Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ACW revisited...

Oh dear... Littlejohn over at Lead Gardens [click here] has got me all interested in the American Civil War again.... in a recent post he mentions that:

"I had this idea to do two small ACW brigades for a little collection (since I already have a bunch of older style unpainted Old Glory figures that I got on ebay a long while ago.) for some small ACW battles...I was thinking a good start would be the forces in Don Featherstones classic "Battles With Model Soldiers" that he used to demonstrate his rules: 2-20 man regiments and one 12 man cav and one gun per side. A little cav heavy for the period but classic stuff and I am the proud owner of a 1974 vintage hardbound copy!"

Renegade MiniaturesNow the issue I had with my project, and the reason I put it on the back burner in the first place, was the thought that I really couldn't take on another 'figure heavy' period - I have enough trouble at the moment getting the enthusiasm to paint up some more War of the Spanish Succession figures, never mind the American War of Independence project (....and the Sudan Project and the WWII project...! )... but 4 regiments of foot, two of cavalry and a gun aside is immensely manageable... isn't it??

I also hooked out my copy of "Wargames" this evening and had a look at Don Featherstone's "Horse and Musket" rules - beautifully simple, they gave me a lot of fun in my youth playing Napoleonics... so now a seed is beginning to germinate... an old school, classic, wargaming project... small number of units aside and the original rules.... hmmmmmm... got to have Zouaves though - I always wanted Zouaves... so three regiments of foot a side... still do-able...

EssexThen I started thinking about model soldiers (don't we all?!), and then I started thinking about scale.... when I kicked off the American Civil War project originally I had decided I was going to use 15mm Peter Pig ('cos I love them - characterful little figures that are full of life..) but for a project like this I started to think about 25's, and there are so many nice figures about! The picture at the top of the page is from the Renegade Miniatures site (click on it to go to the web page), but there's also Essex (next one down) and Dixon, and Minifigs, and Old Glory.... and the list goes on (and on)...

I'm tempted by the Renegades and the Dixon's, I like the Essex & the Minifigs (and they fit my idea of the classic Old School wargaming project being of that era)... but then I spotted these little guys:

I'm thinking I may have to buy some samples.... but in the meanwhile the kudos goes to the first gamer to leave me a comment with the name of the manufacturer - one clue, they're not quite 25mm!


  1. And then my "evil twin" whispered in my ear . . . "Sash and Saber 40mm ACW"

    Bad twin! Bad. Bad. Bad.


    Steve, I don't know whose figures they are, but they've got a lot of character.

    -- Jeff

  2. Perry Plastic. Relatively cheap, oozing quality and the right size. Siggo can't be wrong can he?

    Of course there are ranges of 54mm plastic as well. We use them at the club for fun games with elastic band and ruler "guns".

  3. DC is right; they are Jacklex. I have quite a few of them somewhere in my collection.

    They are still available to buy from Spencer Smith, and are quite good value. I also found them easy to paint because they do not have lots of extraneous detail.

  4. Interesting, we are getting into the concept of what is 'best'. For some people its easy, " I love x's work he is best and I shall always buy him, everyhing else is rubbish".

    Otherwise its what is most detailed, characterful, correct, easy to paint etc. Then choosing a scale?

    Given that you are following Don, I would be very tempted by an old style range myself. The Jac lex are great fun, easy to paint and the moulds are still OK at present. If it helps I know that the Wodensfeld range is coming back into production this year and is compatable in style. Also Jac lex equipment is lovely.

    Of course their are always the Spencer Smith ACW, if you want to go right back to basics and use the original figures.

    Now there is a good thread for TMP.
    'Which plastics are best, Perry or SSM - discuss'!!!


  5. If you do go down the Jacklex route then the Rose 20mm ACW range is also worth considering - Rob at Garrison has the moulds and, rumour has it, could be persuaded to make the figures available again. There are pictures of the Rose figures on Clive's Old Metal Detector blog. The old Airfix ACWs will also be compatible with Jacklex.

    Another range i recommend looking at is the Tradition 25mm range. They are larger at 'traditional' 25mm and very slender. The pictures on he Tradition website do not do them justice at all - i've seen better pictures and they are seriously nice. I strongly recommend you get some samples. Fast service from Sweden too.

    Good luck with the ACW - one day i hope to get round to it, probably with Garrison, Hinchliffe and Tradition.

  6. Jacklex, but it's been spotted already. Very compatible with plastics. Enjoy the platville valley

  7. Steve - I've agonised over all this myself and I really like the look of those Jacklex but was put off by my brother (not really an Old School fan) who pointed out that with so many really excellent modern figures about it seems a shame not to use them. If I was to 'go large' on ACW (still plugging away with 15mm Polly Oliver/AB) I would be very tempted by Renegade, but then again...