Monday, 18 July 2011

English Civil War Parliamentarian Soldier Bust

This might seem a little random and out of the blue, so I think it might help if I explain the background behind what I'm writing about in this post.

This bust is not my own work, the original pieces were sculpted by my grandfather at least a decade before I was born. He used to sculpt, mold, cast and paint these for his own enjoyment, though he also sold them alongside oil paintings and wood carvings. I've always been very close to my grandparents, and particularly my grandfather, having spent much of my early childhood living with them. Indeed I think its fair to say that its from him that I gained an early interest in military history, sculpting and painting, so I've got quite a strong attachment to his work. Though it has only been relatively recently that these interests, and especially the creative ones, have combined in my hobby and works. I'd even like to think in a way that maybe there's a bit of talent in the genes!

I was recently horrified to discover that my grandfather as part of a clear out of 'rubbish', for reasons I won't go into, was disposing of a number of old molds and other odds and ends. After convincing him how important it was to me that these were preserved, I ended up rooting through the bins and was able to recover a single salvagable mold. After a few days cleaning off all the accumilated mould and gunk of a couple of decades in damp storeage conditions I had this 40cm bust of a ECW Parlimentarian Infantryman.

Sadly the others had deteriorated too much in storage, including a Royalist counterpart to this one, though further digging unearthed an unused plaster cast of the Cavalier and two more of an British Napelonic Infantryman of the 88th Foot - I'll be making molds of these at a later date.

This evening I tried my hand at making a cast from the mold, in order to create a new master using Gedeo Resin Plaster. Essentially this is plaster of paris, but tougher. I decided to use it in case the mold disintegrated with the first pull, so I'd have the best quality copy possible.

However, as it turned out I need'nt of worried. With a great deal of satisfaction, and a little emotion I must confess I've pulled a 'new' master of the bust from a mold older then I am. This is the new 'master', which has I'm sure you'll agree turned out pretty well!

My plan next is to store this one in the best possible conditions in case the mold fails in the future, and do a second cast with standard plaster of paris. This next version I'll fit with a hook and paint up for display.


The Inner Geek said...

I'd count this as conclusive proof that talent runs in the genes!

Der Feldmarschall said...

Wow! That looks great!