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Historical Miniatures: Middle Ages
For the timeperiod of the 5th - 15th centuries.
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The Penicuik Drawings
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: April 18, 2005
KitMaker: 279 posts
Armorama: 199 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 06:41 AM UTC
I'm not normally a figure modeler, but I've come across some stuff recently that I'm finding interesting that is definitely figure modeler material, so this is presumably the place to ask.

I've been researching the history of the town I grew up in (Penicuik, about 10 miles SE of Edinburgh, Scotland). We got all the usual Scottish history when I was at school, day trip to Bannockburn at primary, and we covered the usual Jacobite rebellion briefly.

However, while doing a bit of research and genealogy and so forth more recently (school was 30-40 years ago) I found mention of what are known as the Penicuik Drawings. I can only guess these weren't known at the time we did this stuff in school, probably stuck on a shelf in the library of the local baronet. Some helpful Russian person has scanned them all, and put them in the Wikimedia commons


What they are is a series of 40 pencil or charcoal sketches made by a a resident of Penicuik, over the period of 1745-1746. There are sketches showing the militia preparing for the oncoming Jacobite hordes, there's some nice sketches (which have a definite hint of caricature about them) made while the Jacobites were in town and passing through, and then there's a few pics showing the Hanoverian troops coming through once the Jacobites were in retreat.

From what I've read, even though they're not exactly fantastic art, they're literally the only "eyewitness reports" of the Jacobite rebellion (while I'm sure there are plenty of oil paintings of generals on horses and so on, these are the 18th century equivalent of somebody using the camera in their phone).

They also - particularly those of the Jacobites - have a certain energy, or appeal about them. In short, some of these are great poses. Does anybody know if anybody has used these drawings as the basis for figures (scale irrelevant)? From Google searches, the sketches and actions illustrated do have a certain popularity with people who like swinging swords around in their spare time, to the extent that there's even a video somewhere on Youtube indicating "the Penicuik style", but I've not seen evidence of figures.

Since any other figures I might do to that are inspired by my personal history project would be far more...hypothetical (the town's name is Brythonic or Cumbric, the area was in Bernicia before it was Scottish, and part of Gododdin or the home of the Votadini prior to that, and there really isn't a lot of solid material on how the armies of these earlier residents would have looked or dressed beyond stuff about magic swords in epic Old Welsh poems), they look to be my best chance of doing a historical figure that's got personal appeal.

I've seen a Northumbrian warlord figure, which is probably a good guess at what the Bernician invaders would have looked like, they didn't really last that long in the area - basically they got far enough to take Edinburgh after curb-stomping the Brythonic tribes at Catraeth, over-stretched themselves about 100 years later and got gubbed by the Picts at Dun Nechtain, then it's all a bit blurry until the Vikings turn up.

Oh, for reference, my ancestor's probably one of the guys standing around in the background, I know the family was in the area at least as far back as 1670 or so. Actually, they moved around so little, there's a good chance they stood around watching the Vikings, Bernicians and Britons too.