ACW Ironclad Miniatures: the fixation and the frustration

When will enough really be enough??

I’m an indifferent miniatures painter. I can make miniatures look like what they are supposed to look like, more or less, but I’m not exactly skilled beyond a certain level.  I know how to paint and stain and do a wash and the right color schemes.  I do my homework and research the paint schemes and try to work with a steady hand.  But I’ll never win a contest, that’s for sure.  I don’t care, I paint for fun– my paint jobs are utilitarian and work as a “wargame standard.”  The greatest joy I derive from painting is getting the job done to a point where I can start using the finished product for games.

And so we get to one of my current naval miniatures fixations, the American Civil War in 1: 600, which I’ve been pursuing since last July.   I’ve made purchases from Bay Area Yards, Peter Pig, and Thoroughbred (there really isn’t anyone else) and so far I’ve created what I think is a decent small fleet for small naval battles.  I was of the opinion that I wouldn’t need to pick up much more than a dozen more, as I have most of the major ironclad and naval ship types represented, at least as individual hulls.  I like my little collection, which fits rather neatly in one box.

So far... my meager collection

The problem I have with my wargame fixations is that I am so easily charmed by the glamor of some other guy’s great project, and even ACW miniatures, which are so ideally suited for small unit projects (ACW battles were rarely over 20 ships max on both sides), could end up being a fixation where it’s possible to overdo it.

So when I visited the website of David Manley, naval wargaming enthusiast, rules author and naval wargame convention promoter, I was immediately struck by HIS latest fixation, which just happens to be… 1:600 scale ironclads. Check out HIS progress:

David Manley's Ironclads 1

Just look at that…

David Manley's Ironclads 2

Well, that’s putting my poor scrappy fleet to shame, isn’t it? I never rigged a ship model in my life, and his paint jobs are amazingly well done. The quantities! I stopped counting after 70. Seventy plus ship models.. my word. Only one thing to do now. I’m placing another order with Toby straightaway. My manhood is at stake.

Bottom two images from the Don’t Throw Bloody Spears at Me! website. Copyright by David Manley 2011

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  1. Hi, I hope I didn’t upset you with the pics on my blog. If its any comsolation the collection hasn’t grown that much in the last couple of years. That said, there’s a new order from Bay Area Yards on the way…… 🙂

    • Upset? Hardly! You are prodding me on towards further ship acquisition. I have two Confederate sidewheelers and some Pook Turtles in the paint queue as we speak.

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