Friday, 20 March 2009

Richard Scollins Military Artist

Richard Scollins Artist 1946 – 1992

The book ‘The Soldier’ Richard Humble and Richard Scollins, Crescent was recently obtained via an Amazon seller (not the speediest in delivery but a good clean book!) Is a ‘unique pictorial history of the fighting man, from the dawn of history in the 3rd millenium BC to the wars of the 1980’s’. The book presents the finest works of Richard Scollins, a military artist hitherto best known to specialist uniform and military modelling enthusiasts with text by his friend and colleague, military historian Richard Humble’.

It is a great compilation of his work and a huge thanks to Scott for pointing me in the direction of this fine ‘tome’. As the jacket states and anyone who has admired the work of Richard Scollins knows the illustrations are not ‘parade ground’ but captures the real face of soldiering, the fatigue despair courage dust and grime with depictions showing stained and torn uniforms sore feet and brocken boots! The book depicts the defiant Spartans at Thermopylae to Napoleons old guard at Waterloo, ECW, Roman Legionary and the Para in the Falklands. The illustrations are in Colour and black and white (just like the old MM articles) with 40 group works and 150 single figures.

Richard Scollins was born in 1946, was educated at Ilkston Grammar School, Derby and Newport Colleges of Art, and the Faculty of Education, Cardiff University. He was a part- time lecturer in Art, and as a free-lance artist been involved in a wide range of work from book and magazine illustration, comic strips, and LP covers to package design, pub signs and television graphics. Richard was a co-author on a number of books and produced an LP record on the Derbyshire dialect!. He was also a member of an English country dance and folk song band. His main interest was in in all aspects of the arts, social and military history and English Customs and folklore. (it is noted on several publications that he was a pacifist but had a feel for the grimness of the reality of war I sympathise totally with this viewpoint!)

I have some of the Cassell History of warfare series in my library including the often quoted ‘Warfare from Waterloo to Mons’ by Michael Glover, and check out the great blog by matt inspired by that book and his brand new website with his brand new Danish figures of 1846 Waterloo to Mons Miniatures…I have succombed in a minor way! (See I cant go to Salute the bank of Scotland group would need re financing again!! Plus all the sherpas I would need at £12 a ticket each to enter afformentioned wargaming extravaganza to carry the bounty away!!) also Warfare in the Age of Bonaparte by Michael Glover and Warfare in the Ancient World by Richard Humble these all have some of Richards illustrations in, amongst others but sadly I cannot see accreditation to his artistic skill in the books anywhere.

Of course he was a regular illustrator for Military Modelling and where I enjoyed seeing his work…please bring back more of this artistic depiction wargaming/ modelling magazines!!

Finally he illustarted Osprey books as well and below is their thubnail sketch of Richard on their web site

Osprey publishing
Rick Scollins was one of the most popular artists ever to work for Osprey. He was born in 1946 and pursued a career as an artist after four years at art college and a postgraduate teaching course at Cardiff. Rick quickly developed a distinct style and, despite being a pacifist, he gained a feel for military subjects. His artwork was always realistic and is highly sought after by collectors. Rick Scollins died in December 1992.

Summing up I believe Richard Scollins was one of the best military artists and I for one miss his work in books and magazines. I am just pleased that he was as prolific illustrator as he was but what more would he have produced?

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