Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
This includes you Tango01/Armand you no-mark content thief.

Monday, 28 May 2018

American Civil War: Union (12)

Well over a month since the last update. We have had visitors over from the UK and the weather has turned nice here in Wisconsin so we are taking advantage of that, there was snow on the ground for the last blog post!

This past week I got caught up on some of the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Union Infantry that I had started base-coating a few weeks ago. I'm trying out a new, hopefully quicker, technique on them.

Firstly, I assembled the figures and stuck on 20mm Renedra rounds then textured the bases with grit and pumice gel before priming with grey primer.

The base-coat of dark and light blue was done en masse for all 20 figures, then the minor colours blocked in in small er batches, usually four at a time - I find this bit boring if I do too many at once!

Once the base-coats were done, instead of the usual Vallejo Sepia wash, I used Army Painter Strong Tone to wash the figures. Once dry, in batches of four I did a couple of highlights (rather than my usual 3). Instead of 'brown-lining the entire figure, I only did it in a few places and instead picked out the flesh with an Army Painter Flesh wash.

The bases were painted US Field Drab, then dry-brushed with Iraqi Sand and then Pale Sand before finishing off with patches of tufts, scatter and static grass.

The movement trays are Regimental Trays from Warbases, finished in the same way as the figures bases. The troops are magnetised on the bottom of their base and flex-o-metal applied to the trays.

Also from the Warbases range was a bit more scenery to enhance our Sharpe Practice games. Firstly a dog kennel, complete with dog.

Next a dove-cote, which no longer seems to be in their web-store. Complete with dirty pigeon,

Here are a few more close-ups. As usual, the Testors Dullcote no longer seems quite so dull as it used to.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Poilu Reinforcements I

This year I'm planning to attend Historicon and speaking to the chaps in Palatine we initially planned a Big Chain of Command game using our WWI collection. That's not likely the case now and we shall be doing Spanish Civil War!

I'm a bit light on French Infantry so sent off to Brigade Games for a couple more packs of riflemen and a pack of Chauchats.

This weeks output is fifteen of the twenty four figures that I bought, using my standard palette for Poilu in horizon bleu.

When I made the order I had it in my head that I'd have a use for more Chauchat teams, although on reflection I really don't think I needed another four, although they do add some variety to the Woodbine Designs ones that I painted previously.

I do rather like the prone Chauchat team that comes in the pack, I added a section of barbed wire for them to take cover behind.

The basing is done with a mix of pumice gel, grit and static grass mixed up with Flat Earth paint and slathered on the bases, later dry-brushed, in this case with Iraqi Sand, although looking at other figures in the collection I probably should have used Dark Sand!

The few muddy puddles that you see are just PVA glue that is given a coat of gloss varnish after the dull-cote has been applied.

You'll see from the above base that the two figures are quite distinct from each other and I reckon that Brigade Games used different sculptors for each. While they are both well sculpted models, I'll avoid mixing them on the same bases.

It's over a year since I last painted any Poilu and even longer since I last played - must try harder!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

American Civil War: Confederates (12)

More Confederate reinforcements for our Sharp Practice games this time along with a few farm animals and somewhere for the artillery crews to hide.

I finished off the last dozen figures from the second box of Perry Miniatures Confederate infantry, adding an officer, a standard bearer, sergeant, two drummers and another seven infantrymen/skirmishers.

All painted using my usual Confederate palette that you can find here although rather than using Vallejo Sepia was, I experimented by using Army Painter Strong tone on four of them to see the effect.

The standard is from Warflag printed off at the local Office Depot. Not sure what happened with the chap in the red blanket, my fading eyesight did not notice the limp of crud on it and I appear to have painted around it, only noticing after I took the photos.

I also added a few more farm animals from Warbases with a donkey and a few more chickens. We have yet to have a chicken stampede in any of our Sharp Practice games, but I am looking forwards to that day!

Finally an artillery position for our gunners to shelter behind, knocked up from four Renedra gabions and a few pebbles. I've got a couple more of these in the pipeline.

WWII British Airborne, Special Forces and Resistance

This week I completed a few more WWII figures for chum Tony. A mix of British airborne, special forces and French partisans.

Three more British airborne in Denison Smocks, I think the two on the right are old Bolt Action Miniatures, not sure of the guy with the PIAT.

