Work in Progress

Antietam 17th September 1862

Posted by C M Dodson on 26 Jun 2019, 12:05

ANTIETAM 17th SEPTEMBER 1862



I have had thoughts about re-fighting this most bloody of the American civil wars battles for sometime.

My research of late has been towards Aspern Essling, a battle, again featuring watercourses, but whilst the troops lie unpainted, but ready, I felt a break from Napoleonics might recharge the batteries.

However, before commencing this project and to the Feldmarchall's horror, as I am still producing figures for Quatre Bras, I wanted to explore the feasibility of making realistic maize fields.

To the Americans of course Maize is called corn and although the battlefield had lots of cornfields none is as famous as D,R. Millers 24 acre cornfield.

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I have seen lots of ideas on how to represent this crop with varying degrees of success.

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There is a lot of information about cornfields of the real variety but I found an excellent source of information regarding our Civil War type and its planting.

theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=359890

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[Courtesy of my very good friend and head of my German research group, Thomas Mischak.]

Many historical accounts speak of impenetrable stands of corn.

If, however, you are a farmer, then harvesting your crop is pretty important when planting the seed. Lanes between the stalks make access for weeding and harvesting which makes sense.

Difficult going for troop formations but not the jungle environment some speak of.

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Fascinating stuff.

This illustrates the reality to my mind.

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I looked at the railway modelling world for ideas and here we have anything from Christmas decorations [ practical for war games] to the plastic Busch product.

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Personally,I prefer to use natural products as these absorb light rather than reflect it.

I started off with Rosemary leaves and fir tree leaves all to no avail.

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However, whilst trimming the front garden I spotted 'love in a mist' [ Nigella Damascus] growing.

This is a lot better and the young growth is in scale.

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However, the Feldmarschall, a keen gardener, said they were rubbish!

Back to the drawing board.

Well, back to the internet at least.

It is amazing that the simplest things can make a difference. Just by typing HO OO a magic wand appeared to be waved and I realised I had been wasting my time.

TASMA 00680, made in Vietnam are fantastic and at £10.00 approximately for thirty two replica plants are a bargain.

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I think that my Nigella, as dead foliage in September, will still be useful but I have now got solution in order to represent these hallowed fields with the degree of realism that they deserve.

Lots of ideas here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAt5O8ax0l0

Enjoy.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Kostis Ornerakis on 26 Jun 2019, 17:16

C M Dodson wrote:TASMA 00680, made in Vietnam are fantastic and at £10.00 approximately for thirty two replica plants are a bargain.

Chris, thanks for the tip, :-D
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Kostis Ornerakis  Greece
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 27 Jun 2019, 06:55

General lee

At the outset of the Maryland campaign General Lee was injured whilst trying to restrain, Traveller, his horse who had been startled by a map flapping in the wind.

Falling on his hands he suffered ‘ a serious ligamentous strain’ in both his hands with a suspected fractured right arm.

As a result he was in a sling and was forced initially to use an ambulance until the engagement.

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Most figures of ‘ Marse Robert’ are therefore not applicable to this action and I determined to make something a bit more relevant.

The Stretlets Lee was chopped up and a wounded American Revell using a musket as a splint was utilised for the injured, slung arm.

I then fashioned a sling from tissue paper and glued this into position.

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Upon commencing painting I decided that Robert did not look much like Robert and a convincing general is vital to my plans.

I investigated the Stretlets, Confederate Infantry Standing troops, a magnificent leap in modelling standards with lots of realistic poses and faces.

The officer is a spitting image of Lee and having swoppped the heads I am very happy with the result.

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PSR also makes this point along with Longstreet and Picket look alikes.

The horse is from the Italieri Civil War Artillery set painted to represent the presumably forgiven Traveller.

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Happy modelling,

Chris
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Posted by Susofrick on 27 Jun 2019, 08:27

Oh, another TV-series! Hmm, looking forward to follow this too!
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Posted by Graeme on 27 Jun 2019, 17:05

Very promising start.

Really nice job on the wounded Lee, and if that corn was any more realistic you would be able to eat it.
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Posted by huib on 28 Jun 2019, 15:57

Great work! He is really sesembling Lee!
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Posted by C M Dodson on 30 Jun 2019, 17:47

General James Longstreet

The commander of the right wing of Lees army was ‘Pete’ Longstreet, his ‘Old warhorse’.

