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About Cadman

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  • Birthday August 6

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    Building simple dioramas. Beatles/Stones/Cocker

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  1. It's called semi-retirement Vinnie. I'm in the happy position where I can pick and choose work assignments these days.
  2. So, I did a tad more on the stream and decided to call this one finished. It's now taken up residence in the unit at the back of my office. This one, depicting the escape across the Solway Firth on 16 May 1568 isn't quite completed yet, as I want to do a bit more work on the Mary Stuart figure who's ditched her cuirass and changed back into civvies. Also need to fix the getaway vehicle driver's green hair.... ....the driver who seems to be saying, "Nope, no way. The deal was one female passenger and her wee scottie dog. The rest of you can just wait for the next boat." The groundwork needs a bit more detail as well. Then the display table will get cleaned up....and after that, I'll on with the next project. Cheers H
  3. Thanks Vince. Two or three additional photos I took today coming up soon.
  4. I assume there's plenty of fish in Plymouth as well.....
  5. I really need to get my eyes tested. I read that as, "That bum looks nice and trouty", and couldn't figure out what fish had to do with it....
  6. Hi Graham, Umm, yeah, I do tend to think of my dioramas as being fairly simple. If you were to go through them you'll notice that the groundwork is always pretty basic -- and I can't do buildings, so they're avoided like the plague. One of the few things I reckon I can do right is the composition and layout -- and I always try to tell the story, although that's probably always a bit ambiguous -- except to me of course. I really ought to have done a full diorama WIP thread, but have been way too busy recently, so here's a brief rundown; 21-June I've always wanted to do a Mary Queen of Scots scenario, but finding suitable figures is like trying to find hen's teeth. However, I was struck by how similar Spanish Tercio's in the early stages of the 30-Years War were to Lowland Scots and Border Mosstroopers of the late 16th century. Well, they looked similar to me -- and having recently re-read George MacDonald Fraser's book "The Steel Bonnets" about the Border Reivers, I decided I could live with the slight discrepancy in the time frame between the two eras. So the first job was to do the flags, and I must've changed all of them out around six times each before I got them right. 24-June I've done a WIP on my mounted Mary Stuart in the figure section so won't drone on about how I created her like some latter-day Igor assisting in Baron Frankenstein's lab. It's enough to say an awful lot of milliput was used..... However, I also had some kit figures that've been in my stash for years and reckoned they would work in this wee project, so a start was made on prepping and priming them. Note, I was also working on some kits for two different vignettes as well, so only the Border Heidman and mounted figure in the photo below were used for this diorama. 30-June Doing the figures for these projects is always time consuming, but they were coming on. That's the resin product from Deluxe Material that I used for the river. 02-July A bit more progress. 05-July The resin bridge was initially assembled with superglue gel and once it was set great dollops of two-part epoxy were ladled on for added strength -- where they wouldn't be seen of course. And after filling all the gaps at the span to arch joints, I had a bit of practice with the layout. Any excuse to just play around is always a good one. 06-July More progress on the figures, although I only used four of these in this diorama. And the weathering process on the bridge was started. I used printers inks for the initial washes of color. 11-July With the bridge about 75% finished, it was temporarily fixed to the groundwork, and the first layer of resin poured into the riverbed. Mmm, I got a bit silly with the rocks and whipped half of them out of there before the resin began to set. 12-July Began basing the figures into the groundwork and poured in the second layer of resin "water". The diorama base is sitting on a plastic tray out in our conservatory, just in case of leaks or spills. 13-July The third and final layer of resin was poured in. Remember I said the bridge was only temporarily fixed to the groundwork? That was so it could come back off while I detailed the resin stream. It then went back on and fixed in place. The Border Heidman was also located n his final position. So, yesterday was spent on the final detailing, adding more foliage. clumps of reeds, flowers and so on. I also made the nameplate and then left well alone overnight. The photoshoot was done this afternoon out in the conservatory so I could take advantage of the natural light. Hope this has been helpful, and the members here enjoy seeing the process and final results as much as I enjoyed the entire exercise. Next up? Well, there's a small rowing boat vignette to finish off over the next couple of days. I had intended to then do a small, maybe six figure, scenario featuring the Marquis of Montrose in 1645, but to be honest I might defer that one for a few weeks, cos I've a hankering for doing something with Cherry Blossom trees and Knights of Camelot in Shining Armor riding by, while Carl Orff's "O Fortuna Carmina Burana" is bouncing off the floor, walls and ceiling at full blast. And that's a blatant plug for the movie I'm going to be watching tonight.... Cheers H
  7. Thanks guys. I'm glad you like it.
