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The work of David Catley - now up for sale

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Rich Sculpts, Mar 20, 2022.

  1. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    You may remember David Catley's work from the 70's and 80's they were regularly entered in BMSS competitions. I always loved his use of muted colours and the fine detail that enhanced them.

    Sadly David has passed away and his collection is now been donated to the Havering Museum in Romford. As his work falls outside of the museums remit they have tried in vane to donate it other museums without any luck? Could anyone tell me if the BMSS still has a national collection, and if so could they be asked to make space for David's work? I was a member many moons ago, but my membership is lapsed.

    It would be a shame to see this work go into private collections, or worse still scrapped.

    The link to the post about this is here >>> https://www.haveringmuseum.org.uk/dioramas-by-david-catley/ it is dated 23rd February 2022, so is current.

    It makes you wonder about all the fine work that is left behind by these talented people, packed into shoe boxes, lingering in cupboards, or still worse dumped as relatives don't know what to do with them? It's all rather sad :(


    If anyone can help, I will contact the museum with the details.

  2. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Rich

    The BMSS does have a collection but I believe it's currently looking for a new home

    Rich Sculpts likes this.
  3. Babelfish A Fixture

    Not a name I'm familiar with but as you say Rich, it's a sad tale. I do hope that a new home can be found for this collection.

    - Steve
    Rich Sculpts likes this.
  4. Plastic Max Active Member

    I remember seeing several vignettes and dioramas by David Catley in some old Historex catalogues back in the late '70s or early '80s, they were extreme conversions of the basic figures, with quite fantastic subjects and fabulous groundwork. The short biography at the Havering Museum site, from the link above, provides some insight to the standard of the impressive models he produced. I also hope that the examples of his work donated to the museum will find a fitting place for their continued display.
    blaster and Nap like this.
  5. arj A Fixture

    Here's a couple of his box dioramas from the early 1980s:-

    The Burning of Moscow.jpeg The Burning of Moscow

    A Night in Venice.jpeg A Night in Venice

    I found them at this SITE, where you can find many fantastic dioramas.

  6. Plastic Max Active Member

    Thank you so much for including the link, that's a brilliant site, plenty of photographs of awesome dioramas and loads of interesting detailed articles from various magazines such as Military Modelling and Campaigns (I'd missed many of them while away from the hobby at the time). Do you maintain an index of book-marked incredibly useful sites, or is there one available here on Planet Figure, it would be a terrific reference resource.
  7. arj A Fixture

    Hi Mark

    I don't know of any such index on PF (perhaps I've missed it).
    I have lots of bookmarks (as do most on PF), so I've had a quick firkle, and have come up with the following which you might find interesting:-
    George S. Stewart Historical Figures

  8. Plastic Max Active Member

    Thanks again Andrew, I'm still working through the Box Dioramas site, it's very absorbing. I had a quick look at Uniformology, had seen it several years ago in the US, the guy was publishing quite a few books back then. To stay on topic, I'll add some pictures of David Catley's work from the Historex catalogues (when I unpack them, having recently moved house). I wonder if there's any progress on the pieces from the Havering Museum. Mark

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