Saturday, October 31, 2015

A line of Corn

Here's a few quick shots of the 6 bases of corn that ive done so far for my first field.

I think they have turned out quite good and i think the cut down stalks make them look better overall now than the uncut 2" stalk.

Now back to basing up a pile more :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Corn Fields - Part Two

Hi Guys

In my last post i did a very quick look at a product i found from JTT Scenery Products - Corn Stalks - perfect for ACW gaming.

In this post i want to go over my basing format and step by step guide for how i'll be making my corn fields. This is the process i will be doing to be able to create some large cornfields.

As i said in my last post im basing everything on 40mm x 40mm 2mm thick wooden bases. I use War Bases products as i find there customer service and speed of delivery is great.  

I'm using 40mm x 40mm bases as these are the same size as my unit bases which means i can remove cornfield bases to have infantry units actually in the corn fields.  This should allow the lads to take some nice pics for their blogs and also be nice and usable for gaming. Allowing different field shapes to be formed easily.  I will possible do up a few triangle sections as well but for now lots of square bases is the way to go.

Edit: It occurred to me after id written this blog post that my Cavalry will be mounted on 50mm x 50mm bases. For a second i was scratching my head thinking bugger!! but then it occurred to me that cav had travelling through terrain in Black powder as it slows them to a crawl so i doubt anyone will take cavalry into the fields and if they do it will still work - it will just look a little messier than i hoped. 

After a lot of deliberation on how tall the stalks should be i cut about 8-10 mm off each stalk.  As i'd read a report that the corn was about 7' high at Gettysburg at the time of the battle i decided the stalks needed to be shorter. They aren't hard to cut shorter so it doesn't add too much to the overall time to do a base.  

Anyways on with the tutorial.

Step  1 - Drill out 5 holes

Step 2 - Score some lines into the base with a craft knife. (you can skip this stage but the next step is easier if you do this.)

Step 3 - Putty up the base. I use Selly's Rapid Filla Colour smart. (But any putty will do) Don't worry that you are covering over the holes.

Step 4 - Using an old large brush i stipple the surface of the putty when it's about half dry. This gives a nice textured surface.

Step 5 - Get your drill bit that you used earlier to drill the holes. Wet the end of the drill bit and then push it through the holes you made earlier. Keep wetting the drill bit before you do each hole.

Step 6 - After about an hour the putty should be completely dry. Paint the base black. (As i had my airbrush out and was about to undercoat some confederate cavalry i figured id just spray the bases but obviously you could do this stage by hand).

Steps 7,8,9 Using a triad of browns (Dark to light) apply the darkest colour as a base coat. When dry apply the next to colours as dry brushes.

Step 10 - Using a very small amount of super glue, glue in the 5 stalks of corn.

And your all done. Do that about a hundred more times and you should have some great looking cornfields.  Ill put up a picture once i have a few dozen bases done up to this standard.  When im at that stage ill do a part 3 covering the edging of the fields and the bases ill be using for that purpose.

I hope you like the process and overall look and hope you find it useful.  Key an eye out for part 3 in the future.

Corn Fields - Part One

So whilst ive been slowly working on figures ive been giving some thought to terrain themed specifically to the American South. Cornfields and Cotton fields are the first two things that come to mind closely followed by wooden fencing.  I've decided to tackle corn fields first.

I looked everywhere for different options. From ways to make it yourself to commercial options nothing was good value for money for how many i need to do larger fields - then i found these!!!

They are made by a company called JTT Scenery Products.  Available all over e-bay for about US$ 6-7 a packet which contains 28 individual corn stalks (as seen above). (the link is below to the seller i used - very fast prompt service and im definitely going to be using them again!.

E-bay link.

So with corn stalks in hand i had to decide how to use them.  I've decided to mount them on 40mm x 40mm bases so that they are the same size as an infantry stand so that as units move through the fields the bases can be rearranged etc..

The next pic shows off the height of the stalks and the way im looking at doing them 5 stalks to a base. The stalks are 2" tall and i think look about right next to an infantryman. (Maybe a little tall been a long time since i was in a corn field last and i was only a lad back then so everything seamed taller).  Checking with a couple of my war gaming mates that actually come from America and are big ACW fans they seem to think that the height and spacing look about right - so that's good enough for me!!

And here is what 6 stands worth (one pack plus two extra stalks) look like:

In part two i'll do a step by step on how im going about basing them.

