Thursday, February 28, 2019

ACW armies on Parade (and inventory)

First painted ACW units of the year! First painted of any kind of unit for the year actually.

Paint like the Rock Star You Are

I've never been a great painter, but I usually make up for it by getting things painted up somewhat quickly.  But not this time; these guys seemed to take forever!  but I've been distracted with life.  We all know how it is.  : ) 

Actually it probably just seems longer because these CSA bases were on the paint desk last year but I got distracted by the big LOTR Ruin project that I just finished last month, so these guys had to wait their turn.

I'm definitely a paint to play type person; whereas I don't particularly enjoy painting for it's own sake.  I'm more motivated to paint because I like playing with painted miniatures.  I also enjoy the other aspects of painting: some quiet down time, an artistic outlet, creativity, and of course that sense of accomplishment when something is finished.  It's a RUSH like any action movie.  I could be an action hero, I would do all my own stunts, especially when those stunts mostly involve sitting quietly and doing small brush strokes. 

CSA Army on Parade

So basically I finished these 18 bases of CSA infantry.  8 bases of infantry in firing line and 10 bases in the 'advancing' pose.

-Side Discussion: ACW Poses.
All my ACW figures are Blue Moon 18mm, and they are available in lots of different poses: marching, firing, advancing, charging, with light equipment or backpacks....In my early days of ACW collecting I would buy a variety of poses and my union army reflects this; there are bases with the figures marching and bases with the figures in firing line and etc.. However, I have found that some poses rank up better than others and it's basically a lot of effort to hunt out bases that match.  Bases of guys marching just look weird in my eyes when in a unit with bases with figures in firing line.  It's not make or break of course, it just adds time to setting up while I hunt out the 10 bases of marching figures so that they can all be in the same unit together.  I like it when all the bases in a unit are all doing the same thing (more or less).  So I started to only buy figures in 2 poses: firing line and advancing.  This was a brilliant move on my part (if I do say so myself).  For one, sorting through two poses versus 4 is much easier.  For two, bases tend to rank up much easier.  And for three, when I have to mix and match the two poses if I put the firing line bases in the front rank and the advancing bases in the rear rank it looks just fine to me.  It also makes painting easier since they're all in the same pose.


After I finished these 18 bases it occurred to me that I wasn't exactly sure how many CSA bases I had in total.  This number being kinda important when figuring out if I have enough figures to do a published historical scenario or not; or just to know how big to make the forces in my own fictional scenarios.

Now I could of just counted them from inside the storage tubs, but that is NOT the wargamer way.  No! Wargamers stage parades like the military dictators that we wish we were...

I started grouping the bases into regiments of 10...

CSA total (presented in the style of Regimental Fire and Fury)

152 infantry bases*
20 infantry command bases*
7 Brigadier Generals*
2 Divisional / Corps command bases
12 cannons
7 limbers
6 Brave Colonels.

*If you take those 3 numbers you basically get the size force can you field: In this case I can field up to 7 Brigades with up to 20 regiments with up to a total of 172 bases.  In RFF each base is 40 men so that's 6880 men.

Not bad!  Some followers with great memories for trivial details might recall that my goal of last year was to have at least 150 infantry bases, so I'm only 2 months late.  If I were my own Kickstarter I wouldn;t even blink an eye.  Goal Accomplished!

USA Army on Parade

Now while I told the wife that I would be upstairs in about 20 minutes after I finished counting the CSA, it just seemed utterly ridiculous to tally up the CSA and not the USA.  So I pretended to lose track of time and the USA got it's own parade.

USA total

139 Infantry bases
18 infantry command bases
6 Brigadier Generals
3 Divisional / Corps command bases
12 Cannons
9 Limbers
6 Brave Colonels

Ut-Oh, looks like the good guys are out numbered.  This would only be 6280 men.  

Scale of 1000

Everyone has their own scale preferences and biases, and sometimes strong opinions.  But as long as people are happy and having fun what do we care.  I really like 15/18mm because you can get a feeling like you are fighting a battle on a normal sized table.  How many figures do you need to fight a battle?  1000.  One thousand of anything looks huge to our eyes, I imagine we're just hard wired that way.  

Not counting the Artillery and higher commanders, I have 329 infantry stands (that's infantry and infantry command stands put together).  Each stand has 3 figures on it. So if I field all the infantry at once that will be 987 miniatures on the table.

I'm close.  
Very close.

Till next time.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  


  1. Fine pair of armies, Stew, and a good-sized collection! Like you, I find the Blue Moon 18mm figures superb and a great value when you have the Old Glory Army card. I don't care much for firing line poses either. Well, except for skirmishers.

    1. Thanks J, it was fun to see and blue moon has a pretty complete range.

      Though maybe I wasn’t clear; I DO like firing line poses. Those stands rank up really well. So only two poses for now on, firing and advancing (guns held out to the right).

  2. That's a nice unit, with a very Confederate look to it. It's funny you mention poses, because even before I got to that paragraph, I already felt compelled to comment on the poses here, which I thought the mass of similar pose gave the unit a very determined 'attacking look'. I also like that the rifle / bayonets are to the side rather than being set straight ahead (which my 28mm are and it is a nuisance for storage and handling).

    1. Thanks Norm. Storage of 18mm troops is much easier I expect. When I do games I do try to have all the stands in a regiment doing the same thing; just looks cool. 😀
      When I painted these, I made the 8 stands really un-uniform regards to color but the next stands I made them much more uniform (gray).

  3. Most impressive collection, well done, en route to a blooby battle!

    1. Thanks Phil. That night they all marched back to storage rather than to a game unfortunately. 😀

  4. Nice looking CSA unit, great looking armies! Parades are great fun!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain; while sorting out the parade I couldn’t help but put on some ACW media on in the background. 😀

  5. Clearly you need to buy another brigade for the good guys! Maybe a few of the more colorful units?

    1. Thanks Las. Yes, clearly the good guys need reinforcements. 😀
      Luckily I don’t need to spend cash as the lead pile will provide.

    2. "Need" and "lead pile" are clearly not good reasons to prevent buying more lead...

      What do you have planned?

    3. No firm plans at the moment. A quick inventory of the ACW lead pile shows enough infantry for 30 more union bases and 20 for csa. But there’s no rush. The collection at its current state allows me to play several ACW scenarios that I find interesting and I haven’t played them all yet. Stones River, little round top, battle of McDowell are good examples.

  6. Two nice looking armies there Stew, now cavalry? :)

    1. thanks Tony! I totally forgot about the cavalry. In truth I have around 10 bases of cav for each side (that's mounted and dismounted, so more like 20 bases). I find cav to be such a pain to paint and it actually barely features in most ACW battles that I can safely ignore it.
      But now that the collection of infantry is getting somewhat robust, I might get around to painting some more, and look at some of the more interesting scenarios. Especially those with repeating rifles. : )

    2. don't know why for the above I was 'unknown' to my own blog.. lol

  7. Yours fit in so well with the ones I painted. Good job mate. Wow - the collection is well impressive now. One day we should find a date where we can spend the whole day playing a massive engagement.

    1. O and you really should have the 54th black regiment in there somewhere. Or any black regiment. sorely lacking for any later acw action methinks.

    2. Thanks Dai! A big game can certainly be arranged. 😀

      A black regiment is certainly missing. One day I’ll paint a few.