Wednesday, May 09, 2012

American Civil War Signalling Edifice..

I have Matt over at Waterloo to Mons to thank for my seeming obsession over this particular edifice...

His excellent Airfix American Civil War project often throws up interesting posts, and a photograph of a camp scene with signal tower (which I now can't find unfortunately), lead me to start a search for my own model...

Originally I'd planned to scratch build it, but the primary issue was finding figures suitable to man the tower as I needed signal men - then I discovered that SHQ had a signal tower listed in their 20mm American Civil War range...  no pictures (why oh why oh why do on-line sellers not realise how important a photo is????!), but at only £5.50 I felt I could take a bit of a gamble and how pleased I was that I did...  eventually..!

It was an interesting transaction (and one I would repeat any time despite the number of emails - they're nice people, just stupidly busy!)..
  • So first off I get an envelope (late) that contains a resin terrain piece looking similar to the picture right at the bottom - no figures.....
  • Speaking to Matt he tells me "that's not right" he remembers a ladder, and a flag dude etc. so I get in touch with SHQ
  • Weeks, and a fair few exchanges of email later, a second envelope arrives, this time containing the figures - the officer with binoculars, the "flag dude", and a couple of horse holders - but also a metal version of the tower, with platform....!

Apparently SHQ had had to recast the tower especially for me... service above and beyond I think...

Anyway - the normal thing to have done would probably be to use either of the towers on their own - but in a rush of blood to the head (there's that cycle ride to work to blame again) I decided to combine them - with the second on top of the first....  figures are as delivered by SHQ, the horses are Newline Designs from my spares pile, all figures 20mm.....

Both sides used much the same equipment for these towers, albeit with different signalling books/codes. The towers were used for passing battlefield commands, directing artillery etc..

The flags most often used were 4-foot (in order to be seen) mounted on 12 foot poles, but 2-foot flags were also used when the flagman wanted to avoid enemy attention (as is the case here!).

 ...apart from being an interesting scenic feature, I have an idea that this would make an excellent objective for a scenario..

...and this is a real one.. I think they did a good job modelling it..
Loads more information here:


  1. This turned oud perfect.
    like the idea as much as it turned out!
    Well done.

    Greetings Remco

  2. A very nice model and a nicely painted up too!

  3. Yours is now bigger than mine, oooh er! (I do not have the bottom resin piece).

    Really good! My one just needs the base painting which I can just about manage with my one good arm and so I am inspired to finish the job!

  4. Great model Steve, no Health and Safety considerations back then obviously :-) Lovely piece.


  5. eye catching vignette! Beautiful!

  6. Looking so beautiful!
    Very nice work!

  7. You've done an amazing job there. I have one scratch built for my 6mm Union army using pins - a slightly easier job than you had here!