Work in Progress

Antietam 17th September 1862

Posted by C M Dodson on 15 Nov 2021, 10:12

As part of my ongoing research I located the film that was filmed on the actual battlefield with the assistance of the NOS some years ago.

It is splendid stuff both as a narrative and also uniform/equipment/ scenery etc as they were meticulous in their research.

Happy viewing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tse4pbQp9cs

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Photoro Man on 24 Nov 2021, 20:01

This is DARTH VADER in person talking. So, must be GOOD!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by C M Dodson on 27 Nov 2021, 15:38

Thank you everyone including Lord Vader.

Tents and conversions

My very good friend Thomas Mischak has sent me the new Hagen command set along with the Lee and Longstreet set for my project.

I can never thank him enough for his kindness.

I have decided to utilise these figures for a Union command scene with our friend George.

The Union HQ was at the Pry house but I do not wish to construct this edifice for just one picture as it is off the table. I therefore thought a command tent would be in order.

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Another head swap and ‘Little Mac’ is busy pondering his latest West Point theory presentation in a command tent. Mr Porter ( Fifth Corps) is in attendance.

The tent is balsa , picture wire and tissue. I would recommend using split twigs as uprights as the construction is very flimsy.

The Union staff set up telescopes and binoculars for the good general to observe the action.

I fashioned a large spotting telescope from a thin rod of plastic with glued tissue paper to enhance its bulk and lens/ eyepiece. It is mounted on the Stretlets camera tripod.

George’s map is a reduced print ‘ Ala Egbert style’ taken from an original army map.

I was going to use four horse teams for the artillery but felt that the six horse teams had a better look.

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This means lots extra horses so I used tissue and greenstuff to make up the riderless horse packs on the Zvezda Russian artillery horses.

I also found some more surrendering Germans and a cowboy.

They chop up nicely to make Confederate prisoners.

The Stretlets Union officer pose comes in for criticism from PSR and quite rightly so.

However, I think that the idea is sound and by replacing the hand and sword with an Italieri cavalry chaps weapon a more acceptable result is achieved .

The Stretlets bugler in enhanced by chopping off his trumpet and replacing it with an Imex bugle.

Incidentally, this period of the war saw the increasing introduction of bugles as a more efficient signalling system than that of drums.
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Posted by Minuteman on 27 Nov 2021, 20:01

More interesting and informative commentary in the 'build up' to this much-anticipated diorama. It is always interesting to me to have an inside track on how conversions and figures are used to achieve a convincing group of 1/72 model soldiers...so thanks for the insights Chris!
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Posted by Peter on 30 Nov 2021, 22:47

Wonderfull work on that command set! :thumbup:
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Posted by C M Dodson on 07 Dec 2021, 16:45

Cold garages and conversions

The weather has been below freezing and I have not been able to work on the battlefield because of the cold.

However, all is not lost and three more brigades of Confederates and two Union brigades have been completed.

The Mumma farm complex was burnt down as it was considered a potential haven for Union sharpshooters .

This is obvious on my recreation of the field.

A Staff Sergeant James F. Clark was in charge of a detail from the 3rd North Carolina infantry from Ripley’s brigade that initiated the fire .

He actually wrote to the Mummas after the war to apologise for the destruction.

I wanted to recreate this event and to that effect chopped up some troops and am pleased with the results.

Image

More casualties representing gunners and various head/ arm swaps for officers are in evidence.

I found two Jacklex metal wheels and sliced them up to represent battle damage on a couple of Italieri cannon that I also enhanced with the prologue ropes.

Whoops, there are mould lines on the barrels. The camera sees all.

I have also drawn up the timetable for the action and am finalising my rules for the conduct of the troops.

Thomas Mischak also found this super link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Rs5C8 ... Q9&index=9

Lots of ideas here.

I am not sure about the date as according to PSR some of the figures involved were not produced then.

Once the weather warms up I am hoping that Hookers attack can commence.

Lots to do.

Chris
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Posted by C M Dodson on 05 Jan 2022, 19:25

Bits and bobs



Following Thomas’s Gettysburg link I selected a few Hat drums and fashioned tissue paper webbing to represent discarded drums.

Image

I also purchased some Speria rifled muskets which are nice if not a bit flimsy.

Massimo’s Hagen wounded set also has some truly excellent and also more durable weapons for dressing the battlefield.

I found this informative video on sharp shooting weaponry.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sLQm3f-a-kw

The Confederate forces had it seems ‘sharpshooter’ battalions who in reality were effectively skirmishers.

The really good shots had specialist sights on their weapons and were allowed free range on the battlefield .

The British Whitworth rifle was a specially prized weapon with excellent long distance accuracy but cost a fortune.

At $1000 in gold ( $27000 at todays prices) for a base model it was an extremely rare battlefield sight.

It’s unique side telescope and hexagonal barrel we’re its distinctive features.

I therefore decided on a couple of Enfield equipped sharpshooters and constructed the brass optical sight with plastic stretched sprue.

I also have constructed more explosions as the first lot have gone missing.

This time I used wire, rather than sprue as it is more flexible.

I spray of hair product and a dusting of sand produces the debris flung up by the explosion.

Incidentally I found an excellent reference video on Civil War fuses which really explains the mechanics and why the South was disadvantaged.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixX2rzH-0Sk

Excellent stuff.

Lots to do.
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Posted by Peter on 05 Jan 2022, 20:10

Lots to do and lots to see for us! Keep them coming Chris. in the mean time I keep looking at the movie you are making in another topic! ;-) :thumbup:
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Posted by Minuteman on 05 Jan 2022, 20:48

Keep up the good work, very much looking forward to the next batches of pictures!

