Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Having A Break From Battle!

Finally the routine of painting drab, dull uniforms and AFV camo wore me down, and I put aside the Battle! project for a while. So far I have painted perhaps 100 soldiers, and maybe a dozen or so vehicles and guns. Not bad going. However, I now know that there is no way I am going to be able to stick to the original budget. I have perhaps 60 more infantry to paint and another dozen vehicles and guns, but much more is needed just for the basic one battalion and support per side. I had hoped that I could pick up cheap kits on eBay and elsewhere, but lately the prices seem to have hardened. Never mind. I shall just have to slow down a bit so as not to break into the household budget..

So I broke out the ACW project and had a go at that. I just felt like bright colours and glossy varnish for a change!

I am in the process of basing a load of Johnny Rebs that John Preece swapped with me. He got a load of 20mm WW2 early British AFVs and trucks and a fair bit of infantry, and I got a load of his painted 30mm ACW Spencer Smiths, the original plastic ones. John has done a very nice job of painting them, and puts more detail on them than I do.

He also tossed a lot of other stuff my way; a heavy box full of old lead. This box contains some strange stuff. Essentially the figures are what looks like first generation copies of some of the old SAE 30mm ACW range. Very few of them are in the present Spencer Smith range. All of them seem slightly larger and bulkier than Spencer Smiths, too. I would expect that is because they are first generation copies, whilst Spencer Smiths are third or even fourth generation, and thus have shrunk over time..!

SAE used to do many different boxed sets, some of which were themed "vignettes". Many of the metal figures in the box seem to come from such sets. One batch represents wounded men, either on the battlefield or being treated in a field hospital. Although their use is limited on a wargames table, I have started to paint them up just for the hell of it.

There are also some figures that seem to be from a HQ vignette. Certainly one looks like a mounted Robert E Lee. There are standard bearers, a few buglers and drummers, similar to those currently in the Spencer Smith range but a little larger, a cute campfire scene along with a camp follower, and lots of cavalry, none of which are in the currently available range.

The infantry is a mixed bag. A few Advancing in Kepis look similar to the latest Spencer Smith offerings but again, as they are larger, they look a little out of place in a unit with them. So in the end I took the two dozen or so various foot poses and decided to make a Reb regiment from them. Usually I like all my troops to have the same pose, but in this case I shall make an exception. And it's OK if they are Rebs, as a degree of unconformity is surely true to form?


Maverick Collecting said...

I'm sure John will confirm, but I suspect the chunky ones are by Prinze August (still going strong, in - I think - Ireland?), as Erikson designed for them as well, hence the similarity, home-casting taking the polish off them - so to speak!!

Peter said...

I'm soooo jealous. Have you decided on rules yet?


Poacher said...

Thing is they all have Union of South Africa on the bases, Maverick...

In fact, on most of them it is so clearly visible that I wonder if tbey are in fact copies at all, but actaully original SAE figures that have been stripped.


Poacher said...


The old-fashioned Feathestone ones from his original book will suit me fine.. :-)


Anonymous said...

Regarding the cost of your Battle! project - have you considered going with card models for the vehicles? There are some great models out there if you don't want to build from scratch - have a look at "paper tiger armaments" the pictures of the finished kits look very good - and no painting!

All the best