Ever wanted to emulate the cathedral builders of old? Well, now you can – and this time it doesn’t have to take centuries...
If you have ever felt inspired by Pillars of the Earth (itself inspired by a visit to Peterborough Cathedral) there is now a whole new way to indulge your passion for medieval ecclesiastical architecture: Peterborough Cathedral Shop is stocking build-your-own model kits of the Cathedral.
If you struggle to assemble the toy from a Kinder egg, however, you may wish to hone your model-making skills before embarking on this as a project. Designed and produced exclusively by artist Rupert Cordeux, the kits are for adult assembly, arequiring long hours of patient work. They are regarded as among the finest of their kind among enthusiasts, and are highly sought after by collectors and model-makers. The Cathedral model is on the scale 1:240, measures 25cm W x 58cm L x 19cm H (16” W x 26” L x 7.5” H) and is printed on A4 or A3 sheets of tinted card. It comes with fully-illustrated assembly instructions and is priced at £21.
The model’s proportions were derived from satellite and aerial images of the building to ensure a high degree of accuracy. Describing the painstaking process of design, Rupert said, ‘I take hundreds of photos, and pace the outline of the building by foot for accurate measurements. I never use architects’ drawings because they all seem to contradict one another. Finally I merge my information with measurements taken from Google satellite images and aerial photos, find a happy medium and then draw up the plans and elevations of the model.’
While the building itself is centuries old, it was new technology that made the model possible. Rupert’s first attempt to model Peterborough Cathedral many years ago had to be abandoned because of lack of resources to work out the complex West Front, but with the help of modern aerial and satellite references and a Youtube video he was finally able to work out the masses of the building.
Rupert Cordeux is primarily a watercolour artist and has worked professionally as a painter since 2000 when he won the Channel 4 programme, Watercolour Challenge. He graduated in 1988 from Wolverhampton Polytechnic School of Art where he studied graphic design and printmaking. He has exhibited work in one-man shows as well as in mixed shows at a number of commercial galleries. His paintings, drawings and model-kits are to be found in many private collections throughout the United Kingdom as well as overseas. He regularly demonstrates watercolour technique to art groups. Strong draughtsmanship and a keen sense of form, tone and colour underscore all his work.
In 2012 he became a full member of the Birmingham Watercolour Society and in 2013 an Associate Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. His model-kits of cathedrals, minsters and abbeys include Southwell and Beverley Minsters, Canterbury, Salisbury and Gloucester Cathedrals, and Romsey and Tewkesbury Abbeys, and his eventual aim is to record all of England’s cathedrals, abbeys and minsters. Rupert says: ‘I have great respect for the many followers of my work who have so tirelessly and brilliantly made the models I have designed. It is only through observing their efforts that I can be sure my designs work.’