Thursday, October 31, 2013

Exhibit Opening: "Beyond the Battlefield"

I just got back from the "Beyond the Battlefield" opening at the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria! Overall, it was a pretty fun evening with a surprisingly good turnout. I say that because, you know, it was Halloween and all. We were worried that no one would show up!

Several of the donors were in attendance and, despite the diorama being incomplete, seemed to enjoy the display. Everyone was very kind and understanding about it. This relieved a lot of my anxiety.

And now, here are some photos from the event taken by my girlfriend Teresa, who also happens to be the other curatorial assistant for "Beyond the Battlefield."  

People gather in the exhibit room.

Myself and the exhibition curator, Kyle, address the crowd.

A view of the diorama as it appeared this evening.

Kyle shows off a reproduction hospital bottle.

Did someone call for a Doctor? Eh...Doctor Who?

Funny thing about that last photo...I totally forgot to remove the Sixth Doctor before the presentation started. What's funnier is that I don't think anyone really noticed he was there.

The Invisible Man

Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part VII

So, I'm not going to meet the exhibit deadline.

I've been dragging like crazy with only four hours' worth of sleep last night. This is on top of having revised a research paper, attending a two hour class, drinking more coffee than is probably healthy, and fighting a cold. I just can't do it everything I need to do by tomorrow.

But that being said, quite a bit got done tonight. Teresa and Kyle helped out with the prepping, priming, and painting the of the ambulance, train car, and fences. I cannot thank them enough for their help tonight!!

With "Gettysburg" playing in the background we worked for several hours. Most of the pieces are not painted and just need assembling now. I'll try to fit that in after class tomorrow afternoon.

It is a real shame that I won't be able to have everything ready by tomorrow, though. I can't help but feel a little let down and disappointed in myself.

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part VI

Just a brief update without many progress photos since I've been so busy lately: I've just finished two big assignments for school and can now devote most of my time to getting the diorama done. That's pretty important since, you know, the exhibit is opening in less than 48 hours.

Yup. It's coming down to the wire.

Am I nervous? Yes. Am I worried about getting everything done on time? You bet. Would I rather be doing something else? Not a chance! I'm really excited for the opening and look forward to hear what everyone thinks of the diorama. I'm quite proud of the work I've put into it so far.

But now it's time to stock up on coffee and buckle down....things are going to get a little crazy here.

My girlfriend has been very helpful during my paper-writing craze these last few days. Being the wonderful person that she is, Teresa volunteered to paint the train tracks for me while I was agonizing over early 20th century bank architecture. They turned out quite well indeed!

Making tracks!

The minimum goal for the next day or so is to finally finish that %#&^@*$ firing line, an ambulance, and both train cars. Even if I can't get the remaining figures done by opening night, with those in the diorama I feel that we'll have something solid at least.

And just in case you're all wondering....

I'll try to get another update in before the opening, but I can't make any guarantees at this point.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Death Korps of Krieg Lord Commissar

Just taking a quick break from the Civil War diorama to show off another Warhammer 40k figure I've done. Don't worry, I'm not neglecting my responsibilities...this chap was finished a few months back and I'm just now getting around to posting.

This is going to be the Lord Commissar for my planned Death Korps of Krieg army. As this character can take a dedicated transport, I'm going to have him mounted on a Chimera transport that's been modified with a heavy flamer. So it essentially becomes a Hellhound. I've got all the parts I need for that, but alas, no time at present.

In keeping with the World War I theme of my army, I painted this guy up as an Imperial German officer. The piping on his tunic was a challenge, but a fun one. And I do like how the Feldgrau looks with that particular shade of scarlet.  

When the diorama (and a little thing called grad school) is done, I hope to do some more work on the Death Korps. I have two full squads standing by to be assembled, primed, and painted. But we'll see how it all goes. I want to at least finish the Lord Commissar's transport before the New Year though.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part V

Two updates in one day?! What is the world coming to?

I managed to finish off a few more figures and some stretchers this afternoon (though not the Federal firing line that, for some reason, has been the bane of my existence for some weeks now). They came together pretty quickly and I'm pleased with the results.

A few wounded Union soldiers. Is it just me, or does the cavalryman on the left look an awful lot like Chuck Norris?

Oh no! The Rebs shot Chuck Norris! How is that even possible?!?

