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Friday, 17 December 2010

Two from Wentworth

In the hands of an expert artist a painting of surreal ambience and drama can result from the absence of sunlight in a railway scene. Accentuated highlights, reflections and ghostly shadows resulting from artificial light sources and traces of moonlight combine to produce that all important quality, called impact.
Malcolm Root's Duchess of the Night - available in various sizes and corresponding numbers of wooden pieces from Wentworth - is a typical example with impact to spare. The 500-piece version is featured in pic number one. The locomotive is a LMS 'Princess Coronation' class No. 6233, Duchess of Sutherland, without smoke deflectors ('blinkers' as we used to call them in the halcyon days, were added from 1945). She is shown in a shed setting at twilight, in a cold, smoky atmosphere, and the qualities previously described are inherent in the picture. Little is lost in the transfer of engine shed atmosphere to canvas, and finally, to jigsaw puzzle. The 'Coronation Scot' in blue livery, is just visible, lurking in the background.
The second picture also shows a Wentworth wooden jigsaw of 500 pieces and Malcolm Root is, again, the artist involved. The title is the The 'Duke' and the Clan. Two BR Standard creations of R.A. Riddles are pictured in the coaling plant at Carlisle Kingmoor (shed 12A), class 8, 'Pacific' No.71000, Duke of Gloucester and class 6, 'Pacific' No.72001, Clan Cameron. Only in preservation, following rectification of design inadequacies, has 'The Duke' lived up to the hype that preceded its inaugural run in 1954. The original painting has translated well into an impressive jigsaw.
Specially shaped pieces or 'whimsies', a feature of Wentworth wooden jigsaws, can be seen in both puzzles.