Posts Tagged With: diorama

The long gone Dobbin House diorama at Gettysburg


Courtesy of Don Wiles, Carlisle’s Michael J, and the good folks at, I present a few photographs of the old Civil War diorama that once graced the Dobbin House on the south side of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Pictured is a scene of Pickett’s Charge as Rebels slam into the Union II Corps line. Figures are 54mm from various makers.

The diorama was in its heyday during the 1960s when it was a relatively popular attraction. Curvin Heiss was the building’s owner during that time frame, and it housed a museum and gift shop. I remember riding by the Dobbin House during my first visit to Gettysburg in 1968, seeing the large banner hanging from the second story advertising the diorama, and wishing we had the time to stop and see it (we were on a tight schedule, but my Dad bought me a nice box of 54mm Britains “Eyes Right” ACW figures so I could play toy soldiers on the ride to Hershey).

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Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863, Part 2


A model passenger train sits at the Gettysburg Depot in this photograph by Larry Reber from of the Union Drummer Boy’s HO scale diorama of the town of Gettysburg on June 30, 1863. The actual last train from Gettysburg that afternoon carried several government officials to safety, as well as those citizens who wished to leave the area to avoid having to stay in their homes during the impending combat. Many of Gettysburg’s residents had already fled, although more than a thousand are estimated to have been present during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-4.

Background post: Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863

As mentioned in the previous post, this classic diorama dates from the early 1960s from the Charley Weaver Museum and is still be best 3D rendition of Gettysburg as it may have looked during the Civil War. However, the diorama is rife with factual errors, including the above scene. The train station was not painted a reddish color; see my previous post on the model diorama of the 1863 Gettysburg train station. The model uses a stock locomotive; it is not of the same make and model as what the actual railroad used in 1863, and it is painted in the livery of the Baltimore & Ohio RR instead of the Gettysburg Railroad. Still, for all of its faults, the diorama is well worth a look the next time you are in Gettysburg. Stop by the Union Drummer Boy on Baltimore Street.

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Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863


My friend Larry Reber of was kind enough to send me a series of recent photographs he took of the old diorama of downtown Gettysburg as depicted on June 30, 1863, as Brig. Gen. John Buford leads his cavalry into the town square. They are headed west of town to the ridges near Marsh Creek, where videttes and patrols will keep an eye out for Confederates advancing from the west. Additional troopers will fan out north of town, watching for Ewell’s Corps coming down from Carlisle.

The diorama originally was part of the old Charley Weaver Museum on Cemetery Hill, which went under new ownership after “Weaver” died (his real name was Cliff Arquette). The diorama is now in the Union Drummer Boy relics shop on Baltimore Street. Over the next few days, I will post nearly two dozen shots of this interesting diorama. While not exactly historically accurate, it does give a good useful representation of the Gettysburg that John Buford would have seen.

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Some random photos of my 15mm games


A lonely Confederate supply wagon traverses the back roads of York County, Pennsylvania, during the Gettysburg Campaign. From a 15mm Civil War diorama created by Scott Mingus. This county was criss-crosssed by foragers from three separate Confederate operations in June 1863 — Albert Jenkins’ cavalry in northwestern York on June 26-28, then Jubal Early’s powerful division in central York County on June 27-30, and finally, on June 30-July1, by J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry en route to Carlisle in the western, central and northwestern parts of the county.

For more random photos and my ramblings, click on the link…

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Model diorama of 1863 Gettysburg train station


Photograph from the Gettysburg Daily. To read the complete post of this Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, please follow this link.

The old Gettysburg Railroad depot on Carlisle Street in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was restored a few years ago and now is a free museum and visitors center open to the public. Inside are several dsiplay cases with artifacts and interpretive markers, as well as a couple very nicely done models / dioramas of what the train station looked like in 1863. The diorama shown above is the centerpiece. The open area to the left of the station was filled with temporary hospital tents from July 7 through July 22 as a minimum of two trains of patients left each day  (9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) for Hanover Junction and then to Baltimore, New York City, Harrisburg, or here to my hometown, York, Pennsylvania.

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These guys are tiny! 10mm ACW gaming

10mm Civil War miniature wargaming figures and terrain from a game held at Rock Con 2008. The rules were A Terrible Discord by Doyle Collins. Photos by Randy Miller of ACME Terrain. For more photos of this scenario, “Richmond or Bust,” please click here.

Have you ever tried 10mm wargaming? It packs more figures, terrain, and excitement into a smaller space, making the scale ideal for kitchen table gaming or smaller venues than 25mm or even 15mm. The scale can readily be used for larger convention games as well.

I gave 10mm a shot a few years ago when I purchased some packs of 10mm Rebellion figures from the good folks at GHQ, who made the Terrain Maker hexes I was finishing and using at the time. I also picked up a bunch of 10mm accessories and houses / buildings and planned to switch from 15mm to 10mm (keep in mind that I had already scaled down from 20mm K+L figures to 15s, so this would have been my second dip into the scale downsizing pool).

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More photos from Dennis Morris

Bigelow’s Battery in the chaos near the Peach Orchard during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Zook’s Brigade engages Kershaw’s South Carolinians in the background.

I know dioramist and Gettysburg buff Dennis Morris from a message board we both have frequented in the past,, which is among the oldest of these cyberspace Civil War communities. Dennis was kind enough to send me a few photos to be used in the upcoming Brother Against Brother gaming scenario book, Brothers Divided, that Ivor Janci and I are co-authoring.

I had previously shared some of his work with Charge! blog readers in an earlier post. Here are a few more shots of Dennis’s very impressive Gettysburg diorama, which has become his labor of love.

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Gettysburg diorama on display in Tampa, Florida

Impressive Gettysburg diorama at Tampa’s Nuances Galleries

Channel 10 TV (WTSB, has a recent article and photo posted on their website about a Civil War display in a local art gallery, Nuances Galleries. For several of the past nine years, gallery owner Robert Rowan has exhibited hand-built  dioramas as a way of teaching kids about history in a visual setting.

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Custom-made figures by Mannie Gentile

The 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry on the dusty road en route to an unknown fate at the next battle. The men and boys are confident, knowing that they are in the capable hands of their beloved Colonel Gentile, who has been carefully preparing them for action.

Antietam Park Ranger Mannie Gentile is a long-time fan of toy soldiers, a passion we share. He lived for many years in Michigan, where I am sure he had plenty of cold winter nights to produce and paint his own customized 54mm ACW toy soldiers.

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Art prints from Dennis Morris’s Gettysburg Civil War diorama

Miniaturist Dennis Morris has taken a series of photographs of his excellent Gettysburg HO scale diorama and made them available as art prints. They are for sale at American Historical Art in downtown Gettysburg (34 York Street, just east of the town square), as well as over the Internet directly from Dennis. They cover the southern portion of the second day’s fighting at Gettysburg and depict the miniatures in action, set against a photographic background of the actual battlefield. Some of these are really nice. Fans of the Irish Brigade will want to have a look at Dennis’s work, as well as South Carolinians who follow Kershaw’s Palmetto brigade.

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