  8. CONTINUED FROM MY PREVIOUS POST Along with a small group of adherents, and intent on gaining an army and financial aid from her cousin Elizabeth I, the Scottish Queen crossed the Solway Firth and into England on 16 May 1568. Almost immediately placed into “protective custody” she would endure protracted and increasingly severe imprisonment, and be complicit in numerous failed plots and intrigues. Nineteen long years after Langside, Mary Stuart was put on trial for involvement in the Babbington Plot. The somewhat hair-brained plan was to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with the Scottish Queen. Despite Mary’s spirited defense, the verdict was never in doubt and she was executed at Fotheringhay Castle on 8 February 1587. Mary Stuart’s half-brother, James Stewart the Earl of Moray and leader of the rebel forces at the Battle of Langside, was shot dead in 1570 by a Marian supporter. It was the first recorded assassination of a head of state by a firearm. Her third husband, James Hepburn the Earl of Bothwell was imprisoned in Denmark and kept in a dungeon under unspeakable conditions for ten years. Still in chains and probably completely insane, he died in 1578. Elizabeth I died in 1603 and was succeeded by James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, who now became James I of the United Kingdom. In 1612 James had his mother’s remains exhumed and re-interred in Westminster Abbey. Her final resting place lies at the opposite end of the aisle from Elizabeth’s tomb in the Henry VII Chapel, and one can’t help but wonder if, wherever they are now, both ladies find such close proximity to be somewhat……awkward.
  9. The decisive battle of Mary Queen of Scots personal reign took place on 13 May 1568 at the village of Langside, two miles south of Glasgow. The Queen’s army was destroyed in less than an hour. This diorama depicts the closing stages of the battle. Royalist forces have been pushed back to a large stream called the White Cart Water, a tributary of the River Clyde. With the remnants of Mary’s army on the point of a full-scale route, Lords Claud Hamilton and Maxwell Herries report that all is lost and counsel the Queen to return to France and await better times. Mary Stuart, who was still only twenty-six, chose to ignore the advice of her loyal Lords. The figures include several converted white metal castings from FL & KP, plus white metal kits from Art Girona and Masterclass. The animals are either from the toy shop round the corner, or were picked up at duty free in Hong Kong airport -- can't remember which it was. Flags and nameplate were done in Microsoft Excel. The base is a miniature display table and groundwork is instant papier mâché with added static grass and various other details. The stream is a one-part clear resin product from Deluxe Materials. The bridge is a resin kit by Reality in Scale, and I've no idea where the trees came from. The mounted Mary Stuart figure was cobbled together from various bits and pieces. For details, please refer to my "Mary Queen of Scots" thread in the Figures WIP Section. TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POST....
  10. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    I made a lot of progress on the figures earlier this week, and the rowing boat driver is just about finished. I was wrong about the Civilian Mary (Mk2) figure. I thought she looked way older than Martial Mary (Mk1) but once I got her face done she looks okay. (Need to add a touch of yellow to her hair though). Guess she was pretty relieved to dump the cuirass she was wearing and revert back to civvie clothes. She'll do fine as the Queen of Scots getting ready to hightail it out of Scotland. If you squint your eyes a lot, dim the lights down low and use some imagination, the guy with her could be a dead ringer for Nigel Davenport in the 1971 movie. Shame the real James Hepburn (Bothwell) was incarcerated in Denmark by the time Mary Stuart made her daft decision to explore England's 16th century penal system. That really just leaves these two Gents to finish off -- and then get on with the two dioramas for this wee project.
  11. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    Knew I had the DVD set of Glenda Jackson in the BBC's "Elizabeth R" kicking around somewhere. Found it yesterday in this 7-disk Dutch import yesterday. It's in English and the Dutch sub-titles can be switched off via the menu options. Sure it's a bit dated now, after all the series was filmed almost fifty years ago, still features some stunning performances though. The episode I'm most interested in re-watching is the fourth one, "Horrible Conspiracies". Following description is from IMDb.... S1, Ep4 5 Mar. 1972 Horrible Conspiracies 8.3 (34) It is 1586 and Mary Queen of Scots has been imprisoned in England for nearly 20 years, Walsingham is determined to strike Mary and the catholic faction down. Elizabeth tries to protect her doomed fellow Queen,but is slowly drawn into Mary's tragedy.
  12. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    Close, but no cigar. It's a can of Carlsberg Special -- I was trying to be subtle and dropping a huge hint on where Bothwell was skulking by this time. Got a bit more done on the figures.... ....and began weathering the getaway vehicle....
  13. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    Yeah I know. There's a bunch of untranslated French quotes in Fraser's book as well. There's always Google Translate of course, but the results can be unpredictable and often inadvertently funny.
  14. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    I have JG's book. Also Antonia Fraser's which I read a long time ago, but intend revisiting. Finished Mickey Mayhew's "Little Book of Mary Queen of Scots" earlier this evening. It's quite an entertaining read. I'm no book snob, but after being burned a couple of times by Ms Gregory -- and Margaret George is even worse -- I'm reluctant to look at any historical fiction on the subject of Mary Stuart, Having said that, I do admit that I remember enjoying Jean Plaidy's "Royal Road to Fotheringay" and "The Captive Queen of Scots", but that must've been around thirty years ago. Might just buy them both for my Kindle and revisit them as well, but only if I get really bored.
  15. Cadman

