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Thread: New Model Army Musketeer 1645 .

  1. #1
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    New Model Army Musketeer 1645 .

    New Model Army Musketeer :

    The British Civil Wars were a ghastly business : recent studies have suggested that the number of people who died as a result of them were a higher proportion of the population than in any other war in our history , including the Great War .
    The causes were very complex , involving a religious revolt in Scotland and an ethnic and religious revolt against colonisation in Ireland , but in England it was a struggle for power between a weak king who attempted to impose hated policies without consulting anyone , and the emerging middle classes , who demanded a say in Government ; the result was nine years of fighting , ending with an eleven-year Republic including England , Scotland and Ireland .
    It was not a success , but although the Monarchy returned in 1660 , its powers were curtailed , and the constitutional settlement that eventually emerged in 1688 was the basis of our present Government arrangements.

    The struggle started in earnest in 1642 , with both sides , the King and Parliament , frantically raising troops from their areas of influence . For the next three years the war was evenly balanced , until the Parliament , frustrated with their failure to achieve a decision despite their superior wealth and resources in manpower , reorganised their regional small armies into a new , single army.

    This became known as The ” New Model “ Army , commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax , and it is really the start of the British Army as it exists today : some of its units have had a continuous existence from that time until the present .
    This army received its baptism in the summer of 1645 at Naseby , where , after a wobbly start , it destroyed the King’s infantry , going on to win the war over the next eighteen months in a series of seiges and battles.
    Many of the captured Royalist Foot , offered good terms , joined its ranks.
    It stayed in being , going on to conquer Ireland ( in a very confused state of sectarian war at the time ) and eventually Scotland, when the Scots , previously Parliament’s allies , changed sides .
    It never lost a battle .
    By being the first standing army in England , it became a power in its own right , and the Horse at least were highly politicised . Its triumph led to the Trial and execution of the King in 1649, the supplanting of Parliament by Cromwell and his supporters and the constitutional experiments that followed : that is another , and very complex story .
    Suffice it to say that without the New Model Army the idea of one man one vote might not have emerged for another two centuries .




    The New Model was formed from three existing forces : The Earl of Essex’s Army , Sir William Waller’s Army , and the Army of the Eastern Association .
    It had twelve Regiments of Foot , each of a nominal 1200 men , and from the outset efforts were made to clothe and equip it in a uniform manner, though it was probably about a year before they achieved this goal .
    Its soldiers were not the first English troops to wear red , but this time all the Infantry were thus clad , with each regiment having its coat lined in one of a range of different colours, the beginning of the coloured facings so familiar from later centuries .
    We are fortunate to have some surviving contracts describing the uniforms , and the figure is based closely on what we can surmise from these , and other documents.



    It’s remarkable that there is not a single surviving colour illustration of a British common soldier from this period: we have a few crude little woodcuts , some European paintings showing contemporary Continental troops ( mostly wealthy Dutch militia ) , and plenty of portraits of the officers , but none of the British private soldier .
    A great deal of work by enthusiasts over recent years has come to a sort of consensus about what he may have looked like , but there are still some problems which we can probably never solve .


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------



    His uniform and equipment are largely as newly issued, and if not have been “ acquired “ in various ways .
    The felt hat he” found” : most soldier were issued with knitted or cloth caps because they were cheaper.
    He has a linen shirt over which he wears an old grey doublet ( in rags ) and his relatively new issue coat , of red broadcloth with a yellow lining : we believe Skippon’s Regiment were faced in yellow.
    The first contracts specify the length of these( 29 1/4 “ ) , and that they were to be made from 1 yard of broadcloth, which is 60” wide. The only way that this can be done is to cut the coat in straight sections , without the usual flare or waist found in civilian garments.
    There is no mention of buttons , which were a fashion necessity at the time , but facing coloured “tapestrings” were provided : some reconstructions have thus shown the coat closed by tape bows at the front . Since no other 17c. male garment was ever fastened by tapes , this is rather strange, and the tapes may have been intended instead as edge binding of some sort . We shall probably never know.
    Other coat contracts mention buttons , and pictures of soldiers, however crude, always show them in profusion , so perhaps the soldiers were expected to improvise and add their own buttons . Tin ones like these were common .



