Lutheran Church I

Lutheran Church, Main St Sharpsburg Maryland 1862
(US Library of Congress)

Confession time, I have been working on a digital model of the Lutheran Church for probably the last two years. When motivation struck I would work on it, and when it would fade the model would just gather digital dust on my hard drive. Difficulties in maintaining a solid model* with such detailed geometry saw me start over a few times, but with renewed purpose I am going (to try) and commit to getting it finished.

Luckily John Banks has already done the work of providing close ups of the photo (right) on his blog post: Antietam battle damage at Lutheran Church, not so fortunate is that the close ups show that I had made a few errors around the windows and for the front door, namely I had made the sash windows both top and bottom as 9 pane glass while the photo clearly shows the lower sash is only 6 pane**, so these will need to be rectified.

Given that the church no longer exists and I have been unable to find any other photos I will make the assumption that the far side of the church is a mirror of the photographed side, and I will exercise some poetic license and the rear of the building can have an off centre door but will be devoid of windows.

Close up of front door and steps
(from John Banks Civil War Blog)

The front door is quite recessed and from the photo (left) it appears to be of a traditional design. While the steps are quite “rustic” and almost falling down, so I will need to make sure these are modelled in a quite rough manner.

Although not related to the church per se is the photo below that shows a differing view of Sharpsburg’s Main St and is taken from the right of the church and looking down the hill. The house on the right (in the church photo) is now on the left and there are a few buildings offering inspiration, though they are simply variants of each other, so possibly quite easy to model.

Sharpsburg, Principal St Maryland 1862.
(US Library of Congress)

* A 3D digital model needs to be “solid” to print optimally. Which is to say it does not have any “holes” that lead into its geometry and thus create a model of exposed planes, rather than a “solid”. There are websites and plugins that try to correct these errors in the mesh, but there is no substitute for creating the model properly from the start.

** I know I mentioned somewhere else that I want my models to be as accurate as possible, while remaining usable and printable. Sometimes to get a usable model that is printable will mean small compromises in accuracy but it is something I try to avoid.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5

Ratified Research

So the Waterloo Uncovered project had a bit of a write-up in the Dailymail, about their Waterloo Project Model and although not one of my usual reads, the photo above (left) really piqued my interest as it showed the front of the La Haye Sainte barn with an arched door and no chicken coup access unlike commercially available products.

Of more interest to me is that it is depicted just as my own research had shown and as I had designed for my kickstarter (at right) many years ago. So feeling a bit chuffed at the moment, which is a great way to improve the mood in these times of restrictions.

And yes, this is a blatant tooting of my own horn.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5

Pasir Panjang Pillbox II

Following on from my previous post.

So I got a little lost going down the “rabbit hole that is google” after I found a random photo on Pinterest that showed a pillbox in the middle of downtown Singapore. The Pillbox of course does not exist today, but it was a photo I had not seen, and it helped me get lost in the AGSL digital photo archives of the UW, Milwaukee. Of big interest to me were the photos here which I suspect is the Pasir Panjang Pillbox, since it is a (maybe the only) Pillbox in Singapore with the unique curtain wall with loopholes at the side and rear, and, geographically it matches: it’s placement near the road and creek, and west coast palms that dot the area.

So what stands out, and made me reflect on my progress thus far:

1. There is no build up of earth around the pillbox as there is in modern times, but given the land reclamation that has occured in the area this could simply be a result of modern road works. So my idea to create this feature to Pillbox as it stands is largely moot, and if I wasn’t nearly finished I would abandon it. (post coming soon)

2. The pillbox sits very “tall” in the landscape. Unlike the squat and almost “brutish” examples that exist in Europe, this seems to be a very obvious strong point with little attempt to blend or conceal it into the environment. Also it does not sit on level ground rather there is a clear foundation visible in the left hand photo.

3. The reinforced metal plates that protected the lower edges of the ports are either missing, or more likely screed over with concrete to blend them into the surface. (Note: similar plates are visible in the photos below, or are at least hinted at.) And they are very visible on the Pillbox as it stands today and surviving Naval Pattern Pillboxes in Malaysia.

4. The obvious two tone colour on the pillbox suggests a painted camouflage was applied to the exterior walls. Further searches online have found no contemporary coloured photos, though I did turn up two photos of another pillbox (located on the East Coast of Singapore alongside the Singapore Swimming Club) that shows a wildly different camouflage effect with at least 3 colours painted on its surface. Sadly this Pillbox is no longer standing and was probably removed during land reclamation efforts during the seventies.

The restored upper elements of Fort Silos on Palau Blakang Mati (today: Sentosa) have been painted two tone, being an almost Light Stone or Earth Yellow and a Light or Brunswick Green, and I suspect that similar colours were probably used on the pillboxes, but I have not been able to verify this.

If anyone has better information or advice, it would be appreciated.

PS: In other random news, the “real job” started again after a Summer off, so the coming posts are where I’ll be sharing some stuff I completed in the last few months while I come to terms with not being free to sleep in.