Friday, August 14, 2015

Classic Airfix ACW in 1/72 scale

My friends and I go way back, waaay back in the hobby of miniature wargaming. Because of this at least two of us collect old Airfix figures for nostalgia purposes but also to serve in our current wargame armies along side more recent productions.

At present I have one unit USA and one unit CSA in the armies I’m painting for Black Powder ACW wargaming.

This first unit I painted is the infantry component of Hampton’s Legion. Wade Hampton of South Carolina raised a a combined arms command of infantry, cavalry and artillery at the start of the war. The practice was common in the South and these combined arms units were called “Legions."

Confederate Regiments usually carried a State Flag in addition to the Confederate National Flag as shown here.

Most did not last long as the components were usually broke up and distributed into larger formations of the same type. My intent is to paint each component of Hampton’s Legion before it was broken up following the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg). When I finish I’ll feature all three arms on this blog.

I took artistic license for the infantry uniform. I wanted a pre-war militia look and took some inspiration from Don Troaini’s series of ACW prints.

All the figures are Airfix with the exception of the officer and the standard bearer. They are both 20mm metal figures from Musket Miniatures (now out of business). The South Carolina State Flag was purchased from Musket Miniatures many years ago.

My other unit of old Airfix has been christened the 26th Wisconsin.

Once again the figures are all old Airfix with the exception of the standard bearer. I think the standard bearer is Revell or Accurate or possibly IMEX.

I cut the rifle from the figure and inserted a needle (dangerous) and attached a Musket Miniatures US flag.

This is what is left of the 26th Wisconsin's National Colors. Union regiments unlike their southern counterparts usually did not carry a state flag. Union regiments carried the National Flag with the name of the regiment sewn on. Union regiments also carried a regimental flag that was similar to the flag of US Regulars.

Each of my units has a specific designation as a specific unit even though they may serve generically in a game. I call this unit the 26th Wisconsin because I live in Wisconsin and have the 26th regimental history.

The 26th was a “Sigel” Regiment which means it was raised as one of Franz Sigel’s predominately “German” regiments. Sigel’s Germans were recruited from the 1st and 2nd generation of immigrants from the various German states in areas like St. Louis, Cincinnati and my home town of Milwaukee.

There were so many Germans in the 26th WI that it was called the 2nd German of the Wisconsin regiments to serve in the Civil War. I think the other was the 9th Wisconsin.

The 26th was in the hapless 11th Corp of the Army of the Potomac.

The 11th Corp had a high proportion of Germans and when some units were pushed back and some routed at Gettysburg they were disparaged in the eastern press for cowardice and "Dutchmen"-an unfair charge.

The Dutchmen label was a corruption of Deutsch which apparently many English speakers could not pronounce.

The 26th in particular distinguished itself at Gettysburg until both flanks collapsed and they were forced to retire with the rest of their brigade.

My two Airfix units face off.

Airfix had three sets of figures issued specifically for the American Civil War. The pictures below illustrate the box art from the sets in the 1970's-80s. The sets are no longer available from Airfix but can be found on Ebay. The sets are sought after by collectors and can command a high price in mint condition.

 Entry by BR site administrator and contributor


Unknown said...

Very nice work. Love the flags. I looh forward to seeing the rest of Hampton's Legion. :)

Phil said...

Cool, lovely job and nice many souvenirs with Airfix figures!

Witmanu said...

Bonjour , superbe travail , néanmoins ne trouvez vous pas qu'il y ait un peu trop de "bleu" du côté des gris ...:-)

Bruce Roeder said...

Bonjour and thanks Witmanu. This is how Google translated for me: Hello, great job, don't you think there is a little too much "blue" on the gray side ... :-)

I am uncertain what you mean? Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I grew up with Airfix and the ACW figs were among my favorites. Classics.

Witmanu said...

Bonjour Bruce ,
Je veux dire que les gris ont un peu trop de bleu foncé sur les pantalons (mais ce n'est que mon avis !! ) c'est ce que donne l'effet visuel . Mais c'est très beau !!
Mais si vous ne confondez pas les deux formations quand vous jouez, alors tout va bien !!:-)
Si vous avez une adresse mail , je vous enverrai quelques photos de mes réalisations et vous me direz ,(si vous voulez) ce que vous en pensez !!
Bien à vous :-)

Witmanu said...

Bonjour Bruce !
Je voulais simplement dire que sur les dernières images , les pantalons bleus des quelques confédérés pouvaient créer un effet de masse ou le bleu foncé est je trouve un peu prédominant ...Mais ce n'est que mon avis ,et cela n'enlève rien à la très belle qualité de tes figurines , je me régale toujours de regarder le travail de passionnés - tel que le tien !!
Pour ma part , j'ai commencé la peinture de figurine en 1980 (j'ai 50 ans passé )j'ai débuté la peinture intégrale des figurines du jeu de battle Cry de Richard Borg en 2018 pour en faire un wargame de "luxe " , en y ajoutant aussi des figurines de la marque Aifix et A call to arms .
Si tu as une adresse mail ou je puisse t'envoyer mes réalisations , c'est avec plaisir que je recevrai ton avis critique ! Au plaisir !

Bruce Roeder said...

Emmanuel, this is how Google translated the above comment: Hello Bruce!
I just wanted to say that in the last pictures, the blue pants of the few Confederates could create a mass effect or the dark blue is I find a little predominant ... But that is only my opinion, and that does not take anything away to the very good quality of your figurines, I always enjoy watching the work of enthusiasts - such as yours !!
For my part, I started painting figurines in 1980 (I'm over 50) I started painting full figurines from Richard Borg's Cry battle game in 2018 to make a "luxury" wargame. , by also adding figurines of the brand Aifix and A call to arms.
If you have an email address where I can send you my creations, it is with pleasure that I will receive your critical opinion! Looking forward to seeing you!

Thank you for the encouraging words. There was a lot of variation in Civil War uniforms and my collection features various hues of blue. The Rebs were not shy about using Union equipment either! I have the Battle Cry set and have considered painting the figures. I enjoy Borg's game systems. As it turns out I have a friend with 6mm ACW armies and we are going to use his for Battle Cry. I'm 67 and a little older than you ;-). My email is I will look forward to seeing your work. Bruce