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Project- my first Civil War Cannon – 1/6 scale


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Nice job, unusual subject. Scratch building of any prototypical item always interests me, it's a different form of model building. As for the piece's finish and appearance...I have a rule of thumb. If it is in a diorama setting(telling a story, people involved) some weathering is fine. But if the piece is being displayed as a representation of the prototype (no people, no scenery) it would look better as a museum display, i.e. factory fresh. In my opinion a model looks silly (especially ship models) all rusted out and weathered sitting on brass pedestals on a fine wood base. But this is one man's opinion, your results may vary!

 

I haven't posted in awhile but I haven't much news to add.

Thanks for the comment and I agree. My intention is to build a display base to depict a scene from the Battle of Collierville. In order to display it at our local town museum, I am constrained to 17 Inch square base. The total length of the gun and carriage is about 15 inches. That means I will have to have it sitting at a 45 degree angle or from corner to corner. I don't know if I can finish it how I expect, but I want the base to be very simple in the terrain that will depict a grassy field with some knee high grass in places.

 

In order to reflect the Battle, I want to include a piece of RailRoad track. It won't be much as it will be in front of the cannon so that means it will cut across one small corner of the Base. My problem is that I need a scaled drawing of a Civil War era Railroad track.

When I ask my RR modeling buddies about this, they think I'm asking for a model track. My diorama is 1/6 scale---there is not hobby railroad in that scale.

 

Here is what I need:

The size, length and spacing of the RR ties.

A scale drawing of the cross section of a track would be great.

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I haven't posted in awhile but I haven't much news to add.

Thanks for the comment and I agree. My intention is to build a display base to depict a scene from the Battle of Collierville. In order to display it at our local town museum, I am constrained to 17 Inch square base. The total length of the gun and carriage is about 15 inches. That means I will have to have it sitting at a 45 degree angle or from corner to corner. I don't know if I can finish it how I expect, but I want the base to be very simple in the terrain that will depict a grassy field with some knee high grass in places.

 

In order to reflect the Battle, I want to include a piece of RailRoad track. It won't be much as it will be in front of the cannon so that means it will cut across one small corner of the Base. My problem is that I need a scaled drawing of a Civil War era Railroad track.

When I ask my RR modeling buddies about this, they think I'm asking for a model track. My diorama is 1/6 scale---there is not hobby railroad in that scale.

 

Here is what I need:

The size, length and spacing of the RR ties.

A scale drawing of the cross section of a track would be great.

 

Ride on rail is what you need . I don't know were you live but if you google live steam model railroad clubs with an emphasis on 1/8 or 1/12 scale you may be able to find a local club .

 

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I have not posted an update to my thread in some time. I'm now working on a base for my Williams Gun which I hope to use when it goes on display at our small local museum. Also, I'm still working on dry paint application techniques. I figured I could practice this on my base.

 

I just HAD to update with these photos of a Replica of the gun that I finally got to see and touch. I was truly floored when I walked up to a sutler's tent at a re-enactment last weekend in Holly Springs. This gun wasn't use in the re-enactment but it appeared they had fired it a few times.

This replica was from North Carolina and I didn't talk to the owner but with one of those who did know a little bit about it. We discussed the differences between the Replica and the Real Deal. Most of this has been presented in one of the first 2 or 3 posts. For example, he said this gun had no brass parts: there should be at least 3. He also said the Spring Safety was NOT part of the original gun. I'm still pondering on that.

 

I actually got to man the crank. I almost talked them into letting me fire a Blank round but there were too many people around to do that.

 

attachicon.gifWmGun_April-2016-B.JPG

 

Fantastic work! There was a battery of Williams Guns deployed at the Battle of Blue Springs, TN (10 October 1863) near present day Mosheim in Greene County, TN. Years ago when I was a reenactor (1988-1998) I participated in this even and one year a replica of a Williams Gun was present and actually took part. It could very well have been the gun pictured. Here is a link about the battle:

 

http://www.mycivilwar.com/battles/631010c.html

 

And a mention of the Williams Guns from the site:

 

Carter probed the Confederate front again around the 7th, skirmished, and withdrew; at 10:00 A.M. on the 10th, he returned in force. From Bull's Gap, Burnside advanced a Union cavalry brigade, then followed with an infantry division. The cavalry covered the field throughout the day while Williams retired east of Blue Springs, deploying his battle line in front of a ridge and positioning a battery of 4 cannon and a battery of Williams rapid-fire guns in the rear.

 

Again, fantastic work! Thanks for the updates.

 

Kevin

Have you ever noticed that people who are brutally honest seem to take more pleasure from the brutality than from the honesty?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great project. Seems there is a lot of work. Could you take some detail pictures in the museum for your project?

 

Well, I finally got my Model displayed in the Morton Musuem here in Collierville. It is a small museum with some local history and a section of one room that details the battle of Collierville on October 11, 1863. As I detail in my previous posts, this Williams Gun was used in the battle.

