Friday, 31 December 2021

Getting there with the ACW stuff

 Happy New Year everyone! 

Having sorted all the necessary bits out for some basic forces, it was time to get to grips with painting them. I'm very out of practice with nineteenth century 6mm stuff, the last figures I think I did were some Irregular FPW Zouaves, and that was quite a while (years) back.

I normally do a black undercoat and drybrush the basic colours on top, but I've found some Vallejo paints really don't cover black well at all so with this lot I did them black then misted some white onto them which gives the paint some tooth and lightens the highlights.

That has brightened them up a bit, but there seem to be an awful lot of them!

One (possibly unfortunate) side effect was that the white highlight showed up the terrifying amounts of detail on these figures. I'm more used to plain H&R where you paint the detail on, or the blobby Irregular figures where an inkwash does wonders. Not really sure how best to do these.

I relied rather heavily on these Ospreys as I was going along, plus a few trips to the internet. I was slightly dreading painting the Rebs as I'm not a fan of irregular troop types, give me a nice set of smart uniforms any day.

I got there in the end. I found that there was enough black undercoat left that drybrushing worked OK, and once I'd blocked on the basic colours, I could get on with detailing. I like detailing. Funnily enough, for all my concerns re painting the Rebs, I actually found the Yanks harder, their dark blue jacks were a right pain as they obscured all the detail.  The Rebs turned out to be easy, I just drybrushed them overall in light grey then picked out assorted figures in to do in various shades of butternut and other grey tones.  The light grey made a good base for all the other colours.

Getting there slowly. They've got their basic uniforms, hands, faces and hats done. I've picked out the rifle stocks and barrels and there is just more detailing to do now - canteens, haversacks, officers insignia etc. Big question remaining is whether they need an ink wash or not, I suspect they do, but given the very light colour of the Rebs, they'll need sealing first or they will get badly stained. I'll see how I feel about that when I come to it.

Pleased with progress so far, but painting 500 faces and 1000 hands was a little tedious at times. I should probably have broken them down into smaller batches.



  1. Rock and roll Martin
    A great little project to start 2022

    Just reading Paddy Griffith's ACW Tactics book which is really intriguing

  2. Looking good there Martin.

    On further thoughts on rules?



    1. Tbh I think Richard Brooks old 'Terrible Swift Rules' are the way to go. I hacked it around into Rifle and Kepi, but to make them playable over Zoom I'll borrow the activation system from Belle Epoque, which I really liked. Playing around with a scenario atm. Coming to a remote game near you soon!

    2. An alternative would be an ACW version of Brown Bess, which is also doable, but I want to try an ACW specific version of Rifle and Kepi first.

    3. Excellent I'll look forwarde to the game.