Cool video about our huge Perry 54mm Gallipoli diorama project

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Here’s an excellent two-minute video on the massive Anzac commemoration project involving 4000 specially-commissioned 54mm Perry figures being painted by over 100 wargamers.

The video is embedded in this online article.

In this video a wargamer from Hamilton explains the background of the diorama, and how he and his mates got involved. All kudos to Darcy for speaking about this project in such a thoroughly professional and quite moving manner.


Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

World’s first 3D-printed Maori pa completed

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Here’s some great pics of the final result of my enlistment of Printable Scenery to model a Maori pa and print it on a 3D printer. (Don’t forget to click on the photos to see them in their spectacular full-size glory!)

A Maori pa was a fortified settlement with palisades and defensive terraces. In the pre-European period, these were often built on prominent raised ground, especially volcanic hills. The natural slope of the hill was then terraced.

For years I’ve wanted to have a pa on my wargames table for my colonial New Zealand Wars games, but constructing the fencing from pieces of wood was too fiddly and time-consuming, and the results too fragile. Then I came across Printable Scenery …

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I discussed with Printable Scenery’s Matt Barker how a model pa needed to work for wargaming.   The company was great – I just sent them some drawings and photos and they started showing me 3D prototypes almost the next day.

By producing the fences and buildings in a modular format, this scenery will be infinitely adaptable to put together any type of fortified structure required for wargaming a typical colonial New Zealand Wars battle or siege.

With over 30 pieces of fences and buildings now available, they can also be modified to form any other type of tribal village, not just Maori. You could even consider such forts for fantasy or pulp fiction games. And by reversing the fences so the posts go on the inside, they can become a generic northern European stockade.

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The components were designed with pen and paper, and then drafted in 3DMax, where the overhangs and support tolerances for printing were tested. The mesh was exported to Z-Brush for detailing, then ‘decimated’ to provide a workable high-res file in a technique perfected at Printable Scenery. Each piece prints in just over an hour on a Makerbot.

The variety of walls provides an unlimited range of options that can also be scaled, as can the meeting house and huts. Even the statues and entrance-way can be configured in a variety of ways.

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Once several batches of fences and buildings were printed out, we were keen to see how they would look assembled together to depict a typical Maori hill pa. In our trial layout, three layers of palisading encircle a small hill that has been shaped into defensive terraces. In the centre is the meeting house and huts. The outside circle has an ornate carved gateway. All around is the rugged New Zealand bush.

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Our pa is populated by 28mm figures made by Empress Miniatures, which cover the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s. There’s even a British attack going in on one side.

The palisades and buildings of the model pa were painted using the ‘dry brushing’ technique. This entails dipping a flat brush into acrylic paint, wiping off most of the paint on a tissue, then sweeping the almost dry brush back and forth across the model to pick up all the raised areas.

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For the wooden fences and thatch, I started with a medium grey dry-brushing. I then picked out the binding ropes and the sharpened ends of the poles with beige, and the carved tops of the posts and the frames of doors and windows with a rust-red colour. I used some Games Workshop dark washes to bring out the detail of the ropes. This was followed with a light grey dry-brush over everything, and finally the faintest almost white dry-brush.

The bases were covered in PVA glue, and then dipped into sand. I finished them with splotches of different types of model static grass and flock.

Printable Scenery do great custom creations, and it works out really cheap if you offer them copyright of the finished items. As Matt says, “Now anyone can download and print for less than a cup of coffee from”

PS:  The gnarly old trees you can see on either side of the meeting house in some of the photos are also Printable Scenery items!

[Photos in this article all by Matt Barker from Printable Scenery.]



Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Terrain

54mm Gallipoli Turks by the Perrys


Besides web-mastering the Mustering The Troops blog to support a project to paint 4,000 miniatures for a massive diorama in New Zealand’s forthcoming Great War Exhibition, I’ve also managed to actually paint some of these exquisite 54mm figures myself.

So here’s my latest effort – a posse of charging Turks.

Pop over to see more about my Turks on Mustering The Troops, including more pics and info on how these were painted.

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Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

More Perry previews of 54mm New Zealanders and Turks

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Alan and Michael Perry have sent this preview of the next batch of 54mm Gallipoli figures being sent to New Zealand for our Great War Exhibition project. Absolutely stunning!

By the Perrys’ reckoning, with this batch (and the one currently held in the POW camp of Customs) they’ve now sent us 2,695 Turks, 1,032 Kiwis and 140 British.

Read more about this Anzac commemorative project on the official blog, Mustering the Troops.

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Maori meeting house, and other buildings


I had fun this morning painting these 3D print-outs from Printable Terrain.  This company produces computer files for printing these buildings on a 3D printer.

This impressive meeting house and its two accompanying huts will be perfect to populate a Maori pa for my colonial New Zealand Wars project.

I still have a lot more of Printable Terrain’s pa palisades to paint up (like the fencing in the background), and also a rather impressive gateway arch – so keep watching this space.

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Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Terrain

Fifty shades of grey – and blue


Having been distracted setting up and maintaining the Mustering The Lines blog for New Zealand’s massive 54mm Anzac diorama project, I thought it was about time I dragged myself away from the computer and did my bit towards painting figures for the diorama.So here they are, my Kiwis.

I found the whole process very enjoyable. The large 54mm size makes painting details so much easier, yet they are still sculpted in a style that suits my normal ink and dry-brush techniques that I use on my 28mm figures.


I’ve taken Peter Jackson’s advice to heart, and painted the shirts various shades of grey (not 50, though!) and blue.

And I’ve also followed my own advice and taken a shot of me at work on these figures.



Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

Dramatic Perry 54mm Gallipoli figures

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The Perry twins just keep surppassing themselves with the figures they are churning out for the Anzac diorama at the forthcoming Great War Exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand.  Above are their sculpts for Batch 4 of this exciting project.

Four thousand 54mm figures spread out across a ten-metre long diorama – this is going to be quite something.



Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1