Tower Bridge Dragoon's uniform is an amalgamation of various historical styles and periods but with a strong flavour of the Napoleonic (minus the bridge on his head I should say).
(To see the whole collection visit my website Plaster Busts)
I'm planning more military personnel because creating their complex costumes from real materials in the right scale, though challenging, is a lot of fun.
First coat of silicone rubber in the mould-making process.
I scour haberdashers for braids, cords, tassels and fringing. I found some of the ones used in this costume at an outdoor market stall in Amsterdam which had the most massive collection of styles and textures.
The mould is made in two halves -this is the plaster jacket for the first half.
The hat was the hardest part to make and I had to come up with a style which would accomodate the model of Tower Bridge. I bought it at a tourist shop next to Madame Tusauds - never thought I'd find myself hanging out in those kind of places!
I 'm not sure what hairstyles they really had in Napoleonic times but long plaits tied ina pony tail seemed like a good idea!
Showing part of the 'real' plait I cast from
In my research into military uniforms, I found that fringed epaulettes have been derigeur for centuries. They cast really well into plaster.
Stuffing for the plaster casts to make them slightly lighter in weight and give strength. I use a really hard plaster for the busts, almost as hard as concrete, and you'd need a big hammer to smash them!
Pulling off the silicone mould on the first cast is a 'hold your breath' moment - and a great relief if it comes out well and you know you've made the mould OK.
The 'fan' decoration on the hat is a total invention of mine - but I think those Napoleonic soldiers would have liked it - shame their military uniform designers didn't come up with the idea themselves!
Looking in to the silicone mould - a weird backwards face.
I'm looking forward to getting started on the next one. And by the way, if any of my readers come across small architectural monuments please let me know- I'm always on the look out for buildings to decorate my hats and would love to find more iconic buildings from far flung coutries - plus some modern ones - Sydney Opera House for example???.....................
To see the whole collection visit my website Plaster Busts
To see other posts about the making of the busts:
Making Plaster Busts
More Plaster Busts
Hello Len! Looking forward to hearing what you think of this one!
(Len is my most engaged reader - always taking the trouble to give me feedback which is much appreciated!)