Monday, July 11, 2016

Plum Run Point - Part the Next: Confederates!

Picture from Pithead Miniatures' website
Thank you, Pithead Miniatures!  In such timely fashion they have released the Confederate Mississippi River Defense Fleet, in 1/1200.  These are of course, or maybe not of course for those who do not have knowledge of Plum Run Point, the ideal opponents for my burgeoning fleet of Thoroughbred's Cairo class river ironclads.  

I was tipped off by a post on The Wargames Website that these lovely resin castings had been released, so I immediately rushed to place an order, cost before shipping being about $50.00.  Phil Ireson, the owner, contacted me to let me know if I didn't mind a bit of a wait that he would send me a corrected version of the CSS General Bragg, as the first casting he offered was actually the Bragg that the Federals captured and modified and not the version used by the Confederates.  Of course I did not mind a wait for the correct model!
After a couple of weeks I received my order from the U.K.  While these Pithead castings might not quite on par with Thoroughbred's gorgeous models, they are darn close!  As mentioned, they are mostly resin, with metal guns, stacks, and masts, to go along with resin hulls and superstructures.  

I have started putting a few of them together.  Four of the smaller vessels have separate superstructures that need to be glued to the provided hulls.  The four separate hulls are identical  The guns are tiny and a bit fiddly to work with, but that is because I do not have quick setting superglue to hold the guns into place.  Once I pick up some different super glue mounting the guns by using tweezers should be a breeze.

In summary (for now, more as I build, paint, and rate up these vessels for Smoke on the Water), this range from Pithead is not only a nice addition to the 1/1200 scale offerings currently on the market, but they really fill in an often overlooked area of the Civil War, the early battles on the interior river, like Plum Run Point!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Fort Laurens Project

For years I have tinkered with doing some sort of Revolutionary War scenario set in the west, west being at the time anything beyond the mountains of the eastern United States.  There are some options that folks do not realize, like Crawford's Defeat, George Rogers Clark's taking of Fort Sackville, the Battle of Peckuwe (Piqua), the Battle of Blue Licks, and other small actions in Kentucky.  Recently I visited Fort Laurens (well, the site of Fort Laurens as there is no fort to visit) and it has me interested in doing some sort of project based on the Fort Laurens "campaign" of 1778-79.

I have a slew of Blue Moon 15/18mm AWI figures already, many that I believe would be suited for the 8th Pennsylvania (officers in regimental coats, soldiers in mostly rifle frocks) and the 13th Virginia (blue regimental coats faced yellow).  I will have to see what I have for British officers and natives.

As for the fort itself, that becomes a bit more problematic.  Blue Moon produces some very nice frontier fort pieces, but many of their offerings aren't quite right for Fort Laurens, a couple of differences being the angled bastions and the single story barracks at the fort.  Yes, I could try to build my own fort, but I do not have the space to work on such a project, and really do not have the skills to pull off something respectable .  I could settle for what I can create with the Blue Moon pieces, but as mentioned the bastions and blockhouse would have to be somewhat different.  Doable I guess!

As always, more on this as I push forward with this and about a million other projects!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Second Barbary Coast War

Time to get this project moving forward!  I have the terrain for North Africa, so just need to paint the figures and the Martello Tower from Thoroughbred and I can start hosting events.  So this weekend I spent getting the American Marines and their adversaries mounted onto 15mm round Litko bases in preparation for priming.  I am going to try a different method of painting these figures, taken from Legio Wargames, using a white primer (I usually go with black or dark gray) and the "secret ingredient" trick of washing the figure after priming and before base coating.  I typically prime, paint all areas, then wash.  I do not do outlining nor block painting, so attempting a new method is a bit daunting, but it will perhaps lead to a nicer looking figure.  Of course I will get a few pics posted on this painting process once I get to that point.

The American marines will look prim and proper in their navy blue jackets trimmed with red collar and cuffs and highlights of yellow braid, along with white pants, with reversed jacket colors for the drummers.  The Barbary pirates will be a mix of primary colors and I cannot wait to start painting them to see what I craziness I can create.

For rules I am still planning to do some sort of modification of Force on Force, but I am also willing to entertain suggestions.  Rules should cover morale, give different weapon ranges, use individually mounted figures, can handle large fortress guns (and eventually small ship bombardment), as well as house to house fighting (which is why I think Force on Force should work decently well).

Some resource links:
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