Berdan’s Sharpshooters

50cmx40cm (20”x16”)

Those who follow my blog will know of my liking for the famous 95th Rifles of the Napoleonic period, so when I first found out about Berdan’s Sharpshooters I was very interested in them, but I didn’t really ever think of making a diorama about them.  However that all changed when Strelets released their recent series of ACW figures that included a skirmishing set of Confederate soldiers.  On seeing them reviewed on the PSR, I thought, wow, I could use these boys as Berdan’s boys!

After I painted them up I added some figures from the Firing set to bulk out the Union side as well as some of the Strelets Union Cavalry skirmishing, just to mix things up a little. At this point I should also point out that I have done a little show of horse handlers that a lot of us feel have been ignored in the Cavalry set so far and I’m thinking Marvin, that fine painter of horses, will be impressed with that (sorry mate I could only fit in two horses  in the end but started with four).

This diorama is probably the quickest I have done so far, the reason being that I had a clear vision from the start of what it was going to look like; the ridge with the Berdan guys about to spring an ambush from amongst the fir trees, and the troops marching (all Strelets figures).

One problem I have is with trees. I have tried many of the model ones produced but have never been really happy with them, so again I have taken the easy way out and used Dave’s (IMP) method of making fir trees which I feel give a more natural look.  Thanks Dave, I’ve made quite a few now!

Well not many new changes from the norm apart from the use of plaster cloth wrapped over blocks of Styrofoam which worked well for the hilly landscape and saved on the expense of using lots of foam board to build up the ridge. I suppose the smaller size made it easier too having only 90 figures to position.

 

23 thoughts on “Berdan’s Sharpshooters

    1. patmcf

      Thanks mate ,its funny you said that as I have toyed with the idea of doing a two stage show to show the out come but to be able to mimic the base scenery would be a nightmare but I’m sure with time I could do it on a simpler base ,who knows mate when I retire and have more time it might eventuate .But a the moment I’m still working on the third extension on the castle!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. patmcf

      Thanks mate ,I’m an old guy and up till our trip to the UK last year to study the hedges for the ECW dio I had a very basic old phone ,one they say was suitable for children up to the age of nine ,well fortunately It died and got left in Edinburgh. Well the family said its time to get something modern so they gave me a spanking new beaut one and it is with this that I take the photos( They just told me it’s called an I-phone ),I did use the wife’s camera previously but this little unit is a lot easier to get in close without dislodging anything.

      Like

      1. lordcommandereloth

        Well it sounds like you have a better phone than mine now! Its doing a good job, the colours look great and consistent, on mine white goes from bright white to smokers front room sealing yellow it the same few photos.
        Also the angels you have chosen are great really show off all the bits, must be hard on such a big piece.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Azazel

    Just wow, Pat. This is an incredibly imrpessive piece, and really tells a story in its layout and compositon, aside from the incredible number of models and the fantastic layout. Where do you manage to store all of these huge pieces?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. patmcf

      Thanks mate it’s one I’ve been wanting to do fro some time and had the image of the way I wanted it to turn out and so it was pretty easy .I have been waiting for that question for some time mate ! the answer is in a large racking system the girls gave me for Christmas 2017 along with the be second largest bedroom in the house where I do my painting during the winter .I’m fortunate enough to also have a double car garage where I have set up a section to do the actual dioramas .Marvin was kind enough to show us his work station so I was thinking of showing mine in the future just so our friends overseas can see how some of us take up so much room in this big country !!

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  2. theimperfectmodeller

    Great work Pat, not that I would have expected anything less from you! As always I love the detail and you have a great way with scenics and composition which I really do admire. Great diorama which appropriately conveys a story line. Excellent figures to boot which always helps. Already looking forward to your next creation even though I know how long they take to do. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. patmcf

      Thanks Dave I’m glad you like it ,probably the easiest I’ve done ,lucky we had a long winter so I could paint plenty of figures for back up as the big show that was supposed start the season died ,the 200 odd guys for the 1812 dio haven’t got a Guernsey at the moment ,more on that later.
      Your trees method saved the day again,I’m hopeless on European ones and avoid them if I can HAHA !
      It’s funny mate but the figure painting takes the longest time ,a base takes about three hours and banging the figures is pretty easy and depending on the number it’s anywhere between two to three hours. It is so easy when they are pinned as you just put a dab of superglue on the pin and stick them all in,(foam board is so good ) I find its a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle they all seem to fall into place .A lot of people would not realize that the ones you do take far more thought and effort to complete than any of my stuff,oh except building that bloody castle !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marvin

    Marvin is indeed very impressed with the horse handler! Actually, I am impressed with the whole thing. A diorama of this scale and skill is well outside my ‘skill set’, so it’s amazing to see it come to fruition. There are so many clever little narratives around the whole scene. I can see why Berdan’s sharpshooters would appeal to devotee of the 95th. I like to do that too, see an unusual regiment in a set primarily intended to be something else.

    And seeing your Union cavalry has now seriously made me think about tackling them some time…

    Super work, as always Pat and a joy to behold!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. patmcf

      Thanks mate it certainly helps having a shed as a second area to make up the actual diorama especially when they are large.I recon you will like Strelets Union cavalry they are similar the Imex ones but slightly larger .well it’s back to the shed now for something completely different .

      Liked by 2 people

    1. patmcf

      Thanks John I must say it is a lot easier when I have the mental picture of what I wont to achieve in my head that has come to me as I have been looking into the subject ,this one was easy as there are a lot of images on the Google regarding these guys and so I was able to form a pretty good image of what I wanted to achieve .
      I will post something soon on when it all goes Pearshape and dies out as has happened with the 1812 show that was supposed to open the spring carnival !!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wudugast

    Fantastic! Once again you’ve really captured the environment in which the scene is taking place, it looks like a living landscape that the soldiers are interacting with, rather than simply a stage for them to be presented on. On top of that the way each model relates to those around it breathes life into the whole piece – every time I look at it I spot other little details, little stories taking place within the larger event. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. patmcf

      I’m really glad you like this one ,thanks ,I find if I have the idea set out early in my mind it’s a turns out much better in the end as in the case of this one .As I have said before using IMP’s trees 🌲 makes it a lot more realistic,I have a lot of trouble doing European ones .

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pete S/ SP

    That is really something- the composition and narrative that follows from it is great.

    The elevation is good- love the old school techniques there.

    The milling about, ambushed troops really look good too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. patmcf

      Thanks Pete ,well put “old school techniques”I like that ,so true I might borrow that .I had a bit of a dilemma so this one was put through instead luckily I had the guys painted ,but more on that later .

      Liked by 1 person

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