a mod­eller’s story

Landscape (UK) - - In The Home -

Jane Brit­ton has been in­volved at Pen­don for nearly a decade. Al­though she never met Roye, when she first visited the mu­seum she was im­me­di­ately struck by his vi­sion. “I thought it was won­der­ful, and was amazed that peo­ple could build some­thing like that,” she says. “I find the whole history and Roye’s history fas­ci­nat­ing. The per­son­al­ity he was seems to come through. Ev­ery­one who comes to Pen­don will ap­pre­ci­ate that this was a man who had a dream.” After a cou­ple of vis­its, Jane trav­elled from her home in Glouces­ter­shire to at­tend one of Pen­don’s monthly Modellers’ Sun­day meet­ings, where she was taught to make minia­ture trees. After grad­u­at­ing to small test build­ings, she was of­fered the chance to make the Che­quers Inn, which still ex­ists at Char­ney Bassett, in the heart of the vale. “I was given scaled ar­chi­tec­tural draw­ings from the archive team, who look at what you need to model for the era,” she says. Hav­ing only made small, pre-cut paper mod­els as a child, a book called Cot­tage Mod­el­ling for Pen­don, by Chris Pil­ton, was Jane’s tu­tor. Fur­ther aided by old photographs, she then cre­ated a scale mock-up in card to work out how best to make her model. Then she be­gan to build the model proper, work­ing in a base tray. Us­ing a spe­cial vi­sor with drop-down mag­ni­fier helped her ac­cu­rately add even the small­est de­tail of the inn, work­ing at a minute 1:76 scale, with 1mm rep­re­sent­ing 3in (7.6cm). “There’s no ‘how long will it take?’ It takes what time you have, when you have it, and some of the re­ally de­tailed work can take for­ever,” says Jane. “You can’t re­ally use pen­cil be­cause rub­bing it out de­stroys the sur­face of the card. In­stead, you might make pin­pricks as a guide for adding your bricks. Then you have to paint ev­ery brick, then scribe in the bricks to make a nice re­lief, and on you go. “It’s a labour of love. When you start paint­ing you can only work re­ally well for 20 min­utes at a time, then you need to rest your eyes.” Jane has taken her model to Pen­don each month to check her progress. “See­ing it all take shape is great. Go­ing to the mu­seum lets me check what I’m do­ing, so I can al­ter things if I need to. It’s also nice to get some­one else’s opinion. When I had ev­ery­thing ready on the card, I took it to Stephen Wil­liams, an ex­pe­ri­enced mod­eller from the mu­seum. It was won­der­ful to get his cri­tique be­cause it al­lowed me to go forward and have a bit of con­fi­dence.”

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