Tuesday, August 27, 2013

54mm Pass in Review II

The Balance of the Collection

Our tour of the collection resumes with the Confederates first this time.  What follows is the toy soldiers added to my MARX collection.  As 54mm plastic figures started being released for this war, I began adding to my collection and really committed to becoming a 54mm wargamer.  In the 90's Accurate brand began releasing a set of 54mm figures in boxes of twenty.  I did the math and figured out how many boxes I needed to create sets of 20 "like" poses to create my regiments.  I think it was 10 boxes would get you 20 of the same pose, with a lot of command and officers left over.  So I dove in and invited the local gaming community to join me in painting up a regiment for a VBACW game to be held at the local HAHMGS convention.  This was an anchor event in the history of my ACW collection.  I would guarantee to paint the opposition of any troops that fellow gamers would paint.  This was taken up by 5 enthusiasts and I will share some of their work that is now in my collection.
The first wargamer that I want to highlight is the late, Greg Nichols.  Here we see his three Confederate regiments that were painted to play in the great VBACW game at the Kansas City Heart of America Historical Miniature Games Society convention.  This is a Louisiana Regiment and I show the hand painted flag in reverse below. 
These three regiments were willed to me upon Greg's death.

Painted by Greg Nichols.

Accurate figures in regiments of 23 figures on 3x3 stand.  Painted by Greg Nichols.
(Image unavailable)

Charbens figures painted by Kenneth Van Pelt

Mike Polsen's Confederates painted for the VBACW game.

A very nice set of Accurate Calvary given to me by Ted Conn. Intentional spelling and pronunciation.

My Confederate artillery with Accurate figures manning the Dulcop guns.

The general Robert E. Lee and an officer.

The Union Parades by in the Pass in Review

German troops out of St. Louis.  These troops are painted in the uniform colors of the 1st Missouri and fought with General Lyon at the battle of Wilson's Creek.   These miniatures have been to the actual battlefield and were used in a Boy's Scout demonstration game on the actual battlefield.
 Grey clad Union troops.

7th NY. Painted by Jon Mark Haworth.  These were painted for the VBACW game.

Accurate figures painted for VBACW in the 1990's.

Accurate figures.

BMC miniatures.  Later in the 2000's I started getting more ACW miniatures and these while of lesser quality belong in a collection when they are painted well and based they can certainly be used for wargaming especially at conventions where rough treatment is the norm.

A caisson by Accurate  IMEX pulling a cast metal cannon.  These were painted by my high school students at Southwest Early College Campus.

Thanks for looking in once again.  I hope you have enjoyed the collection.  There is more to come.
I will be playing these figures in several Gettysburg related scenarios at the upcoming Recruits Convention in Lee's Summit, Missouri.  The convention takes place at the local high school and is very inexpensive to attend and has been a great show the last 10 years or so.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 54mm American Civil War Collection of Kenneth Van Pelt

Pass in Review

     I began collecting 54mm toy soldiers for wargaming in the American Civil War in 1983.  Gaming with 54mm figures was always a single figure skirmish pursuit prior to this project and now I wanted the full battle feeling of large contingents of troops moving and fighting on a large scale.  It was considered very unique (odd) at the time to try and establish a game on such a scale as most people only collected and gamed with 25mm or smaller miniatures. 54mm was relegated to the toy aspect of the hobby and that is what drew me into wargaming in the first place so I didn't mind.  It is a lifestyle not a hobby and so I have never regretted the amount of space my collection has needed - both in setting up a game and storing all the collected pieces.  The 54mm toy soldier occupies a place in the "history" of wargaming and I sought out that history and wanted to make it come back alive before my eyes. 
     So here we have a celebration blog entry into my American Civil War collection.  I have an interest in dating the collection for posterity and have tried to recall all the arrival dates and painting into uniform of all that you see here.
     In the above image  we have a headquarters diorama used on the game table to mark the location of the Union headquarters during a game.  Created in the early 1990's for a VBACW game at the local Heart of America Historical Miniature Games Society convention.  This was made with Marx figures and then the rest is all scratch built by me.  Inside the tent is a miniaturized copy of Joseph Morchauser's rules "How to Play Wargames in Miniature."
     These next three images are the core of my MARX Union collection.  I got these Louis Marx figures from a collector in North Kansas City.  He was an illustrator and had come upon a large collection of Marx and wanted to sell them.  I visited his house and we struck a bargain on the whole collection.  It included the pieces you see here and also a Confederate side as well.  These are based on 3x3" matboard and numbered sequentially 1-6.  I allow that these represent a regiment on the game table and in Morchauser's system we use a roster system to mark unit effectiveness and when to take them off table as casualties.

Louis Marx Union

Louis Marx Union

Louis Marx Union
Louis Marx Union manning Dulcop cannons.

Louis Marx Union as skirmish infantry.  The horse and musket period in our rules calls them light infantry and we use them as faster more mobile units.  They are skirmishers in the ACW.

And here to finish off my Union first army is the Britains Deetail ACW cavalry.  The expedient of getting a mounted group for the ACW games led me to go with the awesome Deetail range of figures.


And now on to the Confederates

     A MARX manned Confederate Headquarters.  similar in design and scratch built by me to mark the location on the battlefield of the Confederate commanders.
     These three images are the MARX compliment to the collection of Confederate infantry regiments.
Based on 3x3" matboard and numbered for the Morchauser rules.

Add in Cavalry.

      And finally my collection of Confederate artillery batteries.  These are very neat cap firing cannons that I bought at the Lone Jack Civil War Museum in Lone Jack, Missouri.  Very costly at the time but they fire caps with a spring loaded breech mechanism and are very loud.
     This is my first chapter in the pass in review of my ACW collection.  In the next entry we will see the Accurate figures, BMC figures, and some bits and pieces in my collection from other wargamers.  Some who have painted for my collection on request and then others who willed their collection to me on their passing. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gettysburg 150


Vignettes in 54mm

The Secondhand Lions are gearing up for an annual convention here in Lee's Summit, MO.  We intend to present a celebration game in honor of the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.  We will be setting up on Friday night for a two session/three scenario display of the 54mm collection of Ken Van Pelt.  We call this presentation:

Gettysburg Vignettes in 54mm

 Here are some images from our first playtest/ run through.  The rules we are using are based on the early work of Joseph Morchauser and have been used in our club for over 20 years. VBACW or "Very Big American Civil War" rules.  For the convention we will be providing signed numbered editions of the rules as a souvenir.  The table is charming in an old school manner.  The rules likewise.
Below is our first scenario: McPherson Ridge.

The Confederates took the ridge in our play test as supposed.  We played it in under two hours.  Looks convention ready.
Thanks for looking in on our blog and gaming group - see you at the con...