Monday, August 28, 2023

Britains Deetail Civil War Artillery Figures


A pair of Britains Deetail ACW Confederate 3-inch ordnance rifled cannon.

My Pickett's Charge game could have as many as 10 artillery pieces for both sides and so I thought that I would get a head start on the Long Arm by purchasing  a pair of 12-pound Napoleon smooth bore guns and a pair of Rodman rifled cannon for both Confederates and Union forces (so 4 guns per side for a total of 8 guns purchased).

Due to the expense of these preprinted beauties, I do not intend to outfit both armies with all Britains cannon and crew, but I thought that a few would look nice on the table and give me a jump start on the artillery contingent of my 54mm ACW armies.

A pair of Confederate Napoleons from Britains.
The mounted officer is one of the Americana plastic soldiers.

A drone's eye view of the Confederate Rodman battery.
The brown-red building is a copy of Lee's HQ building at Gettysburg.
Fences are 28mm pieces made by Herb Bundt.

Here are some pictures of the general layout and forces that I have painted so far. I have five Union regiments, but no Confederate regiments as of yet. The game mats are from Cigar Box Battle Mats. The buildings are 54mm plastic buildings from Americana (Meade's HQ at Gettysburg in white, and Lee's HQ at Gettysburg in brown-red).

Drone's eye view of the 6ft by 10ft table.

Lees HQ house from Americana. The model is a piece of junk whose parts do not fit together.
I plan on using the pieces as templates to make the parts out of balsa and foam core.

Lee's HQ. It would look nice if I could assemble and paint it.

Some of the Union regiments 

Meade's HQ

Armies In Plastic Zouaves painted as the 114th Pennsylvania or Collis' Zouaves

Union Rodman gun from Britains

More to come later as I must get back to the painting table.


  1. Glad to see you went with the ACW project. In my current project I elected to not use the BMC figures though I considered doing it. As with other scales 54mm is not always the same. I am using Steve Weston's range of Mexican Bandits,; AIP ACW, Japanese, Cuban, Rough Riders, and British sailors; IMEX artillery, some BMC cannon; and Expeditionary Forces ACW cavalry (mounted and dismounted), and some Chin Toys Union Generals (mounted and foot). I am looking forward to running a game at A Call To Arms in October. I am always amazed at your ability to turn out well painted armies. Chris B.

    1. Thank you Chris. BTW, I am looking for some Union cavalry in kepi and want one pose that I could use as a flag bearer for the Corps flag and put that figure on the command stand for my corps commanders. I could also use some variety in mounted officers - I only have the Americana ones so far.

      AIP's ACW Union soldiers are all wearing the long frock coats so unfortunately I can't use them unless I'm doing the Iron Brigade (which I don't want to paint). The Confederate figures are wearing the short shell jacket so I can't use them for Union soldiers, but they are fine for Confederates.

  2. What memories! I used to have gobs of 54mm ACW plastics as a kid. Hours of play, mom hated it. Armies disappeared when I got older and moved on to other things. Sometimes wish I still had them. Also had some Britains LTD, but very little. Too expensive. Toy store down town used to stock them all. Won't see that anymore. How sad.

    1. Yes, 54mm toy soldiers bring back a lot of memories for me. Back then though, I didn't paint the figures, in fact, it never occurred to me to paint them. I had some metal hollow cast Britains, but not too many of them because they were expensive. Had lots of plastic unpainted figures. When my friend and I played soldiers, the metal figures were the Good Guys and the plastic figures were the Bad Guys.

  3. Same here - only had a few of the Britains ACW - I remember a mounted Confederate standard bearer with the saddle and his pistol belt and holster etc of some soft, rubber type material. That may have been the only ACW figure I had, although I had LOTS of cowboys and indians, as well as knights and Greek/Trojans (maybe Romans too - cant remember now!)

    1. Those might have been some of the Swappets toy soldiers.

  4. Jim, The Expeditionary Force soldiers would work well with the BMC figures. They run about $4.50 per mounted figure. There are only three poses one of which can be converted a flag bearer. The officer figure would work for infantry as well. Chin toys mounted Union set is nice, though getting some of the figures onto the horses takes some work. I will be taking photos shortly and will let you know when I put them on my blog,

  5. Jim, Link to my blog with photos of the Imperial Mexican infantry, American Infantry, elements of the forts at Puebla that will be part of the game, and shots from two practice games. I still need to take some photos of the mounted troops.