OR A TRUE RELATION OF STRANGE PROCEEDINGS IN A SOMERSETSHIRE LOFT

Monday, 30 April 2012

HANGING OUT WITH VINEGAR TOM

As the feast of Beltane is upon us, I decided to paint a witchy figure in the form of Vinegar Tom (from Foundry), one of the familiars of a victim of Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne, described as a greyhound with the head of an ox. Here he is lurking by a gallows, no doubt a common sight all over the country during the seventeenth century. Welcome to Phil too, thanks for following.


Have a Jolly evening and welcome in the Summer tomorrow.(sunrise is about 5.30am)

Friday, 27 April 2012

POPHAM'S DRAGOONS

At last I have finally finished these figures and got round to posting them. Various distractions have been keeping me away from the painting table (chiefly 3 naughty little boys), but I managed to get these chaps photographed tonight. Colonel Alexander Popham of Littlecote House was MP for Bath


and his regiment of Dragoons is recorded as having fought at Lansdown. I have based the coat colours on my old Sealed Knot unit Colonel James Wardlawe's Dragoons and in true Sealed Knot style they seem to have forgotten their horses.  Actually back in 1993 Wardlawes did take the field mounted, and it is jolly difficult riding a nag with matchlock musket and lighted matchcord trying desperately not to let said match touch the side of the steed.


There was always much debate about how different dragoons looked from musketeers, and personally I don't think there would have been a great deal of difference (in the classic Thirty Years War book Simplicissimus, the author/narrator , a dragoon himself is mistaken for a musketeer by some cavalrymen, and goes on to say "when a dragoon falls of his horse a musketeer gets up").

But as my ECW project is fairly "old school" I have given them shorter muskets and big boots. For some reason the black and russety red of the officer dried glossy, but this won't show when I get round to varnishing them.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A WHIGGAMORE IN THE GARDEN

Easter is upon us and I was granted a day off from work (will be back at the cliff face/compost heap on Saturday and Monday) so I drove Mrs. Atticus and the 3 sprogs up to stay with her brother in Bedfordshire. On the way back I called in at Stowe Landscape Gardens, somewhere I have been meaning to visit for a long long time. The gardens were started by Sir Richard Temple Viscount Cobham on his return from The War of the Spanish Succession, an he didn't do things by half. The entire landscape is a political statement designed to support his radical Whig ideals (as a pose to those of the then Whig Prime minister Robert Walpole) and to show his loyalty to the Hanoverian Monarchs.



The approach to the gardens from Buckingham is in itself breathtaking (I left the camera with Mrs. Atticus so have had to pinch these pictures from the web). The Corinthian arch in the distance marks the start of the formal gardens. The white lines on the road have been removed which improves the effect.


From about the third rise in the road you can see through the arch to the house beyond, which is a bijou little place



and that's just the back door.

There are too many structures and follies to show them all, but I was particularly delighted by the Temple of Saxon Deities, designed to show that our English roots are wholesome and Germanic and thus it is only right we have a German King on the throne. Since this picture was taken the Yew trees have grown up a lot more, and will soon enclose the grove to form what was then called a 'cabinet'


The grotto was also very exciting (if you like that sort of thing) and had a more airy quality than that at Stourhead gardens.


I am usually quick to moan about the National Trust (having worked for them in the past) but they have done a wonderful job in restoring this so far. Originally the tufa stone would have been embedded with glass, quartz, coral and shells making it glimmer in the reflected light or by candlelight.  Next to the pool is an engraved slab

Goddess of the silver wave,
To thy thick embower'd cave,
To arched walks, and twilight groves,
And shadows brown, which Sylvan loves
When the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring.

All through these 18th century gardens is a theme of Neo-Paganism which nobody seemed to bat an eyelid at at the time. Painswick Gardens in Gloucestershire are really an enormous temple to Pan.

The Temple of British Worthies is probably the most iconic monument in the gardens

and finally more Germanic chest beating in the form of the Gothic Temple. Gothic at the time meaning pertaining to the Goths who gave those corrupt and decaying Romans the old heave ho (much like the Hanoverians to the Stuarts)


The Gothic temple is the brick structure designed by Sanderson Miller (the chap in my avatar pic). In the foreground is the Palladian bridge (the Renaissance architect Palladio being considered the most perfect during the eighteenth century) and Lord Cobham's Pillar in the distance, erected by his grieving wife.

All in all my boat was completely floated. I still prefer Stourhead Gardens, but either would make a great place to hold a mini Imagi-nation campaign



















Monday, 2 April 2012

MORE TERRAIN COMPLETED

Finished this little bridge last night which has been on the go since venturing into the garage/workshop to make swords for my boys.

I really must have a crack at some simple 2D buildings soon. Also on the painting table are Alexander Popham's dragoons which have been converted and are ready for undercoating


An assortment of figures including A Call to Arms and Replicant. The officer is a secondhand bod from ebay, based on an Osprey book illustration I think.