Friday, January 27, 2012

Confederate Signal Station

My latest unit is a Confederate Signal Station that I saw earlier on the Redoubt Miniature web site and knew I had to have it!  I can't say enough how much I like the figures for Redoubt's ACW range!
I thought I would paint it up for the competition and snag a few quick point's ......... but that's not how it happened at all! As usual I completely underestimated how long it would take to do this which in fact turned out to be quite a bit of time indeed!
Last confederate unit I used army painter and so on this I wanted to see how it looked without army painter and I prefer it without and so won't be using it again on my confederates or any ACW for that matter. I did use MIG pigments again to weather the rocks and tower and the signal flags are hand painted. Also need to add if I haven't before the new Foundry ACW paints are superb and well worth buying folks!
The Confederate Signal Corps was unofficially first started under the leadership of Edward P. Alexander for a brief period before officially being made a separate branch on April 19, 1862, under chief signal officer Captain William Norris consisting of one major, 10 captains, 20 lieutenants, 20 sergeants, and 1500 men. In addition a signal officer was given to the staff of each corps and division.
While not as large or as well equipped as the Union Signal Corps it did function in a very similar manner of battlefield observation, intelligence gathering, and artillery fire direction from their elevated signal stations using platforms and aerial balloons. Unlike their union counterparts who had access to electric telegraphy (due to the limited resources) confederate signallers had to rely on flags or messengers  to relay information.
Another distinct difference between the two signal corps was that confederate signal corps also included espionage as part of their mission. This included undercover missions behind enemy lines and a network of agents running from Richmond to Canada. Because of this records on their activities and their going ons in the war are quite sketchy as most records were burned or otherwise disposed of to most likely protect information and people.
Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company-Redoubt Miniatures

Monday, January 23, 2012

Covering Time

I've changed the header and the blog side bar to better reflect what this blog has become which is to say more historical themes in general rather then period specific. I started the blog off AWI themed, but it's obvious it's morphed into a whole lot more and so I thought I should reorganize the blog to better reflect this. I hope you like it and for you AWI fans I will be adding more along with the other stuff so no worries there.
Currently working on some ACW material and a semi secret project to revealed soon so stay tuned.:-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing Favourites

This is going around starting with Grimsby at Too Much Lead followed by Steve at Steve The wargamer ,  Ray at Don't throw a one  , Sarge at Sgt Steiner's Wargaming Blog and Lee at BigLee's Miniature Adventures so far. I find it very interesting to read about what other fellow gamers really like and thought I would contribute.
Basically your given a set of topics generally wargame related and talk about what your favourite in each of these is or what interests you a great deal. Always feel free to add more topics is my understanding.

I'm a notorious history and wargaming butterfly so this could be a long post folks.....pull up a chair and kick your feet up and try your best not to doze off!

Wargames Period- It's no secret I'm interested in just about everything, but no question ACW reigns supreme in my world! A special mention should be given to the North American conflicts, Sengoku Period Japan, WWII and the Dark Ages.

Scale- For many years 28mm has dominated my scale preference for both wargaming and painting and it still remains so on the painting preference, but in the last year or so 15mm has really started to pick up speed on the wargaming front. It's quite difficult to paint entire armies in 28mm and so 15mm will be picking up the slack more and more. I suspect 28mm will still remain on top, but not nearly as much as before.

Rules- A bit of a tricky one but I'd have to say Warhammer Ancient Battles and Fire and Fury have dominated this category for most of my tabletop gaming years. WAB has since tapered off and is largely but not completely replaced now by Impetus.  Fire and Fury however still remains strong and FOW has also seen quite a bit of action too I should add. I could list quite a few other promising games like Operation Squad,Lasalle, British Grenadier etc., but I'll leave it at that for now.
I don't like reading rules and view it as a necessity, but I do like collecting them, reading the fluff and getting inspired by the pics and so well made picture packed rulebooks will grab my attention.

Board Game- I really don't play very many of these but Axis and Allies 1939-45 special variant I played quite a bit and some risk.

Rant- Wargames Foundry about 7 to 10 years ago was producing some of the most outstanding miniatures on the market packed full of talented sculptors that read like a who's who of sculptors that have since moved on to make their own superb companies or just moved on. To this day some of the lines they made are still the best, but sadly for reasons unknown Foundry is constantly retiring the old lines and replacing it with new and IMHO inferior ones. I sincerely hope they stop doing this and retain what old stuff they still have and more then that reintroduce the old figures again and get some new sculptors while they are at it!

