Donnerstag, 22. Oktober 2015

Celle 2015 - Building a diorama (Der Aufbau eines Dioramas)

Der nachfolgende Artikel wurde von mir auf Anfrage eines Freundes verfasst, der ihn gerne ein paar britischen Interessenten zukommen lassen wollte.
Ich hab mich jetzt dazu entschieden meine Ausführungen mit den Bildern in diesem BLOG zu posten.
Der Bericht ist für meine Mitstreiter, die an diesem Aufbau beteiligt waren:
Er ist für Dirk, Frank, Heiko, Jens, Johannes, Klaus, Vasa und mich.
Er ist für Heiko S., Hendrik und Dustin, die beim Abbau ohne zu murren eingesprungen sind, weil zwei Mann von uns ausfielen.
Er ist auch gedacht für die mehr als 12.000 Besucher, die die Ausstellung besucht haben, die ja mittlerweile beendet ist.
Er ist gedacht für Herrn Steinau und Herrn Tänzer, die diese Ausstellung initiiert und uns den Auftrag für das Großdiorama erteilt haben. Vielen Dank an dieser Stelle.
Er ist gedacht für die, die leider aus beruflichen oder privaten Gründen den Weg nach Celle nicht finden konnten, und tatsächlich verhindert waren.
Er ist auch für die unter Euch gedacht, die gar nichts davon wussten, sich gar nicht so für die Napoleonik interessieren oder den Termin einfach vergessen haben.
Er ist eigentlich nicht für die leider oftmals so typische Sammlerklientel der „Nicht-in-die-Pötte-Kommer“ gedacht, die jetzt wieder heimlich mitlesen und leider wieder einmal die Chance verpasst haben, eine richtig gute Ausstellung – und damit meine ich die komplette Ausstellung, nicht nur das Diorama - zu besuchen:
Ihr habt mein Mitleid. Jetzt ehrlich.
Ist halt wie schlechte Sexfilmchen gucken.
Etwas selbst tun, aktiv werden, ist immer besser, als heimlich durchs Fotoschlüsselloch zu spannen.
Bedient Euch ruhig der Fotos. Schaut sie Euch an. Verhindern kann ich es eh nicht.
Die Beteiligten und Besucher können bestätigen, dass nichts über das persönliche Erleben geht.
Ach; noch als Ergänzung für die Zuspätkommer.
Da mache ich jetzt einmal Werbung in fremder Sache.
Vielleicht schafft Ihr es ja im nächsten Jahr zur Ausstellung nach Wesel. Da könnte man ja jetzt schon mal mit der Planung anfangen.
Zeit ist ja genug bis dahin.
Arndt und Frank würden sich sicher, wie eigentlich jeder, der ein Museum betreibt oder in einem solchen ausstellt, über Besucher freuen.
Vive L’Empereur

Der Bericht wird sich in drei Teile gliedern. Den Aufbau, die Ausstellung als solche, und den Abbau.
Wie gesagt. Der erste Text ist in Englisch. Aber Bilder sagen ja eh mehr als tausend Worte.
Die beiden anderen Teile werde ich wie gewohnt in Deutsch abfassen.
Hier jetzt der Bericht:


Once there was a dream. Once there was a museum. Once there was a man and his brothers in mind.

The Dream:

To build a diorama showing the main stages of the battle of Waterloo.
A really big diorama, with thousands of wargaming figures in 28 mm.

The Museum:
The Bomann Museum in Celle, Germany.



Today a museum with a regional and more cultural history account.
But traditonally the place where in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century the hannoverian military was praised: In the museum you can find the “Ehrenhalle der hannoverschen Armee” (hall of honor of the hannoverian army).
In this room, built at the beginning of the 20th century, you can feel the spirit  of the personalunion between the Kings of England and the elector (king) of hannover, the spirit of the napoleonic wars and especially of the hannoverian army.









Here Norbert Steinau, specialist of hannoverian regional and military history, and Michael-Andreas Tänzer (Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte – Study group hannoverian military history), organised a famous exhibition: Waterloo 1815 – 2015
Can there be a better place in Germany to celebrate the 200 anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo?
There can’t be a better place.
Surely: There is a great exhibition in the bavarian Army Museum Ingolstadt. But here the focus is on Napoleon and bavaria.
The planned Diorama in the Preußen Museum Wesel is cancelled and postponed to 2016, because of the restauration of the whole museum in Wesel.
But in Celle you find the historical background and a fantastic selection of uniforms, weapons and archivalia of the hannoverian army.
And my dear reader, please bear in your mind that the “british” army of Waterloo consisted of 17% Hannoverians and 10% KGL troops. A quarter of the whole allied army. Each fourth soldier was from the kingdom of hannover. And the king and elector of Hannover was King George III. himself.

