Dioramas & Models.

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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby Seguin on Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:11 am

NefariousNed wrote:Image
Sand sculpture Alamo I acquired back in the 1990's. (At Cost Plus?)


Nice! It must be very compressed sand not to fall apart, or maybe they gave it a lacquer coating.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:57 pm



This is a test of a new workflow for making animations. The scene has about 300 soldados marching in the Main Plaza (February 23, 1836). There are many opportunities for improvements here, but I am excited to get this little project through the pipeline.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:04 pm

Excellent!!!!! I want to raise a white flag!

Why "Evens and Company"? Anglo names would not have appeared on buildings until years later, and I don't recall that name. Hopefully, you have found a photo that I don't know about. ;)
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Bravo! That was a nice show...I am glad you shared it with us. Many Thanks.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks guys. It is a "first draft" just to see if I could do the whole thing. Much more to do on setting up the scene properly, more soldado types, more animation, better textures and lighting. The new animation tool should allow me to render huge crowds of soldiers (think north wall on March 6)!

Rich, here is where I got the notion about Evans and Co.
San_Antonio_Plaza.jpg
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:22 pm

And another one. I guess they are both post-revolution depictions. I'll fix in the next version.

[Picture deleted]
Last edited by jrboddie on Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:40 pm

Yes, if they were Tex revolution period images, then Evans would've probably blown up the building before retiring to the Alamo.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:24 am

I see. I never noticed the name in the Seth Eastman drawing -- or more likely just ignored it since the drawing was done in March 1849 -- long after Anglo and German businessmen began to establish businesses. In 1836, it is highly unlikely that any Yankee other than Nat Lewis had a business let alone a sign. I have even wondered if Bexarenos had signs for their minimum number of businesses. "Cantina" may have been an exception. LOL. Michael Corenblith and I had this same conversation in 2003 when he was building the sets for THE ALAMO. He actually had a building named after his daughter Grace -- Hotel Graciela -- just to the right of Bowie's cantina, but finally painted out all names. The Bexarenos knew where the few businesses were, and the Anglos weren't there yet.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:30 am

I am very impressed and excited about your advances with animation. Wow, Jim. This is getting very fun-filled. Keep up the good work. By the way, who did the second painting (or is it modern)? I've never seen it before. Looks like somebody tried to combine Eastman's work with Samuel's.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:10 pm

Rich, I'm sorry to say that I am pretty terrible at recording the sources of my reference images. I seem to recall that the second image is a more recent work and borrows from the earlier paintings. It may be a cropped image of a mural that was sent to me by someone a few years ago or something I found in a "deep dive" into an online collection that is not searchable by google. I am going to remove it from my post because of potential copyright issues.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:30 am

Oooops. I didn't mean for you to remove it. But, if there is a risk, then perhaps it's for the best. It was interesting and I was curious why I'd never come across it before.. I was pretty sure it is of recent origin.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby gh1836 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:21 am

Enjoyed the animation Jim! More please!
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:40 pm

While in for HHD's Linda took some cool shots at the Toy Store in the Menger. Enjoy.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:44 pm

LOL! check out the Nazi Flag in the back ground.... :roll:
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:45 pm

More.... :D
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:47 pm

Never enough time to see everything, but dont miss Kings-X Toys. :D
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby Seguin on Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:14 am

It´s a great diorama! It may not be accurate in every way, but it´s still pretty good.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby SantaClaus on Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:53 am

Great pictures, Chris. They sure have some great creations in that store. :)
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:28 pm



Some improvements in textures and lighting. Added an officer on horseback and flag bearer. Changed to facade of the church to match the earliest drawings.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby HunterMike on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:16 am

jrboddie wrote:

Some improvements in textures and lighting. Added an officer on horseback and flag bearer. Changed to facade of the church to match the earliest drawings.

The movement of everything is really cool and the texture and feel of everything you've created has always been impressive. I'm more impressed that you changed the door to what it was in 1836. And not just the pediment over the door, but the door itself. As soon as you/we can figure out the north side of the church, I look forward to seeing it as it really was in 1836. Thank you for doing that!! Awesome!
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby SantaClaus on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:22 am

Very impressive, and very cool! 8-)
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby NefariousNed on Tue May 16, 2017 5:48 pm

For those of you who have never had the chance to see it in person, someone did a clandestine
video of Mark Lemon's model in the history shop with narration by Phil Collins. I wish the person
had had the chance to walk around the model. Video is about 12 minutes long.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby Seguin on Wed May 17, 2017 12:26 am

Cool! - What´s the white building in the upper right corner? A model of the History Shop?
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby NefariousNed on Wed May 17, 2017 1:03 am

Seguin wrote:Cool! - What´s the white building in the upper right corner? A model of the History Shop?

