A Scots Covenanter musketeer , 1644 .

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Thread: A Scots Covenanter musketeer , 1644 .

  1. #1
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    A Scots Covenanter musketeer , 1644 .

    Scots Covenanter 1644 :

    This is the first of a series of figures I’m working on from what we should now call the British Civil Wars , to reflect the fact that all the countries were involved .
    Since the War effectively started in Scotland , with the revolt of the bulk of the population against the King’s policies in 1639, it’s appropriate to give this Scotsman first place .

    Scotland was a separate kingdom in 1639 , ruled by Charles 1st ,who was also King of England. Charles , himself a Scot , disliked the way the inhabitants of his Northern Kingdom organised their religion , and attempted to impose his new ideas on their Kirk : a dreadful mistake . Such was Scottish fervour to preserve their own Presbyterian church that they organised a national petition , known as the National Covenant ( hence the name of Covenanters ) then raised a formidable Army , commanded by large numbers of experienced professional officers recalled from the ongoing European wars.
    This army saw off two very unwilling English Royal Armies sent to crush them , almost without fighting.
    The eventual results of this debacle for Royal policy were the revolt of the English Parliament , who allied themselves with the Scots , and the outbreak of the War in England , once the King realised that he could get his own way only by fighting .

    Once the war started in earnest in 1642 , the Parliament made an agreement with the the ruling party in Scotland to hire their army to assist its own in bringing the King to terms : the agreement was known as The Solemn League and Covenant , after which the Scots Army was named.
    This Army moved south into England in early 1644 , laying siege to Newcastle , then on to be part of an allied Army besieging York.
    The arrival of a Royalist relieving force led to the fateful battle of Marston Moor, in which the Royalist northern armies were effectively destroyed , and the North lost to the King .



    Note for overseas readers : it’s important to understand that Scotland, a completely independent Kingdom until 1603 , when the Crowns were united , contained at this time , and for four centuries , two mutually hostile cultures :
    The majority Lowlanders , English speaking , Protestant ( extremely Protestant ) , largely agricultural or involved in small industries . They were poorer than their English counterparts , largely for climatic reasons , but essentially similar to them culturally. The Covenant forces came almost entirely from this population.
    And the minority Highland culture : Gaelic speaking , cattle-herding and crofting , divided into warring Clans and ruled by their Chiefs rather than central government .They had an Oral rather than a written culture , and a minority remained Catholic . Many of them supported the King in the fighting that broke out in Scotland whilst the Army was in England .



    The Figure :

    Apart from the modified DML body inside , this figure is completely scratchbuilt .

    Scots Armies at this period were a rather drab looking Host , uniformed largely in undyed ” Hodden Grey “ cloth , made from the wool of white and brown sheep .This clothing was partly issued and partly whatever the man happened to be wearing when enlisted .
    Their arms were mostly imported from Europe , having little in the way of a native arms industry.



    From the top : The Scots bonnet : knitted , felted and blocked , these were the almost universal headgear throughout the Land for several centuries ; and the later Kilmarnocks, Glengarries and Balmorals are all derivatives of the original , which probably started its career in the late 1400s .This one , to get the knitted effect , is made from the end of an old “ Granny stocking “ , worked over a bonnet of felt , then painted with indigo .



    His face bears the scars of smallpox , a common disfigurement at the time : at least he survived .

    The coat and breeches are of a simple design capable of bulk production. The buttons are “ dumplings “ , made from scraps of cloth sewn into balls. Under the coat is the man’s own doublet . All the clothing is made from brushed cotton dyed with Dylon .
    He has recently received a new issue of breeches and stockings , hence their relative cleanliness relative to the coat.



    The sword is a common European export type , sometimes called the
    “ Sinclair “ hilt , suitable for both Horse and Foot , with a very simple hilt and a broad blade. He also visibly carries a long knife with a carved bog-oak handle, used for eating , a fashion long abandoned further south.



    The sword and knife have steel blades , with a pewter and Fimo hilt respectively .The scabbard is made by hollowing out two strips of jelutong until the blade fits , then gluing them together and sanding down the scabbard until it's paper thin , thencovering with leather .

    The sword is worn on a waist belt : despite the common use of the baldric over the shoulder , the older waist carriage of swords continued in parallel through the period .
    He carries a plaid , used as a combined overcoat and blanket , universal in Scotland , not just in the Highlands .This is a piece of plaid from Little Trimmings , a scale 8 foot by 5 foot.



    On his back is a snapsack , made rather like a modern duffel bag , which could be leather or oiled and waxed linen , in which his rations
    of oatmeal and cheese and any spare items were carried .




    The stockings ( knit in this case , but they could be tailored ) and shoes are entirely conventional for the time : they wore out rather quickly.
    His cheap bandolier , with wooden bottles, was turned on my Emco lathe : here he primes the pan :



    Notice the burning match in his left hand : I've made this from tar impregnated twine : it's perfect , and burns just like the real thing !

    The matchlock musket ( resin and pewter ) is copied from an original from the Netherlands .The rope is a link of match , essential for firing the musket .
    Each bottle contains one charge , and you can see the bullet bag above the spouted priming bottle at the bottom of the bandolier .




    The Army of the Solemn League & Covenant had mixed fortunes: it succeded in driving the Royalist forces south from the area around Newcastle, eventually besieging York along with two English armies. The siege was lifted on the approach of Rupert’s forces , leading quickly to the decisive and very chaotic battle at Marston Moor ( 5 miles from where I write this ), where parts of it ran away along with many of its English allies .
    Despite this , the Scots army shared in the victory , and went on with its allies to besiege and eventually capture Newark , a critical strategic town.
    It was the very existence of the Scots Army that helped tip the balance against the King’s forces, who were forced to find men to counter it ; and that threat freed up English troops to build Parliament’s New Model Army in the spring of 1645 : that army went on to win the war .


