Thursday 22 January 2015

An ACW Conumdrum

This is typical of me I suppose. After what I think is thoughtful, considered and disciplined approach to identifying exactly what I want to tackle gaming wise I end up doing something, rather rash....

The case in point is my long term and on-off relationship with the ACW. I have flirted with this period over the years - firstly in respect of the land side and more recently with the naval dimension. I am sure you can recall my project to scratch build around 50 odd models for use on the rivers - indeed, some of my games featured a number of them in action alongside the block armies (check under the Games folder to find them if you are interested in the AAR).

But that was then.

I took the decision to abandon the whole idea (for reasons that seemed and indeed, still are perfectly valid) and focus on more Euro-centric campaigns and so the small library I had acquired on the subject is now in the hands of Mr Fox and the models have gone, as I recall, to Scotland via Ebay.

I was then attacked with a major 'Ooh, shiny' moment and acquired a couple of forces of 12mm figures from Kallista for the the land side - and I should mention this came about as the result of boot sale purchase of a hardback copy of McPherson's award winning book: Battle Cry of Freedom for 50p. From such small and cheap beginnings do mighty endeavours result....

I had then naturally considered the ACW again for the naval side but had been toying with 1/1200th rather than 1/600th - as much on the grounds of cost as anything. If I am honest I had not really given the whole idea much thought although the Kallista figures have sat on the painting tray as a continual goad to my conscience. Then came the opportunity to acquire a collection of 21 ships fully painted, based, rigged and ready to use which was very hard to turn down at the price. So I didn't - and the results are below.

Rather nice although I will need to identify both the ship and the model manufacturer!

Union river boats. The biggest being the U.S.S. Essex (centre) with a City class gunboat to the right (with blue funnel bands) and the Indianola to the left. I am not sure about the model at the top.

Union monitors of various types

Confederate casemate ironclads and a solitary river boat. The ironclads include the C.S.S. Virginia (middle far right), the C.S.S Arkansas (middle far left) and the others - note the Louisiana, the rather large vessel top right.

More Union vessels including the New Ironsides in her reduced rig (centre).

Finally a couple of Confederate commerce raider types. I need to check these as I have a feeling the twin turret ship was used by the RN.

Now don't get me wrong, these models are very nice indeed and need minimal work to be ready for action - there are a few chips here and there to touch up, some lifeboats need gluing back and some of the rigging is a little slack - but I am unsure what to do with them. There seems to be little form to the collection - it is almost as if it was 'one of each from the catalogue' scenario. The actions I would fight using these would be very small scale affairs - much smaller than I would normally consider and trust me, that would not be very large anyway! I will need to give this some careful thought as I have no plans to add to this collection in any way, shape or form so for now I will give it some careful consideration.

They are rather nice though.


Bluebear Jeff said...


It is important to remember that naval vessels move around a lot . . .

And when "opportunities" arrive, admirals often used whatever vessels were locally available at the time . . .

So you have the makings of some "what if" scenarios . . . perhaps loosely based on actual events but with different vessels.

That is my best suggestion.

-- Jeff

Phil said...

They are splendid, love the sails...

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

VERY nice.... get them on the table soonest

El Grego said...

Nice looking models, but a bit of an eclectic mix there, although you have a decent Eastern blockade mix. I would guess that the models themselves were produced by the talented hands of Rod Langton.

ACW naval is always in the back of my mind, but I have found it difficult to get back into collecting for the period. Once, I had a fair-sized collection of 1/600 ships, but they were sold long ago during a desperate financial situation. Maybe once again, some day...

Paul O'G said...

You are so wonderfully hopeless my friend! We have so much in common...

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


What a wonderful collection of models! The range of vessels you now have available will enable you to fight a wide number of different scenarios from riverine to coastal to high seas battles.

I am extremely envious ... and can hardly wait to see them in action.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

That is a good call and I have already a couple of ideas to play around with.

Watch this space!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Phil,

They certainly look very nice and with a little tlc will soon be in action.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

As Baldrick from Blackadder would say - "I have a cunning plan....."

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi EG,

It is not how I would formed the collection for sure but I have a couple of ideas knocking around that should justify the eclectic nature of the mix....;-)

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

I can resist anything except temptation - or a bargain!

Hopeless for sure but I wouldn't have it any other way.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I have a couple of ideas floating around as to how to best make use of the collection and have come to the conclusion that aside from the obvious use there is always the project of the Great Russo Fezian War of 1866 to consider.

I am thinking the Black Sea and the Danube....

I will need a more detailed set of rules than I would normally use simply because there will be fewer models to consider.

More to follow methinks.

All the best,


David Manley said...

They are very nice.

But if you should find that they might need a new home give me a shout :)

David Crook said...

Hi Dave,

I have a few ideas I am playing around with but will be sure to let you know if they turn out to be surplus to requirements.

At the moment my thoughts are leaning towards some imagi-nation type ideas.

We shall see!

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

They are fab!

But it is rather left field er, in comparison to your WWI Jutland collections

But they are still fab ;)

Gary said...

I believe the ships are from Throughbred miniatures.

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

They are rather nice and are rather left field and, if I am completely honest, something of an impulse purchase. I will need to give some thought as to what I will do with them but that will be for another day methinks.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Gary,

Many thanks for the heads up - I had a feeling that was where they originated from.

All the best,


Archduke Piccolo said...

A fine collection, qua collection, but I agree that for campaign or table-top work, they will demand a fair bit of thought.

I quite like the 'what-if' idea, with historical battles tweaked to fit your collection.

But another idea is to create a fictitious Civil War set somewhere in Latin America. The Confederated States of Amazonia (CSA) attempts to secede from the United states of Anaconda (USA). Both sides have acquired, bought or built their own riverine and blue water navies....

Just a thought...

David Crook said...

Hi Archduke,

I have been giving the collection a lot of thought as to scenarios etc and how I can make best use of them - your idea is certainly not one I had thought of but then again why not?

All the best,