Figure Manufacturer- This is very difficult as I like a great deal of miniatures from different companies for different periods and for different reasons which makes for a very unwieldy list. So, I'll just list a few. To view all companies I like view the side bar of my blog under Miniature Companies links. Generally speaking I prefer  what I call painter friendly miniatures where the figures detail is bit more raised and flat making it easier to paint and slight exaggerations are fine by me if it looks on purpose and not by accident.
Since ACW is my best loved period I start by saying the Redoubt ACW range is high on the list.

A few more companies that dominate my collections, but by no means are all the figures that I collect from:

Legio Heroica(Probably the best 15mm I've ever seen)

Others filling up space in my room:
Battle Front
Old Glory

Opponent- I game with friends at our club and enjoy playing with several making picking one too difficult.

Books- Single book is Shogün by James Clavall
I've read it like 5 or 6 times and even tried to learn Japanese! .......not very successfully however.

Series is  Bernard Cornwells Arthur -Simply the best version I've ever read of it and would only want to see it in a film form if the same effort was put into it as was put into the Lord of the Rings otherwise leave it be as I wouldn't want to see it screwed up!

 and George R.R. Martin Song Of Ice and Fire- The best fantasy I've ever read, but closely followed by Steven Erikson Malazan series. Happily they did make a mini series films on it and actually a good one so far!

Historical Book- Anything by Bruce Catton who IMHO I believe to be the greatest civil war historian of all time. Some may argue other historians are more accurate, but my answer to that is I like my history similar to how I like my art and miniatures in that it needs to inspire more then anything else without of course going to far off the mark.

Sci-Fi- Generally not a big reader of this, but I did really like Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series.

Films- Another very difficult category of which I could list a bucket, but I'd say my all time favourite film is rather a Documentary series by Ken Burns titled The Civil War which I believe to be the best civil war documentary ever made, and not only that but also the best documentary of all genres ever done.World at War gets a nod of course after that of course.

Feature length Historical-Last of the Mohicans(1992) probably does it for me. Atmosphere and casting were perfect. Gettysburg also is often in the dvd player.

Feature length drama- Shawshank Redemption followed closely by The Usual Suspects. A little off subject, but while I'm here......

Fantasy - LOTR and Arnie's Conan was pretty cool now wasn't it.

Mini Series- Shogün and maybe followed by a promising Game of Thrones.

Comedy- Blazing Saddles or Airplane of which both almost cracked a rib. Another one off subject, but wanted to add.

Sci-Fi- I'd have say Star Wars had a a huge impact on me as a kid that I've never outgrown and the whole Jedi concept I find extremely fascinating . The Alien trilogy comes in hot on the heels Of Star Wars with Aliens in particular.

Art- Angus McBride and Don Troiani inspire me to no ends and Frank Frazetta remains to me the greatest fantasy artist of all time. Pictures shown top to bottom Angus, Troiani, and Frazetta.

Forums- Since I started blogging I spend much less time on the Forums then I used too, but I do often check into (German) and     
(English) on a semi regular basis. For other forums look on my listing on the side bar.

Blogs- That's easy all the blogs I follow inspire me each for it's own reasons and I highly recommend checking them out! However, I would really be remiss if I didn't give a special mention to Giles Alison of Tarleton's Quarter.
Simply put he's the whole reason I started blogging in the first place. I saw his blog listed in GdB forum one day and clicked on it and that's pretty much where Bunker Hill was born after that. If your a fan of AWI wargaming then you'll know Giles is synonymous with it. His posts are composed of a combination of beautiful painting and equally superb background notes that make it the gold standard.

Paints- My favourite paints are between Wargames Foundry and Vallejo. I intermix the two, but I'd say generally Foundry for Horse and Musket and earlier and anything later Vallejo would dominate the colour palette. I use others of course, but these two reign supreme for me.


- Tank- Tiger I any variant will do.

- Colour to paint- Rather then one colour I would say earth tones are my comfort zone.

- Table size-Really depends on the game, but 5x8 is pretty comfortable.

- Plane- Fokker Dr.1 followed by the Stukka dive bomber.

-PC Games- I don't play that often any more but many an hour were spent on these:
Battleground Civil War, Medieval Warfare V1, Steel Panthers , Civilization, Star Wars Knights of the Old  Republic, Resident Evil 1, Eldar Scrolls III Morrowind and Vampire Bloodlines

I can't think of anything else and thanks for making it all the way through!:-) I think many of these subjects are worthy of individual posts as I'd like to add much more to many, but tried to keep this post manageable!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

