Saturday, October 14, 2023

Time to base the ACW figures


General Lewis Armistead's Confederate brigade at Gettysburg. All based in the past couple of weeks.

Click on all pictures to enlarge

My painting pace has slowed down a little bit so far in October, largely due to tackling the task of basing the figures. Basing consists of gluing the figures to an 80mm x 120mm MDF base and then troweling on the ground (wall board paste mixed with brown paint), and finishing off with static grass and tufts. Past experience has taught me that it is a bad idea to let hundreds of painted figures accumulate and then base them en masse at one time. Basing can be a bit tedious and so it is better to base a group of 30 to 60 figures rather 100 to 200 figures.

Here are some pictures of five Confederate regiments that I have based so far. These represents the Confederate brigades of Armistead and Garnett of Pickett's Division of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The unbiased collection of figures is starting to grow as I have two more regiments of Confederates to base. The regiment in the front uses CTS plastic figures while the regiment in the back is comprised largely of Armies In Plastic Confederates.

Close up view of some of the CTS brand of plastic 54mm (1/32 scale) ACW figures.
Note the flag bearer conversion, using the casualty figure on the left, now holding a flag on the right.

My October painting output, so far, has been limited to one 30-figure regiment of Confederates and about 20 of the required 30 figures for another regiment. There have also been about a dozen "one offs" painted simply for the reason that I liked the pose and wanted to give a particular figure a try with my brushes. I need to paint at a pace of 90 to 120 figures per month in order to hit my target one thousand figures for my Pickett's Charge game at Historicon in July 2023. That's about nine months to go and I have finished 15 regiments (8 Union and 7 Confederate) of 30 figures, or 450 figures. This does not include some of the one off mounted officers and various other single figures that aren't sufficient in quantity to make up a new 30 figure regiment.

Now 9 months sounds like a lot of time, but I have to consider the time needed to build the terrain. I have all of the buildings (farm houses and barns) that I need, but it is the number of turnpike fences that I will need for the Emmitsburg Road. Eighteen feet of road, with fences on both sides of the road, adds up to 36 feet of fences that I need to build. Yikes!

The other day I primed 60 figures, enough to make two more Confederate regiments. If I finish these this month then I would have painted 90 figures in October. The time spent on basing the figures has the effect of stealing time from my painting table. Oh well.


  1. The units look great with their bases done. Worth the time spent ..

  2. Jim, BMC is now doing a mixed bag of 32 CTS figures for $22. They are available through Hobby Bunker. They are not showing on the BMC website. There are two casualties in the pack. Hard to find these anywhere at a reasonable price. As always beautiful figures.