Thursday, 4 April 2013

Custer's Michigan Cavalry
The Wolverines

Paul alba was doing a tutorial on basing on his website, I have been looking around for a new project and particularly wanted to augment one of my existing armies. I had been playing with the Johnny Reb Rules ( Willie Thomson and me had been playing with Geary's Division in a scenario on the first day of Chancellorville and had rolled 14 double 6's during the game an nearly beating off Anderson's rebs(JP and Sparky).
A great soldiers battle scenario set in the Wilderness the rebs set up and waiting to the front and flank with only one objective drive the Union off the table fulfilling the original outcome.  Very inspiring for this project.

The current project Custer's Wolverines using the Peter Pig figures.  When this is complete I will have used every figure currently in the Peter Pig range.  All for the enjoyable moral check intensive Johnny Reb rules can I do better than Custer?

Broken down I need to do

  • A George Armstrong Custer vignette
  • with the 20 figure 1st Michigan who are veterans
  • the 28 figure 5th Michigan who are green and armed with the Spencer Rifle
  • the 24 figure 6th Michigan also Green and armed with the Spencer Rifle
  • the 20 figure green 7th Michigan
  • 6 figure Horse artillery crews

I am going to use an existing battery of 3" rifles for Pennington's M Battery but complete fresh horse artillery crews.

I already had five bags of Peter Pig cavalry and the extra artillery crews.  I dont keep a lot of unpainted lead and this just leaves two artillery limbers, two PP shithouses with the watertroughs and rails.

First job was to order more then get going on the Project, then on to preparation buying some of the vallejo acrylics to see if they are a bit less flat in colour than my beloved Humbrol enamels, old habits do die hard.

I went on to do a bit of research and there are stacks of information on custer, there is even an autobiograph of a trooper in the Michigan Cavalry.  the 5th and 6th where deployed in Washington issued with the Sharps Rifle and later once in the field the 1st Michigan, previously a fighting unit was added then the even greener 7th Michigan.  Custer used the 5th and 6th dismounted as skirmishers at Gettysburgh so he must have seen their firepower potential, but he certainly held onto the notion that shock sabre action was best.  first charging with the 7th then with the 1st. The Wolverines had more casualties that any other brigade either at Gettysburgh or later in the war probably for this reason.  Hell it should suit my fighting style!

My cuddy research indicated that bays, brown and black geldings and mares were the more common types for the US remount service to purchase for the USA cavalry.  The bay is a personal favourite of mine.  I also have the Osprey Little Big Horn Book and used this as an equipment guide.

Then I had an examination of the Peter pig figures, I like the sabre armed figure but less so the carbine and pistol armed figures which I wanted to spice up and went for one quick conversion to flop up some of the cavalry trooper  hats by cutting off the brims and adding some green stuff.

Black undercoat everything then 3 hours later 20 cavalry painted but still to be based using the "alba" method