With better luck, this would have been a post about my trip on Saturday to the Durham Light Infantry Museum (that’s right, madam – in Durham), but I didn’t make it. After dithering over the weather forecast for an hour longer than I should have, I left home around 10am – Durham is about two and a half hours drive from here, and the museum is open 10:30 until 4pm.
|The A1 in Northumberland, on a relatively dry day...|
Alas, before I got to the border the rain was torrential, and it remained so – could hardly see through the spray, and I had the demister blowing so loud I couldn’t hear Wes Montgomery on the stereo. Not good. Near Stannington, not far north of Newcastle, there were some fairly routine roadworks, which required two lanes of the dual carriageway to merge into one, to be joined shortly afterwards by a busy slip road coming in from the left. Much too demanding for your average British motorist, I fear – no-one will give way; merging of traffic lanes is a simple process, screwed up by heroes (mostly in white 4WD BMWs, on Saturday) who insist on driving up the closed outside lane and forcing their way in at the bottleneck, thus gaining some 200 feet of priority in the queue, but stopping the whole thing dead. By the time I reached Washington services my Durham ETA had slipped by some 50 minutes, and the rain was coming on heavier again, after a brief lull. At best I could expect to get about an hour at the museum before it closed, and I was growing anxious about delays on the return trip. I had coffee and a piece of industrial chocolate cake at Washington, cast an expert eye at the lowering sky, and then headed for home, muttering. The weather and the traffic were both better than expected on the way back, in fact, and I survived to attempt the trip again in a week or two.
So – no news of Durham, and I wouldn’t recommend the chocolate cake.
Right – subject 2.
|Painted miniature of an officer in the 1802 uniform|
I am preparing to paint up another regiment for my 1809 Spanish army – this will be two battalions of the Regimiento de la Corona, and I intend to paint them in the 1802 regulation uniform, which involves jackets in what Godoy specified as deep sky blue – a shade which seems to be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. I have seen actual sky blue, and the Peter Bunde plates show it as a sort of royal blue. Hmmm.
|Peter Bunde plate - not helped by the current state of my scanner|
Any opinions on this? I was going to try for a sort of medium blue, not too psychedelic – my preferred options at present are a choice of two old Citadel colours which I have to hand - Ultramarine Blue, and Enchanted Blue – I have no idea what these are called now. I have the Cronin and Summerfield book, the Histoires et Collections volume on Ocaña and all the Bueno books for the period – inconclusive – in any case my colour vision is probably a bit dodgy anyway, but the problem with plates in books is that the reproduction is uncertain, and we don’t really know what the author intended.
So – Spanish soldiers, 1802 uniform – “deep-sky” jackets with black facings, edged red, red turnbacks, brass buttons – what do you reckon? What shade of blue? All clues welcome.