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my new figure ACW

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by mister greg, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Jason W. Active Member

    Not to re-hash over what Gary has said, but the primary and sole "job" of the color bearer was to carry the flag. The color guards (usually 8 to 10 NCO's)function/duty was to protect the flag if in danger....Thats it!

    Self preservation was not a requisite for being a color bearer. These men were willing to die for the honor of carrying the flag....And many did. Gary's description of Ben Crippen at Gettyburg is a perfect example. Shaking his fist at approaching Confederates...Not blasting away with a revolver like some TV cowboy. Sounds pretty foolish to people today but these people REALLY believed in protecting this "rag" as if it were a living thing....Time to stop ranting. Take it for what it's worth.
  2. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member


    Some good information here. I see what you are saying, it makes sense (except for your pistol waving example, as a fist is universal for come and get it) and Im sure you got reference to show that most of the color bearers didnt pack iron, I didnt argue that point. All Im saying is that it could have happened and it more then likely did occur sometime during the years of the war.

    Although I do think its pretty absurd to call a pistol which is correct for the time and which would have been very easily attainable on a color bearer's belt; "Fantasy History". But hey, each to ones own, it's what makes this place interesting!
  3. Blind Pew A Fixture

    Bottom line is...... I love this figure!

    The pose is great. Is it not possible he's posing for a photograph and has aquired a pistol for this purpose? The soldiers seemed very keen to brandish weapons in those period photos.

    Again, as always I bow to the superior knowledge of others.
  4. garyjd Well-Known Member


    Well, it happened at least once during the war. One would have to pour over what would have to be hundreds if not thousands of letters, diaries, regimental histories etc in order see how common/uncommon it was.~Gary

    Source: Echoes of Battle, The Struggle for Chattanooga
    Authors: Richard A Baumgartner / Larry M. Strayer
    Published By: Blue Acorn Press, 1996
    Page 346

    'His aim was a little to high'

    Color Sergeant George L. Banks
    15th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

    "At Mission Ridge, when we first started in the charge, the Twenty-sixth Ohio was in our front but soon gave way, the Fifteenth taking their place. I was slightly wounded in the left thumb at the bottom of the Ridge. when the regiment reached the road well up the Ridge it was a perfect hail storm of bullets, and we went down on our faces in the road. It seemed for a moment as though we would stay there, when in my rear I heard someone say,"Men, for God's sake,forward!"

    Looking around, I saw Major (Frank) White standing in that storm of bullets. I immediately got on my feet, raised the flag and started forward, calling on the boys to follow their flag. All company formation was broken, the boys from every company rallying 'round the flag. We had gone but a short distance when I was struck by a small ball, about one inch below the heart. It passed through a novel I had been reading which I thrust inside my blouse when called into line, also two letters, striking the rib but not having force enough to break through. It followed the rib to the right and lodged over the pit of my stomach. I had the ball cut out four days later.

    I was knocked down and was senseless for a moment. While I was lying on the ground, four comrades raised the flag and were shot down-two killed and two wounded. When I got on my feet I saw the flag fall but a short distance up the hill. I found I was not disabled and reached the flag, raised it again, and with the boys rallying around me, we went on. When but a short distance from the works on the creast of the Ridge, we saw the Johnnies' guns being lowered over the works at us. We dropped to the ground and the volley passed over our heads without injury, and before they could reload we were on the works and killed or captured nearly all in our immediate front.

    When I planted our flag on the works, the flag of the 13th Louisiana was flying on the works a few feet to my right. I fired six shots from my revolver over the works and dropped my hand on the log. A noise caused me to look down, and there was a Johnny leveling his gun at me. I turned my head, intending to jump off, but he was too quick for me. His aim was a little to high, his ball hitting me on the right side, just back of the crown of my head,plowing a furrow in my skull and the holes in my scalp being two or three inches apart. Second Lieutenant Thomas Graham seized my flag as I fell off the works backward, and carried it over the works. As soon as I was able to walk I was ordered to the rear by Major White, commanding the regiment, and I obeyed orders very willingly. The flag was carried through the balance of the foght by Corporal Page."
  5. garyjd Well-Known Member

    I understand the meaning of the shaking fist. I just thought it a good example to show that all the guy had to defend himself was his fist(s).

