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I’ve recently had a burst of enthusiasm for the American Civil War, nothing new for most wargamers, but very new for me, even  after 35 years.  I’ve documented my project so far on the Lead Adventure Forum. You can have a read here: Nick’s Project However I thought I’d share with you how I painted my American Civil War figures. Please don’t expect a ‘Master Class’, I leave that to North Star’s Kev Dallimore. What I did with my ACW figures was get a standard I was happy with, and that I could do fast enough to get an army finished. History of Cobb’s Legion If you’ve read my project report on the Lead Adventure Forum above, you’ll know that rather than painting up generic ‘Rebs’, I’ve been attempting to paint actual Confederate Regiments. I’m doing the same here with Cobb’s Legion (also called the Georgia Legion). I wanted paint them up to represent the Legion in September 1862. The Legion In the American Civil War, the Legions (named after the Legions of Rome) were a misguided concept of creating a mini ‘combined arms’ force. Each Legion was made up of an Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery unit. I’ve read that the Legions were formed by men who were by their nature authoritarian, and wanted to retain control the three different arms. But General Lee wasn’t having any of it, and when Cobb’s Legion joined the Army of Northern Virginia, each unit was sent off to separate Brigades. They still retained the title of Cobb’s Legion though.
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Painting Cobb’s Legion Nick Eyre
Going by what the Governor was saying shortly after, I’m going to go with a presumption the Legion’s uniforms were in a bad state. So rather than paint a regiment only in grey, they are going to be in various shades of grey and brown (the famous ‘butternut’), with patches and rips, civilian gear and some members barefoot. Figures The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures. Wargame Unit I’m not painting these for any specific rules, but I’m putting the figures in units of 16, based in 4 groups of 4. Painting All of the paints and washes used are from Army Painter. The first thing I did was to clean up the figures. By this I mean using a craft knife and small files to take all the extra metal off the figures, the vents and feeds caused by moulding process, and filing off the mould line that sometimes surrounds the model. I then sprayed them with Uniform Grey spray to act as a primer and a first coat of paint. I undercoat all 16 in one go. I tried to paint between 4 and 8 figures at a time, doing the same colour through them all before moving on to the next colour. The first part of the model I painted was the flesh. Using Barbarian Flesh, I painted the face and hands. The second colour was Matt Black. I painted the boots, belt, cartridge box, bayonet sheath and Kepi visor. The third colour was Mummy Robes. I painted the haversack, its straps and the strap to the water bottle with this. Next was Oak Brown. I painted the woodwork with this brown, and then I used it to highlight the shoes, just painting small areas like the toes and heels. I then took Leather Brown, and painted the figure’s base, the water bottle and the figure’s hair. I then painted the trousers in Monster Brown. I used three of the metallic paints. I used Gun Metal for the bayonet and the mug, and then I used Plate Metal for the rest of the metal parts of the gun. I then used the third metal, Greedy Gold, to paint the bottom of the bayonet sheath, the badge on the cartridge box, jacket buttons and the belt buckle. Shading & Highlighting
The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures.
Cobb’s Legion Infantry Battalion.
The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures.
4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
The figure basically painted. The figure basically painted.
The figure basically painted.
That’s the figure basically painted, now came the speedy highlighting and shading. First I took the Dark Tone wash, and ran it over the metal parts of the gun and mug. When that was dry, I took Mid Brown Wash and liberally painted it over the face, hands, hair, haversack and strap, water bottle strap, any other brown areas. When that dried, I took Filthy Cape and painted over the Jacket and Kepi. I used it as a broad highlight, so I left the edges of the jacket, the folds and the recesses in the Uniform Grey spray colour that I used as an undercoat. The next part took a fine brush. I repainted the flesh areas with Barbarian Flesh, again as a broad highlight. I didn’t paint the eyes, I left them as shadows. The Kepi has a light blue band around the edge. This was the Infantry colour in the Confederate army, with red for artillery and yellow for cavalry. I painted the kepi band blue (Crystal Blue) then highlighted it with light blue (Crystal Blue mixed with White) to make it stand out. And that was it. The figure could be left as it was now, just a coating of Matt Varnish to protect it.
The figure shaded. The figure shaded. The raggedy Rebs before basing. The raggedy Rebs before basing.