The Stretlets version of him was in my opinion wrong so I pinched the Stretlets standing infantry officer who looked a lot like Longstreet and attached him after some sawing to a pair of legs.

A better sword from the bits box and a sweeping broom straw for a cigar and hey presto!

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I was really quite pleased with him with just a little tidying up required after seeing how he photographed.

However.......

A little more research and it appears that due to an infected heel Mr L wore carpet slippers at this most bloody of American battles!

A very nice article called the Antietam Journal states that Longstreet wore one slipper on his left foot. Whilst holding his officers horses who were serving guns he is stated to be sitting side saddle.

I fancy that galloping around side saddle would not be too practical and this was a temporary expedient. You need your feet in the stirrups to control your horse so it’s time to saw his left foot off.

Again, back to the drawing board.

I thought that Quatre Bras was a mass of contradictory information but the bizarre seems to be alive and present at Antietam.

Another interesting fact was that generals John Bell Hood and A.P. Hill had fallen out with General Thomas Jackson and prior to Antietam had been travelling at the rear of their columns under arrest! A command nightmare.

Even Jackson got in on the injury circus having a few days previously had his horse fall on him, bruising him badly.

Happy Modelling.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Graeme on 01 Jul 2019, 03:18

Longstreet looks good, very nice conversion.

And very interesting research regarding the carpet slipper, It would be cool if you did something like that, I do like quirky little personalisations of figures.
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Posted by Susofrick on 01 Jul 2019, 08:22

Yup! This is just as good as the other series! Love that cigar and the research!
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Posted by C M Dodson on 01 Jul 2019, 14:17

Further to my discovery of the various health issues affecting the command elements Confederate Army of Virginia I have removed Mr Longstreet’s leg and given him a new one from a Yankee cavalryman.

Neither was impressed!

I had to make out of greenstuff a new stirrup and whilst a pink fluffy slipper would show the good generals sense of humour I thought brown would be more appropriate.

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I am quite pleased with him but it is disturbing how photographs show off your painting errors despite the amazing techno visor!

Happy modelling.

Chris ( Surgeon General CSA)

Next patient.

Thomas Jackson
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Posted by C M Dodson on 02 Jul 2019, 10:25

Major General Thomas Jonathan Jackson

‘Stonewall’ Jackson a deeply religious and taciturn man with little time for military pomp preferred to dress plainly with his battered cadet cap from the Virginia military Institute where he worked as a professor.

Having recovered from the bashing given by his horse, ‘ Little Sorrel’ a few days previously Mr Jackson has escaped from the CSA command infirmity pool in time for battle.

Presumably he forgave Little Sorrel, but the horses opinion is unrecorded as far as I am aware.

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The model is from Hagen Miniatures but I have used an Itallieri horse as I felt the original was a little too big.

I have been burrowing in the United States National Archives, a truly fascinating and rewarding resource.

Highly recommended if you are a student of the period.

Happy modelling.

Chris
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Posted by daikaigan on 02 Jul 2019, 12:40

Dear Chris,
very interesting and beautyfull work
but I can't find the original Stonewall Jackson horse too big
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and don't forget the casualty set
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Cheers
Massimo
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Posted by C M Dodson on 02 Jul 2019, 13:19

Hi Massimo, nice to hear from you and I hope that you are well. It’s a long time since the Dioramica.

Fascinating stuff this, what with injuries, arrests etc.

I was referring to him fitting in with other horses and troops and was no reflection on your superb sculpting.

I have your artillery guys and the casualties are on the shopping list.

Incidentally I found this remarkable site.

https://www.civilwarprofiles.com/travel ... d-jackson/

Jackson’s horse was 15 hands whilst Lees was 16. I was under the mistaken impression that a Traveller was a fairly small horse for some reason.

The average horse stands at 15 hands apparently.

Both horses survived the war before being exhibited after their deaths.

Traveller lies outside the Lee chapel near the entrance to the Lee family crypt having been laid to rest in1971, one hundred years after the horse’s death.

Little Sorrel was stuffed and is an exhibit in the VMI with the cremated remains being interred under the parade ground but Jackson’s statue.

Whatever next?