Incidentally, I recently took delivery of some French Napoleonic dragoon muskets from Spiera and cannot fault the professionalism and quailty of this producer. First class.
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Posted by C M Dodson on 06 Jan 2022, 09:41

Hello Mr M.

I agree with you that the Speira range is now vast and top quality.

The fragile description was an observation, not a criticism.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by C M Dodson on 17 Feb 2022, 15:23

Major General Ambrose Powell Hill

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Having graduated from the USMA and seen service in the Mexican and Seminole Indian wars Mr Hill resigned his commission from the US army upon the secession.

He subsequently rose to command the Light Division in Longstreet’s command,
seeing action in the Seven days Campaign, Cedar Mountain and Second Manassass.

The initial stages of the Maryland campaign saw the temperamental Hill falling out with his new Corps commander Jackson over marching protocols and being placed under arrest.

However, his command was restored when the inevitability of battle became apparent to Jackson.

Charged with investing the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry he was urgently recalled by Lee with instructions to march to Sharpsburg.

I have researched this gentleman especially with reference to his red ‘battle shirt’.

There are several paintings of this but the evidence of it seems somewhat vague.

However, I did find this excellent site that suggests he was wearing it at Antietam.

http://www.aphillcsa.com/shortbio.html

I have chopped in half a Confederate cavalryman from Italieri, stuck a Stretlets officer on top and then added a pistol and map case.

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The Stretlets sword is more of a cutlass so an Italieri Union cavalryman kindly donated his sword arm as a replacement.

Two lengths of cotton extend the reins to the correct position.

I think he looks the part, but we shall have to see if he and his famous Division save the day again.

Image

Image

Happy modelling.

Chris
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Posted by Peter on 17 Feb 2022, 16:10

That's a fantastic conversion Chris! Keep them coming! ;-) :thumbup:
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Posted by Bessiere on 18 Feb 2022, 05:43

You did a wonderful job of portraying officers I am very familiar with. Red shirt? Check. Too much beard? Check. Nice character of McClellan as well. I'm really looking forward to seeing these men in the scenes you have pictured in your mind's eye. As with your previous projects we know this will be equally as spectacular and true to every detail possible. Well done Mr D.
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Posted by C M Dodson on 18 Feb 2022, 14:42

Thank you Peter and Mr B for your kind comments.

I am back in the garage where the clock is approaching 6.45 AM and the troops are starting to get to grips.

In the meantime I am building another Mumma farm to set fire to as the action proceeds.

Lots to do.

Chris
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Posted by C M Dodson on 03 Mar 2022, 10:26

Back to the Mumma Farm

As the action unfolds it is my intention to recreate the destruction of the Mumma Farm.

The positioning of the farm so close to the Confederate positions makes its destruction, to prevent Union occupation, an obvious military necessity.

Whilst the initial burning phase will be more conventional I am hoping to get something more akin to my Ligny pictures by using real fire.

The original farm was burnt nearly to the ground.

This is a picture taken by Mr Gardner showing the extensive damage.
A close inspection reveals his camera wagon on site.

https://postimg.cc/YhVYFvhm]Image[/url]

I do not wish to destroy my original model and have therefore created a duplicate with less features to the front in order that I can burn it down.

https://postimg.cc/B85KRNNx]Image[/url]


https://postimg.cc/jWYf8B6x]Image[/url]


The roof is removable but I have chopped a hole in the front to position my burn trays before setting them alight.

https://postimg.cc/ph2Fv813]Image[/url]

With the correct camera angle I hoping that it will give me the picture I seek.

https://postimg.cc/4Y9tQX92]Image[/url]

Fingers crossed for the garage !

Lots to do.

Chris
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Posted by Bessiere on 03 Mar 2022, 14:30

Aha! Burn trays sir? The secret of Ligny is revealed. I would be very interested to know more about these infernal devices. I'm sure the results will be extraordinary as you go to amazing lengths to get your pictures. Thanks as always for sharing as you do. You are generous of your methods to the benefit of all. May your final pics match the visions in your head. cheers,
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Posted by C M Dodson on 03 Mar 2022, 14:44

Hello Mr B.

I construct a ‘tub’ / tray from silver foil folded.

I then place a small piece of balsa as a wick it it followed by barbecue lighter fluid.

Once alight it gives a controlled burn.

However, fire is eager to exceed 1/72 scale so you have to be careful!

My watering can is always on standby.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Bessiere on 03 Mar 2022, 15:05

So climate change is your doing eh? I won't tell. Truth be told I think I set it off years ago when I burned and blew up my entire model ship collection as a kid. Thank you for sharing your techniques. As always your student and admirer, Bessiere
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Posted by Peter on 06 Mar 2022, 12:01

Film it please so we all can see what you do. Really curious about the outcome! ;-) :thumbup:

And protect the new garage door! :mrgreen:
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Posted by C M Dodson on 06 Mar 2022, 17:23

Munitions mayhem

The original pounding of the Confederate artillery positions before the Dunkard church was referred to as ‘Artillery hell’ by those involved in it.

The Union batteries of position above the Antietam creek have already destroyed one Confederate cannon in my re fight and I want to create an impression of the bombardment.

I played with exploding cassion’s in my Ligny refight and was pleased with the result.

Image

However, I sought to improve the effect and to that end chopped up an Itallieri ACW limber and rebuilt a balsa ammunition box.

Image

This was then crushed by pliers and the resulting bits, along with the broken wheel were then mounted on stretched plastic sprue.

The heavier sections were mounted on unwound picture wire to support the weight.

Image

Thinned cotton wool and some flecks of paint to represent the bang resulted in a most pleasing result.

Image

I am now chopping up the poor mounted crew to represent the resultant casualties.

Lots to do.

Chris
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