Re-imagining my ACW collection

GHQ's Winfield Hancock and US Grant sculpts
I have just completed my first attempt of GHQ's 10mm ACW figures.  This is not so much a new project, as the "re-imagining" of one of my original collections.  Allow me to explain.

I got my start in historical wargaming with 1/285 scale GHQ microarmor back in 1982.  That switched over to Sci-Fi and Fantasy gaming in the late 80s through early 90's.  My return to historical wargaming was with 15mm ACW games of Fire and Fury and Johnny Reb II and III in 1994-5.  (I started playing in Mark Rounds F&F games at the no defunct annual "Game Faire" in Spokane, WA, and found the games to be outstanding fun.)  I funded most of that transition by selling off or trading my extensive GW figure collection for painted and unpainted 15mm Union Troops.  I was more interested in gaming than painting back then, which resulted in a very eclectic collection.  Another confounding variable was in my approach to the collection.  My regular opponent, Angus, was a CSA aficionado, which meant we each focused on collecting one side of the conflict.  When Angus moved across the country (to Georgia of all places..), he took the OPFOR with him.  This left me with a massive Union collection and only a few CSA units to face them.  Thus my ACW collection has lain fallow for two decades now.

I was taking a stab at painting another unit of Zuoaves  last spring, when I realized what a mess my collection had become.  There is work from 8-9 different painters and as many figure producers represented.  They are based for three different systems, and there is no overall uniformity in base size.  Finally, the CSA troops are still hopelessly outnumbered.

My decision then was to simply expunge the collection and use the resources thus acquired to recreate it in a more manageable scale.    I ordinarily dislike trading away painted figs, but in this case, very few were painted by me.  Thus, I feel very little connection to them.  I am going to use this as a chance to create a collection that is all mine.

My rule for this project then is quite simple: I will only buy figs using funds from the sale of the old collection, or trades for unpainted figures.

My first 10mm Regiment
This first collection of figs comes from the trade of all my 28mm ECW figs.  I managed to get a collection of 66 packs of GHQ 10mm minis, which appears to be '1 of each' from the GHQ catalog.  I really like these sculpts as they seem a very nice balance between 6mm and 15mm figs.  GHQ does wonderful detail and the proportions are very nice.  If there is one thing I dislike it is the fact that the standard bearers are molded with flags on their poles which requires me to try and paint appropriate colors.  (I am taking an impressionists approach with looks fine at a distance)

GHQ's infantry packs come with 24 riflemen and three command figs (officer, standard, drummer)  this works fine for me as I am combining two packs to form each regiment.  I also picked up some other loose figs off Bartertown which allows me to beef up the command stands to eight figures each.


I am taking a page from Jon's playbook and basing these guys in double ranks on 1.125" by .875" bases for use in Regimental Fire and Fury.  This is a bit of a change as I have been moving towards single unit basing up until now.  I will ameliorate this by painting as many generic stands as possible, so I don't have to worry about unit cohesion when removing stands in my terribly infrequent games.

 My second regiment comprised on one pack of USA infantry marching + the command figs from the second sack)
My intent is to paint all of the USA figs from this first package followed by all of the CSA figs.  That will give me a large brigade of infantry per side, and hopefully allow me to keep pace between the two sides as the collection grows.

The advantage to multi stand units is that they do rank up well for displaying formations.

Comments

  1. Great reflection on your gaming history, Jake. Interestingly, I recently was musing the start of 1:285 stuff for a Battle of Nomonhan project - since dropped :) You've also confirmed my penchant to paint/collect both sides of a battle/conflict - nice as it is to have fellow gamers to have opponent armies, you never know what the future holds. I know of one particular gamer who actually sold off his entire collection - and he was one of the guys who got me into gaming (WAB).

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    1. Appears we all suffer from this malady, Dean.

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  2. That a very good example of a project life cycle. Like you, I tend to field both sides for a project to mitigate the risk of exactly this type of situation. This approach also helps with solo play too.

    As for your basing, I use two such stands to form one BMU in my favorite large scale ACW game, Republic. That way, the same stands can represent either 80 men for RFF or 500 men for Republic.

    While spinning on the bike this morning, I was considering this same dilemma with respect to my 28mm AWI project. Since this began as a group project, I have many Germans and British but only a unit or two of colonials. Without a regular flow of games, my thoughts have been directed towards putting these guys up for sale.

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    1. Or you can start painting Americans.... I have not yet played republic, but it looks interesting. I like what you did with the multiple command stands to represent unit status as well. I still lack sufficient standard bearers to try something similar.

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    2. I could paint Americans and I might but I do have a complete AWI project compete in 15mm...Scott has the American contingent but coordinating schedules has proved difficult.

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  3. After getting burnt one too many times with group projects (Napoleonic Turks was the final straw!), I always plan for both sides of a conflict for my projects.

    Back to the original topic, GHQ's ACW collection is what I would pick for such a project. Yours look very nice, Jake, although I would be tempted to drill out the standard bearers to use paper flags. I hope to see more of your efforts!

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    1. I considered drilling out the standard bearers, but the flags are actually sculpted into the figure, so I would need to re sculpt the entire head and part of the back.

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    2. Ahh, I did not realize that, thanks.

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  4. I think 10mm is a perfect scale for this conflict. Your fresh start looks great!

    Finally, I always paint two or more sides. If others want to paint for the same era, great. We've actually done pretty well there for 28 mm Napoleonics, Renaissance/Pike and Shot, and some others, but no one's really dependent on any one else's figures to run their own games. We can put quite a mountain of lead out when working together in those periods, though.

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    1. This is exactly the approach Jake and I pursued with the Reconquista project although it did not begin in that manner. Now, we have sufficient forces to game either individually with one collection or massed into a very large combined collection.

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    2. The only difference is that I am focusing more on Arab forces from the Eastern Med, so I have two potential opponents for my Spanish/Crusaders

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