Thursday 8 February 2018

15/18mm American Civil War: Update 1

First update on my ACW project, following on from my initial post here.

As I left it I had a work in progress tray as shown below and was trying to decide on how to progress with painting the figures.

In work tray from previous post.

Having come to the conclusion that the Vallejo Ultramarine primer with a wash over the top didn't do it for me as a jacket colour the decision I then had to make was whether to continue and use this as my primer or switch back to grey. So as I needed some more artillery personnel I chose to prime these in grey before block painting the jackets and trousers on both groups in my chosen colours, Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and Grey Blue respectively. For the results see the image below.

Primers: Vallejo Ultramarine blue on the left, Grey on the right.

The grey primed artillery figures seemed to match better with my existing artillery crews so I was happy with this. As for the figures primed with the Ultramarine, they too look OK and as I have two bottles of it I may as well carry on using this for my new infantry units. But first up was completing my artillery.

Two batteries I decided to paint as "horse artillery", left on the picture, which required a little bit of work on the legs of the dismounted crew. I shaved away some of the lower trouser material and then painted this area, as well as the feet, black to give the impression of higher cavalry style boots. They also received more red trim on their jackets. One battery got Napoleons and the other, 3" ordnance.
The other four batteries were painted as "foot" artillery, again with an even split between smooth-bore and rifled barrels.
Whereas on the supply wagon I added traces/chains to both sides of the draft horses, with the artillery limbers I have chosen to only attach them to the outside of the horses, for now anyway.

Artillery completed.

Before I got on with the generals and the mountain of infantry I turned my attention to a bit of terrain, specifically railway track. As we all know the railways were a vital resource during the Civil War so many battles or other encounters will include this terrain feature, but what to use? The obvious was model railway track, but then the question of scale came into play.
Initially, based on trying to get a more realistic ground scale for Fire & Fury I chose N Gauge, upper example in the picture. Having got this I discovered, a few problems. First, although a better ground scale I think it just looks wrong next to the figure bases. I know the figures are an abstract representation but that doesn't make it work for me. Second, if I wanted any rolling stock to add as eye candy it would have to be fully functional model railway stock, most likely imported from the US and therefore very expensive for a bit of wargamming fluff. So back to the research.
A bit of trawling around the internet later and I discovered 15mm white metal railroad models are available from Peter Pig's western range, which are also suitable for ACW. These are scaled to fit on TT Gauge track which is also known as HOm Gauge, so I ordered some.
This track is seen at the bottom of the picture and while technically even more out sized, ground scale wise, I think it looks much better alongside the figures and the availability of sensibly priced rolling stock seals it for me.

Track size comparisons.

So with that decision made it was back to the generals and infantry. Starting with the generals, superb AB figures, I had got as far as painting the horses tack when I noticed that on certain poses, those with extended necks especially, the infill between the reins below the head meant for a very noticeable solid block of black. So it was out with the pin drill and craft knife to remove as much of this infill as possible. On the horse with its head down this infill was hardly noticeable and so I left it alone rather than risk damaging the figure.

Infill cleaned out on bridle on right hand figure

Best get on.



  1. Nice ACW progress! You’re ahead of me as I haven’t done any limbers.

    Thank you for your thoughts on the railways , it’s something I’ve been considering as well.

    1. Did take a bit of thought with Fire & Fury having a ground scale and the trade off with that and what looks good. Will be trying to sell on the N Gauge track to the 10mm gamer at the club.
      Have got the advantage in that I can use club trees etc.


  2. Nice work here Tony, especially cleaning out the infill on the bridles.

  3. Thanks, needed to be done especially as they are black, really stood out.