Amazing photos of Napoleonic reenactors

My brother-in-law in the UK sent me these scans of an article in the Telegraph Magazine, which includes some amazing photographs of Napoleonic reenactors.

These are some of the nicest shots I’ve ever seen of reenactors. They’re really atmospheric pics, almost like oil paintings. They really look the part (other than perhaps the percentage of them who are older).

Click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can read the text. Or scroll down to the links at the end of this posting to go to the online version of the article and photos.








The Telegaph Magazine’s online version of the pics is here (and includes even more pictures than the above print version).

You can also read the full article online here.

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Filed under Napoleonics

A simple way to paint a Maori pa and other scenery


I recently helped Printable Scenery to write and illustrate an article on how to paint their Maori pa palisade and buildings, using the ‘dry-brushing’ process.


This is a fairly quick way of painting large lots of scenery. The results look good despite being somewhat ‘rough and ready’ to do. This technique is particularly useful for things like rough wood and thatch – perfect for a pa, in other words!

See the full article here.

And here’s a little video of the fully painted pa:

Video #3dprintable #Maori pa printed on #makerbot for #wargamesterrain #wargames

A video posted by Printable (@printablescenery) on


Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Empress Miniatures, Terrain

Predictions about wargaming in 1981 – right or wrong?


Being a bit of a hoarder, I’ve kept nearly every wargaming magazine I’ve ever bought, right from when I was a teenager through to now in my late fifties.

I love occasionally leafing through an issue. I especially enjoy it when the authors of the time tried to predict the future of the hobby.

Recently I was browsing through the April 1981 issue of Military Modelling, and two predictions particularly interested me. One writer had got it totally wrong; the other was more spectacularly correct than he could conceive.

Firstly, here’s an excerpt from Terry Wise’s Observation Post column:

At one pound for two cavalry – and no doubt the price will go up again during 1981 – it is obvious to me that the days of big 25mm armies are numbered. In the years to come, the percentage of wargamers with 25mm armies must inevitably shrink, for this latest price rise must be the death knell of large armies of 25mm figures (I mean 500 and upwards) and of wargaming as I know it and love it. Those yet to join our ranks, or those buying additional armies, are almost certain to go for skirmish 25mm or armies in smaller scale figures. Before much longer I, and others like me, will be like the dinosaur – though very rich dinosaurs! The 25mm man will eventually become a collector, like those eccentric retired colonels and their 54mm armies of days gone by.

Well, 34 years later, I can certainly count at least 500 figures in my Napoleonic French army alone, despite it being by no means the largest 25mm army in my neighbourhood. And I hope I’m neither a dinosaur (I’m definitely not a rich one!) nor an eccentric retired colonel.

Now, here’s a sentence from R J Marrion’s report on the 50th Model Engineer Exhibition:

In retrospect, I believe the military classes reached their high point about four years ago with a number of up-and-coming young modellers such as the Perry twins delighting us with many of their scratchbuilt creations.

Well, Mr Marrion, who seemed to be a pretty tough critic of the military modelling entries submitted to the exhibition, was dead right about the ‘up-and-coming’ young Perry twins – but little did he know exactly how far up Alan and Michael Perry would come in the hobby, nor how much their modelling efforts would continue to delight so many of us.


Filed under Books, Perry Miniatures

Police magazine features the Chunuk Bair diorama

ten one

Odd though the connection may at first seem, the May issue of the New Zealand Police magazine Ten-One features a story on our Chunuk Bair diorama.

This story came about because your blog-master (ie me!) works for the Police. This month’s issue of the internal Police magazine has a theme of Anzac Day, as police officers are always very much involved in these commemorations around the country.

You’ll have to look hard to find him, but Police National HQ Schools Advisor Roly Hermans has been transported in miniature into the thick of the battle for Chunuk Bair.

Roly was among an army of Kiwi wargaming enthusiasts recruited by film director Sir Peter Jackson to paint 5000 model soldiers for the huge battlefield diorama created for the Gallipoli centenary commemorations. read more …

So having a story about our diorama in a police magazine isn’t really so ‘out of left field’ after all.


Filed under WW1

More pics of Sir Peter Jackson’s massive Chunuk Bair diorama


Today I visited the massive Chunuk Bair diorama at The Great War Exhibition In Wellington for the first time since I had last seen it a week before it had opened to the public.

Having been involved with the diorama from the beginning of the project, I knew what to expect – or at least I thought I did. But I was as flabbergasted as if it was my first time.

I’ve posted photos of today’s visit onto the diorama’s official Mustering The Troops blog, which will give you an impression of what the setting of the diorama is like:

Here are a couple of sample pics from the above blog:





Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

First pics of Sir Peter Jackson’s massive Gallipoli diorama!


The first public photos have been released of the room-sized diorama of the Battle of Chunuk Bair at The Great War Exhibition in Wellington, populated with five thousand 54mm figures.

The diorama is the brainchild of world-famous movie director and WW1 buff, Sir Peter Jackson. He enlisted the former chief of New Zealand’s defence forces, Lt General (rtd) Rhys Jones, himself a keen wargamer, to lead this official WW100 commemoration project.

Alan and Michael Perry, two of the foremost miniature figure sculptors in the world, were engaged to produce the figures; and leading movie special effects company Weta Workshop to make the massive terrain.

The 5000 miniatures were painted by 140 enthusiastic Kiwi wargamers organised in teams of volunteers right across the country.

So pop on over to the official Mustering The Troops blog for loads of photos of this amazing diorama. Here are some sample pics from the blog:








Filed under Perry Miniatures, WW1

Final touches for the massive 54mm Chunuk Bair diorama

gwe paint

The huge Chunuk Bair diorama that over 100 New Zealand wargamers have been working on over the last few months is just a couple of days away from opening. It has in fact been ready since before Anzac Day, but other displays around it have been delaying things.

The diorama contains five thousand 54mm figures specially produced by the Perry twins, arrayed over ten square metres of terrain built by Weta Workshop.

I have loads of photos of the diorama ready to go up onto the official diorama blog, Mustering The Troops – but they’re embargoed until Monday morning after the opening. Above is the only photo released so far of the diorama – a close-up of some of the final touches.

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Filed under WW1