The man …:

Jens Najewitz owner and founder of Najewitz Modellbau. A specialist in creating mass dioramas concerning the napoleonic period.
First Diorama in
1998: Sommerschenburg – former castle of Count Gneisenau, Blüchers Chief of Staff in the Waterloo campaign. Subject: Waterloo



2000: Hamburg Museum – 42.325 figures in 20 mm scale. Entry in the Guiness Book of Records.
Subject: Waterloo



2001: Museum in Brunswick (Landesmuseum Braunschweig). 30.000 figures in 20 mm. Subject: Waterloo and Quatre Bras.



2003: Bomann Museum Celle. Also 30.000 figures in 20 mm. Subject: Waterloo



2015: Bomann Museum Celle. Today. 15.000 figures in 28 mm. Subject: Hot tip?

… and his brothers in mind:

Andreas, Dirk, Frank, Heiko, Johannes, Klaus, Vasa.
The Glorious Seven. ;-))



Fellows of Jens since years. Hobby historians, wargamers, model makers, craftsmen or in other words

“the scum of the earth” coming to the roll call of their leader and we all make the dream become true.

The construction of a diorama.

We arrived in Celle on the 14th of May, in Germany in 2015 a church festival and public holiday.
First we had to unload our truck. 70 meters of a special felt matt, painted in earth shades and covered with model gras. A work that Jens finished in the weeks before ... home alone. 30 floor matts. 60m² of MDF panels, allmost 80 special iron table legs. Styrofoam plates, battens and frames, diverse wooden slats, screws, nails, acrylic caulk, acrylic adhesive, glue, paint, brushes, scissors, knives, drills, cordless screwdrivers, also normal screwdivers etc. etc. The normal stuff of a model maker … but: En masse, like the frenchman says…
And staplers. Yes we have to talk about those staplers.


More than fifty modell trees, more than hundred hedges, 15.000 figures – based on MDF trays (ca. 6 or 8 infantry figures and 2 or 4 per tray). Several model buildings: 2 x La Haye Sainte, 1 x Hougoumont.
After unloading the stuff, our craftsman Heiko started with the substructure of the big diorama.



(Really nice place under the table)

We helped him to build parallel the two sides of the diorama. First of all two tables 6 x 2 m were constructed and then we began:
We moulded gentle hills with styrofoam plates.




Then the plates were covered with the felt matt. The acrylic field tracks were arranged.
The hollow way and the sandpit of the battlefield were also prepared in advance from our model guru Frank. Now these were fixed on our miniature battlefield.


(Yes. We will make it!)






It is very important to fix the mats on the MDF table.

(Here you see Vasa in action. Heiko is thinking)





Two staplers, the climax of chinese innovation, went into action. Sorry. They crawled into action. The magazined clips were so effective, that you were able to fix one tack, maybe two or three tacks, than … the stapler get jammed.
It was like the german G36 rifle in action. Great weapons. The stapler and the G36.
Sometimes they work, they work not, they work, they work not …
Heiko and I thought: Keep calm fellow.
O.K. Finally we managed the task.




Now the figures were arranged. Dirk, Frank, Johannes and Klaus supervised the trooping the colours.





Trees, fields and hedges had to be placed.








 The first wounded and dead soldiers stimulated the battlefield.






On the left diorama the first british and hannoverian squares found there place at the top of the battlefield. A very impressive look.




The first 12 x 2 meters were ready. Now Heiko built the next meters.
We decided to go on in the same way like described above. The two matts had to be fixed, the staplers tacked, they tacked not, they tacked, they tacked not … love you, love you not, love you …
Then the borders of the matts and the acrylic ways had to be covered with coloured acyrlic caulk and with static grass.




With this method you round off the edges and the look of a diorama gets more realistic.
The first day was over.
The next two days, we worked from 10 am to 10 pm. Hour for hour the diorama grew. More matts, more soldiers, more trees, more hedges.







A special work in those two days were the making of the corn fields.
So many dioramas of Waterloo show yellow corn fields. But the crop in June is green. So we have to spray the dark yellow floor matts with different shades of green.
Johannes was the spraymaster. And he was not in an enviable position. But … Johannes likes the smell of napalm, sorry spray, in the early morning. So everything was good.


("I see a light ...")



(That was the place where the Spraymaster went in action. Maybe the green of the hedges comes from the spray?)

As well the floor matts had to be cut in a way, that they look more realistic. Our goal was to cut field tracks in the floor matts. In those field tracks skirmishers had to be placed.

In the total view this looks very impressive and realistic.


This was a very hard job. The floor mats aren’t easy to cut. But we managed the threath and there were no victims.
Here the special thanks go to Frank with his special power of imagination. Stunning, really stunning.
Frank - the arrangement of the corn fields just in his mind - gave the correct orders and so the corn fields began to materialise.


(Frank and the mats.)

Meanwhile Dirk, the person who painted 95% of all of these soldiers – really!!!!! -, finished the painting of the wounded and dead soldiers.


