Sunday, April 17, 2016

skill is a fickle mistress...

My order of 10mm figures from Cracker Line/Plank Road arrived a while ago. Customer service was great. Delivery was fast. The order was accurate. I received 48 infantry figures, 4 figures for a command stand (officer, drummer, two ensigns without flags or staffs), an artillery carriage with 8 (yes, EIGHT) barrels and 4 artillerymen. That makes up a Union Regimental order. The cavalry regiment I ordered included 12 mounted troopers, 12 dismounted troopers, 2 mounted horse holders and 6 saddled horses, 3 mounted command (officer, trumpeter and guidon bearer) and 3 dismounted command (same mix). The only other item I added onto this order was an artillery limber which arrived with 4 horses (2 with riders), the limber and a seated soldier for on top of the limber. This first order will provide the core of my Union army. At least for now.

While the Cracker Line/Plank Road regimental packs are a nice way to bulk up numbers (they're slightly cheaper that way) I should remember to request (if I can) to get them in kepis rather than Hardee hats which were more common in the western theater. I'm thinking more eastern theater. Not a big deal, though—lesson learned. Overall, I like 'em, but…


I am painting an army, not soldiers… I am painting an army, not soldiers… I am painting an army, not soldiers…

That's my mantra with the 10mm ACW project. I am impressed with the details on these small, 1 cm tall figures. I lack the hand/eye coordination and depth of field vision to try and bring out the detail in the painting. However, over 30 years of painting I have developed techniques which should compensate for lack of fine brushwork. I've decided to prime the figures in black, dry brush in white and then go fairly wet with the direct application of paint. The white will show through in some places to provide a semblance of shading. I may do some highlighting of the primary color if it's helpful. At this scale I just don't think subtle color gradations will make much of a difference.

I was concerned that using artist's gesso as primer would be too thick and obscure the details. But it worked fine. As a matter of fact, after priming with black gesso I used white gesso for the dry brushing. After applying the colored topcoat, I then liberally washed the figures with Pledge floor wax mixed with a brush load or two of black gesso—my version of 'The Dip.' I am quite satisfied with the final results.

I've decided to go with a basing scheme of 4 infantry or 2 cavalry per 20mm x 20mm stand and I'll use round bases for the command stands. The most tedious part of the whole process is texturing the bases. I've never enjoyed that part of the hobby but in my opinion it makes or breaks the appearance of the game.

Overall, I'm quite pleased!

Up next: The Confederates.

10mm Plank Road ACW Brigade packs mounted on popsickle sticks and ready for painting.

Artillery piece and limber.

THEY ARE SO SMALL! Yes, that's a full sized US quarter in the center.

Horse holders after black priming and white dry brushing.

Dismounted Cavalry.

Union Infantry.

The dry brushing does bring out the details in these small figures.

Infantry and command (flags are still a wip) on 20x20 stands.

The limber and team.

Mounted cavalry and command.

Dismounted cavalry, two figures per stand.

Union artillery piece. I'm not exactly sure what the barrel represents. I went for one of a moderate size.

10mm Union Infantry.

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