The Search for Jack – 28mm Vignette (The May Challenge)

On the 7th August 1888 the first of 11 murders potentially committed by a murderer later to be known as Jack the Ripper took place.  The victim was Martha Tabram and the location for the ghastly crime was George Yard (now Gunthorpe Street), Whitechaple, London.

A few year ago now I started to investigate my family history.  I was aware of a lot of things but unaware of far more. Part of my research revealed that my great-grandfather and his family had lived in George Yard at around the time of the Ripper murders. At the time I was unaware of the association of George Yard and the Ripper but when I googled the address out of initial curiosity it went ballistic! Since then I have been more than a little intrigued by Jack the Ripper and have read and acquired a number of books on the subject.

It was when I was looking for a suitable figure for the first model in my WW1 project that I discovered a set of four figures which included the newspaper seller.  The other figures were a women, since used in another WW1 model, a policeman and Jack The Ripper.  The latter two figures were primed but remained in my bit box neglected until the May Challenge got me sifting through my old stuff, which is the aim of course.  Using various bits and bobs I decided to put together a little vignette.  Another neglected figure was used to provide the corpse.

The macabre is not something I would describe as my usual modelling fair but it was fun to do.  Not sure where I’d go with this genre if I chose to do something else but my mind is open to the possibility.

Getting everything onto a small base (4.5cm x 4.5cm) proved to be the toughest challenge but I got there in the end.  Scratch built roof, brick and wooden walls together with some rolling pin cobblestones set the scene.  Painted mostly in oils over acryllic undercoats. A wet wipe was used to create the tarpaulin covering the victim.

Images below.


DSC_0819 (1)DSC_0837)DSC_0817 (1)DSC_0836DSC_0818 (1)DSC_0838DSC_0821 (1)DSC_0839DSC_0840DSC_0822 (1)

31 thoughts on “The Search for Jack – 28mm Vignette (The May Challenge)

  1. So three things…

    1. I knew the Ripper would most definitely be a Ginger. Poor down trodden bastards. Everyone bangs on about racism and equality but what about the poor gingernuts???

    2. A fantastic depiction mate and my mind is a buzz with what you could do next but I will control my imagination because I wouldn’t want to sway your own. All I’ll say is maaaayyyyybeeee play on the theory that the Ripper was a Royal. Let me guess you thought I was going to say something about blood and gore eh?

    3. So… then… maybe errrr your Great Grandfather was the Ripper?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a ginger I know how tough life can be! Truthfully Great Grandfather was a butcher by trade at Smithfield Market. Got us thinking too believe me! As for the future I’ve got something planned which might blow your mind coming up but now I’ve given it the big build up you’ll think it’s shit haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very cleverly done David. The Ripper has done the deed and leaves, whilst the policeman is searching … close but yet so far… Well thought out and executed, pardon the terrible pun it was unintended. Each individual is authentic and the scene they are placed in is equally authentic. Jack The Ripper was obviously a very clever individual having never been caught and despite numerous recent attempts to unearth his identity, he still remains unknown. Perhaps like Kennedy’s killer/s we may never know. Your depiction of him shows a malevolent evil and the policeman a little lost and out of his depth. As for the poor victim…thank you for covering her because what the Ripper did to these women was pure evil. A job well done as with all your vignettes. Cheers Martin

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Martin. Sometimes the simplest scene conveys more story than a larger one, something I’ve managed to achieve on a couple of occassions albeit due good fortune rather than true design. Turned out better in terms of atmosphere than I could have hoped for given a couple of the comments I have received.
      Definately an interesting period in history that’s for sure. Alan sent me photos of your roof top Beatles project, brilliant!