Exactly! To show where it stands in reference to the Alamo grounds. Now that the History Shop has closed its doors,
here's hoping the model makes its way into the proposed Phil Collins museum.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Wed May 17, 2017 2:18 pm

Nice job....wish they could bring that to the Alamo Symposium in 2018. :D
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Wed May 31, 2017 7:02 pm

TrevinoRear.jpg
TrevinoRear.jpg (155 KiB) Viewed 647 times


This is a view of the outside of the west wall of the Alamo compound. The thatched roof structure is the rear of the Treviño house which served as the headquarters of Travis. In the foreground, there is an acequia that is parallel to the west wall. This acequia replaced the one that ran inside the compound.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Wed May 31, 2017 7:34 pm

WOW! That is really great! Thanks for sharing your work. :D
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby Seguin on Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:43 am

Well done! It looks like a photo of the real thing. Even the water in the acequia looks real.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby mrbassbone on Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:41 am

I will be visiting Tom Feeley at his home at the end of the month. Definitely will be looking forward to seeing his massive diorama!!!
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby SantaClaus on Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:27 pm

When I see on this site, the beautiful and detailed work of the artists and model makers, I am amazed and impressed by their striving for historical accuracy, whether their efforts are on a painted canvas, computer image, or models and dioramas built of molded and painted materials. These masterpieces tell me that the idea or rule, imposed by master planners and historical site experts, which declares that no rebuilding should be done at the Alamo or any other historical site, is an arbitrary and foolish rule. It pains me to see that the expertise is there, as exhibited by many fine modelers and artists, yet this arbitrary rule bars anyone from recreating such expert work at full scale at the location that millions of people come to visit every year. Distinguishing between original historical structures and historically accurate rebuilt structures is as simple as posting a few simple signs for the simple visitors, but that is too complicated for the simpletons who dream of glass walls and rooftop restaurants. :roll:

:) So, please, keep posting pictures of your wonderful dioramas, models, drawings and paintings. Thanks to all of you artists, no matter what means and materials you use, because it is through your endeavors that the rest of us can see the Alamo and old Bexar. You make a historical place and time come to life. :geek: You all have great vision, while the "experts" getting the big bucks are short-sighted, if not actually blind. 8-)
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:22 pm

RearPond640.jpg
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Colonel Ygnacio de LaBastida, Commander of the Engineers of the Army of the North in 1836, made a map of the area around San Antonio de Bexar and the Alamo compound. The map prominently featured two ponds just to the east of the walls of the convento courtyard and adjacent to the Alamo acequia (a probable source of the water in the field). This image depicts a view of the back of the Alamo across one of these ponds. The vantage point corresponds to a location approximately at the northeastern corner of the present day Alamo grounds.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby cc nolen on Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:58 pm

Lets all go swimming!!!
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby jrboddie on Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:27 pm

Probably not that deep but there is a painting of the area some time after the battle that shows a kid fishing in it.

I wonder if the flooding was deliberately created by Cos as a defensive measure.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:01 pm

It is my contention that these ponds were occasional flooding from the poorly maintained acequia. Colonial Bexar town council files were full of reprimands and fines for locals who failed to keep up the portions of the acequias that ran across their properties. Labastida alegedly drew the map during the siege of the Alamo for Santa Anna, and we know there were some major rainstorms in the days immediately preceding the beginning of the siege, the last being in the early morning hours of February 23rd. If the acequia tended to flood after a heavy rain, this would be the appearance of the area behind the Alamo. My personal experiance with spots like this outside of Alamo Village is that it would have taken days to drain off or soak in. This would have been enough reason for Labastida to have included it in a battle strategy map for Santa Anna as it would be an immediate obstacle to any attack on that side.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:03 pm

Beautiful rendering, Jim!
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:45 am

Here is an angle on a detail in my model at the same location presenting my hypothesis for the acequia flooding behind the Alamo. I laid this out to suggest several days after a heavy rain. The acequia had flooded on both sides (this actually can be seen in the Labastida plat) but now has receded to its normal level in the canal. The flooded areas (probably only a few inches deep) have also somewhat receded and evaporated over the time since the rain, leaving wet grass strips still connecting them to the acequia, just to the left of the small bridge for the Camino Viejo de las Carretas crossing. In a week or so, with no further rain, the whole area will be dry. As with our Alamo Village low areas, the grass would always be particularly high here unless a drought set in. [NOTE: I am now pretty convinced (as is Jim) that the acequias were NOT walled or even lined with stone, and I will eventually correct this on the model. Archaeological digs at various points around San Antonio recently have pretty much proven that they were not lined during the Spanish-Colonial times, and that the stone walls revealed in the portions of the acequias unearthed earlier in Hemisfair Park, as well as N.E. of the Alamo near the expressway and at the S.W. corner of Plaza de las Islas were added by Americans and Germans during and after the Republic of Texas period.]

Adding Hans' contribution and flipping it over, I have placed my camera angle on the plat. You can see the two lakes, one above and one below the very faintly drawn acequia.
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AlamoMap-Labastida_Close-up-2-5.jpg
AlamoMap-Labastida_Close-up-2-5.jpg (90.98 KiB) Viewed 311 times
Acequia Flooding.jpg
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby Seguin on Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:26 am

A part of the Labastida map showing the flooded areas.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:03 am

See my addition of Hans' contribution of the Labastida plat detail that I have added to my post above to show the same flooded area.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:06 am

jrboddie wrote:I wonder if the flooding was deliberately created by Cos as a defensive measure.

As indicated above, I'm guessing it was not. Too natural an occurrence. And it would have been the type of feature Labastida would have been sure to include on the map since it was a real issue for Santa Anna's attack direction.
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Re: Dioramas & Models.

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:34 am

And here is a plan view angle of my model with the Labastida plat detail. Compare the lakes and acequia on the model with those on the Labastida.
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AlamoMap-Labastida.Close-up-2-5[1].jpg
AlamoMap-Labastida.Close-up-2-5[1].jpg (91.54 KiB) Viewed 303 times
Alamo Plan View with Labastida match.jpg
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