    The issue breeches were of grey cloth , lined with linen , with chamois leather pockets . Stockings were mostly grey .
    [ grey at this time normally meant undyed wool of brown and white sheep mixed] . The shoes are issued , from the frantically busy shoemakers of Northampton , and are
    “ straights “ , sized , but without distinction of left and right They got through three or four pairs in a year , but being barefoot was not unfamiliar .
    The snapsack is of oiled and waxed leather , containing a spare shirt if he has one , several days bread and cheese , and any personal items like a wooden cup and plate etc..



    The musket is a matchlock , fired by fitting the glowing match in the serpentine match-holder , opening the priming pan , and pulling the trigger , which lowers the end of the match into the pan. Otherwise its performance is exactly the same as the contemporary and later flintlocks , firing a .75” ball with reasonable accuracy to 80 yards , and with little chance of hitting anything smaller than the proverbial barn much beyond that ; but it would still kill at 300 yards .



    Some older authors have been misled by the elaborate illustrated training manuals( actually very good ) into regarding it as a hopelessly slow and cumbersome weapon : this is sheer ignorance. The manuals tell you exactly what to do , stage by stage with an illustration for each . If taught using one , you can operate the gun with safety and speed.





    I have personally watched one fired twice a minute with ease and accuracy, which is not quite as fast as a flintlock , but well enough .
    The fact was that massed musketry was becoming the deciding factor in battle , and the proportion of muskets to pikes in the Foot increased as the War progressed, from two to one , to four to one or more .
    Musketeers normally formed in battle array six deep : each rank fired and then fell off to either side , allowing the next rank to fire . Six ranks was the minimum needed to allow the first rank to be ready when their time came again .



    This pic , showing a Danish company ( the Danes also traditionally wore red coats ) in 1660 gives an idea of what a company looked like in formation .They are shown in five ranks : I rather suspect the artist ran out of space to show six !

    Musketeers were also often used as skirmishers , almost in the Napoleonic sense , especially where they could use natural features to protect themselves from Horse .
    A body of well-trained musketeers can also break up a charge of Horse , as had beeen discovered in the Thirty Years War in Germany ; this tactic was used in many ECW battles.
    The use of the musket rest disappeared during the war : the slightly lighter muskets then being produced didn’t really need one , and they were a pain to carry , and complicated the loading process horribly if you were not to drop them
    ( see the manual above ).
    The musket was still being loaded from the bandolier : twelve wooden chargers or “ boxes “ , containing about 5 drams each , and a spouted priming flask. The bullets and wads are carried in the bullet bag at the bottom , and there is a spare link of match .




    Paper cartridges , which became standard later , were perfectly well known and used by some, but the supply of suitable paper was expensive and intermittent , and there was no system for making them en masse , so they were not used by the common musketeer.
    The chief reason for the gradual abandonment of the matchlock later in the century was the consumption of match : 800 musketeers ( a Regiment ) burnt 800 feet per HOUR or more : that’s 266 YARDS of the stuff , a considerable weight and cost . Getting hold of it was often a problem on campaign , and there are accounts of all the beds in a town being stripped of their cording to make it
    [ Beds at the time had a lacing of rope to support the mattress ].
    The flintlock , which had only existed for about ten years prior to the war , was used by several units by 1645, had the advantage of always being ready to fire without that expense, and was certainly easier to use : but the rate of misfires was much higher . The matchlock , if the firer knows what he is doing , always works , except in heavy rain .
    The sword is copied from a Tower “ pattern “ sword believed to have been issued at the time : they were mostly made in Hounslow .
    They were a status symbol as much as a weapon : at close quarters the butt of the musket was much preferred .


