Last fall, our Mewsings took a look at the cavalry rehab for our new diorama and saw what it takes to get the cats ready. But while the cavalrycats polish their saddles and buttons, Rebecca has been busy planning out the diorama.
Early versions of our cavalry battle portrayed Brandy Station, the largest cavalry fight of the Civil War, which occurred only a month before Gettysburg. About ten years ago, we changed our diorama to portray East Cavalry Field, the fighting that took place east of Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge.
Now, we are giving the diorama a new, larger base and reevaluating what was portrayed. Rebecca started by reading books on the fighting at East Cavalry Field to pinpoint the action we wanted to depict. Then she visited the field itself (part of the Gettysburg National Military Park) to map out where that action occurred.
After locating the entire action on maps and fields, Rebecca determined the scope of the diorama. The cats and horses are a larger scale (1:36) and the depicted action occurred in a farm’s open field, so this diorama does not need the usual trees or fences. If we had used a smaller scale (1:72 or 1:96), we could have fit more of the field within the confines of our base, and may have needed to show natural features, fences, and topographical contours. As it is, “Come On, You Wolverines!” will offer a close-up of the action, rather than the sprawling feel of a large diorama with a smaller scale, such as “The Fate of Gettysburg,” which shows the entire area of the Angle.
Even if overall features will be simple, Rebecca still had to pay attention to details and make a lot of calculations such as the frontage of a regiment charging in columns of squadrons, the distance between ranks, and the locations of Generals Custer and Hampton (i.e. who would be on our diorama and who would not). After finishing those calculations, Rebecca came up with a total count for the cats and horses we will need on the diorama—over 300! This means we will need to make over 200 new horses and cavalrycats, and when all is finished, about half of the horses recorded on our “census” will be on this diorama.
Stay tuned as the cats receive their marching orders then finally mount up and move out!