• Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 3 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

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  • Reproducing Sister Lummer’s Ward Dress - Part 2

    Tuesday 21 October 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 2 comments

    Australian Army Nurse arrange for display with original cuffs, collar, apron and cape in the new First World War galleries. The only visible parts of the replica ward dress are the sleeves and skirt.

    Australian Army Nurse arrange for display with original cuffs, collar, apron and cape in the new First World War galleries. The only visible parts of the replica ward dress are the sleeves and skirt. In this blog I have briefly documented the steps that curators and conservators took to produce a First World War replica ward dress. This follows on from Part 1 which focused on the history of Sister Lummer’s dress, and the conservation…

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  • Work continues on the FWW dioramas!

    Friday 17 October 2014 by Alana Treasure. 6 comments

    Somme Winter

    Our apologies that it has been a while since our last FWW Dioramas conservation posting - it'sbeen a big year!! Along with continued cleaning and repairs, some of the tasks and activities we've been spending our time on this year are moulding and casting missing weapons, repairing broken weapons and re-joining the previously cut pieces of diorama bases requiring filling and inpainting. The Semakh diorama has been returned to display in …

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  • Preserving Sister Lummer’s Ward Dress Part 1- History

    Friday 26 September 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 3 comments

    Sister Lummer’s dress has two buttons on the bodice, and evenly spread gathers at the waistband, rather than pleats. The thick gathers at the shoulders, back and waste band allowed the necessary free movement.  RELAWM14065.001

    Sister Lummer’s dress has two buttons on the bodice, and evenly spread gathers at the waistband, rather than pleats. The thick gathers at the shoulders, back and waste band allowed the necessary free movement. RELAWM14065.001 Sister Rosalie Agnes Lummer was a distinguished nurse of the First World War. Born at Riverton, South Australia, she enlisted with the AIF on 27 July 1915, aged 29, and embarked for Bombay, India, in August …

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  • Movement on the Western Front - Dioramas Part 2

    Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure. 3 comments

    Part 2 - Reinforcement and Movement As mentioned previously, the dioramas consist of a number of sections of base framework, some of which are bolted together, some of which are not. Well-hidden behind the display cases, facades and the diorama surface, few still sat on their original leg castors, while many had been trimmed and placed on fascinating, decades-old systems of levelling the individual sections. Example of levelling system…

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  • Movement on the Western Front - Dioramas Part 1

    Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure.

    Part 1 - Demolition When the Western Front dioramas were previously placed in their current positions when the gallery opened in the 1970s, they were dismantled in (now) Aircraft Hall, and moved in as separate sections and re-joined with plaster and fill material in the space. At that time, the dioramas were not considered National Collection items, a status they gained in the 1990s. As National Collection items, and even if they …

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  • Repairing the diorama figures (Ypres, 1917)

    Thursday 17 October 2013 by Nick Flood. 6 comments

    One of the most astonishing aspects of the First World War dioramas is the figures of soldiers in battle. These figures show expressive action in minute detail. Figures on the Ypres, 1917 dioramawere sculpted by Wallace Andersonbetween 1922-23 and later cast in metal in 1931. Conservators are currentlyworking to clean and repair the dioramas, including the figures. In this blog post we have selected two examples of figuresfound in a …

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  • Transportation series dioramas: Consolidation

    Friday 13 September 2013 by Jocelyn Evans. 1 comments

    While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops. In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’. While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky. On some of these small …

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  • Crate Expectations

    Tuesday 10 September 2013 by Kasi Albert.

    As more building works continue in the Western Front Gallery, the Diorama Conservation Team has moved into the Sinai Palestine Gallery, to take on the treatment of the beautiful Transportation of Supplies series of dioramas. Although much smaller than most of what we have been tackling so far, these nine scenes present their own set of challenges. The Transportation of Supplies series in the Sinai Palestine Gallery, before the start of …

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  • Guns and Horses and Camels... Oh My!

    Friday 12 July 2013 by Miranda Cookman. 1 comments

    Last month saw the removal of collection items, large and small, from the Western Front and Sinai–Palestine galleries in preparation for major building works in the space. All of these objects will be moved into storage, with the larger ones going into the Treloar Technology Centre at Mitchell, a large purpose-built shed that houses some of Australia’s national treasures. Among these items were four special relics: two field guns, a …

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