Friday, 4 April 2014

Blue Moon ACW Command Packs

Not much to report since my last (proper) post, but I have begun dabbing again. Done some touching up on older stuff and rattled off four 15mm Confederate field officers. They’re from the command bags from the Blue Moon range so it’s probably worth making a few comments.

I have a hang up about command figures, which goes back to the days when companies produced just the one ‘general’ for each army. The ability to have whole command groups without hours of butchering and a sea of Araldite is a relatively recent luxury so I have a habit of going over the top when command figures become available.  Consequently, I got all six mounted officer packs from Blue Moon’s 15mm ACW range and, having been to confession, I can now give a reasonably unbiased view.

The horses aren’t bad. Although they fall short of the gold standard set by AB, they’re pretty decent. There are a variety of poses (can a horse actually ‘pose’?), all of which are within the physical capabilities of a horse, although there are a couple that suffer from what I think of as the peacock’s tail effect – the tail is disproportionately large for the animal. I already have some of Blue Moon’s French Napoleonic Carabiniers (first uniform) and it appears that only a few of the ACW commanders’ horses are unique. I don’t think this is a bad thing as there seems to be a tradition among sculptors that requires commanders to be portrayed in heroic poses. This is all well and good, but I think it has a couple of drawbacks.


All but the most egotistical commanders had more important things to do than continually strike a pose, particularly in the days before the photo opportunity. Worse, all sculptors are equal, but (with apologies to Eric Blair) some are more equal than others.  It would be unfair to name specific sculptors and figures (though probably a good laugh), but, whereas some of the actively posed command figures do look truly heroic, others look like both horse and rider have been stricken with St. Vitus’ Dance. The ones I find funniest are those produced by an American company named after their national flag (vague enough?) which seems to specialize in command figures riding impossibly energetic horses, while waving both arms in the air like they’re sending a message in semaphore. Course, they could all be in the act of falling off.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the Blue Moon ‘general’ packs.  Well, I’ve ended up with lots of generals performing a variety of sensible functions on pretty decent horses. This includes a good crop of hat wavers and a reasonably sober number of sword wavers. There are quite a few ‘pointers’ (not the canine variety) and some very good ‘looking important’ figures. It’s hard to believe that all the riders have been sculpted by the same person as the quality is variable, particularly the faces. No alarm bells here: they range from very good to okay so they’re not a hazardous buy.


To be fair, I was glad I was able to afford the full batch because there are some good figures in different bags and, to my tastes, the Federal groups are more attractive (though I do need both sides). However, all in all, a good buy. The ones illustrated below are done in a 'get it on the table' style, but will probably stand a bit of detailing when I have the drive to do so. Do I really need all these generals? If you’re as good a gamer as I am, you’ll need all the help you can get, but yes, they’ll all eventually get used.





17 comments:

  1. Nicely done, I remember the days when I bought a whole pack to get one command figure!

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    1. Yes, it gets a bit embarrassing trying to rationalise that one! I've managed to calm down these days and I limit myself to the occasional Perry pack . . . :O(

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  2. Lovely work Gary, and this post is just in time as I need some more reb commanders

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    1. Well I think these bags are about the best value and certainly the best choice. The Old Glory sets aren't bad and their character figures do look more like who they're supposed to represent, but they're a bit 'lumpy' - that's the only way I can describe them. The horses aren't too good either.

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  3. Nice work I have the same set and I like the General looking through his field glasses best.

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    1. Yes, I like that one too. In fact there are some really nice figures in the sets, but I'm saving the best tip last or I won't get the rest done!

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  4. You did an excellent job of making these figures look good!

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  5. Hmmm . . . that's interesting. I put up a comment saying thanks for the compliments and, although Blogger claimed it was published (I saw it!), it's since vanished.

    So anyway, thanks for the appreciation. I'll be doing some more shortly, but I'm currently stuck ( and I mean stuck) in the middle of some figures I'm going to finish if it kills me - and at this rate, it probably will. They're looking fine up to now, but the paint has been diluted with tears . . . .

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  6. Nice painting Gary, you can never have enough Command figures! I quite like Blue Moon figs, they do have a large and ever expanding range of figures.

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    1. The Blue Moon 15mm Napoleonics are good too. They're not as good as the AB range, but they do have useful figures and also some advantages. For instance, the Austrian knots on the Hungarian infantry are sculpted so save the effort of having to paint them in (or ignore them!). They also do French Chasseurs a Cheval in three coat styles. I've got some of their Austrian Grenadiers and they've got bags of character. My ono complaint about BM is that their infantry ensigns are carrying telegraph poles and they're not that easy to replace.

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  7. Great brushwork as usual Gaz. Who is the UK Agent for Blue Moon & do you know if they do limbers, caissons etc?

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    1. Hiya Dave!

      Yep, the Blue Moon agent is Big Andy at Old Glory UK;

      http://www.oldgloryuk.com

      They've got the full range and all the equipment, but they're still a few odds and sods waiting to be done. They seem to sell well as I had to wait for a couple of the generals packs, but Andy gets regular shipments fro the US and you don't have to wait long at all. However I occasionally have trouble viewing the photos on that site so I just go across to the Blue Moon site and use that. The photos there are better anyway.

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  8. Blimey! I finally remembered the password:)

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