Musician (Fifer), 1st Virginia Volunteers
Richmond, Virginia 1861
I had seen a similar figure in a very old book I had and had always in the back of my mind wanted to something similar in 1/6.
Using the Ignite Union Arillery Officer for the 18th Mass figure gave me the idea of using some of the pieces from the Ignite French Old Guard Grenadier for some of these unusual ACW types. When I got the Ignote grenadier it was the only one out there, but since then the DML version is out and it is a lot bettir in my book . I was always turned off by the cavalry boots on the Ignite grenadier!
The last piece of the puzzle was when I saw yet another similar image in the recently acquired “Uniforms of the Civil War by Philip Haythornthwaite(Blandford Colour Series). Image 53C provided further inspiration.
The image shows a Drum Major, I decided to go a bit simpler and do a musician.
That way I would not need the fancy chevrons and could use some different trimmings and other “liberties”for the private musician.
The caption in the book, in part, reads as follows:
“Pohlé’s (Sergeant –Major and Drum-Major of the 1st Virginia Volunteers) magnificent uniform, which would hardly have been out of place in Napoleonic France, was reserved for full dress only. The 1st Virginia regimental band consisted of thirteen musicians, plus a Corp of Drums of fourteen boys aged sixteen or over; both were disbanded upon the reorganiztion of the regiment a year after its inception”.
An image of Sgt-Maj. Pohlé is below:
For the figure I used the DID Highlander HS on a DML body and regular DML hands.
The tunic started as a 1st texas tunic from the Sideshow carded set.
I painted the collar and cuffs light blue and then laid out an area in the chest which I also painted light blue. I had removed all the chest buttons from the tunic.
I then laid out using some fancy ribbon(white with a gold thread on each edge)) looking for something that might be used by a musician, somewhat similar to the Sgt-Maj’s uniform. I glued this on with CA .I also painted the 1st Texas trousers black line, light blue. I finished the tunic, onc on the figure by adding BGT buttons after snapping off the eyelets of the buttons and gluing them on the lace with CA.
I then attacked the Ignite Grenadier figure! I stripped the bearskin of all chords and plates, only left the side cockade and the front tassle. The tassles had some red threads so Ipainted the tassle with Brass acrylic paint. I had to undue the rear seam to get this piece on the DID HS, which is very large. I added a wash and repainted the hair to more reddish tone.
There was an odd side tassle on the headgear which I removed, repainted gold only and then placed next to the other tassle in front. If you notice there were two tassles in the Sgt-Maj’s piece. I had a couple of ideas for hiding the grenade logo on the crown of the headgear, but finally decided on a styrene disk with a simple cross of the same lace used on the uniform.
I removed the shouler fancy boards with tassles from the Ignite tunic and painted with acrylic Brass. Left these on the side and repainted several times. I then painted with Gold enamel paint and let dry thoroughly. Everytime I painted them I moulded the tassles and trimmed them to make them look as sharp as possible. I added some of the same lace used on the chest, to the top of the cuffs. Made a sash with smaller tassles in an off-white color. On top of the sash I used a Rio Rondo belt and regular Sideshow buckle.
I had researhed ACW instruments and decided my best bet was a fifer as making a fife was easiest of all the instruments used in regimentl bands at the time. Looked for dimensions and began to think how to build it. Them I realized that the shape was similar to the handles of paint brushes! So I looked for an old small brush and converted it to the fife. Sanded it down, trimmed to size, then I made some cuts to represent the edge of he metal end pieces. Then drilled the “blow” hole and the smaller “pitch” holes. Painted it all black, then painted the parts representing the metal ends in a dark metalic color and drybrushed with chrome silver . The area representing the wood I rubbed with my fingers until it got somewhat shinny. The little fife looks pretty good!
Used a pair of Ignite ACW shoes.
So everyone sing along with the band:
“Then here's to our Confederacy, strong are we and brave,
Like patriots of old we'll fight our heritage to save;
And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer,
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.”