Sunday, June 15, 2008

Burnside Bridge: a modification

Last summer I undertook a fairly large modification project of the BMC/Americana Burnside Bridge.

Although I'll be reviewing them in a later post, generally speaking BMC makes pretty inferior figures, the poses can be imaginative, but the casting and consistency is usually pretty dreadful. Where BMC/Americana really shines however is with many of their ancillary models, especially Meade's Headquarters (later post) and here, Burnside Bridge.

I wanted to make a much more convincing model of the bridge and permanently mount it spanning Antietam Creek. Combining two out of the bag kits I spent sixteen hours to remake the finished model.

By combining the two kits I was able to double up the stone walls making them appear thicker and much more like the real bridge which I'm lucky enough to see five days a week.

I mounted the painted and weathered bridge on a panel of luan plywood and sculpted plaster-of-paris appproaches and creek banks, painted the entire base and creekbed, and used envirotex clear resin for the surface of the muddy creek.

Here are the results.

Before and after. A side by side comparison of the Americana kit and my modification.

The approach to the bridge.

And here it is alongside the real thing:

This was really a fun project.

In a future post I'll show a modifications I did to Meade's Headquarters, Dunker Church, and show you how to get two buildings from one kit.

Until then keep your reenforcements close at hand.

(next post July 1)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Scott Mingus was kind enough recently to feature some of my custom made pewter Civil War soldiers on his fine blog Charge! Civil War Wargaming and News, and you can see a bunch more of my guys by clicking right here.

Here's some more pictures of the 54mm Old Third Michigan Infantry Regiment as they form a firing line in my back yard.

Although about half of my guys I cast from commercial molds, the other half are created by me and are unique. This is one of the high-temperature silicone molds I made to produce my own soldiers. On the left half rests one of my plastic prototypes and you can see the pewter version of that pose still embedded in the mold. On the right half of the mold you can see at left the plastic prototype I made of the marching soldier, to his right is the finished pewter soldier, painted bright, and below both are the cavity in the mold that they hail from.

"TUEBOR" is the legend on the Michigan flag which translates to: "I will defend".

The flags, by the way, started out in civilian life as Hunts tomato sauce cans.

The young victorian diarist and Grand Rapids resident, Rebecca Richmond, wrote extensively in her diary about the presentation of the colors to the regiment prior to their departure for Detroit and the seat of war beyond - Washington D.C.

Here's the link to Steve Soper's excellent blog on the Old Third, it is comprehensive and outstanding!

Jack Dempsey, I know you're on hiatus, but I hope your tuning in.

Lastly, here's a little i-movie using some of my pewter guys to symbolize the development of the "ring forts" the Civil War defenses of Washington D.C. This is from a larger project entitled Washington D.C.: Lincoln's Fortress City which is taking forever for me to get back to working on.

Unfortunately, I neglected to remove an eerie sound effect at the end of it.

Nonetheless, I hope you like it.

Digging in, just north of Boonsboro,


(next post June 15)