    What I meant when I say "fantasy history" is when a "scenario" of sorts is built around a figure, or a certain uniform or piece of equipment is way out of place for what is depicted . Saying that a person aquired a pistol on the battlefield is not so far fetched. I would however call a figure of Chamberlain charging down Little Round Top with two pistols blazing away "fantasy history". Hopefully this makes a little more sense.~Gary
  6. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hola Gary,

    I agree that this case would be a very minor thing, while the example that you are talking about with Chambelain be a bit more excessive and unreasonable. I guess the way I look at it if its reasonable and feasable that it happened, and it adds to the figure, go for it!

    Thats a neat story you dug up, some really brave men formed this country's history. Thanks for sharing.
  7. lbfactory Well-Known Member

    Salut greg Belle bete mais tu le sais dejà.

    Hi GARY nice to hear that you have many informations about ACW
    I have planed to make a 1/16 ACW bust for the Artist Preservation Group, and it will be good if you could help me for this one.
  8. Dani A. New Member


    The problem, mainly, is that often those kind of "it could have happened" bits (which, after all, could even have, in some instances) are produced as if carrying the same weight than, and to be perfectly adequate to substitute, any real attempt at research. And, if taken too far, result in the "fantasy history" Gary mentions, or in "pseudohistory" concepts.

    For me, the sidearm discussion has very much obscured the probably more important point about the author, Mister Greg, having made up the uniform jacket details, no doubt because of scarce references or misinterpretation of them. Now that it has been raised, this question could still be adressed and corrected, specially if the figure is to be released as a commercial kit.


  9. Jeff Active Member

    Gary you do seem to be the expert on this period but I have seen many photos of both sides that have non issue clothing. I know for a fact that my grandfather bought his own uniform form a private tailor. So you do sometimes see a sack coat that is not the norm . Not all figures can be done from period photos. They are for sure a good place to start. But it may be that we have a photo of a sack coat worn by a guy during the war that we just like the look of so we use it.

    I do not really see anything wrong with doing a figure like this. In a battle where more then one man might carry the color, is it really impossible to believe that a man with a side are could become the man who carries the flag at some point. In the story you posted at lest 5 men died or were shot down taking the flag forward.
  10. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Laurent, I would be happy to do what I can.~Gary
  11. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Jeff, Private purchase coats or jackets were worn during the war. There are a large number of photographs that show this. It would be great to have if not an entire date, at least the year the image was made. That could help in establishing if there was a time when such items were more common. I have seen more period photographs showing private purchase items being worn by officers more than by enlisted men, especially with Federal troops. Though it would not be out of place to show a Confederate in a sack coat it's does not appear to show up as commonly as a shell jacket or frock coat. The main thing with the figure's coat is that the garment in my opinion does not have that period sack coat look. As for a colorbearer with a sidearm, I myself would only do one that I could find documentation on. It really comes down to what you prefer or what looks "cool", whatever your reasons may be. A sidearm may seem very logical when thinking about it with a 21st century mind. I really cannot say it any better than Jason Whitman said in his posting. On July 1 at the Battle of Gettysburg 13 bearers were shot down carrying the flag of the 26th North Carolina. These flags were of such importance that man after man would go down carrying them, if only for a few seconds. I hope Greg does not feel discouraged by all the commentary that has gone back and forth. The figure and clothing are well sculpted despite those items I have commented on. It's refreshing to see a thread such as this grow without anyone getting rattled or bent out of shape. They can only end up as a great source of learning.~Gary

    Here are a few examples. Though I do not like to use pictures of reproduction garments I'll make an exception as it's well done and at the very least gives the viewer an idea of the overall look of a sack coat. Mind you they did come in different styles along with varying button configurations.

    The second photo shows a group of scouts from the Army of the Potomac. Though Federals, they are wearing civilian clothes. Besides, it's one of my favorite images. This link is to a larger version of the image.


    This link will take you to an article regarding a Confederate sack coat found on the Gettysburg battlefield.


    Attached Files:

  12. Dani A. New Member

    Hi Greg,

    Initially you said...

