearer aside but then I noticed that this plastic figure is significantly smaller then the metal cavalry figures. Thus he had to stay on his own and I mounted him on a rund 40mm base. Nevertheless it's a wonderful frame. It has enough parts to build a Union or Confederate officer and has a large variety of options. Additionally it's compatible with the plastic boxes delivering even more options. For this very special incarnation of a Union colonel I used the plastic figure as a base, assembled another head and made shoulder straps and collar from greenstuff. Actually the figure comes with seperate plastic shoulder straps but I cut them when I tried to loosen them from the sprue so I had to sculpt new ones.

However our division needed a commander so I made another base representing this honourable officer:

Here we have three mounted soldiers. All by Perry Miniatures as well: One mounted general, a standard bearer and a trumpeter. The officer comes from one of the mounted generals sets while the soldiers are actually cavalrymen in sack coates. From my humble point suitable enough for an escort.

This time the flag isn't by GMB. It's rather a product of yours truely himself because he forgot to order the correct standard and didn't realise it until it was too late. Thus there was no other way then printing the flag by himself. Anyway I'm rather satisfied with the result.

Well that's it. In addition to the priorly painted unit all the stuff I brought to Tactica and main project this winter:
  • 24 men unit of infantry. Flags by GMB only glued to shape and edges repainted. Whole unit based on 40mm x 40mm bases with four figures per base.
  • 3 artillery pieces and 12 crewmen. Two guns with crew based on scenic bases, one gun and four crewmen unbased.
  • 1 mounted brigade commander. Based on 40mm round base. Multi-part plastic figure with converted head. Collar and rank insignia resculpted with greenstuff.
  • 3 men divisional command vignette. Three mounted figures. Standard self-made. Based on an oval base of 100mm x 50mm
Having finished those in time really made me happy and maybe kind of proud. Although my club fellows brought more figures by far, it was the largest amount of figures I provided to a presentation game until now. We'll set up ACW for another small convention in Germany again and I'm looking forward to seeing my Yanks on the field again. In Hamburg they earned their stripes and helped to win the day twice.