Tuesday, 3 March 2015

From AdamC - 18mm ACW Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Cadets (72 Points)

I recently got the movie "Field of Lost Shoes" and I was so impressed it did what any good historic war movie does for any Historic Gamer it inspired me to paint.  The Movie tells the tale of about 300 cadet/students who find them selves thrown into the furnace of the US Civil war.




The movie has a few scenes that seem a bit forced mostly these deal with the elephant in the room that every Civil War movie with Confederates in the protagonist role must face, "the Peculiar Institution" or slavery to give the right name.  Overall I think it faces that issue honestly and does better than some films (Gods and Generals comes to mind) when addressing this aspect of the conflict.


 I was able to find a free image of the exact flag used in the movie and carried by the Cadets at New Market.
I really liked the look of the cadet regiment in the film, gray uniforms (some of the youngest were in brown) with dark blue caps.  I did some searching through my ACW collection to find enough men with spare or no whiskers as I wanted these guys to have as baby faced a look as one can get in 15/18 millimeter.



I did a six stand unit as that is the smallest you can have in long street though at 60 to 80 men per stand this makes the unit a little over large historically. We'll assume the other are veterans attached to stiffen the boys and look after them.




The Confederate Commander Gen John C. Breckinridge wanted to keep the boys out of the fighting but at last had to send them in. Supposedly calling on God's forgiveness as he did. The VMI boys then mounted a charge the broke the Union lines and captured some guns wining the battle of New Market for the Confederacy.  The battle is well portrayed in the movie and the director struck a niece balance between action and story telling and did an excellent job of explaining what was being done by the troops and why with out becoming a documentary, I highly recommend the film.

There are 24 18mm figures so I believe they should be worth 48 points though maybe Curt will give a few extra points for their slightly lagers size.


From Curt:

Wonderful figures Adam!  I like that you took the time to cherry pick the castings to better convey the youth of the Regiment. I have the VMI in 28mm from Redoubt and, like you, really enjoyed doing the research behind the figures. Thanks for the heads up on 'Field of Lost Shoes' - it sounds like a very interesting film. I like that you bring up it grappling with 'That Peculiar Institution' as it's often conveniently glossed over, if not completely distorted, by many apologists. I look forward to tracking it down and watching it.

Nicely done!

16 comments:

  1. Not heard of the film before, but it looks and sounds pretty good, after all its got the Bond that never will be, Jason Isaacs in it! Nice looking unit Adam!

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  2. Nice backstory and I applaud you for going the extra mile in getting the fresh faced youths out of the pile to match. Well done.

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  3. These are great, I am not an ACW fan but feel temped by the film

    Ian

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  4. Like others I shall have to search out that film. Thanks for the heads up about it.

    Always good to see a few more ACW and these do not disappoint. Lovely job.

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  5. Lovely figures Adam. The film sounds interesting, I'll have to track it down.

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  6. Nice work on these Adam :)

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  7. Field of Lost Shoes is a film any War gamer or military history buff will appreciate. Its fairly low budget so don't go in expecting Gettysburg or Glory. That said despite getting a little clunky around the "why are we fighting" issue I really enjoyed it and the battle of New Market is very well done.

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  8. Nice looking unit and background. The film just came out on Netflix on demand recently if you subscribe to that service.

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    1. Ah good to know. I still use their DVD service.

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  9. Well done - very cool back story too.

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  10. Another nice entry today Adam. It seems you are banging them out today.

    I've Netflix and like Sean I saw it come up recently. I'll give it a go as I don't know much about the ACW.

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    1. Its a good film and you will enjoy it I am sure. That said if you really want to learn about the ACW I would recommend starting with Ken Burn documentary The Civil War its a little dated now (1990) but I now of no equivalent when it comes to covering all aspects of this conflict. If you can get it through Amazon Prime, Netflix or your library (I don't know were you are Anne so I don't know if that's a silly suggestion) its a painless way to greatly increase your knowledge of that conflict.

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  11. Very fine unit! Really good brushwork and kudos for going the extra mile to using the more "babyfaced" lads in that scale! ;)
    My knowledge of the ACW is limited and more esoteric; however, I can confirm a small bit of trivia. The state militias mostly wore grey uniforms while 1st army wore blue. This also included the military schools. Most of the National Guard units can trace their lineage back to those State Militias, both North and South. My own unit is headquartered in Ohio and our insignia is the buckeye. We are the descendants of Ohio militias.

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    1. Quite so though there was some variation especially among the militias. In my own area is the Yankee Division (now a brigade I believe) that traces it roots to the colonial militia of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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  12. Apart from seeing great miniatures as these, I love this Challenge because it teaches us so much about history, fantasy interpretations and of the competitors themselves! Well done that man!

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