(Dirk, arranging miniatures)


(Jens and one of the La Haye Sainte buildings)






Everyone of us was in action. The lines of both the infantry and the cavalry had to be arranged. Not straight but in a light curvy style. Often this falls into oblivion: Battalions and squadrons moved in a slightly different speed across the battlefield, because no man and no horse walked the same speed over hundreds of metres. It is very difficult for a commander to form those masses.
For us it was a pleasure.







But not only fighting men were placed. Klaus had worked on the wounded and dead soldiers. Those vignettes were placed on the tabletop, and so we show not only the great moment of the cavalry attacks and d’Erlons advance, but also the bitter taste.



In the meantime everyone was looking for Vasa and Jens. Where are our technicians? Desertion ?



Suddenly they were found. Crawling and hiding under the table. Here the guys installed LED lights. Those will show the position of the troops. The LED lights are controlled via a special control panel, and so the visitor of the exhibition is able to maintain an overview.








Also some finetuning had to be done: The edges of the trays had to be repainted and we had to put new model gras on it. So we round off the edges and the wargaming trays dissappear better in the grass matts. Not a artistic paintjob but it has to be done. Volunteers to the front: Vasa and myself.



On Sunday the 17th of May round lunch the diorama was finished. The french Grand Battery appeared. A very impressive position.












Around the diorama we fixed a wooden frame and here the black curtain, sewed by Antje, Jens‘ wife, was attached. Now the look was perfect.



The diorama

60 m². 15.000 figures. Two dioramas with 6x5 m each. Two La Haye Saintes on each part of the diorama battlefield. The two most important stages of the battle.
As a sidekick a table with the chateau Hougoumont, defended by the british guards.
(Figures in Hougoumont painted by Walter H.)






 Constructed, mastered, painted and built, like all other buildings, from Jens himself.







You will see the different formations of napoleonic armies at Waterloo:
On the british side you see british infantry in square: Battalion squares and combined squares (2 battalions forming one square).


KGL infantry trying to form a square. KGL and british infantry standing in line.





Dutch infantry trying to reform their line behind the hedges.



Skirmishlines around La Haye Sainte.


Hannoverian infantry (Brigade Best) in quarter distance column. Hannoverian infantry as massed column (Brigade Vincke). Best and Vincke combined their 8 battalions in a massed column during the early stages oft he battle. In our diorama you see what happened. One Brigade is formed, and the other is marching to join the formation.



British and KGL cavalry supporting the infantry lines, waiting for attack orders.


The artillery is mostly abandoned, cause the artillerymen seeking cover in the british squares at the moment.


On the french side the leftside diorama shows the great cavalry attack. French cavalry in attack lines. Wave per wave. Cuirassiers, carabiniers, lancers, chasseurs, line and guard cavalry.


In the right corner of the diorama the french guard (Chasseurs and Grenadiers) is marching to a new position.



Also you will see french artillery and first-aid places for wounded soldiers




The diorama on the right side shows the attack of corps d’Erlon.



Part of the Division of Quiot is attacking the farmstead of La Haye Sainte.


The divisions of Donzelot, Marcognet and Durutte are marching en echelon in massive column of battalions (each battalion of the Division is lined up one behind the other. Not to confuse with a column of attack, where two companies of one battalion are in the frontline and the other four companies are arranged in pairs behind the leading companies).
All these divisions are headed by skirmishers.


On the right side of the diorama you can find the lanciers of Jaquinots 1st Cavalry Divison waiting for orders.


On a ridge in the foreground you see the grand battery of the french army and also here first-aid places for wounded soldiers.


Have a look for the famous wagons of Baron Larrey, the chief surgeon of napoleons army.


So what do I have to say to our fellows beyond the channel.
I hope you have found the way to Celle and have had a look at the diorama.
In my opinion it was very impressive.
Now it is history and we are left with bleeding hearts.

And what is my special feeling about those days in Celle?
Sometimes deep in the night I wake up. And I hear the sound of the stapler in my brain. It sounds like: Ta-Ta-Ta, TaTaTa, Ta-Ta-ta.
The “pas de charge”  of diorama building.
And yes … I like it.























Kommentare:

  1. Klasse geschrieben Koppi.
    Bei mir geht die Nachlese ja noch weiter da ich die ganzen Figuren zum Verkauf erst mal wieder sortieren muss :-)
    Und der Hinweis auf die "nicht in die Pötte Kommer " ist schön umschrieben.
    War auf jeden Fall ein tolles Projekt,immer wieder

    Schöne Grüße Dirk

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  2. Hi Koopi, danke für diesen tollen Bericht. Das Ganze hat wirklich viel Spaß gemacht und deine Worte und Bilder sind eine schöne Erinnerung an unser langes Aufbauwochenende.

    Gruß
    Frank

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  3. Danke für die beiden netten Kommentare Jungs. Ja das Projekt war für mich wirklich ein Highlight. Nachdem ich die ganzen Bilder gesichtet hatte, dachte ich, oh Mist, die Jungs werden mit mir nicht mehr reden. Sieht ja so aus, als wenn ich nur fotografiert hätte. ;-)))
    Echt schade, dass wir das Dio abbauen mussten.

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