Officer The officer is painted the same as the troopers but made to look cleaner, no mud or patches. I’ve made an attempt to recreate the elaborate kepis worn by Confederate offers to make him stand out a little more. The kepi is blue highlighted with a lighter blue. The pattern I painted first white, and then yellow over the top to make it look bright (White then Daemonic Yellow). (Link to Kepi) That just left the basing to do. I’ve based Cobb’s legion 4 to a base, using the plastic 60mm by 30mm bases from Renedra, and used 4Ground green flock and Gamers Grass tufts to scenic them up. I hope that’s been of interest to you. My Cobb’s Legion is now ready to march with the other Confederate regiments I’ve got ready in the same style.
Cobb’s Legion Officer in kepi. The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures.
Cobb’s Legion Infantry Battalion next to a real Civil War Minié bullet from the authors collection.
The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures. The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures. The figures are from the Crusader Miniatures range, using the ‘right shoulder shift’ infantrymen advancing, choosing the short jacket wearing models. All are 28mm metal figures.
6th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
The figure highlighted. The figure highlighted.
The figure shaded.
The figure highlighted.
12th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
14th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
Cobb’s Legion Officer in kepi.
TRR Cobb The Georgia (Cobb’s) Legion was raised by Thomas Cobb in the summer of 1861.   Thomas Cobb Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb was a Georgian lawyer, author and politician. He was brother to Howell Cobb, one of the founders of the Confederacy. TRR himself was a signatory to Georgia’s Declaration of Secession. In the summer of 1861, set about raising the Georgia Legion, this was also known as Cobb’s Legion. (As an aside, Ashley Wilkes, a central character in ‘Gone with the Wind’, served with Cobb’s Legion. He never existed of course. Oh Ashley) Cobb’s Infantry Battalion The Legion Infantry were designated a Battalion as they only raised seven companies (around 700 men), which wasn’t enough to be a Regiment. Thomas’ Battalion was brigaded with Brother Howell’s 16th Georgia Regiment. In February 1862 Howell Cobb was promoted to Brigade General, so Cobb’s Legion was a battalion in Cobb’s Brigade, just to confuse matters. The other Regiments were 16th Georgia (Howell’s regiment), 24th Georgia, 2nd Louisiana and 15th North Carolina plus an artillery battery. Cobb’s Legion saw action throughout 1862 with the Army of Northern Virginia. On the 6th of September, General Lee invaded Maryland with the Army of Northern Virginian and Cobb’s Legion is with them. In the defence of Crampton’s Gap during the Battle of South Mountain 14th September, Cobb’s Legion held their position but were nearly wiped out taking 72% casualties. The remnant retreated with Lee’s army to Sharpsville, and on the 17th found themselves defending a sunken road that became the infamous ‘Bloody Lane’ from the Battle of Antietam. Cobb’s Legion survived as a body of soldiers throughout the war, to finally surrender in 1865 at Appomattox with the rest of Lee’s army, though the Legion has been reduced to one officer and fifty-five men from the original 700. Commanding Officers at Antietam Colonel T.R.R. Cobb himself was on leave at the time of the Maryland invasion, so command of the Legion has given to Lt Colonel Lamar.  (Link to Lt Colonel Lamar.) Lamar was mortally wounded at South Mountain, so command passed to Lt Colonel Glenn who led the Legion through the rest of the battle of Antietam. (Link to Lt Colonel Glenn) Flag Cobb’s Legion marched into Maryland in September 1862 carrying the original flag of the Confederacy, The Stars and Bars. (Link to Flag This is the actual Legion flag). There are two things that are unusual about this flag. One is that by September 1862 there were 13 States in the Confederacy. The stars on the Stars and Bars represented the States, but Cobb’s Legion’s flag only has 7 of them. That means it’s an original Confederacy flag, representing the 7 States that first broke away from the Union in 1861.Two, is that they are carrying it at all. All regiments in the Army of Northern Virginia were ordered to put aside the flags they marched to war with (State flags, Company Flags, Stars and Bars etc) and replace them with one Battleflag. (Link to Flag 2 The famous though incorrectly named Confederate Flag). Cobb’s Legion do get a Battleflag of the Army of Northern Virginia, because they lose their 7 starred Stars and Bars in the Battle of South Mountain., and get issued with a new flag post-Antietam. It meant they defended the Bloody Lane without a regimental flag. (As an aside, there’s some evidence that they had 2 flags at the Battle of South Mountain, a red State of Georgia flag, but that was captured as well. It hasn’t survived) Uniforms I found it very difficult to pinpoint what uniforms a regiment was wearing at a specific point in the war. It’s my presumption the soldiers of Georgia were being supplied by the Confederate State in the summer of ’62, however in November the Governor of Georgia was setting up emergency measures to help the soldiers because they were in such poor condition and winter was approaching. When Lee invaded Maryland in September ’62, the residents of Maryland were horrified at the condition the Confederate army was in, “ragged, ill-shod and dirty”.
Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb.
Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb.
Ashley Wilkes, a central character in ‘Gone with the Wind’.
Ashley Wilkes.
Lt Colonel Lamar. Lt Colonel Glenn.
Lt Colonel Lamar. Lt Colonel Glenn.
Flag of the Confederacy, The Stars and Bars. (This is the actual Legion flag).
Flag of the Confederacy, The Stars and Bars. (This is the actual Legion flag).
Confederate Battleflag, famously though incorrectly named the Confederate Flag.
Confederate Battleflag, famously though incorrectly named the Confederate Flag.
Ragged Rebs But to get the Ragged Reb look, there needed to bit a little more work. 5 O’clock Shadow To get that unkempt look, I’ve painted a 5 o’clock shadow on most of the figures using a grey paint (Filthy Cape lightened with White). Frayed Edges Rather than model frayed edges to the trousers and jackets, I’ve done a little ‘cartoon’ work by just painting black lines along the edges to represent it. Similarly I’ve painted cross hatches on worn knees etc. The effect works on the table-top, not to be viewed close up. Patches On a number of knees, elbows and edges, I’ve painted patches sown on. Again using cartoon work, the patches are always a different colour with a thin black line around them to make them stand out. The black line I’ve made to look like stitching in places.  The frayed edges and lining is all done with a fine brush and matt black paint. Toes A number of Cobb’s Legion have had to show up in bare feet, and one poor chap has his toes sticking out of his boots, for that I painted 3 toes onto the boot in Barbarian Flesh, and gave them a little highlight with lighter flesh to make them stand out. Tears A number of Cobb’s Legionaries have tears in their clothes. Here I’ve painted a section of flesh, highlighted it, and then black lined it. In one case I’ve used black to try and simulate the torn cloth hanging down. Again it is cartoon work rather than modelling a tear on the figure. Dirt I’ve run a wash (Flesh Wash and some Deep Shade Wash) around the bottom of most trousers to simulate the mud picked up from outdoor living. I’ve also ran a wash (Flesh Wash) over areas that came out a bit bright to keep a dirty look. Eye witnesses at the Battle of South Mountain commented how the fallen Rebs looked the same colour as the earth they lay on. Variations Across the unit, I changed around the greys and browns. So some figures had brown jackets and grey trousers etc. and the same with the Kepis. There are also the blanket rolls. These were painted in a mix of browns, including Basilisk Brown (washed with Mid Brown wash) or grey (painted the same as the jacket). I also do some black. If you’re feeling artistic, civilian patterned blankets look great; I’ve attempted two green civilian blanket rolls here with Cobb’s boys (in Combat Green). Some figures have shirts visible. I did those in a mix of White and Pure Red. I also gave a variety of hair colours. Some have black hair, a couple have red hair, using Mythical Orange and washing in brown. A couple of figures I’ve shown in civilian clothes they may have picked up on the march to replace their worn out gear. The one figure has checked trousers and the other a patterned shirt. In both cases, the effect was done by painting checked lines in a lighter colour. The lighter colours were muted with a Flesh Wash. The two command figures are the officer and standard bearer. The standard bearer is carrying a paper flag by GMB Designs of the 7 starred Stars and Bars.
5 O’clock Shadow Variations Frayed Edges Variations Patches Dirt Variations Toes Variations Variations
5 O’clock Shadow
Frayed Edges
Patches
Toes
Tears
Tears
Dirt
Variations
Variations
Variations
The two command figures are the officer and standard bearer. The two command figures are the officer and standard bearer.
30th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.