More preview pics of Crann Tara’s forthcoming Gardes Françaises


Crann Tara Miniatures have released some further preview shots of their forthcoming range of 1/56th scale Gardes Françaises figures modelled on the famous Philippoteaux painting, which I’m hoping will be my next project.

The sculptor is now apparently working on the command figures. I’m looking forward to seeing which of the poses from the painting he is going to recreate.

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Filed under crann tara, Eighteenth century

Make your own hardcover ‘eye candy’ book of miniatures


Jealous of the Perry Twins having a full colour hard-cover book featuring their own miniatures? Well, don’t be any longer, because you too can have your own version of Masters in Miniature! Above is a pic of a coffee-table book I created this week containing loads of pictures of my own figures.

Recently I discovered SnapFish, a web-based company that does all sorts of photographic printing. You just go to their site, upload the images you want printed, pay by credit card, and a few days later the prints arrive at your door. But they don’t only do prints.  They also have a range of other products on which your photos can be printed – including books.

So when SnapFish announced a sale on books (only $NZ15 for a twenty-page 20cmx28cm hardcover book), I came up with the idea of making a book of the best photos I’ve taken over the years of my miniatures.

You can choose all sorts of backgrounds for the pages on which your photos will be displayed, but I thought a plain black background would distract less from the figures.  There are also all sots of graphic embellishments you can add, but again, I thought simple is best, and so ignored these.  I also decided to leave the book text-free.


When the finished book arrived in the mail today, I was absolutely delighted with the results. Just look how lavish the front cover turned out to be.

When I was ‘making’ the book, I had been a bit worried about the low resolution of some of my shots.  But in the end they all came out perfectly well. Slight focus issues didn’t stand out as much in hard-copy as they did viewing the photos online.

Overall, I’ve ended up with a coffee table book that shows off my collection – my very own Masters in Miniature. I just can’t stop picking it up and browsing through it!

What’s more, if anyone was so foolish as to want a copy of my book, they can easily purchase their own copy direct off SnapFish using this link!

If you’re interested in this idea for yourself, but you’re not from New Zealand, I’m sure other countries will have similar companies to SnapFish.

Here are pics of a few pages from the book. Remember, even when you’ve clicked on the pics below to enlarge them, they’ll still only be about half the size of the pics in the actual book!






Filed under Books

Excellent national radio programme about Waterloo wargame


I’ve just been listening to one of the best media broadcasts I’ve ever heard about wargaming as a hobby. This excellent 40-minute programme was on Radio New Zealand National, and centred on the massive Waterloo wargame that took place in Wellington (where else?!) at the Wellesley Club (where else?!) last weekend.

All too often the media pokes fun at wargamers as a strange, nerdy bunch. But this broadcast is genuinely inquisitive and treats the gamers with respect. Those interviewed present themselves and the hobby in an impeccable manner.

This programme also lays to rest the canard that Napoleonic gamers are a crusty, argumentative and nit-picky clique. The broadcast includes lots of obviously knowledgeable people, but all enjoying the day in a friendly and light-hearted way.


Some nice sound effects and film audiotrack excerpts provide a feel of period ‘colour’ to the broadcast.

I thoroughly recommend listening to this programme. It’ll be 40 minutes well spent. You can download it from the National Radio New Zealand National website, where they also have some photos of the day, as well as a short YouTube clip.

Because of a family event last weekend, I couldn’t take part in this game. However, some of my miniature troops did, including my 28mm ‘Front Rank’ Nassauers and British Hussars.




Filed under Front Rank, Napoleonics

Father and son bonding at Waterloo


It’s 200 years today since the Battle of Waterloo. It’s therefore apt to re-post my 2012 posting about myself and my son’s experience at the 2005 reenactment of Waterloo.

Originally posted on DRESSING THE LINES:

What, is it already nearly seven years since my son and  I took part in the re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo?  How time flies!

I was recently browsing though my old Favourites (as you do!) and found myself re-reading my old article about our experiences at Waterloo in 2005.  I thought it might be worth resurrecting it here for those you who didn’t see it at the time.

“Vive l’Empereur!” comes the enthusiastic cry, as the familiar grey-coated man on a white horse canters past, escorted by his Chausseurs à Cheval de la Garde. Like the rest of my comrades in the 85ème Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne, I place my pokalem hat on the end of my musket and wave it up in the air. It is as if I have stepped back 190 years, and really am shouting out my allegiance to my emperor.

But, no, the time…

View original 1,513 more words


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Recreating a famous painting of Fontenoy in miniature

After all the build-up and excitement of the amazing Chunuk Bair diorama project, I’ve been at a bit of a loose end as to what to do next. I didn’t want to start a new period from scratch, plus nothing really appealed for adding to my existing armies.  It was almost looking like I had lost my painting mojo all together.

But then the other day I came across some news that I think has solved my crisis!

Ever since I first read Charles Grant’s 1975 book The Battle of Fontenoy many years ago, I’ve been fascinated by its cover illustration, Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux’s 1873 painting entitled The Battle of Fontenoy, 1745: The French and the Allies Confronting Each Other.

I even did a posting about this picture here on my blog a couple of years ago.

So when I came across a snippet of news the other day that Crann Tara Miniatures are planning on making 1/56th figures based specifically on this painting, my heart sang!

I would now be able to recreate my favourite military painting in miniature – a perfect project to go with my somewhat stalled Barrayat of Lyndonia imagi-nation project.


So far Crann Tara’s Gardes Françaises range only has a couple of infantrymen in it – and these aren’t in quite the right pose to match the painting.

But owner Graham C. says, “The next two Garde figures will be the kneeling and standing figures from the painting. They’re being sculpted at the moment. Some of the other pieces, NCOs etc will make their appearance later.”

I really hope these forthcoming figures don’t have separate muskets, though. One of my pet hates is attaching weapons to figures. Not only is the gluing job a real pain, but the hands never end up looking right, and the joins are fragile.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing this new range develop, and getting my teeth into painting what has to be one of my favourite 18th century uniforms.


Filed under Eighteenth century

Teaser for my article in ‘Wargames Illustrated’


The first inkling of the much-anticipated article about the Chunuk Bair diorama I’ve been involved with has just appeared on the Wargames Illustrated FaceBook page.

This article, to be published in their August issue, will feature not only some of the great pics already seen on the Mustering The Troops blog, but also some amazing professional photographs that have been held back especially.

On their FaceBook page, Wargames Illustrated have released a small teaser picture of the opening spread of what is going to be a ten-page article. Using one photo splashed across both pages looks pretty impressive, even at the small size of the picture they’ve released!



Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

A visit to ‘Gallipoli: the scale of our war’


This morning I visited for the first time Gallipoli: the Scale of our War at Te Papa, their ground-breaking WW1 commemorative display developed with Weta Workshop.

I’ve put together a photo report of my visit on the Mustering The Troops blog. Pop on over to take a look, and get a taste of what this exhibition is all about.

What with having both Gallipoli: the Scale of our War and The Great War Exhibition, Wellington has not just one, but two world-class WW1 exhibitions. So the city is well worth a visit from elsewhere in New Zealand, or even from abroad.



Filed under WW1