    1. In this day and age I kind of agree with but it’s not something I’m sensitive to, not least of all because I don’t have as much hair as I used to and most of what I do have is now white. When I was a kid, albeit along time ago, pretty much everyone got picked on for something, for me it was freckles and ginger. I never took it too much to heart, some would say it toughens you up. To be honest I always liked being ginger because it was different to everyone else.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Interesting, were there other gingers around? Where I grew up, I was the only one and it was like I was some sort of mutant. I got picked on quite a bit, and one bully wanted to basically end my life, just because I looked different. Eventually we moved and things got better. I learned later that being unique was kind of cool, starting in middle school. Now I don’t have as much hair, and it’s much darker than the shiny copper penny I used to sport.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No I was the only one in my year as I recall. I did get picked on but a lot of other kids did then too. It was just the way of the world back then. Oddly
        I often got picked on by teachers. In those days they often had their backs to the class as they wrote things on the blackboard (we could say blackboard back then!) and when they turned round to silence the noise I usually took the hit because I had a head like a beacon and stood out. School bullies didn’t tend to bother me on two counts. Firstly after a couple of fights they left me alone because it was too much trouble. Secondly I played in the school rugby team on account of the fact I could run fast. The team was made up mostly of the very big kids and because of the camaraderie and team ethic I sort of had my own minders. I think being picked on by the girls hurt the most especially going though the sensitive teen years. Somewhere way back I read that the original Anglo Saxons were red heads. I don’t know if that’s actually true but it sort of made me feel very special and I liked being different. I like things which sit outside of the crowd. I have a special edition car and a house that is a one off design and I think I owe a lot of that to the motivation of being ginger.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yea, my altercation with the young psychopath quickly ended when I poked him in the eye during a scuffle. I guess bullies really just enjoy preying on people, and don’t want to get hurt themselves. With teachers, I was the opposite. I don’t know if I was just born smart, or their attention brought it out in me. Probably a combination of factors. It’s good to hear that you weren’t singled out and seemed to have turned things around by embracing differences. All the good and bad of our past, help to shape us to who we become. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Haha, yea. The poking in the eye was truly by accident. It was either 1st or 2nd grade and I had no idea how to fight or even rough house. I would turn into a fair scrapper later though!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great job mate ,can’t believe it is so small and simple and yet it really grasps the moment .I just love the attention you have put into the bricks and planking ,it looks so realistic, sorry mate can’t help with any constructive criticism either , as there is nothing to criticise !.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheers mate and I welcome the positive comment. Truth is whilst I’m pleased with the work I do, and am striving to get better, when I see what the professionals do I’m left gob smacked. How some people paint the way they do I will never know. Still I’m more than happy in my own skin and I enjoy what I do like the rest of us. That said, if you do find something I want to hear about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Will do ,but at the moment I have been finding a few things I’ve missed on the last dio ,( only three cavalry men and a table ) ,so am busily adding them ,I get a little excited at the end and tend to rush things .And you are right about so guys work ,and I wonder is it just a natural flair or is it training and experience .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s interesting that you left a couple of bits off mate but I’ll be interest to know where you can put them. You’ve managed to get so much on such a relatively small base as it is! I can relate to the rushed ending, I’m always eager to start the next one. As for the pros, I think some of it is practice and having had good teachers but there is in my opinion always that certain something that is a gift of birth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, brilliant work! Really interesting choice for a scene and great painting all around. The cloth and the terrain textures, all so wonderful. The last book I read on the subject of Jack the Ripper was the graphic novel “From Hell”, which seemed to be pretty thoroughly researched.

    This recent news article was very interesting, regarding the pursuit of serial killers. They were able to find a suspect by matching DNA evidence to a genealogy tree. I wonder how many other serial killers will finally be tracked down using this approach?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Faust, appreciate the very nice feedback. Glad the challenge made me go through my bits box or this one would have stayed undone for a very long time I expect. Just read the article in your link, amazing. Nice to see justice done but also goes to show that you just don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for with some of this ancestry and social media stuff you sign up for, not that I’ve got anything personally to hide!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well your family was in the area of George Yard….! Wow, can you imagine if you could be tried for crimes that your ancestors committed?! Huh, that could be some interesting SciFi….but it’s probably already been done.

        Yes, I’m very glad that one didn’t languish in your bits box. That would be a shame, as it is really a great piece and stirs up all kinds of conversation.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes that would be very sci-fi indeed and scary if it ever actually happened. I’m sure it’s not unique to my posts but it does surprise me how some articles generate a greater interest than others.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Very nice work here …darkly amusing as well. At least my eye sees black humour there. Who’s the more dangerous if one of them comes around that corner? The copper or the Ripper?

    Liked by 1 person

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