Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Painting a "Tin Army of the Potomac"

     While I still have done little with the hobby, the newest semi flats that were featured in the last couple of posts made me think of a book from the late 1800's, "Tin Army of the Potomac". In the book it is illustrated with drawing of toy soldiers that look like semi flats.  I decided to take some of my Wollner Austrians and paint them as Union soldiers.   I was happy with the result and painted some more. However, I hate painting over figures whose paint is still in good shape. I found some of my earliest home casts, along with a few older figures that had little paint left on them.  They were painted up with Civil War style uniforms.

    The result was satisfactory enough that I bought some old battered figures, that I will paint without feeling guilty.

The lot of old figures that will be used to paint a "Tin Army of the Potomac".  4 figures have already been glued to a tongue depressor, ready for painting.

Two figures painted, one in Union blue, the other in Confederate grey.

Painted Wollner figures; I left the faces with their original paint job.

These are some of my first home casts, made from a plaster mold.

More Wollners, painted as the 14th New York.

Some Guards that were featured in the last post, with a fresh coat of paint.

Earlier this month I bought a "helping hand" tool. With the figures glued to the tongue depressor, painting figures have become so much easier. With the free hand, it can be used to help steady my shaky hands.


  1. An interesting source of inspiration. Your figures have painted up well.

  2. Thank you. After experimenting with several different paints, I went back to cheap hobby paint. Most of the figures were painted over the period of 2 or 3 days. After that, it was a heavy coat of gloss lacquer. I'm happy with the toy soldier look.

  3. Its a marvelous book (and the inspiration for me to name my ACW rules The Plastic Army of the Potomac ) and these are absolutely suitable to evoke it.

  4. I bought a reprint of it a couple of years ago. Unfortunately you should tell it was scanned onto a computer; you lost some of the text where the page would have met the binding. Needless to say, reading it became difficult. I am still mad at myself passing up an original copy for $25; the binding was broke and the pages were separated. Still, the drawing are really inspiring.

    1. I only have a scanned e version. A proper copy would be a treat.

  5. I did come across a PDF online a few days ago. I must try to find it again.

  6. Wonderful figures John. It is great that you are giving them a 'new life'. Regards, James

  7. James, these figures are giving me "new life"; I have had little motivation in any projects as of late. Some nights I go down and just examine the figures, other nights I might just put on one color paint to the figures. Not the most productive way to paint, but it is progress.