Gettysburg Monument Building

Besides the massive battle in July, 1863 between the Union and Confederate forces at Gettysburg, that location has been used for a number of major historical events since that time.  In 1888, 1913, and 1938 Civil War soldiers attended reunions at the battlefield.  In 1917 the US Army opened Camp Colt and the Tank Training Center right on the battlefield.  In 1922 thousands of US Marines marched from Quantico, Virginia to Gettysburg and back again as part of annual maneuvers.  In World War Two German POWs were held there until they were sent home after the war.  In 1950 General Eisenhower purchased 189 acres at Gettysburg for his retirement home. He had been there before as the commander of Camp Colt!

So besides wargaming the American Civil War battle, I thought it might be fun to replicate some of the post war activities of Gettysburg.  I found there are over 1,300 battlefield markers and monuments there commemorating the events of the famous battle.  So I decided to try and build some monuments that are similar to the ones at Gettysburg.  I also wanted to avoid spending much money on the project so I am using materials already on hand.

I had a number of left over small wooden blocks that I got at a craft store to use for another project.  I also had scraps of wood, and pressed board in my parts box.  Some of these scraps were just the right size and shape, but even more had to be cut down or glued together.

 This little wooden block has been glued to a bit of wood scrap.  Elmer's Carpenters Wood Glue works just fine.  It is stickier and thicker than regular white Elmer's glue.

I primer painted these bits of wood using gray Rust-Oleum primer and some green camouflage paint also.

This larger base had to be made from seven tiny bits of pressed board!  Measure, cut, glue, sand, trim.  It took a while but I had enough bits in the spares box to make all the bases I wanted.   I asked for donations of "surplus" 28mm size American Civil War figures from people on The Miniatures Page.  Several people sent me figures, including a few that were nicely painted.   Thanks TMP guys for helping!

Since statues are seldom painted I plunged the figures into the paint remover and cleaned them up afterwards.  This Union drummer had been primered in black and some of it failed to come off in the paint remover.  I left it on and then coated it with a dull coat spray.  I think it looks nicely weathered.

I took a bit of scrap plastic and glued it on the base as a bronze plaque.  I painted the base using Aqueous Hobby Color #302 USAF FS 34092 acrylic paint by Gunze Sangyo.  With a pointy toothpick I put lines of white and black craft paints by Apple Barrel over the green.  I then took an old paint brush and dipped it into some clean water and while the black and white paints were still wet I brushed them around to create a marble effect.

The figure was glued onto the base using Goo; a brand of rubber contact cement.  I find it works well when gluing two different material types together.  The whole project comprises over 36 monuments with and without figures.  The figures include 1/72nd scale, 28mm, and a few 1/48th scale and 54mm size figures too.  Apart from a few ACW figures that were donated to the project, nearly everything from bases to paint was already on hand.  My goal was to do this project without spending any money.  This is the first of the monuments and it turned out better than I expected.  I hope to post more photos of these, perhaps next week as they are completed.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

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