ALY MORRISON'S "BUTTERFLY" ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF WARGAMES AND TOY SOLDIERS

Monday, 3 May 2021

A New book... And a little Shiny Inspiration.

 Greetings...

Many many years ago when I was nine or ten I remember finding the whole of the Bayeux Tapestry laid out in the back of a volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica at my Grandparents house...

I was of course mesmerised... And I still find it fascinating to this day.

Recently the History Extra Podcast has run a couple of episodes covering the possible exhibition of this wonderful object in the UK...

https://www.historyextra.com/bayeux-tapestry-exclusive-history-podcast-series/

There is also a book available... 

Of course I had a real need to buy it...


It looks very interesting and I am looking forward to reading it...

There is also an on-line version of the tapestry here...

https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry/discover-the-bayeux-tapestry/explore-online/

I highly recommend this... It feels about as close to the object as most of us will get...


I was watching a documentary on BBC iPlayer called A History of Art in Three Colours...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01l9mf8

In the first episode which is about the colour Gold...

The presenter introduces an incredibly expensive diorama/artwork made of gold and enamel... I  have to say I was somewhat blown away by its shiny beauty...

I have managed to find a few images of this rather magnificent object...







These images don’t really give a sense of the size of this piece of shininess...


Yup these are super exclusive toy soldiers...

There are some more images to be found here...

https://www.theheritagelab.in/aurangzeb-birthday-diorama/

The diorama was made by Johann Melchior Dinglinger for Augustus Strong of Saxony...

It is on show at The Green Vault in Dresden.

Here a few relevant links...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_II_the_Strong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Vault

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Melchior_Dinglinger

It’s tricky enough painting fine detail on a miniature... let alone doing it in enamel 

I wonder if Augustus played with this toy of his... I know I would have.

Painting is still on the slow side... I got my second Covid vaccination the other day and it has knocked the wind out my sails a bit... the first one wasn’t too bad..

I have however spruced up another unit of shiny American Civil War figures and I am just waiting for some varnish to arrive...

All the best   Aly



28 comments:

  1. I suddenly feel very inadequate...

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    1. Given that it was finished in 1708... the level of technical skill is incredible ...
      No handy gas powered micro-blowtorches or computer controlled kilns... just years of practice and knowledge...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  2. Blimey, that is stunning! I've never seen nor heard of this, so will happily follow the links you provided:)

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    1. You will not be surprised to know that I’ve just bought a book on the subject 😂

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  3. Wow some supreme shinyness there. We had our second jab Sunday apart from a sore arm we felt OK, very washed out after the first we were.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is certainly the big kind of shiny...
      I think the reaction you get depends a bit on which jab you get...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  4. Splendid chaps from Pendawar on show there, shame mine aren't worth as much. I've seen the tapestry three times now, a truly wonderful thing to see for yourself so hope it makes it back to Britain where it belongs in truth. Sorry you are hors Dr combat, was the same for me, but it passes and beats the crap out of getting the virus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The court of Typoo Bhyka did come to mind when I first saw it...
      I am really looking forward to seeing the Bayeux Tapestry if a couple of days feel rough give me chance then I don’t mind.

      All the best. Aly

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  5. I have a book somewhere that analyses the Bayeux Tapestry, scene by scene, providing an explanation of what they all mean - even including a theory that the famous image of King Harold being killed by an arrow in the eye is a misinterpretation, and Harold is actually represented by one of the already prostrate dead bodies! The shiny toys are pretty cool - reminds me of our trip to China about twenty months ago when we visited an enamelware factory near Beijing, with huge Junks, warriors in armour and all manner of wonderful objects on display.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I read somewhere that the arrow was put there later when the tapestry was getting a repair... the figure was apparently originally depicted holding a spear...
      The guy on the ground getting stomped all over is supposed to be Harold...
      No matter what it is still a beautiful thing...
      Glass enamelling is a dark art that always amazes me...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  6. I remember an issue of......National Geographic possibly?..that had the whole tapestry on one or more of those foldout pages with tiny print and teeny figures. Memorizing and still an inspiration years later when Garrison released their Normans vs Saxons range.

    It would be great, dangerous but great, to see a large version.

    I have a feeling that melting down a certain gold ring for a new miniatures project would also be dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope we can get to see the tapestry in the UK...
      I once got in to trouble for drawing my own version of Hastings in the margins of my school books... I think every other warrior had an arrow in his eye...
      24 carat gold command groups... just imagine how good the braid would look 😈

      All the best. Aly

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  7. Splendid stuff Aly.... Im fortunate to have been to Bayeux and did the tapestry for real, it is very long and would definitely visit again. As for gold figures I’m afraid unless they can match current plastic figures for quality and price they are a no go for me 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apart from the price... waiting five years for your toys... you would have moved on to a new period or rules by the time they arrived...

      “ I know I said group basing... but that was five years ago... I’m into skirmish gaming now”

      All the best. Aly

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  8. Well, I paint with enamels...but somehow the effect is just not the same.

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    Replies
    1. The just don’t do the metallics like they used to...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  9. Wow,now that's the way to do shiny! You've raised the benchmark I'm afraid!
    Best Iain

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    1. I was actually wondering how I could paint a miniature to look like that...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  10. That's some damn fine painting. Not sure my eyes could take it.

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    1. There was certainly no lack of skill in the 18th century...

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  11. Augustus was over the top on just about everything....even his toys it seems!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yup!...
      If he was alive today he would be living in a massive Hollywood mansion and driving a solid gold Stretch-Ferrari 😳

      All the best. Aly

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  12. Gosh, imagine an army of those on the tabletop!
    Regards, James

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    Replies
    1. I am imagining it 😂

      I may try and paint a couple of figures up... and see how close I can get them.

      All the best. Aly

      Delete
  13. I remember that The National Geographic ran a pictorial study of the entire tapestry in 1966, on the 900th anniversary. I poured over it for hours.

    I remember on a trip to London three year ago we visited the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace where there was a display of the gifts brought back by the Prince Of Wales on his visit to India in 1875. One item was this collection of 18th Century brass model soldiers, presented to the Prince by the Raja of Peddapuram. I thought at these were impressive, but those Dresden figures are in a different league.

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    1. I had my second jab the other day too. All was well for seven hours then the arm started hurting and three hours later I couldn’t raise it above the horizontal. Later that night I had the shivers and headaches followed. Two days on now and all is good, but it affected me more than I expected.

      Delete
  14. I really hope we will get to see the real thing...

    Yes it is a truly impressive toy... The Green Vault is now on my list of places to go.

    I was quite surprised at the level of reaction I had ... given that the first jab wasn’t too bad.

    All the best. Aly

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