|Whiskers developing his technique - in fact, I imagine Whiskers as rather more bald than this|
The big surprise at the time was that they had very obviously been painted up and organised to fight Montrose's campaigns - since that was exactly what I wanted them for, I had seen that there were a lot of Scottish troop types in the collection, but it wasn't until I started checking out the flags that I realised what I had.
The figures were quite nicely painted, in a very plain style, but I was a bit shocked to see that they had been heavily coated with some kind of ship's varnish - these figures were definitely intended to stand up to some severe, industrial handling, I would say. I set about identifying figures which would restore most easily, and which were of most immediate use for my Montrose project, and I did some retouching, and a great deal of applying matt varnish to tone down the finish, and rebasing, and I was pleased with the results. The episode generated a lot of very plain, rather dull Scottish and Irish soldiers, which provided a fine addition to bulk up the splendid Covenanter units which Lee Gramson had already painted up for me.
All good - I've done some Montrose things now, and intend to revisit this again soon. While I was spending a few late nights in 2014, getting these ex-eBay fellows ready for the armies, I got to know the previous owner a bit better. Of course, I have no idea who he was, but at 1 a.m. when I was preparing figures for the prescribed matt varnish I would find myself chatting to him - I called him Mike, in the absence of other suggestions.
"Well, Mike," I would say, "this one's got cat hairs stuck on the varnish as well - you should keep old Whiskers out of the painting room.." and so on. I developed a technique of loosening the cat hairs from the varnish with the tip of a penknife, and then removing them with tweezers. A strange way to spend a long evening - this is almost certainly why I started talking to Mike. As time went on, it became a house joke that I had gradually changed my mind, and that I now believed that Whiskers had done the varnishing himself - perhaps with a little guidance from Mike.
|Well the horses are pretty ghastly, but they should paint up simply enough, and that|
gives me the better part of two new regiments of rather understated Northern horse
|And oodles more artillerymen - just the job for the sieges - more than enough...|
Topic #2 - more pottery ornaments ready for sieges...
I previously gave a glimpse of some of my new Tey Pottery houses - this little side-project is shaping up very nicely, and I have the makings of a presentable 17th Century English town centre, such as I can lay siege to. So here's a slightly bigger glimpse...