So what do you guys think - good product or not worth the money and better to make corn stalks yourself? For me time saved is worth the money and personally for NZ $10 these things are awesome - even if i am going to end up spending several hundred dollars on them to do some big fields.

Keen to know what you guys think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On the painting table update

So rather than finishing anything ive already almost finished, today i started another confederate unit. (So many to go!)  Unfortunately I didn't get very far before my back really started playing up but i guess something is better than nothing.

Oh i also glued together a couple of Confederate Cavalry.

More Documentaries

After watching all nine episodes of Ken Burns: The Civil war i found myself wanting more. So i found these.

Civil War Minutes:

Two Episodes for Confederates and two for The Union.

                                                        Confederate - Volume One

                                                         Confederate - Volume Two

The Union - Volume One

The Union - Volume Two

I found these videos to be rather interesting and im interested to see what you guys think. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Monday Painting Table

Sorry for the lack of posts for the last couple of days. My camera in my phone deciding to stop working.  I dug up an older phone to take its place.  The camera isn't as good as my other one but the pictures it takes will do for now till i can get a better one.

First up on the bench are 2 more units of Confederate soldiers lined up with the basic uniforms done.

Work still needed to be done:

Guns need the metal areas done and the wood grain effect added.

Buttons and belts need to be done.

Highlights added to the boots and belts.

Skin highlights to be added.

Also on the workbench for this week is my first unit of Confederate Cavalry.

Obviously a bit of work to go on these :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ken Burns: The Civil War

Searching my way through You tube for ACW documentaries i came across the Ken Burns Series The Civil War. It consists of 9 episodes,  over 6 hours or more of video. They look like they will be interesting to listen too whilst i paint my southern lads.

I've linked the videos here for reference.

Episode 1- The Cause 1861

Episode 2 - A Very Bloody Affair 1862

Episode 3 - Forever Free 1862

Episode 4 - Simply Murder 1863

Episode 5 - The Universe of Battle 1864

Episode 6 - Valley of the Shadow of Death 1864

Episode 7 - Most Hollowed Ground 1864

Episode 8 - War is All Hell 1865

Episode 9 - The better Angels of our Nature - 1865

As i haven't watched the series yet i cant comment on how good it is but it has some good reviews on Amazon and i imagine if i like it i'll buy the DVD  set.

If anyone following or watching my blog has watched this series id love to know your thoughts on it.

Now to watch episode 1 and put stage 2 of the grey on another 48 figs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lego ACW!!!

You really never know what you will find on the internet when you do a search. I went looking for American Civil war documentaries and found this little creative gem.

If ACW Lego had been around when i was a kid (or now for that matter!!) i would totally have been doing some civil war gaming like this.

My favorite bit has to be the melee combat scene - too funny.

Now this little video is done by someone under the name of Dino5500 and its obviously a bit of light hearted fun. Looking through the comments on youtube it's obvious that you cant post anything at all these days without someone having a go at you or turning it into something political which is a sad state of affairs.

Anyway's i hope you guys find it entertaining.  


Welcome Phil and Spiro to my blog, Great to have you both here. :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Interesting Facts about the American Civil War

I found this on the internet yesterday. it shows a whole series of facts about the civil war highlighting the differences between the Northern Union and the Southern Confederacy.

Interesting info and well laid out.  

When you look at the numbers its hard to imagine that the outcome of the war could be anything but the result that it was. Interestingly the Union forces were over twice the size of the Confederacy yet they ended up taking nearly 60,000 more Battle deaths, 60,500 deaths due to disease and 101,149 more soldiers wounded.  Those southern lads really fought hard.    

First Followers

Welcome Francis and Rodger to my new blog, and thank you for your comments. :)

Hopefully i can keep putting up interesting content whilst i journey into the realm of ACW War gaming. This is something i have wanted to do for quite a while and now the perry's plastics have made it an affordable exercise.

If anyone has suggestions of what i can add to the blog to improve it please let me know.

First unit Nearing compleation

So the first unit is coming together well and is close to completion.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Test base for ACW confederate army

This is my first test base for my Confederate army.  I will add a painting guide for those interested at a later date.

Keen to know what people think. Im going to leave the basing of the bases until i have the whole army complete so i can do it all in one go to make sure everything matches.

First confederate test figure

This is my first test figure for my ACW Confederate infantry.