Sunday, April 21, 2024

ACW Camp Life & Little Wars Game Photos


Civil War illustrator Alfred Wand

Alfred Waud, original picture that inspired the miniature figure

Alfred Waud figure unpainted

I really like to create little vignettes on my table top, especially for games that I host at wargame conventions. They add a bit of life, character and sometimes unexpected discovery or humor to the tabletop.

The two pictures above illustrate famous Civil War illustrator Alfred Waud. I believe that the figure is made by either Barszo or LOD Enterprises, both in 1/32 scale (54mm or Toy Soldier size). When I first saw this figure, I knew that I had to have it a place it somewhere on the table for my Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg game. I always get a kick whenever some one discovers the figure on the table:"oh wow, it's Alfred Waud!").

Here is another vignette of General Meade and some of his staff, inspired 
by the picture below.

This is a rather famous picture of camp life in the Army of the Potomac.
Note George Custer on the lower right, petting his dog. The inclusion of
the dog adds a touch of whimsy and brings life to the story that the 
photographer is trying to tell. This photo inspired the vignette in the previous
picture above.

I recently commissioned a set of figures from Speira Miniatures, a company in Sweden. Speira creates 3D printed figures that you can order in almost any scale. This picture of three Confederate prisoners captured at Gettysburg is a well known photograph from the American Civil War (must I really add the word "American" when I say Civil War?)

I received my three figures the other day and I am eager to paint them and recreate the diorama for my own games.


A group of Union soldiers enjoying a cup of joe.

Some slackers! Confederates enjoying a brief respite to play a card game.

Here is another set up that I did of Meade's headquarters at the Leicester House
behind Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. I added the signal tower because I thought
that it would make for a good picture. In the foreground a settler is sitting in front
of his tent reading his newspaper

Meade's headquarters. I painted a rather bad looking plastic model made by BMC
and added a base, storage chest and some exterior chimney stones to the model.
I am rather chuffed by the finished result.

You can see the white plastic Meade's HQ building in its unpainted state.
Some of the pieces were warped and I had to drill a few holes to make the
fitting pegs align with the holes. This made the structure much stronger. The
roof on the porch extension was a total mess, so I replaced it with a piece of 
Balsa Wood. My intention was to cover all of the roof sections with tree wrap
to make new shingles. However, after painting and dry brushing I decided 
to leave the roof alone.

Here is a better view of Meade's HQ and its surrounding vignette pieces.
I am amazed by how nice the house looks after repairs and painting.

I am always on the look out for more vignette/camp life scenes in the toy soldier or 54mm size of figures. Speira fills this need quite nicely. I have a surgeon and his assistant doing some surgery on a wounded soldier and I plan to pair the scene up with an ambulance model that I bought from Classic Toy Soldiers company. I also have a Matthew Brady photographer figure from Speira that I have not painted yet.

My next post will cover the Pickett's Charge game after action report from my weekend at Little Wars The Confederates prevailed on the first day/game, but the Union army won two seesaw game on the second and third days of the convention. My game rules worked very well and the players were practically running the games by themselves. All I had to do was to hover around the table and answer rules questions or make some interpretations of various actions.

As gamers are want to do, they found a couple of minor loopholes in the rule sheet and I have since corrected and updated the rules in version 9.0.

Here are a couple of teaser photographs of my game that show the vast expanse of playing on three 6ft by 24ft tables.

The middle table (of three tables) had the entire Emmitsburg Road

Armistead's Confederate brigade crosses the stout post and rail fences of the Emmitsburg Road.

Confederates cross the middle table. In the background you can see the table 
that represents Seminary Ridge, the starting point of Pickett's Charge.

Action on Cemetery Ridge. This was on its own table and the Confederate
attack had to cross over from the middle table containing the Emmitsburg Road.



  1. The vignettes are really lovely and certainly add to the overall effect on the table and what a great looking game, top notch!

  2. Terrific vignettes and the game is epic.
    Alan Tradgardland

  3. The vignettes really contribute to the overall look and one would never know the building gave you so much hassle. Congratulations on achieving your convention goal.
    Do you have to add the American to Civil War every time? Not when there are the photos and the name of such a famous battle but 'yes' when there is only text and a more obscure action. At least you don't have the U.K. problem that everytime we say English Civil War, which it's been for centuries, someone will correct us with the modern [and to be fair more accurate] new-fangled British Civil War label.

  4. Super vignettes; the layout for the game is fabulous

  5. I agree with the above comments- some lovely little stories on that table .

  6. Excellent work on the camp, superb minis!

  7. The vignettes are lovely. This sort of characterfulness is what I got into wargaming for. All the best!

  8. Wonderful display of fine modelling.