The opening of the Gallipoli Room at the Great War Exhibition has been delayed until the 4th May. Until then there are the occasional teaser shots of work on the diorama available to whet your appetite.
I finally had to pack up the paints and return home. That is my involvement with this fantastic project officially at an end. Been a long week – I worked my real job during the day and went to Weta and/or the Museum to paint in the afternoons and evenings. I had a bitch of a cold for most of the week that didn’t help much. My last day was spent like most others – doing last minute painting. I started the day out at a McCafe where I had breakfast and mostly finished the Brig-Gen Johnston figure that we ended up going with. Back at the museum I had barely finished the miniature when the original “lost” Johnston was found with a pile of Turks. Alan and Michael decided to use the new figure and the old Johnston became a field officer. The last thing I worked on was adding pegs to the canvas cover over Johnston’s command dugout that had been sculpted the night before and giving it a coat of paint – the paint was still wet when the VIPs visited. On Friday the Te Papa WWI display was opened. To say it is larger than life is an understatement.
Today was spent at the Museum doing figure placement, touch up painting, painting a NZ Staff officer that Alan had just sculpted this morning and fixing broken models. Having sculpting talent these guys tell you that your repair on the model he just broke was ‘a good job’ is rather gratifying. Two knights visited today – Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor. Sir Peter had a look at the staff officer that Alan had made and I was painting and didn’t send it back to be repainted – which was good for me 🙂 I spent most of the day at a desk with my trusty portable paint box (Complete with picture of Dad for inspiration). Continue reading Another day closer to completion…still painting→
After work yesterday I went down to the Museum to help out with the diorama. My first task was to assist Russel Briant dirtying up some Turkish boots. Then I got to actually place figures on the diorama. I positioned a Turkish platoon of sixty men advancing up a hill in support of the platoon in front of them. It was a little daunting to be honest, but a lot of fun if not hard on the knees and ankles. Do the right poses work with the terrain? Make sure that the figure’s mounting pin is properly seated into the hole you have made. Don’t step on any other models already in place. Pick up any bits of polystyrene you see sitting on the diorama base.
On to my homework. Those Perry’s are hard taskmasters – I may not have a life but they don’t need to keep reminding me 🙂 Another 36 Turks and some Anzacs – and some furniture for the New Zealand commander’s dugout. I think that is about it as far as figures go.
Once again – sorry for the poor photos but using my phone camera which is not very good in low light.
More Turks. A variety of poses from the charging/attacking to wounded and falling wounded. These mostly need dry brushing, lightening and a few more colours on places such as sashes and some more definition on rifles.
For those who think that this level of detail is lost on a huge diorama, you are probably right but it says a lot about the standards that Sir Peter Jackson asks for. A little anecdote. I couldn’t help myself and had to look inside a German mannequin’s ammo pouches the other day at Weta. The insides of these pouches wont be seen by the public. The pouches were not padded with card or paper. Nope. In each pouch were cast clips of painted ammunition. If it is worth doing it is worth doing right.
The three kneeling firing poses are resin figures. These had been quite badly painted – no undercoat and paint really daubed on. I think someone may have given them to their kid to paint. The resin .303 barrels were also bent so had to use the old hot water trick to straighten them out. Worked a treat. Anyways, I think I did a reasonable job in bringing them back to life, given the time constraints. Also a few wounded, and a standing machine gunner and a Maori loader.
The table and chairs for the commander’s dugout. I imagine there will be some miniature paper maps – but just in case I will print some out myself.
Yesterday after work I went to Weta to do more painting. There was only The Armchair General’s son there and soon after I was left alone for the evening. Apologies for the poor photographs but I left my camera at home and could only use my rather old and crappy phone camera that has a resolution of about 3 pixels – and I don’t mean 3mp. The workshop we have been working in was freezing – an blast of cold has come up from Antarctica and I swear Mirimar is the coldest hole in New Zealand.
I drilled and pinned over a hundred more casualties – Turk, Kiwis and Gloucestershires. I only managed to do two drill throughs – well I was getting tired. The drilling is one thing – cutting all those brass pins is another.
I also painted about fifteen crouching Kiwis waiting to go into the attack. These were done from scratch rather than fix-up jobs. Also six wounded – four for the Maori contingent and two others.
Finally – and there is no photo – I repainted and freshened up fifteen Turkish officers and another thirty charging Turk infantry. This was mostly dry brushing to tone down some colours and I had to totally paint the rifles and equipment on these guys. All in all I think I had a pretty good evening at the painting bench, even if I was freezing my raho off.
My last ten figures completed. Ten Turkish officers charging. What a mission. You guys wont believe this diorama. We have spent all day working on it at one of Weta Workshop’s warehouses and it is massive. Beyond massive. Good to see the Perry Brothers back in New Zealand too. I am not sure I can say anything more at this stage due to confidentiality agreements and so forth – other than prepare to be blown away.
I have finally got these guys finished and they should be winging their way to The Armchair General tomorrow. My last lot are ten Turkish officers who are almost done as well. A wee bit more on them to do. Probably be the last person to get their models done and in but I have been having a hard time getting painting in recently. My personal circumstances have changed and I have a lot less time to paint now when I am away from the Woolshed and I can only take a small selection of my modelling paints/equipment away with me due to lack of room in my new accommodations.
Saying that these figures were really nice to paint. All the same pose but that is OK – meant I didn’t have to think too hard. I tried to vary the shirts a bit, with khaki through to dark denim colour. Hopefully they wont look out of place in the diorama.
..He rained us with bullets, He rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell
Then he blew us right back to Australia
(from the song “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”)
Here are the finished batch of Turkish infantry. The last time I painted any miniature this scale was back when I was a kid and painting 1/32nd WWII Airfix plastics using Humbrol enamels. I was quite daunted by them at first but listened to the sage advice at the top of the painting guides we were furnished with – “Don’t Panic”
My first twenty Turks were in four poses. Four figures in a crouched charging pose.
Ten figures charging with rifles at high porte.
Four figures clambering up a hill or out of a trench.
Two figures running with rifles in their right hands.
First batch completed. Second batch will be done this week. All undercoated and ready to go.
I have finally got started on my first batch of figures. Twenty Turkish infantry. Quite enjoyable to paint these but I have discovered two things – I am going to need some new brushes once this lot is done and I am crap at painting belts in any scale. I guess my infantry will hide amongst all the others and no-one will notice. Still to do on Batch One – Belts, ammo pouches, canteens and rifles. Hopefully all done on these by tomorrow evening.
My second batch arrived yesterday – Ten New Zealanders and ten Turkish officers armed with pistols and canes. Looking forward to knocking that lot off in the next two weeks.