I have been painting toy soldiers for most of my life, first as props for role-playing games and later as wargaming figures. At a guess, I’d say I’ve painted between 2,000 and 3,000 figures in the last twenty years. But, until recently, I’ve never had much interest in painting Civil War soldiers. I guess I just found the uniforms a bit uninspiring. Then, right around the time I started reading Shelby Foote, I got the desire to paint a few Confederates, just for the fun of it. So, I ordered a 28mm Confederate Command pack from Perry Miniatures, and the result can be seen below.
These figures aren’t meant to represent any particular people or even a particular unit. They are just supposed to be representative. I gave them gray tops and brown pants to give the figures more visual appeal. Probably some unit somewhere wore something similar. My standard-bearer carries the state flag of South Carolina. State flags were actually a rare sight on the battlefield, especially later in the war, but it’s such an attractive flag I decided to go with it anyway. And there I might have left my Civil War painting, except for a lucky encounter with an old enemy.
Back in July, my work sent me to Valley Forge, PA for Historicon, America’s largest wargaming convention (yes, sometimes my job rocks). There, amongst the isles of wargaming goodies, I came across Sash and Sabre, who were running a 40% off special on all of their Civil War figures. While examining the wonderful sculpting on the little metal men, I got to chatting with the owner. It turns out he went to Duke University (yup, he’s a Blue Devil, and I have my suspicions that he’s a carpet bagger too!) Despite that, I just couldn’t resist his combination of quality and price. For less than $70, I left with a small Confederate army including 40 infantry, 2 guns with crew, 9 Cavalry, and 3 mounted generals. Plus they fit perfectly with my Perry Miniatures.
I am now hard at work on the Confederate Army of Oxford (a rather weak joke, but one that amuses me nonetheless). I’ve already got about half of them painted, and I hope to share some of my progress in the weeks and months to come. I’m also thinking about exactly what figures I’m going to buy to oppose this force.
|Confederates emerge from the Mississippi swamps...|