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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Challenge Entry: 18mm ACW Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Cadets


From AdamC - 

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.