Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Leather Belt

Sunday evening saw a bit of work on the crusader's belt. Now I am much happier with the results and feel it represents worn leather to a better standard now.  

 I started some very diluted black which was gently brushed on to the centre of the belt to add a touch of depth. Once the black had dried I very carefully stippled the top and bottom edges of the belt with beige.

 The paint was diluted around 4:1 with water.  To finish it all off a wash of  cavalry brown was added bringing the separate elements together and give the whole belt a leather sheen.  

Hope you like the progress. 

The next job is to do a bit of work on the red crosses  and get them looking less painted. 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Mucky Hems

So where was I, Oh yeah, engrained dirt. The process of working dirt into the tabbard continued      with very diluted mixes of chocolate brown and khaki, about a eight to one mix which was figuremethodically painted around the hem of the crusaders tabbard each coat slowly built up the dirt with slightly different tones. Interspersed in the brown and khaki coats were the occasional coat of ivory which was feathered up into the off-white of the fabric. It is a slow but pleasant process and it seems to be producing results.

Currently I am not totally happy with the leather belt. It needs a little more work to get a the worn look just right...

Okay maybe I will just ruin it and have to start again.  Watch this space !

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lest We Forget

On a corner of the perimeter wall of Heathfield School in Ascot sits a memorial to the only son of its former bursar, Flying Officer Henry (Harry) Beaucourt Skyrme of the Royal Air Force, who went missing on the night of 16 January 1941. Skyrme was listed  missing in The Times on 7 February 1941.

Henry “Harry” Beaucourt Skyrme was born on 8 October 1917 in Bexhill-on-Sea, the only child of Major Theophilus Garfield Skyrme. His middle-name refers to Beaucourt-sur-l'Ancre on the Somme, where his father was wounded during the First World War, subsequently losing his leg.

Harry attended Radley College, Abingdon 1931-35. In the school newspaper,  The Radleian  a short obituary of Harry, which describes him as a loyal Radleian although not known for eminence. Skyrme’s service record lists his interests as ‘rugger and rowing’ and The Radleian also mentions him crewing a coxed IV for his house in inter-school competitions.

Skyrme was a salesman for Stratstone Ltd in Pall Mall before volunteering for the RAF on 4 October 1938. He scraped through his flight exams at the second attempt and was authorized to wear the coveted RAF cloth pilot’s wings. On 23 September 1939 he married Georgina Alexandra Bellanti from Gozo Malta . On 25 October 1940 he was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer and on 1 November 1940 he joined No.10 Bomber Squadron under the command of Group Captain W.E. ‘King Kong’ Staton.

On 16 January 1941 at 18:32 Skyrme and four comrades (Sergeants Rowlett, Sandland, Polkinghorne and Brookman) took off from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire as part of an 81 aircraft raid on Wilhelmshaven following up a successful raid the previous night. During the night of the 16th fewer crews found their targets and Wilhelmshaven reported only light damage with two people killed. 

Five aircraft did not return from that raid including the Whitley Mk V bomber T4220 ZA-S piloted by Skyrme on operational mission. The last report of his aircraft was timed at 21:15: they were going to drop altitude to try to find warmer air because the flaps were icing up. The aircraft and crew were presumed lost in the North Sea.

On 10 September 1941, Harry Skyrme’s daughter Jacqueline was born. The following day, The Times listed him in the roll of honour: “previously reported missing now presumed killed in action”.   He is commemorated by name on three memorials:

Heathfield School, Ascot (Pictured)

The Ascot War Memorial

The RAF Memorial, Runnymede (Panel 30)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Yellow Scarf

Last night more  progress was  made on the yellow scarf  around the crusader's waist. Firstly I went over all the upper surfaces of the scarf with a light sand highlight. Once this dried a went over the entire scarf with an opaque covering of lemon yellow.  Once this was complete a mix of some off-white was added to the yellow and the added a further light coat over the high-light areas once again. 
After a couple more coats progressively lighting the yellow until I was happy with the highlight. 
It was not to be too light but defined enough to show the texture and the folds off to their best. 

For the recesses and folds in the fabric a tiny spot of chocolate brown was mixed in with the yellow. This too was watered down in to an opaque consistency and gently added into the low- lights. The final stage was to paint over a final top coat to bring together the different shades and tones into one element encompassing light and dark. 

Finally the next part to deal with will be to start working on the bottom of the crusader's surcoat. Ideally we want to achieve an ingrained dirt look resulted  from months or possibly years of campaigning ...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Boots and Gloves

Recently some of the readers suggested that I should focus efforts on finishing up this crusader. So over the next few free evenings I am attempting to add the finishing touches to him. And attempt to get a nice uniform tonality on to the fabrics.

So far I am very pleased with the boots and gloves, both of which I imagine were made from un-dyed hide.

Currently I am working on the yellow waist scarf. This represents a piece of looted fabric from an enemy warrior. I hope to achieve an extra level of refinement on this item to contrast with the earthy tones against off white.