4th Alabama Regiment

The 4th Alabama was part of Laws Brigade of Hoods Division during Gettysburg and like most of Hoods division saw heavy fighting.
The 4th was organized at Dalton, Georgia and then later mustered into service at Lynchburg Virgina and attached to Bee's brigade which went on to fight the First Battle of Bull Run where Bee gave Stonewall Jackson his famous name and actually took command briefly of the 4th after it's colonel was severely wounded before himself becoming mortally wounded. Soon after the battle the 4th was transferred to Laws brigade.
The 4th Alabama fought in virtually all the battles of the Army of Northern Virginia with a notable exception of Chancellorsville. They fought in the battles of First and second Manasas(Bull Run), Seven Pines, First Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Boonesboro, Sharpesburg(Antietam), Fredricksburg, Suffolk campaign, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Knoxville, Wilderness, Spottslyvania, Hanover Junction, 2nd Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg,
The regiment surrendered 21 officers and 202 men out of a starting total of  1422 men at Appomattox Court House of which 240 died in battle, 100 of disease and 408 discharged or transferred.

Additional information:'salabamabrigade/lawalabrigade/regiments/al4th/

A Marker of the regiment at Gettysburg:

The miniatures themselves are Sash and Saber 25mm and are really nice and full of character which I really like.In fact I liked them so much I ordered a couple more regiments!
Unlike the Union I figured confederates would probably work quite well with AP so I painted them using it plus adding some extensive highlights.  I found after I added the AP it was difficult to tell which brown and greys I had used and so hopefully I didn't mess up! I'm pleased with the results, but still unsure. I'm going to try a regiment or something without AP as I'm really not saving any time adding all the additional highlights that I do. Also, I'd like to do a comparison of confederates with AP and those without to see if any time was saved and which looks better.

If you read my last post the next two photo's highlight what I meant by how I have re-based my ACW for Fire and Fury, but still flexible to be able to adapt for other systems.

Thanks for viewing!.-)

Miniature Company-Sash and Saber

Monday, January 9, 2012

"What Was I thinking!" and blog changes

Have you ever started to base an army and then realize after a few units you really did the wrong thing?  Well that's happened to me now with my ACW in 28mm. Let me explain.
The first historical wargame I ever played was Fire and Fury back in the very early 90's and I just loved it and therefore collected a very large 15mm Old Glory army for both the North and South and have enjoyed many games with it over the years. To this day Fire and Fury remains one of my favourite games.
Well the past year I started collecting ACW for 28mm and even though I thought the new Fire and Fury Regimental game was fantastic I figured the figure count was still too high for 28mm as I wanted 4 figures a base as it's more visually appealing and is ideal for Guns at Gettysburg and Black Powder rules.
It's after I finished a few Union regiments and started on my Confederates I realized what was I thinking!!!!  To build ACW armies that excluded my favourite rules for this period  that being Fire and Fury was a huge mistake! Simply put that won't do at all! I started to think how could I build my armies to be both practical and include all the rule sets I wanted to play?
My solution is 2 figures on a 40mm wide x 20mm deep base. This would allow me to play the large scale games of fury and fury where the stand count and flexibility needed is high and I will still be able to play Guns at Gettysburg and Black Powder by simply placing two stands together one behind the other . I do lose some of the visual appeal of course, but I feel it's worth it.
So it looks like I need to re-base my units, but luckily it's not too many.:-)   
The other subject was my blog which needed some things done. The first one was a new face lift which is obvious as I've gone with the very dark grey which I really like the contrast it gives to the pictures and the blog background itself and the second was a label restructure. My label list was getting a bit long in the tooth and crowded and so I decided to compact things into groups for easier viewing access. My only wish is that blogger would make a sub group within the labels where a viewer could go into a label and be given a list of sub groups within to access exactly want he/she wants to see. Maybe one day that will be possible and frankly I'm surprised it isn't available already.
Happy blogging and back to the painting table!

Monday, January 2, 2012

M4A1 Sherman Tank Platoon(76mm)

Starting off the New Year with "one" of my new projects a 15mm US Tank Company for FOW. These here featured are M4A1 Shermans with a larger 76mm main gun then standard M4's 75mm and were used to take on those feared Tigers and Panthers the Germans had at the time.

Unlike my troops I like my vehicles well and truly dirty and fully in the campaign look. I should say by dirty I mean lots of dust, rust, oil and damp earth, but not clumps of mud. In Europe they have this reddish clay that  I tried to represent and hopefully I succeeded to some extent.

Compared to painting my German tanks where you have to constantly check what your doing to make sure your camo looks right I found painting American tanks simply relaxing and

More stuff to come soon and yes folks I finally racked up some points on Curt's painting competition! Speaking of the competition I'm like the guy who shows up with a canoe at a speedboat race! The leaders miniature output is nothing less then blitz on a brush, but that's ok as I'm just really happy to be apart of something and enjoying seeing what everyone is doing. No question I'll do this as often as Curt runs it!
Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company-Battlefront FOW