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Emperor on 02 Jul 2019, 16:28

Depending wich type of horse was. Some horses are taller some are smaller... I once have rided a horse but it was a smaller horse. Jumping on a back of tall horse is hard even for tall people...
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Posted by daikaigan on 02 Jul 2019, 19:56

Dear Chris,
I didn't want to be critical
when I do the figures I think and look for a balance of the whole
this is often wrong
but the visual and overall result is excellent
and in our scale I think this is important
For me now it's a difficult time (after the death of Leonardo (Phersu Miniature))
but soon I will return to my favorite hobby
if you need advice and suggestions, ask me
no problem
Cheers
Massimo :occasion:
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daikaigan  Italy
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 02 Jul 2019, 22:02

Hi Massimo.

Being critical is no problem at all.

Mr Crynns , my wife and Thomas Mischak are my guardian angels spotting errors and keeping my enthusiasm in check.

Your work is inspirational but I understand that the sudden death of Leonardo has been a shock.

Time is a healer and no doubt you will be producing more miniature miracles soon.

Thank you for your kind words and offer of assistance.

Your e mail address is most welcome.

I hope we can meet again at the next Dioramica .

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Beano Boy on 03 Jul 2019, 00:20

Here is an errroor for them both. O R. BB
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Posted by C M Dodson on 03 Jul 2019, 16:40

Major General George Brinton McClellan.

‘ Little Mac’ a former West Pointer and President of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad was called by Lincoln to re organise the Union forces following the Union defeat at Bull Run ( First Manassass).

An extremely capable administrator he forged the Union forces into the entity that would eventually win the war. His soldiers held him in high esteem.

However, after having been given command of the Army of the Potomac and following the Peninsular campaign his caution drew the suspicion of Lincoln who replaced him.

The next Union disaster at second Manassass saw our friend re instated, much to the delight of his troops.

I found a nice picture of our general upon his horse Daniel Webster ( also known as Handsome Dan and that Devil Dan) and I have tried to replicate it.

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Dan was a very fast horse always outpacing the Union staff accompanying the General which would add nothing to command and communication efficiency.

The horse is from the Zveda Napoleonic command set.

Our hero comprises of a Stretlets Union general figure suitably chopped.
I used a kepi from an Italieri Union chap and melted the head hole out with pillars and a soldering iron. The sword handle was replaced by a new one from the bits box.

The head was from the Zvevda ADC on foot.

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My original description was of a black animal from the Osprey Campaign series.

This horse thing is interesting as Daniel was recorded as 15/16 hands high and a dark mahogany with three white feet and a star on his head according to the Baltimore South newspaper on the 25 th October 1861.

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Unfortunately, there is no mention of which legs were marked. I have done the two rear ones.

Left or right I asked the Feldmarschall?

Right, so front right it is unless someone has a definitive source.

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The black horse is probably a reference to a gift from a fellow officer of a creature called Burns.

Apparently this animal always bolted for his oats at dinner time and McClellan dared not use him at that time because of this habit!

Bonkers or what?

Happy modelling,

Chris
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Posted by Susofrick on 04 Jul 2019, 09:24

Wow! Great figure and conversion!
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Posted by C M Dodson on 07 Jul 2019, 17:39

Major General Joseph Hooker

A West Point career officer ‘ Fighting’ Joe Hooker, despite the efforts of General Winfield Scott , returned to the ranks as a Brigadier General, at the start of the war and following success at the Battle of Williamsburg was eventually promoted to command the 1st Corps in time for Antietam.

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I researched various contemporary sources and it seems that a white horse was his mount at the engagement.

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This one is at Chancellorsville after his promotion, again a white horse.

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I selected an Italieri US cavalryman and sliced his wrist off.

To this I mounted a new hand holding binoculars from the Italieri mounted artillery officer. A new sword handle was taken from a Stretlets British ADC.

I made a binocular case from greenstuff along with its webbing.

However, upon painting him up his face was dreadful. A blob with a nose.

Not to be outdone, I sliced a Waterloo 1815 highlander officers bonnet off, did the pliers hollowing out the hat thing and remounted the lot on the original body.

I am quite pleased with him although the picture has revealed a few touch ups that are required.

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One of the problems it seems to me with this period in our scale is the lack of staff and generals.

Stretlets have had a good go at this but there is nothing like the variety that our Napoleonic friends have to draw upon.

Perhaps a Speria opportunity?

I for one would be keen.

Happy Modelling,

Chris
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