Monday, June 17, 2024

Paint Your Wagon(s)


Confederate supply wagons on the Emmitsburg Road

I have some plastic munitions wagons for my 54mm Civil War armies that were just begging to be painted and based. And so I did.

Some months ago I was thinking that I would leave wagons and limbers unpainted to give the game a nostalgic toy soldier feel, however, as the Pickett's Charge Project progressed all of the other terrain elements were so well done that leaving the wagons unpainted made them look out of place.

The first picture below illustrates the look of the unpainted wagon versus the painted and based wagon.

The "before" wagon on the right and the "after" painted wagon on the left.

The wagons came from a set of 1/32 scenic pieces made by BMC and sold under the "Americana" label.

They are a little bit on the small size relative to 54mm figures, but they will look just fine on my table top set up.  Painting the wagons was easy; just black primer all of the parts and paint the wagon carriage an olive green color. The canvas was primed in grey because I did not want the undercoat of the canvass to be too dark. I used some P3 brand paints (Jack Bone, Menoth White, and Menoth Highlight) which give a khaki color to the shade and gradually lightens to a light cream color. This results in the canvas looking like, well, canvas. I didn't spend much time on the horses (black primer, burnt umber shade and brown highlight colors).

The bases were cut out from cork dinner place mats and slathered with my usual terrain mix of wall board paste mixed in with dark brown paint. I then sprinkle some fine railroad ballast material from Woodland Scenics and then let the base dry overnight. The horses and wagons are glued to the base with two-part epoxy before the terrain goop is slathered onto the base. When the base is dry I dry brush a tan color called "Camel" onto the base and then finish off the base by gluing down a small bit of green static grass. Don't use too much static grass, just enough to add a bit of color to the base. In the picture below you can see how the wagon bases resemble the roads.

Confederate supply wagons trundle down the Emmitsburg Road,
passing by the Codori farm.

Close up view of the wagons.

The wagons do not serve any purpose in my Pickett's Charge game other than to add a little bit of eye candy to the table top. I do like the way they turned out, but I kind of wish that I had used the larger wagons from Classic Toy Soldiers (CTS). However, I am too much time invested in the wagon project to start over, they look fine and Historicon is coming up in four weeks.

1 comment:

  1. They add a bit of tone and visual interest and if a wargame doesn't offer that, what's the point of it?