Civil War Dioramas, Pamplin Park Museum, VA

Civil War Diorama

Civil War Diorama created for Pamplin Historical Park by Peter Twist & Sheppard Paine

Peter was asked, in conjunction with Shepherd Paine, to create a series of the American Civil War dioramas for the Pamplin Historical Park.  However, the client insisted that all the scenes should be created in sepia tones since they wanted the single army to represent either side in the war.Forgetting that the figures used in this scene are a mere 1:72 scale (25mm or roughly half-an-inch in height), the final project is impressive, both in scale (pun intended) and impression of the scene. You can almost feel as if you’re on a civil war battlefield since each individual figure actually has a stance that “says” something…

“I’m tired…”

“I’m hungry…”

“Is it over yet?…”

“Are we home yet?…”

Even something as simple as going around a puddle formed in one of the battlefield craters becomes a chore that is easily discerned on the way the army moves around the water.

Civil War “Smoke and Mirrors”?

In order to complete this work to the detail required and the time frame allotted, Peter and Sheppard decided to split the work… Sheppard handled the setting and Peter the figures.

If you examine the close-up shots carefully, you’ll note that each individual figure has a different face, expression, clothing, pose, etc. Peter had to hand sculpt each one of the hundreds of characters in the dioramas, but that’s not all…

If you pay particular attention to the image of the “Field Hospital” you may be able to see the surface mirrored glass that splits the scene into two, right down the middle of the houses, thereby giving it further scale, albeit at of the foreground features and characters.

Using this clever technique, Peter and Sheppard were able to create the illusion of a much larger scene in a restricted space.

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