And here we have the only Confederate who will be in the diorama. He's going to be just in front of the Union firing line to show the progression of the battle.

So that's all for the diorama right now. I'll try to push through that firing line in the next few days and then start on the railway tracks and cars. There's some big stuff coming this way soon!

And as if I didn't have enough on my plate already, I'm planning to do some special pieces for the coming holidays. Just some fun stuff that I really hope you all like. Stay tuned for that! First figure is already done and will be posted on Halloween!

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part IV

Just a really quick update. Following a very successful "Spirits, Suffering, and Society" event last night, we did a little bit of work in the exhibit. The diorama base is installed and the first 20 or so figures have been added.

Here we see my friend Kyle (the exhibit curator) working on putting some of the trees together.

The figures haven't been permanently affixed yet, but this was just to give us and idea of where things will be placed in the finished product. There are still plenty of figures that need to be added (not to mention ambulances, fences, train tracks, and hospital cars). This is just the beginning.

Myself with the diorama. I have to admit, everything looks a lot more impressive under Plexiglas. Not so impressive, however, is my hair (to be fair, though, this was after a long event).

Also, here's a little sneak peak at the rest of the exhibit....

And that's all for now! I need to back to the grindstone, but please stay tuned for more updates!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part III

As promised, here are the figures I completed last weekend. I'm surprised at how quickly they got done....hopefully I can keep it up!

First up we have the ambulance corpsmen. They were the ones responsible for retrieving wounded soldiers from the battlefield and getting them to an aid station.

And now, the surgeons. There were lots of little details on these guys that I know visitors won't really be able to see (like the green fields on their shoulder bars), but I really had a fun time going the extra mile. Besides, they are officers after all...they should look their absolute best. 

Now we have some of the wounded. And I just realized that the fellow in the yellow shirt looks exactly like Doc Holliday at the end of "Tombstone." 

Next up, the ambulance driver. He'll look a lot better sitting in his wagon (when it's done).

Last, but certainly not least, is the figure of a Berdan sharpshooter that I call "Cuddles." It's a bit of an inside see, many years ago I used to reenact with a fellow who had that nickname. It just so happened that this mini looked exactly like him. It was too perfect not to do.

Well, that's all for now! Tomorrow we'll be installing the first part of the diorama at the Lee-Fendall House. I'll be sure to post photos and report back on the progress.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beyond the Battlefield: Lee-Fendall House and Civil War Medical Care

Great news! The exhibit, Beyond the Battlefield: Lee-Fendall House and Civil War Medical Care, will be opening two weeks from today on October 31st. That's right...Halloween!

What's more, I just found out I'll be credited as Assistant Curator for the exhibit. I totally wasn't expecting this! As a result, I'm expected to say a few words at the opening reception and bring in a few examples of other miniatures I've done.

Looking back at everything I've posted over the last few months, what pieces do you all think I should bring? Please comment below and let me know!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Civil War Medical Diorama: Part II

Things are progressing on the diorama!

I hit Michaels yesterday before class and picked up some parts for the base. Since the dimensions of the display case are a bit odd, I had to assemble five different pieces of wood in order to get the needed size. Elmer's Wood Glue is holding it all together quite well, but to be safe I also put some foam core underneath to add a bit more stability. Then came the fun part: letting it all dry overnight.

Wood glue was liberally used to connect the boards. But after watching reruns of "the Red Green Show" on YouTube, though, I think duct tape would've also worked.

Having let the glue set for 24 hours, I picked the project up again today. I went about attaching a ReadyGrass vinyl mat from Woodland Scenics. Worried that the spray adhesive wouldn't be enough to keep it from rolling up and/or peeling, I also used a staple gun to secure things. These staples will eventually be covered up by figures and other bits of terrain.


The base will installed in the exhibit room this coming weekend, and all the figures will be placed in the following weeks. The exhibition is set to open at the end of the month, so there's still quite a lot of work that needs to be done (and on top of school and work commitments to boot). I'm already exhausted just thinking about it all.

Also, our dining room table is a mess. But thankfully my girlfriend is very understanding and is letting me keep it like this for a bit longer. It's easier than continually taking the paints out and then putting them away again after a few hours.

Well, that's all for now! I'll try to get a post up about my latest figures some time tomorrow morning. Please keep checking back for updates, and thank you for looking!