Tuesday, January 30, 2024

20mm Pack Train

I had a couple of simple ideas of how to flesh out the Indian camp. Here are a couple of bases of hides and meat drying on racks. Very simply made using brush bristles and hot glue. The hide and meat are strips of dried wet wipe, given a coat of watered down PVA.

Benteen come on. Big village. Be quick.Bring packs. P.s. Bring packs.

 Well, with an order like that I thought I'd better add a few more packs (ammunition) to the mules. I cut up some bolsa wood into ammo box shapes and stuck them on the mules. I also partly covered them with wet wipes again to act as canvas. The wipes were given a coat of watered down PVA to give them more of a canvas look.

Two gun fighters from Newline Design will double as teamsters. Clint with his poncho looks good already but the other guy just needed a box to carry and job done 
The pack mules are from Irregular Miniatures again and are perfect for the job. I twisted some of the heads and necks carefully to give them more variety.
As well as ammo packs I also added some tent poles and stacked canvas bundles. Hopefully now this single sculpt will look like a host of individual animals.


A bit of research shows the mules in a spread out line, hence the train ref I suppose. For this I've ordered some 90mmx40mm bases.

I will make up 4 bases with 2 mules and a teamster to a base.

Update, The veteran 'old sweats'. This is a simple idea to create some seasoned fighters amongst the companies. Company E was said to be made of men with some experience so I altered these slouch hats to fit. A lot of cavalry gear was altered for personal preference and non more so than the troopers hat.
I used the simple technique of cutting off the brims and sticking on shapes of thin card to become the folded hat. These will be filed and cut when dry and should look the part when painted.

The drying racks get their brown undercoat. I also added some fine cotton to bind the poles together. This was wound over super glue so it stuck fast.

I thought this Indian casualty figure had more protectional. So I straightened him up on his base with some pliers, added a knife and then fashioned a scalp. The scalp is made from a dried wet wipe so it actually looks like hair. He stands over a dead trooper, I cut the top off his head to complete the grizzly effect. This victorious figure can be a single guy on his own base, this way he will always be popping up as the double man bases take casualties.
I nice cardboard neckachef for Tom.
Below, veteran troopers and their personalized head wear. It's hard to stand out in a crowd.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Plains Wars 20mn

After getting back from hospital today there was a little packet waiting for me in the letterbox. I took a gamble and ordered a test batch of 20mm plains wars figures from Irregular Miniatures. I say test batch because just because they say they're 20mm, it doesn't always mean they will match that of other manufacturers. To my relief, these two ranges, Newline Design and Irregular Miniatures are close enough to be a good fit together...phew.

It also adds some nice variation into the forces. The  Irregular ones are Sioux and so stand out from the more generic sculpts of Newline, by having bone armour etc. They also do other tribes, with around five poses in each including Crow. It'll be interesting to see what these are like.

Newline Design, Irregular Miniatures. The latter might be a tad smaller but certainly not enough to notice once based up.

Irregular do some nice crouching shooting Indians which will add more variety to the bases.

Here we can see the mounted versions, again a nice fit.

 The Newline Indians tend to go down the loin cloth route so the added clothes and details of Irregular Miniatures are greatly appreciated.
The only one that might need some tweaking is the officer shooting, his head is quite small. Although my old head swop trick would have him fixed in a jiffy. He would make a great Custer with the new head. Ironically, it would better match my mounted model as they both have buckskins on 
UPDATE: here is the tweaked officer, just needed a little neckachef and he's done. Now which one do I go with? 

Let's make him Tom Custer...I've just decided.

Friday, January 26, 2024

20mm 7th Cavalry

painting up some 20mm cavalry tonight, good to get them started again. I always fall back to watching programs about Little Bighorn on YouTube, so it's good to get these going again.

Being 20mm, I highlighted them once and gave them a wash of brown ink. I touched up the blue again when the ink was dry.

Created for Men who would be kings, the companies are eight riders strong 
These tweaked brush bristle pistols really work well when painted up. I've been having thoughts about pushing this technique to create carbines in the same way. Flattened brush bristles, cut to shape with gel super glue to add details.

I decided this guy would make a great Tom Custer, little brother to the man himself. His tunic was the right size for a buckskin and he had a young looking face.

This great horse colour was achieved by giving a bay brown a wash of the Orange contrast paint. As Custer organised his companies with different horse colours, this trick will be put to good use later for the blood bays 
  • A nice touch that was well worth doing was to paint in the bullet belts. This is done with a lighter colour and lots of little marks for the bullets. It was a lot easier once the model was turned upside down. It's such a characteristic of the uniform it had to be done...dead easy too.
Custer takes the bait and rides in to investigate my newly created Tippees.

Update, The cavalry are now based and in column.

Custer out front with his personal banner, leaving Lt Cooke to head F company. I've put Tom Custer in the ranks as the two like to ride together, but I might give him his own command later on.

Anither two companies getting their spurs and re-equipping for the mission.

These brush bristle pistols will be shaped once the glue is dry. 
New Line Design's 7th cavalry are not very well researched and tend to follow the Hollywood 1880s look. To get some variety in the figures I ordered a pack of Confederate cavalry from them too. Ironically, these troopers are a lot better fit when modelling the 1876 battle. They have tunics with a carbine belt etc. A good mix of both ranges is recommended so you get some shirts in there too.

These painting are really atmospheric and a real source of reference. I'm not sure who painted them, but there are a whole series of them on Pintrest. Here we see the two brothers at the head of the column. This is the picture I used for inspiration for my Tom Custer.

Custer project halted due to Kidney stone! Read all about it. Now I know what's it's like to be shot with an arrow in the side...
Blogging continues from the hospital bed, nothing can stop dispatches!
Here is the plastic brush bristle carbine test. I think it worked okay. Once painted and detail cheated, I'm sure it will look fine. That's the nice thing about 20mm, you can get away with more with the smaller scale 

The brush bristle was flattened then cut with a scalpel into a basic carbine shape