Five Bolt Action Miniaures airborne/special forces in a mix of jumpers and parkas. One chap has a French marine bonnet, another is kilted.

Finally two French resistance guides, one has an old WWI horizon bleu Adrian helmet. Both have tricolour armbands and are armed with liberated German weapons including a PanzerFaust. I am pretty sure that these are from Warlord Games.

They shall be winging their way over to Blighty in the next couple of days.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The second Battle of Sauk Meadows

Thaddeus Markgraf, photographer to royal houses of Europe captures the events of the day.
A week last Thursday Seth came around to mine and we played another game of Sharpe Practice using the American Civil War collection. Seth had bought with him a rather nice 19th Century photographer - Dixon Miniatures I think - to record the event.

We played the Attack on an Objective scenario, I defended with the blue-bellies and Seth attacked with the sucesh.

Confederate troops sweep unopposed up the turnpike.

It's been over a week, and I've been away on business since, but reading my scribbled notes, the forces were:


  • Leader status III
    • Leader status I
    • 4 groups of 8 infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader status II
    • 3 groups of 8 infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader status I
    • 1 group of 6 skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader status I
    • 1 medium gun with 5 crew

Union artillery, primed and ready to unload canister upon the Rebels


  • Leader status III
    • Leader status I
    • 3 groups of 8 infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader status II
    • 2 groups of 8 infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader status I
    • 1 group of 6 skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader status I
    • 1 group of 6 skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader status II
    • 1 group of 8 cavalry with mixed weapons
  • Leader status I
    • 1 medium gun with 5 crew
We used the 1864 lists so that there was not such a huge disparity between the starting points values of the Union and Confederate forces. The Confederates started with a Force Morale of 11 while the Union started with a 9

Captain Joshua Scrivener encourages his troops to the fore.

As we are playing quite large games, one thing we are trialling is putting an extra blank chit/card into the deck/bag if either player has more than 10 Leader / Command cards in the deck, the blank card has two roles:

  1. If drawn as the first card out of the deck it counts as a Tiffin
  2. If drawn at any other time it breaks a sequence of Command Cards counting towards a random event.

Union skirmishers take position on the scrubby knoll.

The early phases of the battle were a huge success for the Confederacy, supported by a screen of skirmishers the main force of the infantry were pushing up the road towards their objective with no Union troops to be found. The Confederate horse also started a sweep out to their left flank.

Eventually though the Union troops started to trickle on to the battlefield and it seems that the grey (and brown and other shades) tide may not have such an easy journey.

And still the Rebels pushed on

Detaching off the sergeant with a group of infantry to cover their right flank, the Union captain pushed his main force through the woods in front of his objective, while the cannon and skirmishers covered the left.

Soon the Union skirmishers were taking pot-shots at the advancing rebels and some were soon seen falling in their ranks.

Lieutenant Harry Parkinson leads his Confederate horse in a brutal charge on the Union right flank.

In a flurry of activity the Union gun was wheeled into position and loaded with canister (four command cards put to good effect), but, it was unable to fire during the course of the game and the rebel skirmisher fire was soon racking up shock points on the crew.

The Union foot pushed through to the fore of the woodland and let rip a volley into the Confederate ranks, slowing their implacable advance.

Parkinson is mortally wounded and his troopers retreat in disarray

The Confederates came on and their cavalry raised to the gallop and swept into the single group of infantry protecting the Union right flank. Fisticuffs ensued and the Confederates had a big advantage of combat dice. But, it was all to nought, the Confederate roll was terrible, for the loss of no Union troops the Rebel Lieutenant was mortally wounded and three more of his riders were felled.

The horse turned tail and ran from the field.

Unable to overcome stiff resistance the Confederates withdraw.

With a strong Union presence covering their objective and their best chance of capturing it retreating in disarray the Confederates broke off the attack and retreated licking their wounds.

I'll not be able to get a game in now for a few weeks, but more troops are on the painting table ready to join the next battle.

The Confederate left recover their dressings after pushing through the fields.

Captain Nathaniel Phillips sees his plan come to nought and orders the withdrawal

Newly painted figures often fare badly, the Confederate gun only activated the once!