    Mary Queen of Scots

    CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST This "cobbled together from various bits and pieces" figure was now coming along nicely, although it was obvious I'd have to get the Dremel out and carve a few better folds into the riding skirt. Should've done that before the milliput hardened up........Oh well.... The horse got a change of color while I was at it. And by the time this stage was reached I was just about ready to call her "almost done". Meanwhile, I'd done a couple of flags in excel, printed them out and attached them to their new owners. But there was something niggling away about them and I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong. And then the penny dropped..!! The Lion Rampant is facing the wrong way....doh............ So off they came and new ones were put on. They look so shiny in this shot because of the multiple coats of gloss varnish that were slapped onto them so's they'd keep their shape. And I reckoned the Pike & Shot group was now beginning to look quite good. Still had to give those flags a squirt of matte varnish to dull them down though. In the meantime, it was back to Mary Stuart and some finishing touches. She won't win any prizes, but then again, I only spent around six days on her plus she's a diorama figure anyway, so she's good enough -- and besides, I don't "do competitions" in any case. Did I happen to mention that this little project is actually going to be two dioramas? Probably not. The relatively large one will be built onto a wooden base and displayed on the larger of the new display tables. This will depict the Battle of Langside 13-May-1568, although this isn't going to be the final locations of the figures. I'm thinking it'll look better with Mary off to the side giving some of the troops a pep-talk rather than just lining them all up. Meanwhile, I'll be building a smaller vignette to depict the aftermath of defeat and the "escape" into England on 16-May-1568, and it'll be displayed on a smaller table which is the same design as the larger diorama. At this moment in time I've no idea how I'll block off two of those edges so I don't end up with resin "water" all over the hobby room floor. That's not quite true as I'm actually chewing a couple of ideas around, but they'll keep for now. However, that kit figure looks far too old to stand in as Mary Queen of Scots who was only 25 or 26 at the time of the events I want to portray. She'll work fine as one of the Queen's "Four Mary's" though. I'll have a hunt through my usual on-line sources for a suitable figure to use as Mary Stuart about to climb into that leaky rowing boat. That leaky rowing boat which will take her over the Solway Firth and an important date in nineteen years time at a place called Fotheringhay, that by all accounts she actually welcomed -- as a chance to be a "Catholic Martyr". Umm, and I've just given away where my loyalties are, and they're certainly not with James Stewart, the Earl of Moray. I do have some sympathy for the impossible situation Elizabeth I found herself landed in though. Anyway, getting back to the hunt for a second Mary Stuart figure, this'll be something similar to Hollywood's massive search for the actress to play Scarlett O'Hara. I'll be transferring this thread to the diorama section sometime next week, as despite the fact there's still a ton of work to do on the kit figures, that's where it'll belong once I make a start on the groundwork -- and that river section. Cheers the Noo H