Sunday, 22 May 2016

American Civil War Week

It's American Civil War week at Tarleton's Quarter!  For the next 6-8 days I'm going to aim to make one post each day on a project I spent the first half of 2012 working on, namely creating a brigade of troops from Stonewall Jackson's command of 1862 and some other ACW bits and bobs.  I had intended to run this series of posts back in 2012/3.  Why I failed to do so is anyone's guess now - I think because I was waiting to paint up my Jackson command stand and that fell by the wayside (even now it's still not quite finished....).  I can't believe it's taken me four years to do these posts, although it does explain why this blog was so quiet in 2012.  I did just one teaser post and then forgot all about it...Anyway, I'm planning on posting photos of one regiment a day until they are all finished.  I'll probably not do complete battle histories for each unit, as my knowledge of the ACW is still pretty weak and so that would take a lot of time and research.  It's more about posting some photos I enjoyed taking in the garden the other week and rediscovering these figures.  Like 'em or loathe 'em, you can't deny that the Dixon figures for this period have character.

First, some project history.  I spent much of March to May 2012 painting 25mm ACW Confederates.  Almost exactly 18 years ago I bought a whole load of Dixon ACW figures.  I remember the date because I'd just finished my law school exams and I decided to treat myself to a new period; I recall Dixon were offering a discount on a "Jackson's Foot Cavalry" deal, or something like that.  I haven't ever counted them all, but I suspect there were about 100 infantry figures, plus some artillery and Stonewall himself.  I painted 40-odd figures that summer, before I started work in September.  I was still living "at home" back then, and somewhere I have a couple of photos of me painting these figures which were taken by my parents' 20-something Hungarian cleaner, who appeared to be fascinated by either these figures or my painting of them (there's more to that story, but as this isn't Legatus Hedlius' blog I'm not going any further!).  However, after painting those initial figures my ACW interest waned and I moved on to other things (Darkest Africa and SYW, I think) and never returned to Jackson, although several times over the intervening years I have finished off the odd ACW infantry figure that I'd part painted.  I also didn't base any of the figures I had painted - probably because I didn't know what rules I wanted to use and back in those days I had very limited experience of wargaming anyway and tended not to base anything I'd painted until I'd met someone else who was into the period and could advise how I should approach it.

Anyway, for reasons I cannot explain at all, four years ago I decided to get stuck into these Dixon figures.  Sometimes one just gets an "urge", and if it's to paint figures that have been in the leadpile for over a decade then it's best to give into the urge.  I suspect that Dave Brown's "Guns at Gettysburg" rules and the excellent scenario books by Paul Stevenson (all published by Caliver) had been sending me subliminal messages.  (My ACW project has taken so long that in the intervening years Dave Brown has released a new edition of GaG and has been developing an entirely different set of ACW rules.)  The figures I painted in 1998 formed elements of 4 regiments; 2 charging and one each of firing and marching.  All the figures needed sprucing up and basing and I had to add new figures to bring them up to strengths of either 20 or 24 figures.  I realised I was having so much fun that I painted another couple of regiments from scratch and started work on a couple of vignettes.  I still have enough figures for about 3 more regiments, I think, so I may turn to those later this year.  I then bought a few packs of the Perry "Bull Run" infantry, which had just been released and got stuck into those; I have two regiments finished and another on the way. 

So there's a lot to come over the next few days.   I've used this post to show all the regiment together, in something approaching a game situation.  Incidentally, I do have some Union troops as well, although most of those are very badly painted (the shades of blue I used were far too bright).   Normal AWI service will resume in a couple of weeks.  Currently on the workbench are Butler's Rangers, Highland colonels and Pulaski's Legion, and I see that almost by accident I've undercoated some more Dixon rebs...


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Well you grabbed my attention with "American Civil War Week" straight away as that's a period sear to me. They look really great Giles and I hope you continue on with it beyond this week.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Not my period, but the figures pictured here look inviting and up to your usual delightful painting standards, so I'll be sure to tune in during the coming week. Well done for digging them out after all of this time and photographing them.

Best Regards,


CelticCurmudgeon said...

Superior stuff! The close ups really do your work justice. Now if you can only find an opponent worthy of battling these worhy lads....

All the best,

David said...

It is impossible to top Dixon figures for the ACW in my view, so great to see your units getting the airing your work and their quality deserve! More!!!!!