A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

March 28, 2012

All In

 I installed the last company of painted marching figures I have on hand. This makes 41 ranks of 4 men for a total of 164 men plus one mounted officer.  About 110 of these figures were painted by a professional figure painter. The rest I did.

There is room for another 10 ranks. Adding more soldiers won't embellish the scene very much as additional figures will be partially obscured by the sunken road and worm fence in the background. I also want to leave some "breathing space" between the soldiers and the backdrop. Finally, I plan to add a wagon with the unit's baggage so I need to leave room for that. A wagon with 6 mule team takes up a good amount of space.

This unit is part of the 7thNY Steuben Volunteers, a regiment that was composed of 2 and 3 year men. The two-year men mustered in for two years service on April 23, 1861 in  New York City with  Company I from Brooklyn. In the two years the unit lost 102 men from wounds and 47 from other causes. It took nearly 50 percent casualties at the battle of Fredericksburg (243 killed or wounded out of 488 engaged). The two year men mustered out on April 25, 1863 in New York City, while the remainder of the regiment combined with the 52nd New York. This regiment is notable for two things, one it was mostly composed of German immigrants many with European combat experience, and secondly that part of it was involved in a friendly fire incident at the battle of Big Bethel at the start of the Peninsula Campaign.

Why haven't the men policed up that scrap lumber for firewood?

This view shows a mock-up of the next structure planned for the scene.


  1. The column of Infantry is so impressive! To think that this effort is only a corner of your display is remarkable.

    1. Yes, this is the far corner of the main room. I plan another scene in the Stoneman's Station area with a large body of soldiers at formation. I am still painting those figures.

      I also have on hand and painted about 40 soldiers in a charge bayonet pose. These figures will be arrayed in a scene depicting a unit doing bayonet drill.

      I suspect that when the layout is done there will be about 1,000 figures on display.

  2. Bernice, You can't help but be impressed the amount of time and research putting this layout together is staggering. ~Gary

  3. This is a very impressive scene and it stands out as one of the top 10 layouts of the country. Andding more to it should make it even more impressive, if that is possible.