Wednesday, 18 November 2015

6mm Adler ACW - Confederate Infantry - From Box to Table

Hoods Division in Quick Time

Those of you who tune in on a regular basis will be aware of our ongoing ACW fest, our re fight of Gaines Mill. Having sorted the Army lists I was fine for the Union troops however I was well short of Rebels. Luckily I never throw anything away and lying in a box in the depth of my gaming room is a big box of unpainted Adler Miniatures untouched for at least 15 years.

If you haven't seen them Adler are superbly detailed "6mm" figures, I put the scale in inverted commas because they are a bit bigger than 6, especially when compared with the old 1/300 Heroics and Ros figures, they don't mix that well with other manufacturers stuff but that's fine because they do everything you need. You can check out their full range HERE.

So the mission was on to "knock out" a quick division of Confederate Infantry, I picked Hoods as they were next on the orbat I was working on when I last painted some of these (many years ago), I decided to do this post in the familiar Box to Table format showing the process from bare metal to on the table ready to game.

Adler Miniatures are supplied in strips of 4 with a small spacer between each base as shown at the top of this photo. 1st job is a quick clean up of the figures with a craft knife. Generally the figures are very good and usually a quick snip at the end of the bayonet is all that's needed. I then prime the figures with my usual Matt Black spray paint. Finally to get them ready for painting I temporarily fix them to a strip of wood with some white tack. Generally I work on 12 figures at a time.

I work up a Brigade at a time which is generally 100 to 150 figures. With Confederates I am looking for a generally ragged look and I will paint each batch of 12 in slightly different colours. Here I have started on the left with pale blue grey on the trousers, then in the middle mid grey jacket with finally on this set a highlight on the jacket.

Starting to add a bit of detail now with the blanket roll (any colour you want !) then in the middle I have painted the Musket and Flesh with Beige Brown and at the end of the row I have done the bayonets silver.

On the home stretch now by painting the hat, then in the centre painting the Flesh with Beige Red and finishing off with a wash over the hat, flesh and musket with Strong Tone Wash.

I have been particularly vague about colours because with Confederates you have more or less a free range, line up every single shade of Brown and Grey in your paint collection and pick them at random for each piece of clothing.

And that's it for painting, next up basing. All my old stuff is based for Johnny Reb II as per the rules i.e. 5 stands per unit. Over the years whilst playing big games I have often thought about more efficient ways of basing the figures. I toyed with the idea of basing them on a single base in line but decided that would be too restrictive. I also considered movement trays but with 200 or so units that's a lot of work. I finally decided to double up the ordinary stands and leave a separate command base, this reduced the number of elements I had to move when playing but retained a reasonable amount of flexibility for changes of formation.

I have also taken the opportunity to move from card bases I cut myself to pre cut MDF. The photo above shows the process.

1. Cut the figures free from their strips and glue to MDF base.
2. Sculpt a base around the figures, covering up the bases using filler.
3. Paint the base (when dry) with Miniature Paints Earth Brown.
4. Dry brush with a Dark Sand / White mix.
5. Paint patches of dark green on the base at random.
6. Dry brush green areas with yellow.

The Finished Division
I leave a flat space at the back of the command bases to write in the unit name. I use a colour coding on the bases to determine who is commanded by who. So in this instance Hoods Division has been allocated the colour Green, each Brigade is then given a separate colour so, for example Laws Brigade is white, so all of its bases including the commander have a green and then white line for ease of identification when playing.

I give each of the units two flags, 1 typical Confederate Battle Flag the other a unit flag which is usually a state flag, again this is to help with recognition on the table rather than strict historical accuracy. I probably take about 20 minutes per strip of 12 figs so for me I'm fair motoring through them.

So to finish off a selection of pics to show off the Division.

Divisional Command Base containing the main man Hood
Brigade Commanders
Hoods former Brigade of Texas and Arkansas Troops

The Gaines Mill Game is done and dusted look out for the write up soon. Currently on the paint table are some 28mm WW2 Tanks and more WW1 ships can't beat a bit of variety !