 

I built a base that has to fit one the display stand that measured 17 X 17 inch. So the space was confined. I have never built a diorama base this large in size or this Scale. I tried the dry brush media and I still can't get the effects that I see from others.

 

The Museum's new Director poses with me.

post-3558-0-71652900-1471030461_thumb.jpg

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Incredible job Darryl. I need your help. I am trying to build a diorama and I am stuck. I am not a model builder so I am a rookie at this. I need someone to help me with the terrain. I need a beach with water for a small boat off loading supplies at a South Pacific Navy Base.

Thanks.

Ronnie (Memphis Military Colectors Club)

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Incredible job Darryl. I need your help. I am trying to build a diorama and I am stuck. I am not a model builder so I am a rookie at this. I need someone to help me with the terrain. I need a beach with water for a small boat off loading supplies at a South Pacific Navy Base.

Thanks.

Ronnie (Memphis Military Colectors Club)

Hi Ronnie

Nice to hear from you.

 

I answered you on Instant Message but I will answer you here so others will read and maybe give you some pointers. I had NEVER built a diorama this large in size or scale. So I was experimenting with my technique.

 

I started with a plywood base and cover it with Gesso. The Gesso is not good at building up the ground very thick so I had to add some pieces of plywood to build up the small mounds(which is hard to see for all the grass). I bought a product labeled "Super Heavy Gesso" which was quite thick. I had to use two(2) bottles of 8 oz size. The Gesso takes time to completely dry and when it does dry its isn't hard but almost spongy.

This extra thick Gesso should allow you to form some steep slopes. However, it will settle down after drying and so you may have to fill in with a 2nd or 3rd application. I've always like Gesso. In my small 1-man display base, I would insert grass tufts while it was still wet. Also you can wet the Gesso with water to smooth it and form it---and clean up.

I used fine sand to give it texture which will work great on your beach. I would let the first application of Gesso dry and add a thin layer and add the sand. Then I would think a few spots of grass but I'm not sure what the beaches were like.

 

Steve---You have always called me Dave or Darryl.

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I just returned home from summer vacation and noticed that you've finished your project. What a fantastic display! A real museum-quality diorama. Thanks for sharing and we are looking forward for your next project!

 

Lars

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  • 3 months later...

I thought it is time for an update. It has been 4 months since I displayed my Williams Gun diorama at the Collierville Morton's Museum. It seems like a year since I finished the model.

The Museum changed the Directors; the new director is the lady in my photo above. My Williams Gun diorama was on display during the month of October when they remember the Battle of Collierville. So I went to the new Director and explained that the previous Director was the one who allowed me to display it and we never discussed when to take down my model. The new Director said everyone loves the model and it isn't taking up much area so she would like to keep it as long as she can and until I need it back. I was excited to hear that and explained that it doesn't fit in my home office or my book shelves. So it is still there.

 

Link to Morton Museum: http://colliervillemuseum.org/

 

Since I finished the model, I gave a talk to the local Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting. I told about the career of Lt. Henry Holt and the Buckner Battery. At the end, I brought out my Williams Gun model which was a hit of the talk. This generated dozens of questions and observations.

The Morton Museum invited me to speak at one of the Luncheon meetings. This is my third time to speak at the Museum on a Civil War subject. The first two times I spoke about the Battle of Collierville and then the next one was on Lt. Henry Holt in October 2015. My subject at the Luncheon talk last October 2016 was the Battles of Moscow and Rossville---towns just down the road. These two battles marked the start and end of General Nathan Forrest's raid in 1864 which was known as Forrest 2nd West Tennessee Raid or aka "Forrest's Cattle Raid". So my talk was not related to my model at all.

 

One other thing. I was invited to serve on the Board of the Friends of the Museum. The Board decides on how to spend the funds collected by the Friend's membership and plan activities for children and the luncheon talks and other events. The museum staff refer to me as their Civil War expert. I accept that label when it relates to the cavalry operations around this area.

 

So my cannon project has been a blast---no pun intended. I took 2 years for me to really get started. Posting in this forum kept me on focus and gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement. Maybe I do critique myself too much. It is not to put myself down but its just I wish I could produce what I "see" in my mind. I'm really proud of the finished product. The only change would be to find Lt. Holt a uniform that is correct for Western theater cavalry. If anyone has a source for 1/6-scale clothing, let me know.

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Congratulations on your success! Please check the link you have posted, seems to be some news site. Thanks again for sharing your fantastic project here!

 

Lars

 

Hmm. Not sure how that happened. And I am not allowed to edit a post more than 1 time.

 

Here is the Link to Morton Museum. It is located in a historic church building. It has a fixed display and interpretive area and an area for rotating displays. The large sanctuary is used for talks and dinners and activities.

 

http://colliervillemuseum.org/

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Haven't been around for a while, but it is great to see this complete. I am an un-reconstructed Federal myself, but this model and gunner are a treat for the eyes.

 

Wonderful work, and wonderful how it has turned out with display and the museum.

 

My hat is off to you, Sir!

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