The Union Army Thus Far

With the Great Lockdown in effect I spent the first few weeks painting up more irregular looking models, but then craved for something with uniforms. So I unearthed my boxes of ACW which had remained untouched through two changes of address, and what do you know? I fell in love. Recently I already showed off two infantry regiments, but now it’s time to take a look at the rest of the force as it currently stands.

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The thing about these old Perry plastics is that, because it was their first set of plastics, it was also their simplest in terms of options. That’s great! Most of the models in the set require just their headgear to be glued on, and as assembly is often unexpectedly time consuming, this leaves more time for painting. The downside is that, as the command options are on the same sprue, you end up with too many greatcoated models, and both the standard bearers and musicians have to be built from the same body which makes for some rather weird command stands. I circumvented this issue by outfitting some of the other models with leftover left arms from the plastic artillery set, or just clipping off a right arm.

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Speaking of converting models: as I had 20 superfluous painted Zouaves from the 5th New York regiment I painted ages ago, I decided to partially repaint these as the 140th regiment. Just the pants and the cords on their fezzes needed my attention, but also a new command stand for which I tore off the right arms of some unlucky Zouaves, added spare ones with banner poles, and built and painted a new officer and musician – the former from the regular set, the latter from a spare Zouave body with parts also from the regular set. Easy!

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The artillery was built from a box of the Perry plastics – lovely models, these. One simply can’t resist the urge to turn these into three little dioramas showing the various stages of artillery operation. The addition of the caissons is a nice touch and not even useful merely as decoration – for instance, in the Rebels and Patriots ruleset by Osprey Games, they can be an unobtrusive way of marking a gun that has the limber option,

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I had previously painted up eight Union Cavalry, so I painted up the other twelve I had lying around including command options, upgraded the older paintjobs a bit, and turned these into two 10-strong units. I will probably get some more down the line, in order to be able to field a full cavalry brigade, but that’s very low on the list of things to get for this army.

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Painting wise, I started off with the same techniques, but decided to apply some more highlights to the faces, hands and weapons – always the focal point of model soldiers! The other areas were left fairly basic, but as I didn’t varnish too thickly I can always go back in with some more highlights (Probably never going to happen, though – what’s done is done).

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The count currently stands at 6 infantry regiments, of which two are Zouaves, two cavalry regiments, two 12-pdr Napoleons and a 12-pdr howitzer. I also painted up the sniper one gets for free with the Glory, Hallelujah! sourcebook from Warlord. This brings the number of painted models in this army up to a goodly 159, and enough for two full brigades.

But wait, there’s more! I have ordered some more boxes of infantry (the newer Union boxes, as they come with skirmishing poses), as well as some essential commanders, dismounted cavalrymen and casualty figures. With these I’ll certainly have enough for another full brigade, amounting to a complete division. Looks like I have my work cut out for me…

P.S. Mainly due to how quick these painted up, my painted model count since the lockdown started is at 321. Try and beat that! 🙂

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