    Making the figure :



    The coat and doublet are made from brushed cotton :“ Winceyette “, which I’ve dyed myself using Dylon hot dyes.
    The breeches are from an old skirt .
    Despite the “ tapestrings “ reference, I’ve given him buttons .
    The hat is felt moulded over a block.
    The shirt is real linen.
    The shoes are leather , made over a Sculpey last.
    The snapsack is thin sheepskin from Little Trimmings.
    The stockings are tailored from a piece of grey tennis shirt which has a knitted weave.
    All the various buckles and buttons are cast pewter .
    The sword has a pewter hilt on a steel blade , in a wood and leather scabbard in a buff baldric.
    The bandolier bottles are turned painted wood , blue with blue and white strings as specified in the contracts . I own an original bottle , and the blue paint is almost certainly
    “ verditer “, a cheap synthetic sky blue pigment. They are mounted on a buff leather belt ( deerskin in this case).
    The musket itself is wood and steel : I found a length of 6mm pipe at a local workshop , and filed it down to make the barrel ( it’s actually a slightly shorter “ Bastard “ musket with a 46” barrel : officially they had 48” barrels , but surving examples vary from 41-48 inches ). All the lock fittings were fashioned from little bits of steel , and the lock actually functions , sort of .



    Couldn't resist the Photoshop !

    This musket was very much a one-off , really to see if it could be done : I have prepared another version for future use , made more conventionally for casting in resin and pewter .



    As you can imagine , this has been a long term project , and I’ve been working on parts of this figure for a couple of years. Having discovered the brushed cotton as a 1/6th substitute for woolen broadcloth has prompted finishing him.


    ENGLAND’S FREEDOM – SOLDIER’S RIGHTS !


    ************************************************** ********

  2. #2
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    Genius.
    Your passion for detail and accuracy is unlimited. So is your skill.

    Chuck

  3. #3
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    Tony, admit it. Your stuff is actually 1/1 and you have photoshopped it to make us believe it is 1/6.

    Outstanding as usual, with the history and attention to detail we have come to expect. You are the master.

  4. #4
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    Mr. Barton, your unique style and extreme attention to detail is just phenomenal!!! The history of the subject is very well put in a way that we all could understand and actually see it through your work and dedication. And as always, truly an OUTSTANDING piece of work Mr. Barton


  5. #5
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    great figure Tony!

    Alexei

  6. #6
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    Another outstanding figure by master Tony!!!!! Incredible! Thanks for sharing pics and info! Bravo Tony!
    Fall out gents!

    Pascal

  7. #7
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    Amazing work!!
    "Other people's illusion of safety does not supersede my human rights." -Gabe Suarez

  8. #8
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    More one Masterpiece Tony !!!
    W@sh

  9. #9
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    Outstanding work once again!!!

  10. #10
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    Another fine fellow there.

    Well done!

    CHEERS!

  11. #11
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    Very nice historical piece.

    Well done.
    Maintiens le Droits

  12. #12
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    Wonderful work, Tony. Once again viewing one your figures is like visiting the period and meeting the gent in person. Thanks for the background information too.

  13. #13
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    A work of art Tony, as always!

    Niels

  14. #14
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    Tony, your work is always high calibre, but this figure is just outstanding in every respect, and that includes presentation! I can't say enough good things about all the gear, clothing, and detailing on this guy, let alone the marvelous head and handsculpts. Sheer unadulterated brilliance!

  15. #15
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    As Winston Churchill said, "The Army beat the lot....."
    Alumnus Major Tommy Taylor's Jump and Dive Club

  16. #16
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    I simply can't find the words to describe the work which has gone into the preparation, and presentation of this soldier and his gear,....but i think these three will do for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by phantom11 View Post
    Sheer unadulterated brilliance!
    Neil.

  17. #17
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    That is flipping amazing - Everytime I see a Tony Barton figure it's better then the last. Tony, I am in awe of your crafting skills and artistry. I am only just getting my feet wet in sculpting new body parts... I am a long way from sewing my own clothes and casting my own parts and gear.

    I also really like the dio you but together. It's the first time I've seen fake fur used as grass, it looks pretty damn good.
    got privilege?

  18. #18
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    Nice work!!!

  19. #19
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    Beautifully done, and a history lesson to boot. Very excellent, great figure.

  20. #20
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    Very very well done..great detail..

  21. #21
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    Incredible. It's great to see someone delve so far into their nation's history for the purposes of 1/6 representation.

  22. #22
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    I really like tis figure, TOny. Well researched, well represented. kitted, and presented here on the forum!!!!
    "Will shill for free man dollies!"

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