February 13, 2011

Chevaux-de-what?

I continued the basic scenery and detailing of the area from Clairborne Creek to Falmouth. My objective is to have this portion of the layout completely sceniced before moving on to the new sections.  I now have the first layer of scenery on this complete area.  Now comes the fun part! Here are some in-progress photos.

We decided to name the fort "Battery Schaefer" in honor of our departed friend Matt Schaefer.

The figure standing in front of the bomb proof
is a converted Tamiya WWII tank mechanic. The inset
shows the before appearance
I painted about 20 figures to populate the battery.  I had these figures on hand. They started out as a CSA battery of the Washington Artillery. I repainted parts of the uniforms to make them resemble Union gunners. Most of these  figures are in firing poses probably a bit too energetic for training, but I have them and they are nice castings. So the idea is that the unit is drilling on two guns, while other gunners are lounging and watching the the trains roll by.  I saw a report that discussed how the artillery unit guarding Accokeek Bridge drilled and did target practice each day so this is possible.

I converted a Tamiya 1/48th scale German tank mechanic to an ACW gunner figure standing by the bomb proof waiting for ammo. This figure helps transition the forced perspective to the smaller 1/56th scale gun position. The flag is a stand-in until I can get the proper flag. It's from the 10th NY a zouave unit that was stationed in this area at this time. I have a bunch of 28mm and 40mm zouave castings, but they are charging and are not appropriate for my winter quarters scenes. I also learned that one of my favorite regiments, the 5th NY was stationed at Brook. I have scratch built and painted a bunch of 5th NY zouave figures in 54mm scale See this link for dioramas of those figures.

I have the Provost Marshall reports that detail the works at Aquia, Brook and Potomac Creek. The reports list the units assigned to guard them and the artillery they have. I have no record of actual works at Falmouth, but there are photos showing artillery dug-in on the ridge over looking Fredericksburg across the Rappahannock River that is near by.  So I based my entrenchments on those.

The Falmouth engine terminal area after the base coat of scenic ground cover.  I have lots of detail yet to add to this scene,

I added a line of entrenchments  and chevaux-de-frise between Falmouth and Clairborne Creek.
The chevaux-de-frise is a civil war era  
obstacle that is movable. In the time of danger the
they can be swung across the tracks to bar entry. In the background two sections of artillery are drilling. 

Unloading boxes of Army Bread. The boxes are laser cut to the actual size  and have markings of the
Union Baking Company in Baltimore MD. I built the freight platform shown here. A larger version still needs to be
built to the right of the tracks. I'm still tweaking the final design of the hardtack boxes. I need lots of them. 

Here is the finished Creek scene. I added a coat of acrylic gloss gel to the two part resin. This left too many brush marks, so I gave it three more coats of clear acrylic gloss.

The three tall trees are Loblolly pines. The large trees help make the overall scene appear bigger by
 compartmenting the view. Now the Battery Schaefer looks further away when you look down the length
of the room as you must peer through trees to see it.   I like how the limbs overhang the tracks.

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