Friday, February 13, 2009

Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer

To lead the brigade of Michigan cavalry I intend to eventually have, I of course would need to paint up Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer. The figures I used are 10mm GHQ command miniatures from the Federal Commanders #1 pack. The figure I used for Custer is actually meant to be Ambrose Burnside. I just filed down the hat much lower, and filed down Burnside's sideburns a bit, and it looks close enough.

As I understand it, Custer liked to design his own uniforms. There is a color drawing in the book The Gettysburg Companion by Mark Adkin that shows the uniform that Custer was apparently wearing at the Battle of Gettysburg. This consisted of a black jacket with grey trim, a blue collar with a silver star on it, a red handkerchief around the neck, and dark green pants. I thought it look interesting, and would give the model some personality and make it stand out from other mounted officers. I'm hoping that I can do something with all of the brigade command stands to make them look a little different from the others, so they are easy to identify even without looking at the labels on the bottoms of the bases. So when I painted Custer, the uniform he was wearing at Gettysburg was what I was trying to replicate.

Here are some pictures of the results. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer

I should also briefly mention that the GHQ cavalry command guidon holder figures do come with the guidon, but not with a pole to put it on. So if you are getting some of these mounted command figures, you will need to provide your own flag poles. I went to a hobby store to find some very thing rod or wire that would be suitable for this purpose. I considered getting something like thin brass rod, but since it is so soft, it seemed like it would easily get bent all the time. So I got some very thin steel rod, the thinnest I could find at the hobby store, and used that.

As you can see, even the thinnest steel I could find is still too thick to look correctly proportioned. You'd have to get a thin wire for it to look right, and then you'd have a hard time gluing the flag on it. The size I used doesn't look too bad, but since it is too big to really fit in the open hand of the miniature, I had a really hard time gluing it in his hand. It must have broken off and needed to be re-glued about 6 times while I was painting the figure. Hopefully now that it has some layers of paint and varnish on it, it will hold better.

Also, I should mention something that should seem completely obvious. It is not particularly easy to cut a piece of steel with a tool made of steel. So working with this steel rod is difficult. The clippers I normally use for plastic sprues and cutting pieces from pewter miniatures weren't able to cut through it. I had to score around the outside of it with a razor blade, and then bend it back and forth where it was scored until it broke off. On the plus side, the flag pole is really strong, and it definitely isn't going to ever get bent from being handled. If anything, it'll break out of the guy's hand again.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Just letting you know that you've been featured in our round up of the best miniature related blog posts of the week:

    I also wanted to make you aware of a meet-up of UK gamer bloggers and their readers in Nottingham (UK) on the 28th February. Full details here:

    Even if you can't make it, we would be very grateful if you could mention it to your readers.

    Many thanks.