Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Living Legend


Ed Bearss, Chief Historian National  Park Service;
a regular at Antietam.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Crossover Blogging

.
Battery B, 4th US Artillery


Here's an artillery story, start to finish.



Recently, on ebay,  I bought this Hong Kong knock-off of the Swoppet limber, gun, and crew.  Upon arrival buyer's remorse immediately set in.



Although the castings were mirror images of the Britains originals, they were finished in a bizarre fake pewter finish.  What, exactly, might have our Hong Kong friends been thinking?




Oddly, the limber was the only piece not pewterfied (or perhaps, putrefied). Two outriders and the lid to the ammunition chest were missing in this counterfeit cannon convocation.




That omission of the lid was quickly remedied with a visit to my table and band saws. 




The result was a perfect fit.




Now came time to deal with that wacky metallic finish.




The bugler sounded "assembly" and all hands mustered into an oatmeal can.



All concerned were about to understand the phrase "Better living through chemistry."




Always keep those old toothbrushes around.



Stripped of their finish, a remarkable array of colors was revealed.



Keep an eye on Manny, Moe, and Jack here as you'll be seeing more of them.



Everybody got a nice coat of Floquil white primer. 



Our gleesome threesome is ready for painting.



These are the outriders which were missing along with the limber lid.  Fortunately I had acquired this pair earlier in their original and  not-very-impressive Swoppet colors.

Using the hot water treatment. I reshaped them with different arm positions and narrowed their stance for a better seat on the saddle.  Left is before and right is after.




Out came the Testors paint and the sergeant and corporal are transformed.







 I finished everyone in the traditional bright toy soldier finish. 



And here we go, the reclaimed detachment, fully redone and rushing into action:



It's a mighty fast and bumpy ride...



but our steadfast trio hangs on tight as the limber and gun charge forward...



over hill and dale...



The noncoms whip the horses into a lather in hopes of beating the Rebels to the high ground.



It's nip and tuck.


Arriving in the nick of time the detachment commander oversees the unlimbering


The gun is man-handled into place...



carefully sighted,  and loaded with double canister awaiting the order to...




Fire!



The rebel charge is broken.




All in a day's work for Battery B, 4th US Artillery.

Buyer's remorse is gone.



Soldier on!

Mannie

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Illumination

Pictures  > words


The 23rd annual illumination of Antietam National Battlefield; hour-by-hour.














23,110, a sobering reminder of the service and sacrifice that are, sometimes, the price of freedom.



Here's hoping you can see it one day.

Ranger Mannie