    "for the jacket, it's my imagination between jacket and Shell jacket because I think that many soldiers of the south got dressed with clothing which they found".

    Which I have interpreted as that you made up a jacket more or less looking like something that was used, but with no direct reference to any source - and which happens not to coincide with the known patterns.

    Now you say...

    "So you do sometimes see a sack coat that is not the norm . Not all figures can be done from period photos. They are for sure a good place to start. But it may be that we have a photo of a sack coat worn by a guy during the war that we just like the look of so we use it."

    Which seem to imply you actually based your jacket on some period image, showing an unusual pattern you liked. This is very different to the above.

    I am confused about what did you actually do. If you have a period image of that kind of jacket, please add to our knowledge and explain it, mention your source, etc.


  13. Dani A. New Member


    Does the reenactor photo come from some web? Could you mention the address?

  14. garyjd Well-Known Member



    Sure no problem. I believe the gentleman wearing the coat is also it's tailor. Though I would much rather be able to look at the real thing or even photographs, there are some knowledgable and talented folks that make outstanding reproductions. A good deal of them have had the good fortune of photographing and measuring items in collections belonging to Gettysburg Military Park to Don Troiani to name a few.~Gary

  15. Jeff Active Member

    Dani ,

    I did not sculpt the figure just posted my opinion of the things that Gary seemed to have a problem with. If you look through a book like "Echoes of Glory" you see just how many types of coats were worn by the Union. The book that deals with the Confederate troops shows even more types then we see in the Union book.

    That is the type of thing I am talking about.
  16. garyjd Well-Known Member

    My take on this is that Greg based his coat/jacket on those of the period be it correct or not. Jeff is saying that there were a variety of coats/jackets worn during the war and a sack coat could be an acceptable garment. I'm thinking that all of us that have posted are pretty much in agreement with one another, although we may have approached it from slightly different points of view. So I hope no one feels I've forced my views down their throats. It's a great thread I would hate to see ruined.~Gary
  17. Dani A. New Member


    It is my fault - I actually misread "Greg" for "Jeff"; hence I thought Greg was offering a new explanation, when it was a different person's contribution. Please accept my apologies both of you.

    This point made clear, there's no need to abound in the matter, because Greg already explained he used his imagination for the jacket details, believing such a pattern ("between jacket and shell jacket" as he describes it) was conceivable.

    As Gary has said, it is reduced to different POV's; to a personal question of what does one consider acceptable. Some would prefer to base out-of-the-norm examples on the actual thing, and some would be happy with the assumption that an undocumented variety could still have existed.



  18. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    No hard feelings on this end!

    I agree that assumptions could be in "dangerous" territory if done without rhime or reason and outside of a reasonable scope. In this case, it is only an extremely minor assumption that for example he would be carrying a gun, and its a bit trivial to be honest. But I feel that one needs to think outside the box sometimes and use common sense to spice up a figure so we have some variety to choose from.
  19. Dani A. New Member

    Hi Anders,

    You have raised an interesting point. The greater part of figures are based on a few readily available references, probably those based on Osprey plates clearly to the forefront. This may result in many similar-looking, or even identically clad, figures. The more enterprising modeller may want to do something different.

    On my experience, delving on references is a very enjoyable way of acquiring knowledge that may be put to use to "spice up" a figure, too. And I am not just speaking of uniformology books; I mean also other historical works, specially those including contemporary illustrations or accounts. Becoming familiar with a given subject will provide you with plenty of fresh ideas - and will reduce or eliminate the need to do assumptions. Even if you do, and make educated guesses, and/or apply some judicious artistic license, you will be in much firmer ground.

    Please do not misundertand me: this does not mean creativity has no place. To the contrary, the above is a boost for creativity in the true sense of the word.

  20. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Sorry to come to this thread late, but like Gary, I assumed that this fella wasa Union color bearer from the coat/jacket and the kepi/forage cap (which I realize could be painted either grey/butternut or blue). Some CS troops were issued this cut of coat (i.e. North Carolina), but he still looks like a Federal to me. Either way, if this is another future DESKit release from Greg, it is on my short list. The sidearm isn't such an issue for me.

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