    This figure is pretty typical of Scots soldiers of whatever party in the 1640s and ‘50s ( and there were several parties and many changes of side as the war changed direction ). Whilst many of their officers would be more fashionably dressed , and some Highlanders would have retained their traditional plaids , the bulk of the rank and file of the Foot would have resembled him , including the pikemen , who never seem to have had the luxury of armour .
    May I recommend the Osprey No:331 “ Scots Armies of the English ( ! ) Civil Wars “ , by Stuart Reid.



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

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  3. #2
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    Thats just...insanly cool looking...
    I always like seeing your stuff, it never ceases to amaze me

  4. #3
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    Wow--that's fantastic. An incredible amount of work, but the final product makes it all worth it.

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  6. #4
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    Wow, stunning detail. All of the handmade items looked like they were painstakingly reproduced, and I must say they look fantastic. And your custom head and hand sculpts always work wonders with the realism.

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    too cool for school

  8. #6
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    Another stunning piece! Love all the small details.
    In life it's not what you want, it's what you get.

  9. #7
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    Another museum quality piece, fantastic as always.

  10. #8
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    Another piece of art Master Tony !!!!!!!

  11. #9
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    That is so incredibly done. I love to see these works from periods that most of us never even think about. Your work is fantastic and so well displayed via your photos.
    "...peace is the highest aspiration of the American People. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will never surrender for it, now or ever."
    Ronald Wilson Reagan January 20, 1981

  12. #10
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    that is a superb figure, Tony. I really love the headsculpt. the pock marks look fantastic.

  13. #11
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    As usual, Tony, words fail me. One of my favorite works of yours.

  14. #12
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    Some day I hope to half as good. Another amzing piece Tony.
    got privilege?

  15. #13
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    Gorgeous figure Tony...even with the smallpox

    I'll look past the fact that he's laid siege to my beloved Newcastle....
    "that island of England breeds very valiant creatures".

    Rambures, Henry V by William Shakespeare

  16. #14
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    Another truly beautiful work of art Tony! Your attention to detail is amazing and I learned a lot from reading your accompanying text, thanks! I was also humming "Oliver Cromwell" by Monty Python while I was reading it
    The scariest thing that I've ever seen,
    Is the terrible AT-AT Walking Machine.
    It's as big as a house on walking legs,
    And whatever it steps on it crushes like eggs.

  17. #15
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    I've always dreamt of a window capable of seeing into the past. To be a voayager able to veiw History.
    Now I can say I've seen a small glimpe into that past.
    Just out right quaility Tony. The small pox scars, the minute details. I'm totalling engrossed with your work. Bravo.
    BTW love the shoes as well.
    "its a cesspool down here, and when you make waves I get a mouthful"

  18. #16
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    That's impressive especially your attention to details like the smallpox.

  19. #17
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    Beautiful

  20. #18
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    Stunning, simply stunning, I would like to see you do some female figures though...
    " and just what would you do with a Brain, if you had one"? "Prince, harley....come on....Cooper you are such a goofball
    My Photo Album:
    http://s164.photobucket.com/user/cru...?sort=3&page=1

  21. #19
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    I have to ask??? Where did you get the Tartan and the Tam?

    Awesome piece! Your work has always blown me away.

  22. #20
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    Amazing work!

  23. #21
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    wow!!!

    As usual, Mr. Barton, your work is OUTSTANDING!!!

  24. #22
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    Simply beautiful... Simply Awesome... Tony... ^L^

  25. #23
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    Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. #24
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    Another wonderful work of art, Tony. Love the realistically flawed face because of the pox. He more accurately represents a real person not like the runway model heads on most figures. The color (sorry, colour) tones are so perfectly in balance as well. Even though you describe the clothing as drab the subtleties of the grays, blues, browns and greens make a very pleasant figure to look at and one that holds the attention. Okay, please for this colonial please translate: "granny socks" (?). What would be the closest to that in American English?

  27. #25
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    F-G , Granny stockings are those finely knit opaque cotton stockings beloved of Old Ladies ( normally worn slightly drooping with wrinkles ), and also used in the theatre whenever an actor needs to wear breeches and stockings for a period role.
    I believe they are also known as Lisle stockings .

  28. #26
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    Tony --
    You have really brought the hobby to an entirely different level. From creating and casting your own head sculpts -- sewing uniforms and crafting your own accessories. Not only did do this, but to do it so well -- such dedication to detail and precise execution. Truly amazing.
    I loved the historical back story. Outstanding research -- both on the time line and the uniform. The pockmarks -- an excellent touch to an already perfect figure. It's kind of brave, not to be over sentimental about the character -- and display him as he probably took the field.
    -----------------------------------------
    "It's not how many times you get knocked down that counts,
    it's how many times you get back up."

  29. #27
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    Another wonderful work!!!

  30. #28
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    Fantastic figure and a great history lesson to boot.

    Wonderful work

    CHEERS!

  31. #29
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    Amazing work!

    Alexei

  32. #30
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    What an extraordinary amount of work you put into this figure, Tony, including all of the thought that went into it. The craftsmanship is truly stunning! You are a rare artist!

    Kat

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A Scots Covenanter musketeer , 1644 .
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